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Why would my dog change his behaviour?

(13 Posts)
ExitPursuedByABear Thu 16-Jul-15 15:17:41

BastardSpaniel will be 8 in November. He has always been spaniel mad but essentially is really well behaved, particularly in the house. He never comes upstairs. He lives in the kitchen which is on the ground floor. We have an office on the next level and bedrooms on the second floor. We both work from home, and always have since we got him. A few weeks ago he randomly came upstairs during the day and I told him to go back down which he did.

Today, he keeps on coming up the stairs, slinking into the office and curling up at my feet. I have taken him back down, DD has stayed downstairs, with the door shut. We have the patio doors open which creates a breeze and randomly opens the kitchen door a smidge. Dog sits there waiting for door to open, sticks his nose round and trundles upstairs again. He is currently lying at my feet.

Is he dying? Am I dying?

(Please do not turn this into a debate about whether or not my dog should be allowed upstairs or not. If I lived alone, he could be with me every second of every day. I do not, and we all have to make sacrifices. He has a fabulous life, as dogs go.)

Recently he had an episode of kennel cough. A few days ago in the back of the car, as we arrived home, instead of his usual whining, he sounded as though he said a word (not sure which one). When he was swimming in the fish pond at lunchtime with a stick in his mouth, his breathing sounded different.

Lilcamper Thu 16-Jul-15 17:03:32

If he is just getting over kennel cough he might still be feeling poorly and just need your company, much like a poorly toddler.

Otterwa Thu 16-Jul-15 17:08:29

I would second he's just still feeling a bit poorly. My dog wants to sit right next to you with his head in your lap when he's feeling under the weather.

Did you allow him upstairs when he was ill?

Younique Thu 16-Jul-15 19:25:22

Mine is also recovering from kennel cough. He's been increasingly needy, wanting cuddles. I was working on the sofa with my laptop and wouldn't let him sit on my lap. He walked along the back of the sofa, stood on the windowsill and started licking my hair! He's never done that before.

In a previous house, we didn't want dog upstairs and we used a stairgate. If the behaviour continues, is this an option?

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 16-Jul-15 20:40:41

No he never comes upstairs. The door is always open and he has just never done it.

I'm worried he might have had a 'brain event'.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 16-Jul-15 20:56:02

Dogs like people are naturally more anxious when they're sick.

However you're right to consider other options. Dogs can develop senile cognitive dysfunction (senility) as they get older and anxiety or confusion are signs of this. It's probably nothing at this stage but worth watching

Hoppinggreen Thu 16-Jul-15 21:24:07


ExitPursuedByABear Thu 16-Jul-15 21:28:52


ExitPursuedByABear Thu 16-Jul-15 21:29:52

And if he is becoming senile .........?

SunshineAndShadows Thu 16-Jul-15 23:09:41

A medication called selgian works wonders - it boost serotonin in the brain but is v expensive. Anti anxiety meds like Zylkene which are much cheaper also increase serotonin and so may be effective but haven't been trialled for this condition (though worth a shot I think esp as dementia often causes anxiety) Google selgian - the website has lots of useful info.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 16-Jul-15 23:10:20

I think the selgian website has a behaviour quiz you can do to check signs

stareatthetvscreen Thu 16-Jul-15 23:20:01

sorry op but i have to say go back to vets
my lovely lab had kennel cough (he didn't in the end) - his breathing got worse and we lost him v v quickly to lung cancer

sorry but it was horrible thinking he had a minor illness

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 17-Jul-15 07:23:38

Really! That's awful. Will definitely get him checked out. Although he stayed on his bed in the kitchen all night with all the doors open so he could have come to find me in bed.

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