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Ola Barrett
Ola Barrett,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 271
Experience:  Veterinarian at Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital
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She's an 8 yr old Aussie /Norwegian elkhound mix, she tends

Customer Question

She's an 8 yr old Aussie /Norwegian elkhound mix, she tends to be anxious, but she's pacing and panting, won't lie down, won't go outdoors. I've rubbed her belly, she doesn't flinch but she's usually pretty happy to go to bed.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Terra. I spent last night w my daughter and my fiance says terra didn't sleep well last night either. She's eating and drinking normally.
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help Terra. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Terra?
Customer: She's not lethargic, more aggitated. She gets aggitated or anxious when there are thunderstorms, fire works, even snow plows, we don't have any of those tonight.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am Dr Ola B and I am licensed veterinarian. In this situation there are a couple of things that could be going on is behavioral/breed specific with possible an anxiety component and one may be medically related.

First, you may need to rule out a medical cause. Restlessness and anxiety in a middle age to older dog can be a sign of orthopedic pain, seizure activity or general malaise/not feeling well. Your veterinarian can perform a general work up including thorough physical exam, blood tests and possibly x-rays.

If medical causes are ruled out then behavioral issues or anxiety may be at play here.

Aussies and Norwegian Elkhounds are both herding breeds with very high physical drives. They tend to become restless at times if things in their environment become mundane and are not "stimulating" enough. They were bred originally to have a job which you can duplicate at home.. If you have a back yard, you can set up an agility course to help her get out some restless energy. If this isn't possible, longer walks will do the trick as well. Also, look for toys that are meant for problem solving; if she is food motivated, there are a number of toys require some brain work to get the treat to them;)

If her environment is very enriching already and medically she is good, then anxiety may be at play here. Have any changes occurred in her environment lately such as a move, any temporary visitors or anyone take a trip away from her? These things can all contribute to feelings of anxiety.. To decrease her anxiety/restlessness you can try natural means such as pheromone diffusers (such as DAP diffuser) or oral supplements containing oxytocin (such as Composure for dogs); or anxiety medication. Your veterinarian can help you determine if either of these are needed.

I hope this advice was helpful to you. Let me know if you have other questions or need clarification on anything. Please do not forget to rate my answer by clicking "rate our conversation" below (This is my only means of compensation here).