4th February 2012, 01:07 PM
Unusual barking fit this AM
Butters is almost 8 months old now, and is really a wonderful dog. We have had him for 2 months now, and since we have had him he has never been a barker. He doesn't bark when people walk by the house, and it will be a rare occasion to even hear his bark even once during the day. When he was younger, wanting to be with my husband and I, he would sometimes whimper and work himself up to a small bark overnight in his cage. However, he has been sleeping through the night for a while now. He is well-adjusted to his crate, and very happily stays in there on his own. Overall, he is a very low-key dog (not very rambunctious, friendly and well-mannered with dogs and people, doing very well with his obedience training) and he is not nervous (he is not afraid of loud noises like thunderstorms or windstorms, vacuums, and hairdryers and no submissive urination).
This AM, my husband and I awoke to him barking uncontrollably in his cage. There was no pre-whining phase, just sudden onset of barking. It was a very urgent type of bark that I have never heard from him before. When we let him out of his cage, he came running out of the cage to the two of us. He then continued to bark as he ran around the house upstairs and downstairs. I took him outside to see if he had to go to the bathroom, and he continued to bark outside (but he did not seem to be barking at anything in particular he was barking at). In his cage, we found 2 small stools and a warm spot of urine, the urine which I think came during the barking fit started. It is very unusual for him to pee in his cage (he has not peed in it since we made the cage smaller), and he has never pooped in it since we have had him. He was very worked up about this for about 15 minutes afterward as he cuddled with me. He wasn't shaking, but every morning since I have had him he has cuddled up on my lap and gone to sleep immediately after I get him out in the morning so I could see he was still worked up. He is now calmed down and resting on my lap.
I know it might be preemptive to be posting as this only happened once, but it is such a drastic change from his usual self that it has scared my husband and I. We could not find any specific cause that could have triggered this event, and live on a very quiet street without any pets or other distractions in the house. Has this ever happened to someone else and, if so, any triggers you could identify? Did it continue afterwards, or was it an isolated event? Are there any medical issues that could have caused this, and should we take him to the vet? We haven't seen any signs of SM, seizures, clogged anal glands, or other medical problems. We just felt so helpless this morning, and are worried that this might happen again or might be a warning of a more serious issue.
4th February 2012, 01:23 PM
This might be totally off the wall, and I am sure others will have better suggestions/explanations... BUT... my dogs did this one night and I was very alarmed as my husband and I could find nothing to be worried about, but it took them ages to calm down...turned out they had seen a mouse!
4th February 2012, 03:03 PM
my louie is so so quiet he is 3.9 months old and he only barks at something strange. one night he woke me up barking i went down stairs and he was barking at the microwave rack i left out on the bench i put the rack back in the microwave put him back to bed and never heard a thing till i got up the next morning
another time he woke me up barking through the night was i put a cover over the chair to dry off and when i went down stairs he was shaking in the corner barking at this cover hanging over the chair soon as i removed the cover put him back to bed all was quiet till the next morning
a plastic bag was blowing about outside the patio doors and that started him of barking
through the night. maybe this might help
4th February 2012, 10:48 PM
It definitely sounds like he got very scared by something (and losing control of bowels and bladder can happen with total fright). Sometimes, us humans, will never know what scared them so...sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes it just is not. Last week, Brooky was snuggling with me in bed while I was having a nap...suddenly I awoke to her losing her mind (and she is not a "barker" really either...just at animals on TV). Well, my room was dark, the blinds were closed and no matter what I did, I could not find out what it was, and she just could not calm down again. Sometimes it can even be something we cannot really hear, like a hammer 5 blocks away, that will just get to them. There could have been a bug, a sound, a vibration. Who knows.
I would gather that fright of some sort was the reason for this, but who knows. If it is a one off and does not happen again, then I would say that was it...but you might never know what it was that scared him so. It is always distressing when they get scared like this!
5th February 2012, 12:28 AM
Thanks so much for the responses. Butters was his normal self all day, and we couldn't find anything specific that could have made him so scared. We searched for some kind of mouse or other cause like a object in the room (excellent suggestions, pippa and lindylou), but to no avail. It helps to hear he is not the only little cav to have this happen. His episode sounds very similar to Brooky's, and it is reassuring that everything was ok for her after it too. Hopefully no more episodes like this for either her or Butters again!
5th February 2012, 12:49 AM
Yeah, they can get really frightened by stuff that we just cannot see or hear...it's kinda like how they an hear/feel thunder before we do. Just another amazement in animals. Hopfully this is just a one off and that he got scare by something that you just probably won't ever realize.
By the way, Brooky can hear a saw from the construction site at least 5 blocks away...I really had to concentrate to figure out what she was honing in on...I was shocked, it was so faint.