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HollyDolly
29th April 2012, 11:58 PM
My 8 year old has started to act very strangely and I am getting concerned for her.
She came to me when she was approx 3 years old and for the last 5 years has
enjoyed twice daily walks. But now she has become extremely frightened of
going near grids in the road, will not cross a bridge (which she has done many times)
and even seems fearful of going out at all. As I always take her I know she has not
had any bad experiences while out. When I say she is frightened I mean petrified, her
legs splay out and her belly touches the floor in an effort not to pass the obstacles.
She is walked with my other dog Gus but this morning when putting their leads on
Holly started shaking. I am at a total loss to understand what maybe happening to her
and any help from board members would be greatly appreciated.
Holly is my Avatar.

Nanette

Sydneys Mom
30th April 2012, 12:25 AM
My first thought was that she had a bad experience or was frightened by someone or another dog perhaps. But as you say this isn't the case I'm not really sure. I've heard of instances of dogs who start to lose their eyesight and/or hearing becoming frightened away from home. Maybe that could be the case? I think I would at least call the vet for advice or bring it up during her next appointment.

Emkaybee
30th April 2012, 02:20 AM
I second the idea of a check up by the vet. If nothing physical is wrong, you might want to call a trainer for help.

Calandra
30th April 2012, 02:21 AM
The poor dear! :( I'm sorry to hear that. What Sydney's mom said sounds like the way to go.

The only other thing I can think of - which might be totally off base and crazy - is if your dog had a nightmare. I know Chloe dreams and sometimes growls or barks in her sleep. I don't know if they remember what they dream or how vivid the dreams are.

The more I write, the more I think you should explore Syndey's mom's suggestions.

Soushiruiuma
30th April 2012, 02:22 AM
Is it possible that she is going blind/deaf, and it affects how she is perceiving the outside world?

Kate H
30th April 2012, 07:58 AM
My Oliver is almost 11 but his eyesight has been gradually deteriorating for several years - nothing specific like cataract, but just getting more and more shortsighted and therefore not seeing things further away very clearly - he gets all excited about what looks like someone with a dog, which then turns out to be someone with a shopping bag! Close-up sight is still good. This can be normal ageing, but could be something more and can be very confusing for them. I would second the suggestion of a vet check, and if it is a sight problem, perhaps a visit to an ophthalmologist. I doubt if it is deafness, since this actually makes them ignore what might be disturbing sounds and doesn't seem to worry them all that much (and with Oliver is a good excuse for being naughty: 'Did you say no, mum - I didn't quite catch it!').

Kate, Oliver and Aled

PS I had a Cavalier who I'm fairly sure saw double, and found things like negotiating stairs and judging distances very difficult, not knowing where it was safe to walk and which of the two steps he saw was the one that would bear his weight.

Nicki
30th April 2012, 09:57 AM
I'm sorry to hear this Nanette - it sounds horrid and very distressing for both of you. I wouldn't take her out for a few days, you don't want to make things any worse. Yes definitely a vet visit, just to make sure there is nothing physical going on - if it was pain related I suspect you would be seeing a change of behaviour at home too.

My thoughts would sadly be sight related too - having had an old dog go almost totally blind, she was coping amazingly well at home - she wasn't going out for walks due to severe arthritis and heart problems, but I only realised how little sight she had when I took her out in a stroller, put her down in the field for a wee wander and she froze. She could still see a bit of movement as she would chase a stone if you rolled it. She started snatching at treats etc as she couldn't see them.

If the physical check is ok, then obviously a qualified trainer [who uses positive training methods] - ask your vet for a referral may be able to help. There are ways to desensitise them to obstacles, using treats or toys to reward them when they are calm - gradually approaching the feared object at a pace they are comfortable with.

With my dogs, if they are showing anxiety like this, I use Dr Bach Rescue Remedy drops - obtainable from the chemist or through www.gentletouchremedies.co.uk [cheaper!] I put 3-4 drops in the water bowl - or 2 in the mouth [carefully as it is a glass dropper] which can be as often as 15 mins for a couple of hours in extreme situations. There are other flower remedies which may help too.




