Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

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KatrinH
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Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby KatrinH » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:03 am

So I need all of your help: Ranger has been acting strangely lately. His blood work came back all good except for 2 values but which are only slightly raised and not of concern. He physically checks out as healthy.

A couple weeks ago he suddenly started to be calmer than usual in the house. I assumed it was because we had super hot temperatures, but it stayed even when it cooled off, then it was hot again, etc. It has been an up-down here, so it may still influence him. He seemed to be more active on some days however (like today, for example) and he usually is as active and excited outside as he always has been. We had maybe three or four walks when he wanted to turn around and not continue, but as soon as he realized we were not gonna do that he walked with us happily again; this was a couple weeks ago though.

Unfortunately that is not all, as he suddenly is also suppper noise sensitive. He never used to be scared of thunder or shots being fired. Now he hears even a car door slam in the distance and he absolutely panicks, tugging in his tail and trying to run away. If we are on a walk he pulls on his leash like crazy then, wants to turn around, etc. If we are at home he runs for his crate and stays there. Today, for example, we were sitting on the patio where he is leashed, a car door was closed and he ran towards the door inside and stood there leaning into his harness even though the noise was long gone.

I am not sure exactly what started it, only 2 ideas which may be related: 1) was an incidence when I petted him and suddenly he was not able to breathe right. I am not sure if I stroked his larnyx to hard as he had his neck overstretched or if it was just coincidental, but he darted out of the room once he recovered and was terrified of ME for the rest of the day. I did not have a similar incidence before or after this one. 2) he laid half under my bed and I had the window all he way open and a firecracker went off outside, it scared him and he hit his head when he tried to get up. I am not sure anymore, however, whether this happened before or after he started to show this weird behavior; if it was before there was definitely some time inbetween in which he acted normal.

He has never been a dog that gets scared easily and I never seen him behave this way. I am at a total loss at what to do or how to help him?

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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby Moemer » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:01 pm

How old is he? When something comes up in a mature dog, or in any age when it's sudden and severe, I'd continue investigating potential health related causes and other physical causes including pain, such as hearing loss. If he had a bit of an inkling of sound sensitivites or other fears (generally sensitive etc) then it could be more related to the events you described. Does that sound like him?

ETA:
I posted something on my business page about the prevalence of dogs swallowing toy balls, and someone replied with this (just to demonstrate some weird causes of unusual behaviour):
"Some years ago I had a call from a man about his Border Collie. The normally good natured dog had recently bitten two people badly on the hand, one of them a family member, both requiring stitches. He had called the breeder, who told him "if it was me I'd shoot the dog", and then gave him my number. Obviously a dog that is putting people in hospital is not a candidate for rehoming. But I advised him to please get his Vet to do a thorough check up before making any final decisions. A few weeks later he called me back, elated. The Vet had detected a mass in the dog's stomach. It was the remains of a tennis ball. Ball was removed, and dog was back to his old sweet self. Owner had no idea that the dog had swallowed a ball, or when. He said the Vet figured it had been there a while."
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KatrinH
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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby KatrinH » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:07 am

He is roughly 2.5 years old. He has not shown panic like this before, but he did used to jump off my bed when the heater in my old apartment went on and go to his crate or dogbed instead. He is pretty relaxed about being in new places, etc. though and not usually scared of things. I even used to walk him when thunder was going on and he didn't even flinch at last year's fourth of July fireworks. He is sensitive though and easily goes from 0 to everything he got (being a BC this is rather typical I'd say though).

I am sure he did not eat a toy as he never even chews on them. I generally keep a close eye on him eating anything anyway since he has so many food intolerances and gets diarrhea if he even eats a tiny piece of something he isn't supposed to have.

I know he could be reading some of this off me too as I am a little anxious lately as I am waiting for replies from school applications, but I was much more anxious before and he never reacted this way. I guess it could be piling up, but why necessarily only loud noises and he is not anxious otherwise?

I will talk to the vet and see what we could pursue. I was told eye problems, but he seems to see normal as he also looks for his ball in tall grass (he is not a nosey dog, and it looks completely different when he looks vs sniffs) and finds it easily as well as other toys and treats thrown on the ground. We already did thyroid which was the first guess and it came back clear just like the other blood values. We just have nothing to go on except for his sudden scaredness which makes it difficult as I really do not have the money to test literally everything (not that I wouldn't pay if I knew it was physical illness that is causing this, but I really don't)...

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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby maxs_mommy » Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:09 pm

The neck thing says Chiro adjustment to me, something's out of whack. The noises could be hearing or he could be hyper sensitive after the event you described. I wonder if he's tuning into those noises since he had a scary experience and maybe generalized them?
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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby KatrinH » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:58 pm

Oh, chiropractic, that may be an idea, although he does not show any signs of different sleeping, positions, playing, etc. I will see if I find someone around here.

I agree on the noises. My friend wonders if maybe something happened while I was gone and he had no-one to read off how to react or if it is in fact a scary thing or not. As said, he isn't an easily scared dog, but he is sensitive and picks up on things easily.

What also came to mind: I have been struggeling with back pain, pretty severaly, and I wonder if he either picks up on it and "deals" with it by being scaredy OR if he feels like I cannot provide him enough security given that my mobility is restricted?

I wish I just knew if it was "just" psychological or if there is in fact something physical going on too. Only I won't ever know the latter unless I test everything...

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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby KatrinH » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:29 am

A person I know had the idea to give pain meds for a week to see if it changes things, if it does we know there is some pain somewhere, if it doesn't he at least isn't in pain. He said he had done this before with aprupt behavior changes and says it helped. I may consider this.

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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby LisaT_II » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:47 pm

What were the two blood values that were slightly elevated?
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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby KatrinH » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:37 am

One was white blood cell count, which goes along with his intolerances. We did a stool sample too as he has had some diarrhea again lately. No results yet though as I collected several samples to test for giardia.

The other were monozytes, which the vet says could indicate something tumorous, but it is not high enough yet. She recommends checking it again in 4-6 months to see if anything changed there and to then pursue further diagnostics.

I feel like it is getting better again, but we didn't have any big thunderstorm lately and they have not been firing shots. Maybe the stool sample will show something and it has been his tummy again all along, who knows.

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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby Moemer » Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:26 pm

Any further incites into the weird breathing episode you mentioned in the OP?

I'd be doing my best to manage the sounds, re: trigger stacking (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFGIRPAWcSM). I've found that significant sound sensitivities both trigger stack REALLY easily, and they also generalize really easily (the fear is attributed to completely unrelated stimuli in the environment). You might consider getting a benzodiazepine on hand for storms, fireworks, etc?
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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby LisaT_II » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:18 pm

One was white blood cell count, which goes along with his intolerances. ....

The other were monozytes, which the vet says could indicate something tumorous, but it is not high enough yet. .....
tick disease is a strong possibility :( Hallmark blood abnormality is elevated monocytes (particularly with the ehrlichia-types but can also happen with the others), which can have digestive issues and also personality changes like fear.

Recheck those blood counts and liver and kidney values frequently. Most people here probably know that I would already have this dog on doxy.
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Re: Strange behavior: Suddenly scared of all loud noises

Postby KatrinH » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:49 am

Thanks Lisa. I will do so. He seems to be much more normal at the moment. Got him some other anti-diarrhea meds from the vet and he apparently does much better on them (according to my mom). I am currently scouting out my new home. Ranger is staying with my mom for two weeks until I can bring him here. Once we get settled I'll find a vet and see what we can do.


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