I adopted a 7 yo female Pembroke over a year ago. I don't think they she has ever been mistreated in any way, but the previous owner indicated that she was aggressive toward her other female and vice versa. Great temperament, not aggressive toward me in any way, loved to play tug of war, chase the bottle, etc. Typical frapping attitude...
Up until about 6 months ago, she loved being around me. She would come near and cuddle, sleep on the bed, loved being close. However, she started to shy away or let out high pitched squeals when I lightly pet her on her side, and even if I just moved toward her when she wasn't expecting it - she even does it infrequently when she's walking by herself out in the yard. Now, she comes near, but won't let me pet her - she actually scoots away when I try to love on her. She follows me around and seems like she wants attention but then when I reach out, she backs away. She used to be eager to go on walks and is great on the leash. However, whereas before, when I would hold out her collar and she would come put her head under it for me to put it on, now she shies away.
Vet says she's in excellent health, but notices that she squeals when being checked out - even when she's not being touched. She has no internal signs of problems, and is eating, drinking and pooping VERY normally.
Only 2 things stand out in my mind as being a possible cause - this behavior started approximately the about time I switched HW med from Heartguard to Interceptor Plus. Also, a couple of months before this behavior started, I accidentally walked into her in the dark on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She wasn't hurt but her squeal sure woke me up.
I really love her and want to work with her to draw her back into my love. I've tried ignoring her and just letting her do her thing, as well as trying to sweet talk her with treats and lots of affection. Nothing works.
Please help - Any comments, suggestions, tips would be extremely appreciated. I'm not dog ignorant, I just don't have a clue about why she has started acting like this.
I don't think you have a behavioral problem, I think there is a physical component triggering it but, if you already had her checked by the Vet, figuring out what that is may be difficult. Can you take her off the HW med for a few weeks, being that it's January? It's not a likely cause, but I would try that anyway. Sounds like she has some kind of pain. If she does, it can then become behavioral as she anticipates pain when handled. You may consider a second opinion.
I agree with Anna, I'd get a second opinion. Becca's behavior changes some when she needs a chiropractic adjustment. She will mutter if I touch a sore spot, usually over her ribs. I never had great faith in chiropractic treatment until I started seeing how much good it does Becca. She has seen two different vets who do it and shows great preference of one over the other. One forced her and the other works much more slowly and keeps her in a mental comfort zone. We are now adding acupuncture as well. Are there any vets in your area who also practice acupuncture and chiro?
That very much sounds like a physical issue. I second the other answers and advise getting a second opinion. I don't think its related to your other dogs issues. IMHO, if she is squeeking when she is outside by herself, there is something painful going on. Have you had her x-rayed? I would definitely focus on finding the cause before it DOES become behavioral. Good luck!
I agree with all the other responses. It really does sound like a physical issue, I would also get a second opinion.
Thank you Linda, Susan, Marcie, Holly and Anna. Under the supervision of the vet, I started Penney on a pain trial of medication yesterday. She'll be on low doses for a few days to see how she reacts. I'll keep everyone posted on how she does. Thanks for all the feedback !
2nd opinions are always good. It does sound like she may have some pain going on. Good luck.
Thanks, Jane -
she's been on standard pain meds for a couple of days - no change in behavior other then she seems a little slow because of the medication.
She comes close as if she wants some attention and then scoots away when I try to pet her. I'm experimenting with ignoring her to see if she will change behavior...
Yeah, I'm with Anna et al. there: that's strange behavior. I would suspect some pain or trauma set this off. Possibly she's no longer in pain but was disturbed enough by it that she now dislikes being touched. In that case it would be hard for a vet to determine the cause. But...you surely might want to get a second opinion.
Have you talked to the vet about changing back to Heartgard? Possibly there's something in the new med that's doing this?
I agree this sounds like a physical reaction. If the pain med trial doesn't help I would want a second opinion or at least a set of spine and hip x-rays. It may be an over-reaction to pain she felt when you walked into her too. You may try calling her to you and having some small yummy treats and give her a treat, touch her lightly, give her a treat and let her go and see if you can desensitize her that way. If that doesn't work though it's likely SOME type of pain even if the cause isn't obvious.