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Odd dog behaviour

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Ninive Thu 30-Dec-10 18:51:32

I've been at my parents' over Christmas and I'm starting to get a little worried over their dog. She's an 11 year old Labrador. She has had some trouble with her hips (the Lab thing, don't know what it's called in English) - she has always had it, but to a mild degree. For the last winters she has been given painkillers when it has been very cold outside and she has been in obvious pain (it's been unusually cold so far this year - the minus 12 we have now is actually milder than it has been for most of December). She used to go running with my father, but she isn't up to it anymore, now they just go for slow walks in the evening. She has also had at least two epileptic attacks that I know of, but this is a long time ago, and it was a year between them.

She just keeps getting odder, really. I'm wondering if it is her hips and if she is in pain, or if she has developed dementiahmm She has had a thing about the stairs for years but now it's getting extreme - it's almost impossible to get her down the stairs without lots of encouragement and walking down beside her. The other day when we were visiting my aunt's (where she has been only a couple of times before), she wouldn't come inside, she just sat in the hallway crying for ages (no stairs there, though).

The last couple of days I have seen her do this at least three times: she wants to enter or leave a room, but stops completely with her front legs over the errr what's-it-called-the-thing-on-the-floor-dividing-t he-rooms. It looks as if she's trying to get her behind legs to follow, but that she sort of just freezes. This morning she was standing like this for ages, and she was shaking from the waist down. I suppose it could have been another epileptic attack, but would she be able to stand then? She did have a little fit before this happened (running to and fro) which she did before one of the attacks she had years ago..

Thing is, when I tell these things to my parents, they just shake it off. I worry that she might be in pain or that there is something seriously wrong with her. My father did say that "oh maybe we should take her to the vet", but I'm sure he's forgotten it already. My mother just "well, you know, she [the dog] has her quirks" (which, admittedly, she does grin)

Do any of you recognise this behaviour? Should I worry, or am I just being precious [preciousfirstdogemoticon]? I know age takes its toll and all that, but if there is something wrong with her that actually could be helped, it should be, well, helped..

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