Sudden night time separation anxiety?

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by D. Skuse, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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    Hello, this is my first posting. I've read through a lot of what I hoped would help in our situation too, but without luck.
    We're getting tired and desperate and we've tried to understand what might be troubling her as she's getting more troubled.
    We adopted Daisy, a black Lab and she's now around 5 yrs of age and we've had her from being 11months. She was rescued and came from Ireland.
    She's always wet herself when being told not to do something, though she's started to do that less. She just seems to be anxious to please. For example I put some birdseed on the fence which she was attracted to and so I told her "no don't touch", she took this lesson to the extreme though, and when my neighbour came to the fence to offer her a treat and I was stood there she looked nervously at me and backed away from the fence and looked scared, even though I told her it was ok.
    I'm sorry to be so long, I just wanted to give background.
    One thing she's never had trouble with is being left in the lounge with the door closed at night. This is now the main problem. As soon as I close the lounge door I can hear her panting very heavily, last night she was even trailing behind me really close in the run up to bed time, which is unusual as she's always been more for my husband. It takes about 5 - 10 mins for her to start pawing at the door and whining. I call out to her to go to sleep which is what I've always said before I leave her. I have to do this a few times and then mostly she stops, but I'm not happy, I'm worried about her, she seems anxious and I feel awful for her. My husband is plainly exasperated which she may sense.
    This started when we looked after a friend's dog for 5 days, and during this time our other little dog a 5 yo Chi x JR actually had a fit for 1st time ever. Daisy the Lab and the dog we were looking after had a couple occasions of scratching at the door, but not every night. Daisy has had these episodes every now and then, but recently has increased, and has also started panting heavily in the car despite being used to always being with us wherever we go. She travels in a covered metal dog cage, but doesn't have one indoors.
    Daisy has a narrow ear canal on one side and her ear easily has problems, she shakes her head A LOT sometimes out of what seems a reflex, for example when she's exited about going outside, others her head is tilted so we know it's her ear giving problems. I've highlighted this because my husband feels that maybe she's suffering with some brain damage, he also feels she's had a mini stroke, but I really don't think so.
    I really hope someone can help as our vet wasn't very helpful I feel. Has anyone else had experience with this.
     
  2. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Hi from me, Hattie 9 years and our rescue boy Charlie 6 years also from Ireland. I am sorry to hear you have having these issues with Daisy, poor girl. Can I ask do you talk to Daisy in a soft voice when telling her not to do something as she does sound very anxious? Have you considered contacting a Behaviourist to access Daisy in your home, as a third party will see things you may not? Could someone have hurt Daisy? Has the vet prescribed something to help with her ears as they are obviously causing her trouble? What is she like out and about on walks etc. meeting/greeting dogs and people? Sorry for all the questions but someone might be able to help you. Could something have happened to Daisy in the lounge that she is now worried about, maybe she hurt herself? Dogs are very sensitive animals and it doesn't take much to cause them to worry.

    Also, if you are not happy with the help you got from your vet visit another one as you sound very worried about your girl, understandably. :( x
     
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  3. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    It sounds like when your other dog had a fit that it scared her and she doesn't know how to deal with it. She may associate you going to bed with your other dog having a fit and she is struggling to settle. Could you or your OH sleep in the room with them for a night or two to help her settle again? I would be consulting another vet if your usual vet is unhelpful.
     
  4. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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    Hello, did I see your name is Helen?
    Thank you for your reply, firstly, yes I speak in a normal but firm voice and she's good at following indications, following what I point to. She has good eye contact with me.
    The vet suggested a behaviourist, I've facebooked to see if anyone local to me know of one they can really recommend, the problem might be the cost. But I would be really open to someone coming in as we've run out of ideas.. I've eliminated all the ones I can think of. I've even sat here in the dark with her looking all around.
    We feel that in Ireland she was maltreated, shouted at and very possibly hit with some kind of pole or stick, but not here. She might have been in training to retrieve as she doesn't always freely jump into the water to retrieve but seems to watch for the order to go. She'd had very little training and didn't really know what play was except she seemed to be drawn to children playing football in the park.
    The vet prescribed the ear cleaner and drops which I've just had to start doing again.
    Out and about we live near great wide spaces so she is losed to go where she likes, she is a very strong, athletic dog, very fast, I think she's a Field Labrador,.
    she also swims and is mad for balls or sticks, so mad she doesn't notice other dogs, she has surprisingly to me and shocked me when she aggressively turned on another dog twice when she thought they were trying to get her ball. We have also let her loose with no ball and encouraged her to just explore and she does then notice other dogs and go to greet them and she's been fine with all she meets, she doesn't tend to go up to people like our other dog who is very curious but she's never shied away either. My husband prefers that we don't walk her out in town with us on the lead, which I find a very great shame, if I was on my own she would have been.
    She goes to both of my neighbour's and was well behaved and relaxed in London over Christmas, we stayed at my husband's son and wife's and kids and they lost their dog last year a nd dogs recognise "doggy" people quickly and they loved her. I can't honestly see where she's hurt herself in the lounge.. I forgot earlier that the other night and she's done this one other time some time ago, she chewed the curtain tie backs.
    The only thing she is wary of in the lounge is that to deter Daisy going on "our sofa" my husband puts the hoover pole across it during the night. Now this seemed harmless on the one hand but on the other I feel it's wrong if she's that wary of it what do you think?. Daisy has "her own" sofa on the other side of the room.
    I'm afraid we couldn't afford to go to a regular vet, and we go to the PDSA. I guess we could ask for a second opinion?.
    I do wonder if she is picking up on my husband's tension atm, he has a few things going on and he's getting more tense with not getting enough sleep.. it's a vicious cycle. It wasn't something I felt I could bring up in front of my husband today with the vet, perhaps I should?.
    Thank you so much again.
     
