Post # 1
We have a 7-year-old Shorkie (yorkie/shih tzu) who has, pretty much since she was about 1-year-old, had some type of panic attacks. I have mentioned this to every vet we’ve ever taken her to (probably 5-6 different doctors) and all sorts of tests were done – all coming back negative. According to them she is physically very healthy and there is no explanation of why she suddenly has these attacks.
Basically she will just start freaking out. She runs from room to room and tries to climb up on everything. It looks like she is desperate to get to higher ground. When this is happening her heart is pounding out of control and she seems scared to death. Holding her doesn’t help, she has no interest in a treat or any kind of food to distract her, and there is nothing that really calms her down at all. Sometimes it goes on for hours at a time and the poor thing looks so stressed and terrified. Then it just suddenly stops at some point. Nothing specific seems to spark it either – it happens all of the time in the middle of the night, when shes just laying in her bed in the middle of an afternoon, or when she is just walking around the house. Sometimes months go by without her having one, then other times she will have them multiple times a day for weeks on end!
Anyone else ever experience this???
Post # 3
Dogs can have anxiety and depression issues just like we do. Has a vet ever recommended any sort of anxiety or depression medication?
Post # 4
I would suggest trying to be more “alpha” with her so she can trust you entirely. Dogs who have good leadership do not have anxiety issues.
You can also try a thunder jacket to help.
Post # 5
@darkflame: That is just the silliest suggestion I’ve ever heard. You like Cesar Millan, dont you?
OP – PLEASE dont try to “alpha” her. That will just terrify her even more. Dogs CAN have anxiety disorders just as people do. And they actually make medication for it. Talk to your vet about it.
Post # 6
@darkflame: +1 on all fronts. Thunderjackets help immensely. Does she have a crate or place that is hers? Someplace she can go to feel safe?
Try leashing her when these attacks happen and calm her down by making her stand next to you and calm down. She needs to know you’re there to protect her.
Post # 7
@adoc86: Short of those possibly being symptoms of separation anxiety, or perhaps she senses inclement weather or something. Have you tried using a DAP plug in? It’s a Dog-Appeasing-Pheromone (pheromones from a lactating mama dog) that helps calm dogs down, ease anxiety/stress, etc.
I had a roommate whose Schipperke was batshit wild whenever we left the ROOM and would flip out, shriek/bark/whine/howl etc. We got one of the DAP’s and it friggin worked like a charm. Only needed 1 (lasts 30 days) and he was ok after that. They’re a bit expensive, but can be found at pet stores or online. I would not even bothering recommending this if I didn’t think it’d work for others. Good luck.
ETA: Here’s what it would look like–
Post # 8
Post # 9
dogs can have anxiety and there is medication for it. your vet should know this so i’m annoyed that they didn’t think to give you medication for your dog. you can also try acupunture (yeah they have that for dogs). it might help.
Post # 10
Vets will prescribe medications for dogs/cats as needed for their ailments. My brothers dog thought someone ran upstairs in their home and chewed thru the door the other day. The door was closed and apparently he wanted in and he made a hole about 2-3 feet around. Amazing when they are determined what they can do. I would talk to a vet, the hard thing to know is when it will happen. What if your not home? Thats the hardest part. The vet will also talk with you about medication side effects.
Post # 11
@adoc86: Take a video of one of these episodes. I would start with a behaviourist, you can find a list here: http://www.dacvb.org/resources/find/ Videos can be really helpful to sort out situations like this.
Post # 12
Thanks guys! I actually ordered the thunder jacket the first time I saw it on TV. I looked up the theory behind how its supposed to calm the nervous system and thought for sure it would work. Nope – didn’t affect her at all. I tried the DAP thing already too after reading so many great reviews on it. At first I thought it was working because she went a while without an ‘attack’ but then she ended up having them eventually.
I think it is probably more of an actual anxiety condition. I have tried to behave different ways with her hoping that it would have some type of positive effect, but she doesn’t really respond to me at all when its going on. The only medication the vet suggested was baby benadryl (I usually give that to her when we fly and it helps to calm her) but it doesn’t seem to work in these instances. All of the doctors seemed really hesitant to prescribe anything else – I don’t know if it was because they weren’t sure what type of anxiety she was having or because maybe the meds available have bad side effects that aren’t worth it unless its very serious? I certainly don’t want to give her something all the time to calm her down if its going to cause other issues.
I have considered that it may have something to do with her sensing the weather. I know animals are known to move to higher ground when they sense an earthquake or inclement weather. She seems desperate to get to the highest thing in the room when she is having these attacks. She is tiny so she has made it pretty high when she’s been able to find ways to climb up. I started logging when she was having these episodes and they did correlate with earthquakes around the world – but I don’t know, maybe that is ridiculous? Earthquakes happen all of the time and she doesn’t necessarily have an attack for each one. Some of the earthquakes that happened during these times were on the other side of the world, so I just don’t know if thats even possible. We lived in Maryland when the earthquake hit DC in 2010 and she did have a major one early that morning. Who knows? It sounds kind of crazy but I guess its possible.
@pixiecat: I think this is a really good idea. The last vet I mentioned it to had a hard time understanding the attacks and showing a video to them would probably be really helpful. I’m not sure why I never thought of that. Thanks! The behavorist is a really good suggestion, too!
Gabby says, “thanks!”
Post # 13
@adoc86: Do you think this could actually be a seizure. Have you ever seen a dog seize before? Sometimes it’s not the typical shaking. That way, it would be more of a neuralogical issue that you have to discuss with your doctor?
Maybe try searching through YouTube to see if that’s the same behavior?
I really hope she finds help soon!
Post # 14
- Wedding: October 2014 - Ranch
I also have a yorkie and she too would do this. She is also healthy and it also happened more often at night. Despite being 7lbs, she has always been very brave and protective, but for some reason — and out of nowhere — she began doing this. I would just hug her and talk to her. When we moved out of that place, it stopped. Sorry, I don’t have much advice, just wanted to share. Have you recently moved or is this a new home to her? I think that there was just something that creeped my dog in my old apartment because she is now a happy camper in our new home.
Post # 15
@CaliRorter: We moved about a year ago, but since having her we have lived in 3 different places and she has done it in all of them. She also does it when my parents watch her when we go on vacation.
@JackiBean: The first time it happened I thought it may be a seizure. The vet went over a lengthy list of symptoms with me and from what I’ve seen she has never experienced any of them. Apparently before a seizure dogs usually experience an aura – which have symptoms of their own. Some are restlessness and nervousness, which I definitely think Gabby has during these episodes, but those seem to be the only characteristics she displays that are consistent with any of the typical symptoms. Like people though I think all dogs are different and maybe she just experiences them differently. I haven’t ruled it out, despite what the doctors have said. It just seems like every vet I go to says the same thing. None of them have ever heard of a dog reacting this way.
Post # 16
@adoc86: 🙁 it must be rough seeing her go through this and be so unable to help her or get her to tell you what she needs. That’s the only downside of being a dog mom. That helpless feeling when you have no idea what’s wrong.
Best of luck to all of you.