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Ask the Veterinarian/Dog weird behavior


Our family has a 6 year old spayed female Brittany Spaniel. We have had her for all her life we live in town, we always have and she lately her behavior has been very weird. If you didn't already know, Brittany's are very active and have a lot of energy. She normally has a bunch of energy, loves to cuddle up in bed with me, barks at everything outside, and is just over all a sweet dog. On the 25th my dad and brothers took our dog (Dixie) out to our grandparents and let her run around. She had fun I'm sure, she got a few ticks but she already has been treated with frontline. We had a big bonfire on the 26th. We had our neighbors over and Dixie was outside with us from 3 pm until around 1 am. She just hung out with us and when it was around 1 am she didn't want to come inside. Yesterday and today she has been acting all timid and weird. At night she always cuddles in bed with me and last night and the night before I call her into my room and she won't come in my bed. When she does she acts all scared and just sits on my bed and she won't lie down and get comfortable. She is also pacing, walking around the house and she won't just relax and get comfortable. Normally When she has to pee/poop she always lies by our door to let us know and lately she always goes over to the door and wants to be let out and she doesn't even have to pee/poop. Normally she loves being inside with us so this is weird. Also, she doesn't bark at anything anymore. Yesterday a dog walked by our house and she looked at it and walked away. She always freaks out when a dog walks by so I thought that was strange. Also, yesterday we let her lie outside in our yard on a rope and our neighbor came over. Normally when someone comes over she barks and freaks out and greets the person like runs over to the person. When our neighbor came over Dixie was lying in the yard looking up at the sky. I feel like I don't know her anymore. She seems lost, like she doesn't seem like the same dog we know and love.

We miss our playful dog! Why do you think there is a sudden behavior change? There isn't any trauma that I know of that could of happened to her. The only things that has happened lately is she went out to my grandparents farm to run around (I don't know what happened exactly at the farm because I didn't go with but my dad and brothers didn't say that anything happened) and we had a bonfire.

Hi Kylie,
Well it's hard to say what's going on with Dixie this time. Apparently, from what you are telling me, there is something drastic in her recent change in behavior which can only lead me to think that she has something going on inside of her- either her body or her brain.

Now dogs do have some cognitive issues as they age- but she is barely to senior status yet. So unless she is developing petite mal seizures, then she might have something internal going on with her.

The best thing you can do right now for her is take her in for a complete exam from your veterinarian. She might have some kidney, liver, or arthritis issues going on that is making her quiet and not like herself.

Dogs don't have sudden behavior changes without a reason. So the reasons need to be investigated by a vet. He can start with a neuro-exam and see if there is some sort of brain issues going on- disturbances in her nervous system, etc.

If that proves negative then he will probably do some blood-work and check her chemistry. Somewhere he/she might see something that is a bit off. If that's the case, then they can recommend some treatment.

That is about all I can tell you Kylie. She needs to go see the family vet at this point.
I hope it's nothing major and that you have your bouncy, barky Dixie back soon.

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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