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Canine Behavior/6-yearold Morkie having panic, anxiety or paranoia attack

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Question
My husband and I have my daughter's 6-year old Morkie and 8-year old Shih Tzu.  Our Morkie is acting either very anxious, panicky or paranoid.  This is the second night.  He will run to sit by my side and will look down at the floor and start frantically looking back and forth as if he is looking for something but nothing is there.  He is moving in a very fidgety way.  I try to give him some water but he is clenching his mouth close.  Otherwise he is panting.  We are giving probiotic and digest enzyme supplements with their meals for a fungus.  They eat raw food by Primal.  Right now we give turkey/sardine mixture and the other is beef.  We switch between the two every meal so they don't get tired of eating the same meals.  Last night's episode lasted until the next morning.  Can you let me know what this is and how it was triggered and what we can do?  Is he in danger?  What is the worst that can happen?

Answer
I am NOT a fan of the BARF method of feeding for many reasons.  Small breed dogs seem especially affected in negative ways.  Meat is contaminated; cooking it thoroughly kills most contamination.

Your dog is suddenly presenting with what may very well prove to be a serious symptom.  You require a veterinary internist ASAP (not a generalist).  I would not give ANY probiotics or enzymes or any such thing to any dog (or to myself for that matter) without a discussion with a competent and knowledgeable medical professional.  The dog is exhibiting extreme stress: parasite?  Reaction to medications being given?

Dogs don't "get tired" of eating the "same meal".  The domestic dog is effectively a scavenger and will accept any food source (even the poorest, as in literal garbage, if nothing else is available!)  There are a variety of excellent dried foods out there that are free of additives and are supplemented to satisfy nutritional requirements.

This dog requires immediate veterinary intervention.  Do not force anything by mouth.

What's the worst that can happen?  He can die.  Contact the veterinary college in your area and find a veterinary internist.  If you cannot, find a veterinary behaviorist:

http://www.veterinarybehaviorists.org/
http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/

If this dog has developed or is developing tortion, this is a life and death emergency.  Stop the BARF diet even if you have to go to "off the shelf" and substitute a well known (and well tested) diet such as Purina is now offering in its new line of additive free foods.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.

Expertise

I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.

Experience

30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for ThePetChannel.com for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, K9Shrinks@egroups.com. Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Organizations
Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Publications
Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Education/Credentials
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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