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He is all of a sudden very skittish and anxious, with no…

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He is all of a...
He is all of a sudden very skittish and anxious, with no apparent precipitant. He is a year old blue pit bull, and is afraid now of going outside and coming downstairs. He will spend most of his time upstairs in his kennel, and is often pacing, panting, and seems sensitive and hyper alert to any noise (e.g. Cars driving in the distance, the neighbors AC unit running, birds chirping, etc). He also will refuse to use the bathroom in the dog run (will pee in odd spots like the patio and the patio steps), and will go long periods without water due to this anxiety. Help!
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
7/31/2017
Dog Specialist: Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst replied 9 months ago
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20,284
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Verified

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

It is necessary for me to get a little information from you before I can type up your reply. Your patience is appreciated.

How long ago did this start?

Are there steps to go outside?

Did the reaction to noises start at the same time?

Did he have any limping, soreness etc when this first started?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
This started just a few days ago, it's been about 4 days now. Yes this all started at the same time. I also notice a pus like discharge on the tip of his penis, but hear some mucus on the prepuce is normal. Could this play a role also?
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
no limping or soreness
Dog Specialist: Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst replied 9 months ago

Sorry for the delay. I could have sworn this question closed while I was answering earlier. . A small amount of discharge on the penis of an intact dog is pretty normal especially if there is any females in heat around. I doubt that has much to do with it. If there are steps leading outside then it may be pain related. Often avoiding going down stairs is related to back issues such as a disc.

An intervertebral disc that has slipped or ruptured up into the spinal canal causes inflammation of the spinal cord, which in severe cases causes paralyses of the rear legs. You can read about this here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intervertebral-disc-disease-thoracolumbar-area-in-dogs/page1.aspx

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/intervertebral-disc-disease-cervical-area/page1.aspx

Large dog breeds sometimes suffer from a condition called degenerative myelopathy which can also cause problems with the rear legs and paralyses. You can read about this here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/degenerative-myelopathy/page1.aspx

Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5-10 mg per pound every 12 hours. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet. The aspirin may need to clear your dog’s system before other medications can be given, so keep that in mind if you decide to give aspirin and be sure and tell your vet when your dog is seen. Read side effects and precautions here.

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/acetylsalicylic-acid-aspirin

Now it might be something totally different such as a noise phobia though usually something dramatic triggers a noise phobia situation such as close fireworks or pain that happens with a specific sound such as a snake hissing or a buzz before a bee sting. In the case of noise pbobia, we frequently see it start with one noise and then progressively the dog becomes more sensitive to all the noises around them if it is not corrected pretty quickly.

Now if you are actually tempting him by giving the treats every few feet, then him not displaying the behavior doesn't get him the treat but if he continues to not come down, you continue to feed treats. While the treat solution is often a solution, you either should only give it when he succeeds in coming down or leave a very tiny sliver on each stair coming down so he is getting a little reward each time he succeeds.

I'd go ahead and examine his paws for splinters if you have wood stairs. Definitely examine the dog run to ensure there are no snake holes, fire ant mounds or other potential harmful situation that might be present which could be overlooked. Fireants not only bite but they sting and you might not notice the bites and stings even though they are quite painful to the dog. These bites might cause a dog to be reluctant to go back into an area where they occurred.

I do have to let you know that it is better to not give your boy too much attention if he is refusing to come down stairs. Dogs are opportunistic and if certain behavior gets them good attention, they keep doing it. So you want to show lots of attention when he succeeds in coming down or eliminating where he is supposed to and try ignoring the unwanted behavior as much as possible . Once he sees it doesn't get him attention, he should stop if it is strictly behavioral and not rooted in a medical condition.

I'd start obedience training too so you can command him to come and have him listen once he is trained even if he doesn't want to.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

I hope I've given you great service. If so, I'd appreciate a 5 star rating. The rating should be based on my answer and not any site issue. Experts are not compensated until a rating is done. If you have any other questions at all, please reply here and I'll be happy to follow up with you even after you have rated. .

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
That's the thing though, a lot of times he will even refuse treats...so the treat system is not working
Dog Specialist: Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst replied 9 months ago

Hi again, some how it showed opted out on my end which prevented me from answering your last question. Many dogs do not find regular treats quite boring. However, the hot dog slivers or raw liver pieced tend to entice even the most non food motivated dogs. For hot dog slices be sure they are paper thin. You can get about 30-40 tiny slivers from one hot dog. The oil of the hot dogs and smell usually is a good enticer. .

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Dog Specialist: Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst replied 9 months ago

Just following up to see if you received my last answer and if you found my suggestions helpful.

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