If it is worst case scenario, they do cope incredibly well as long as nothing is moved around at home - their other senses compensate.
There have been a few blind dogs on the board in the past and you can do things to help them by not leaving things on the floor, putting their food bowl next to their paws etc, always feeding them in the same place and putting water in the same place etc so it is not the end of the world. In time their confidence increases and they do cope better with familiar walks. You can also help by wearing a bell so they know where you are and obviously not letting them off the lead.

You become a "Guide person"- for our US friends - a "Seeing Eye Person" :)


Gentle hugs for beautiful Holly - and for you too x

Brian M
30th April 2012, 10:22 AM
Hello Nanette

I do so hope you get it sorted as I am sure you will ,so best wishes from me and the girls to you and Holly

Your mate

Bri

Charlifarley
30th April 2012, 10:39 AM
Hi Nanette,
I hope Holly is ok and there is nothing serious going on with her.

I've read your post with interest, because I had a similar but less stressful incident with Bosco yesterday. We walked to our local park, which is less than 10 minutes from home. Once we got to the entrance of the park, Bosco put the brakes on and wouldn't go any further. I tried to change direction with him, still having none of it. So I turned and headed away, thinking we would walk somewhere else. That didn't work either, so I thought I would let him guide me to where he wanted to go, and the little monkey headed for home. It was strange, because he was his usual excited self when the lead and harness came out at the start of the walk. I think he may be suffering a bit more than usual with his SM, as he is quiet this morning. The park entrance is quite dark, with lots of trees, so perhaps, as has been suggested for Holly, his eyesight has been impaired. I think I'll be talking to the vet....

Anyway, keep us posted on Holly, and I hope this incident was a 'one-off' for her.:flwr:

Karlin
30th April 2012, 04:55 PM
Jaspar has become sometimes fearful now of certain places -- roads we do not know well, near the light rail tracks for example (he is fearless off or on lead in a park thought, or anywhere he knows well). This out of the blue as well -- my guess is that it is associated with his increasing deafness in some way.

So I also echo that it is worth checking physical possibilities first with a vet.

I know my CPDT certified trainer friends would say to get a very thorough vet check and consider too the possibilty of pain (could a harness be rubbing? Disk pain? SM pain? Anything that would make a walk now an unpleasant experience?). Maybe mild dementia starting so confusion is causing fear?

These can be really hard source problems to identify. I hope it is something you can pinpoint that isn't very stressful or serious and address easily.

Karlin
30th April 2012, 04:56 PM
Jaspar has become sometimes fearful now of certain places -- roads we do not know well, near the light rail tracks for example (he is fearless off or on lead in a park though or anywhere he knows well). This out of the blue as well -- my guess is that it is associated with his increasing deafness in some way.

So I also echo that it is worth checking physical possibilities first with a vet.

I know my CPDT certified trainer friends would say to get a very thorough vet check and consider too the possibilty of pain (could a harness be rubbing? Disk pain? SM pain? Anything that would make a walk now an unpleasant experience?). Maybe mild dementia starting so confusion is causing fear?

These can be really hard source problems to identify. I hope it is something you can pinpoint that isn't very stressful or serious and address easily.

HollyDolly
1st May 2012, 11:47 PM
Thankyou all for your replies and help.
Had Holly to the vet and suspects that her eye sight is failing.
We have been referred to a specialist and should receive appointment
within 10 days.

My vet gave her a thorough check, no heart murmur, and does not
feel it is pain related.
At least we know what we are dealing with if it is her eye sight.

Thankyou again.
Nanette

Karlin
1st May 2012, 11:53 PM
Oh no; it's hard to get that message back from your vet but on the other hand, also must be a bit of a relief to have some idea of what to start with in your search for a reason for what is going on. Let us now what you hear back -- I hope it isn't anything that will change quickly.

Sydneys Mom
2nd May 2012, 12:07 AM
I'm sure that was diffucult to hear, but at least now you have a starting point. It was also good to hear that she has no heart murmur or pain. Good luck and let us know how she's getting along.

sins
2nd May 2012, 03:26 AM
Sorry to hear this Nanette,
I know you'll leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of this.
Poor Holly must be feeling so confused.
Hope you have the answers very soon.
Sins

Charlifarley
2nd May 2012, 01:11 PM
Hi Nanette,
I hope the eye problems won't be too serious, and that Holly will start to feel confident again soon. Thank goodness it's not a pain issue.
Best of luck with the opthalmologist.