Elderly Lab bedtime anxiety

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Marie blundell, Oct 20, 2019.

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  1. Marie blundell

    Marie blundell Registered Users

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    Apr 6, 2016
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    Hi all. Desperate for some advice
    My lab is nearly 13 and as always slept upstairs. 6 months ago when I was retiring she started barking at foot of stairs but came up after approx 5 mins. This behaviour as continued since with her hesitating & panting but always coming up & settling down. Over last 2 weeks she’s also started ‘stressing’ during the day if both husband & I are upstairs at same time, yet other times will either go up without fuss.

    last night I went upstairs she began to stress pant attempt hesitate and refuse to come upstairs. Teen went to bed followed by husband (around 10.30) and when he came up she got extremely distressed and was near on howling - very similar type noises we experience every bonfire night. In time we blocked entrance to stairs & left her downstairs where she did settle down after 45 mins.
    3am this morning I woke to find husband had ended up on sofa as she’d began barking in night so in order to let our daughter rest (dance rehearsals today) he stayed with her.
    Obviously this is not an ideal situation as he returns to work tomorrow (I’m off due to surgery). and one of us cannot stay downstairs permanently
    How can we rectify this behaviour?
    I will add she is arthritic but medicated for this and also has hydrotherapy and laser treatment
    I started to block stairs if we left house when she was diagnosed arthritic (around 7) as she used to charge upstairs & I was conscious of her hurting herself. Other than that she’s always had free access & be happy to go upstairs
    if she’s more comfortable downstairs due to pain then so be it but the stressing/barking is distressing for all and I’m frightened neighbour may report to LA

    Any tips appreciated

    thank you
     
  2. Berna

    Berna Registered Users

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    How is her vision? Also what comes to mind is dementia...

    If you'd carry her upstairs before going to bed, would she settle?
     
  3. Marie blundell

    Marie blundell Registered Users

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    Hi. Carrying her upstairs isn’t practical I’m afraid as she’s heavy and would wriggle in husbands arm and that alone is a hazard. I will add Sunday night husband straightened her up so she was facing the stairs rather than attempt to curve body around handrail if that makes sense!!! He then walked up behind her and she was fine. I did spend some time on Sunday encouraging her but she won’t go past the 3rd step willingly. Last night she wouldn’t let hubby straighten her up or go up with him behind. Started to stress again but we ignored her got into bed and after 5 mins she came up and settled. We don’t know if she’s slipped on 3rd step at any point but her reluctance reminds me of when she slipped on inner frame of car door when it was wet and now we have to lift her into car.
     
  4. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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    North Yorkshire
    A few thoughts;
    Could it be pain related? If she has had arthritis for a number of years, maybe it has got to the point where it is painful to go up the stairs?
    Have you got any new electronics upstairs? Plug-in air fresheners, phone chargers or anything? We have a rechargable torch which gives off a really high pitched noise. My OH can't hear it, but I can't go in the room with it.
    Has anything changed visually? Like a new lightshade which is casting light somewhere it didn't used to?
    After going through all of the things which could have changed, and ruling out pain, then I'm afraid that at 13 years old, I may suspect dementia type confusion as well.
     

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