why do old dogs pace back and forth
Humans are not as tuned in to body language as dogs are, but we have all seen dogs pace back and forth. They can pace in the house or in a yard or even the car. The reasons can vary. One thing is for sure, pacing is a very specific behavior that is repetitive and sometimes difficult to distract from. It can be annoying, but understanding the reasons might help you be less annoyed and maybe even find a plan to change it. Image Source: Let me out! Some dogs will pace near a home exit if they want to be let outside. They know that they want to eliminate outside, but something is stopping them. Either the door is closed or there is an impediment, like a baby gate keeping them from doing what they want. They want you to know that they have a need and it is growing. He is trying to tell you to open the door and you might want to listen! Sometimes pacing is an expression of nervous energy. We see this behavior in zoo animals that are kept in enclosures. This kind of pacing is more methodical and less insistent. Many captive animals pace along the borders of the habitats. They are potentially anxious and bored because they are restrained and feel vulnerable since they are wild animals. Our dogs are not exactly wild, but pacing can still be an outlet for nervous energy. It can even be a sign of true anxiety disorder. If you notice that pacing is happening every time you look, ask your vet if there is something to be done.
When your dog has learned your cues that lead up to something that she likes, she might pace in excitement and anticipation. Pacing is not always a bad thing. It could be positive energy that says, I can hardly WAIT for what I know you are doing! This kind of pacing should stop as soon as the awaited event occurs and will usually be accompanied by a happy and excited body posture. Some animals walk back and forth along the boundaries of their yards or territories as a patrol. Our dogs can take their job as a sentinel guard very seriously and they love routines. Their routine may involve a perimeter pace just to make sure all is well and satisfy any curiosity outside the borders. It can make them feel safer to know that all is well from the outside of the realm to the inside and the pacing is just a part of their routine. Dog owners usually are adept at reading their own dogs, so if notice your dog pacing, examine the other cues of her body language to see if she is expressing insistence, frustration, excitement or routine. Remember, if you notice the pacing at an excessive level (especially if it is accompanied by other repetitive behaviors, like circling or self mutilating) get help from your veterinarian. It could be a sign of something else and your dog needs help. Do you love dogs and wonder why about them? I post animal stuff on my Facebook page several times a day. Look for me by clicking.
Hi there thank you for posting your question.
How long has this been going on for? Has this ever happened in the past? About an hour. No. She tries to lay down, but gets up right away and paces around. Dr. Braha : Any vomiting or diarrhea? No. She also ate 1/2 a can of food a minute ago. This is very uncharacteristic. She just seems to be nervous. Pacing, discomfort. No fever - 100. 7. Dr. Braha : have you tried taking her outside to see if this calms her down? Yes. She runs around. But, when I bring her back in, there is no change. Dr. Braha : Can you press on the sides of her abdomen to see if there is any pain? No discomfort from what I can tell. No bulging. Dr. Braha : And can you check under her lips to make sure her gums are pink and moist? Her gums look okay. Dr. Braha : The half of can of food she ate was that offered and she ate it willingly? Does she have any phobias to storms or loud noises? She is basically in circles around me on the bed right now. She will lay down occasionally but gets back up. Then she will stop at times and will just stare. Then repeats this all over again. She does not have any phobia to storms or noises. She will eat food willingly, but she won't eat if I tell her to. When I let her outside, she will do a full sprint around the yard with a toy. She has never acted like this before. Dr. Braha : It is possible she could have had a seizure and is in a post-ictal stage.
Otherwise, if she seems herself and not in any pain, it's hard to rule in any illnesses what could be related to her change in. I pushed her off the bed and she landed odd since she was wrapped up in a shirt. That's the only thing I can think of. Well, she definitely does not seem herself. She was fine after an hour. Dr. Braha : There is two things I can recommend tonight. If you think she is in pain we can give her some Asprin to take of the edge. If she seems distraught we can give her something to sedate her. I think some sort of discomfort but I don't know. Dr. Braha : If she was to have hurt herself after falling oddly I would not expect her to be so willing to walk and run around. What is the other thing to give her. Dr. Braha : The only thing you may possibly have around the house to calm her would be benadryl. Now she is hiding in the closet. Dr. Braha : Unless you have ever received the medication acepromazine from a Veterinarian? No I haven't. Dr. Braha : Was she by your side the hour leading up to this unusual behavior? How much aspirin how much Benadryl. Mix? And, yes she was sleeping. Dr. Braha : I will copy you a link to an article talking about then post ictal phase which may explain her unusual behavior. http://www. ehow. com/about_6515426_postictal-phase-seizure. html Is this likely to happen again? Dr. Braha : You may just want to try and continue to comfort her until this feeling wears off if this in indeed is the cause.
There is a condition in dogs called Idiopathic which is rather common. To rule this condition in you would need to have her thoroughly worked up to rule out any other causes. What causes a seizure and how do I know it's happening? How long can this last? Dr. Braha : The seizure episodes can be very mild and not a complete loss of consciousness. It can last a few seconds to several minutes. The term Idiopathic in front of the name of the syndrome means we do not exactly know why they occur. Some dog may have only one, others once a year and others it may be more frequent. How long do I expect to see this odd behavior? Dr. Braha : http://www. petwave. com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/ -Spinal-Cord-Nerve-Disorders/ /Symptoms. aspx This talks about signs of a seizure that is about to occur and what to expect during the seizure for your reading afterwards. The post ictal phase can last one hour on average, but there is no hard fast rule. Ok thanks. Dr. Braha : They can have vision impairments during this time which may lead to increased anxiety. Based on your description of everything you have mentioned, without having the physical animal in front of me to examine, this would be my most likely presumption of what is currently going on with Penny. Thanks. I'll call my vet in the morning. Dr. Braha : You are very welcome glad to of assistance let me know how she is doing.
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