  5. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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  6. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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    Hello Naya, it was something that crossed my mind, but Daisy's bouts of unusual behaviour have been spread out at intervals. Our other dog had the fit during the day not during the night.
    About sleeping with them, I'm worried about creating a presidence, a habit that I won't be able to break her out of, I have sat with her for some time with the lights off hoping to relax her, but this fails.
    I think that I will be asking for a second opinion.
     
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    This isn't the case. Sometimes our dogs sleep on the bed with us, sometimes we sleep in the living room with them. Sometimes they sleep in the living room and we sleep in the bedroom. They're happy any which way and take their cue from the context (basically, whether the bedroom door is open or not!).

    If she's anxious, I would avoid putting her in situations where you have to tell her "no", "leave", or anything negative like that. Manage the situation so she can't get to what you don't want her to have rather than "warning" her off. If you really don't want her on one of the sofas (can't you use a throw on it overnight to protect it?) but she's scared of the pole, then use something else. A couple of boxes, foot stools, turn the sofa around. But, personally, I'd go for the throw. Is it the end of the world if she goes on that sofa?

    If she's having problems with her ears, this is only going to compound any anxiety she is already experiencing, and add to problem behaviours, so I urge you to get it checked by a different vet who is more willing to address it. I appreciate that this can be expensive, but our dogs are our responsibility and that unfortunately comes at a price.

    It sounds like she needs confidence building in general. Do you do any rewards-based training with her? This would really help strengthen the bond between you all and help improve her confidence and trust. Here's some information on clicker training, in case you've not heard of it: http://www.thelabradorsite.com/clicker-training-whats-it-all-about/
     
  8. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    I often sleep with my dogs when there is a problem. If I'm worried about their health I often stay with them and when they pups I stay with them until they are settled.its strengthened our bond and when things have been bad really it's helped
     
  9. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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    Thank you all for your advice.
    I do think that her ears cause her to be anxious and therefore needing more love and confidence building.
    I've spoken to my husband about certain things he does which lead me to feel that he knocks her confidence.
    I do know of clicker training, and I've read about other people using those Kong things packed with something they love.
    I'm not going to be able to do training with her, my husband will not support me in that and he'll continually undo everything, she's been such a good girl and I have trained her easily with a few things.
    I've always been a cat person, I'll say now, that when people say that they are dog people that does not mean that they know how to be a good dog person.....
    We've only been married just over 5 years, had I known better I would not have got the dogs. Don't misunderstand me, the dogs are loved and well cared for, but not to the extent that I would like or expect. I think also, it's that he's older at 75 and gets tired with a lack of patience. We believe that he has early onset of Dementia and he gets so very frustrated.
    Thank you once again for your kind help.
     
  10. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    I know this is difficult but could you maybe gently try to convince your husband that you should take over Daisy's training as he does get so tired and that you will take full responsibility for training her? You sound much more willing to do all that's necessary to help Daisy and build her confidence. If not I can only see things becoming more difficult for you and Daisy which would be really sad :( x
     
  11. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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  12. D. Skuse

    D. Skuse Registered Users

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    Hello. I hope you all get to see this reply after this interval of weeks.
    Well, to update you. Our beautiful girl has just been diagnosed with Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It's a relief to know because we can help her, I think the suggestion that I need to take over her day to day care is good. My husband's first instinct was to get her put to sleep! No chance!. With my help I'm hoping to train her whilst she has good enough Day eyesight, my husband said "she won't be able to find her dinner..." Our Daisy not finding dinner is not one of my worries. He doesn't seem to realise that whilst she has sense of smell and hearing several things won't be a problem, she can hear the clang of her dinner bowl from half a mile away!.
    Anyway, I'm thankful for your advice, I just have one question as to whether anyone has heard of a product called Ocuglo, surprisingly it comes from the US, there is a vet practice in Liverpool that supplies it. Perhaps I'll put a message up on the main board. Best wishes Deb xx
     
  13. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    I have had blind animals and gave a partially sighted deaf dog at the moment. Dogs are so adaptable and really once you have both adjusted its really ok. Let her learn we're everything is keep everything the same as her vision deteriorates and she will have a good map of her home. I just constantly assess how far the deterioration has gone and adjust how I relate to the dog. My current partially sighted dog has no peripheral vision and diminishing central, she has a great life walks everyday plays with my young dog and is content. To be honest I have actually considered taking on a another partially sighted dog when my beloved Moo is no longer with me. Once you have both developed a certain level of trust and understanding it's really ok. Most people can't tell Moo is nearly blind dogs are good at normalising stuff. Teach her to stop on command and teach a solid stay too they are a real help. Moo has never lost her food bowl once;)
     
  14. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    I'm so sorry Daisy has had this diagnosis, that's very tough :( On a positive note, I am really happy to hear you are taking over her training and care, this is an excellent way to move forward. I wonder if getting some kind of specialist training might help you train her now whilst she is reasonably OK which will make things easier further on down the line? I really wish you luck with your training which I am sure will be very rewarding. Good for you standing your ground and not letting your OH have Daisy PTS. Please keep popping back to tell us how you are progressing which will be very interesting. Hugs for Daisy :) xx
     
  15. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Daisy is so lucky she has you to support her. With your help and training, she will live a happy & fulfilled life. Thank goodness she won;t be PTS.
     

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