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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9677
Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
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My mother in law is here for an extended visit. my 10 yr old

Customer Question

my mother in law is here for an extended visit. my 10 yr old female Pekingese has been around her every year for at least 3 months each year without any issues, we leave her (Ruby) with the mother in law everyday while we go to work. suddenly this year about a month in the mother in law visit, Ruby goes outside and won't come back in the house and acts afraid to come in the house until we get home and when we get home and she comes in, she acts clingy and odd for a couple of hours, she won't eat her supper unless we hand feed her.....and no I really do not believe the mother in law is abusing Ruby, that's not possible....any suggestions....at wit's end.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is this new behavior?
Customer: yes
JA: OK. The Veterinarian will know what to do. What is the Pekingese's name?
Customer: Ruby
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ruby?
Customer: our 13 yr old Pekingese male had to be put to sleep last year due to cognitive dysfunction disorder and we're horrified this is happening to little Ruby
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Sally G. replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thank you for using this site to help you. Given her age it is very possible that there is canine cognitive dysfunction going on but there is medication to help that.

another possibility is that there is some seizure activity going on. Grand mal seizures are not the only type of seizures a dog can get , there are focal and aura seizures which can have a dog act fearful or overly clinging for hours. This would be something you may want to have looked into by your vet.

Here is more on seizure activity

http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/diseases-conditions-of-dogs/symptoms/seizure-disorders-in-dogs

From a behavior standpoint, it could be that something happened that your dog is associating with your mother in law, not something she did to the dog. This can be as simple as the dog jumped off of something and hurt itself while your mother in law was in the same room. Usually it is something that the dog has not experienced before, it could also be a sound that startled the dog when the two were in the same room. So , in that respect , your mother in law could be the reason, but not the actual cause.

It could also be that she hurt herself while coming back in the door when your mother in law was holding it open and that may be why she will come in only with you.

I would practice getting the dog in and out of the house with you and your mother in law at the door so that the dog can see the effect is still the same with you standing there as well as with your mother in law standing there.

If possible, put the dog on a leash and have them both walk in together as well.