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Dogs/strange behavior


My sons lab mix, buddy,  is almost 8.  He has never, ever had an accident in the house.  He recently, twice, got on roomates bed and urinated.  Buddy doesnt like any loud noises, scares very easy and this roomate
is very high strung and buddy has lived with him  for several years so should be used to him.
last nite buddy dug out under his fence and went and sat on neighbors porch several blocks over.
he has never dug out before.  However we frequently take him to the beach and he digs holes there.
altho he is my sons dog, he spends alot of time with me while son busy.  I pretty much stay with buddy
24/7, he is rarely left alone when with husband and myself.  He was with us for two weeks before the digging episode.
Why would buddy start this strange behavior at this age.

Hi Sharon,

Thank you for contacting me about Buddy's recent and unusual behavior.   The first thing that comes to mind is thyroid disease.   Buddy may have had thyroid issues for years that have gone undetected.  Behaviors like fear of loud noises, scares easily etc can often be attributed to thyroid disease.  As he's aged, this condition may have worsened, resulting in his recent behavioral changes.  That being said, the first line of action would be to take Buddy for a complete checkup which includes a full blood panel, urine analysis, thyroid panel and senior dog evaluation.  Write down a list of events for your vet and if you can, keep a diary for a week of all Buddy's new behavior patterns.  

Another thing that can promote behavior changes are vaccines.  Since Buddy would be considered to have health issues and vaccines are not to be given unless a dog is 100% healthy, I would refrain from any further vaccines at this point.  He's also entering his senior years and vaccines are not recommended since the ones that he's already had will offer enough immunity to protect him for years to come.  Vaccines also challenge the immune system and are not recommended for senior dogs.

Dr Dyn, a respected veterinarian, state the following about the rabies vaccine:

  "Instead of seeing acute expressions of viral disease, we are instead seeing symptoms of chronic illness which are actually documented to occur in rabid animals. Symptoms of rabies include restlessness; viciousness; avoidance of company; unusual affection; desire to travel; inability to be restrained; self biting; strange cries and howls; inability to swallow resulting in gagging while eating/drinking; staring eyes; swallowing wood, stones, inedibles; destruction of blankets, clothing; convulsive seizures; throat spasms; increased sexual desire; disturbed heart function; excited and jerky breathing."

So the behavior that accompanies rabies can actually manifest itself in dogs who are sensitive to the rabies vaccine.  This condition is referred to as vaccinosis.

Check the label on Buddy's food, particularly dry food. Corn as a first ingredient, or several of the first 5 ingredients, may be influencing behavior. Switch to a better food, one without soy, corn, food additives, dyes, etc.

If Buddy is drinking more water than usual, it might cause him to pee in the house so check his drinking water for awhile.  If you find that he's drinking more than usual, he could be developing diabetes and should have this checked out.

Be sure that Buddy is getting enough exercise.  Dogs that have pent up energy can start to act out and exhibit unwanted behavior.

I've given you some possible causes for Buddy's behavioral changes.  The first line of defense is a visit to your veterinarian to start looking for the medical cause of this issue.  

Best of luck.
Shelley Davis

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Shelley Davis


Cageless Country Boarding, Holistic Health Concerns, Behavorial Concerns.


Crusader in the founding of Dog Runs in NYC Parks, instrumental in changing the law in NY State which allows Pet Facilitate Therapy into Acute Care Hospitals, accomplished artist and craftsperson, certified by Red Cross in pet first aid, pioneer in Children Reading To Dogs program in Ulster Co. NY, founder of Bed & Biscuit:Where Dogs Run Free,

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