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Ask Dr. Loretta Your Own Question
Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28286
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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My 9 year old Maltese is acting mentally odd last two weeks.

Customer Question

Hi Dr. John. My 9 year old Maltese is acting mentally odd for the last two weeks. Almost like a switch went off...was fine one day and then the next scared shaking. She is eating and drink and everything else.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

I am sorry but Dr. John is not available but I would like to try to help.

It appears that sweet little Bella has been frightening by something that you are not aware of...this is common in the smaller breeds and will take some patience to get past this.

They develop fears that cause extreme anxiety similar to those anxieties of humans. The only way to get her over this is "Desensitization" which means constant exposure until Bella realizes that these fears will not hurt her. To do this, first avoid these while making your dog comfortable in his situation. You may need help in doing this since when you try, as you have experienced, hse is too afraid to understand. Purchase a DAP Collar at the pet store. This is a canine pheromone that acts as a calming agent and will decrease anxiety.
Thundershirts are useful since this is one of the most common fears causing extreme anxiety and can be very effective.
If this is not enough, your vet will have medication to help Bella past this. Take Bella to your vet for an exam to be sure there is not a medical cause for this and ask about anti anxiety medication such as Fluoxetine or Buspirone. Then expose her to the things she fears over and over, constantly talking in a soft voice and giving treats when he does something positive. Here is a site with more tips:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/fear-of-thunder-sounds-or-noises/page1.aspx

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, ***** *****