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D2009-11

Dear Daisy Dog

Mocha, our 7-year-old spayed female Labrador mix, is normally happy and energetic, but occasionally, she has episodes that look like anxiety. For hours, she stays close, following us everywhere we go. Her head hangs low and her tail is down.

Once, when I had to leave for work during one of these episodes, I returned to find our bed covers askew, her food dish upended, and a huge potted plant trampled. Nothing has changed in our household lately. What can we do to help Mocha?

Daisy Responds

Mocha may have anxiety attacks, or she might be manifesting pain.

We dogs may become anxious for psychological reasons -– and also because of physical problems, such as an irregular heartbeat or pain.

When my brother Ollie has bouts of neck and back pain, he behaves exactly like Mocha. Now that I think about it, my mom looks gloomy and anxious during her back spasms, too.

Make an appointment to have your veterinarian examine Mocha. Depending on what the physical exam shows, consider blood and urine tests to rule out organ dysfunction and x-rays to evaluate her hips and spine.

If the tests are normal, talk with your veterinarian about trying an anti-inflammatory pain reliever or an anti-anxiety medication.

 

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