Dog Becoming Very Nervous/Excited

    • Bronze

    Dog Becoming Very Nervous/Excited

    Hi everyone, our girl Wheaten Terrier, Roxie, is 6 & 1/2. In the past couple months, she goes through stages where she acts very nervous and on edge. We can't make sudden moves around her or loud noises because she becomes very anxious. Sometimes if she is upstairs with us, all it takes is someone calmly walking down the stairs to the first floor of our home for her to dart off the bed like crazy and follow you down the stairs so quickly that she almost trips you. She also will sit outside of the bathroom door while my sister or I are in there and wait for us to come out. All of these things have just started in the past couple months. She has always been a happy, nosy dog who likes to be involved and know whats going on, but her actions lately have been something everyone in my family has noticed. For a dog who is getting older, she seems to be doing the opposite of what a normal, older dog should be doing. We have learned to act calmer around her, but want to make sure this is not something health related. Can anyone relate to this? If so, do you have any tips about how to calm her down?

    • Gold Top Dog

    Leah -- absolutely the very first stop **must** be the vet.  And I would suggest because she's a purebred that you have your vet send a thyroid panel to either Hemopet.org or to Michigan State Vet School (far far more accurate than sending it to a local lab.  A bit more expensive but the breed-specific answer and the more accurate answer are what you need).

    She almost sounds hyper (too high) thyroid but you can't just assume that  and hyper thyroid wouldn't be typical BUT it is possible and it's more dangerous than hypo thyroid (low).

    In order to defuse something like this (it's like a form of separation anxiety)  you likely will need to do some serious desensitizing and there are others on here who are a better trainer than I am.  BUT you **must** start with the full physical exam first.  I'd ask the vet to also do a full blood chemistry on her at the same time so you have not just a CBC (complete blood count) but you want all the liver, kidney values etc.  so you can rule out anything physical and THEN you can attack the behavior/training.  

    The thyroid can give some odd signals sometime.  You may want to read "The Canine Thyroid Epidemic" by W. Jean Dodds, DVM (you can get it on Amazon and I promise it's an interesting read -- maybe not to read it cover to cover but the info is amazingly helpful).  

    Blood for a thyroid test does *not* have to go overnight. Priority Mail is FINE.  There are complete instructions on how to prep the blood to send for your vet on the Hemopet.org website.  

    • Gold Top Dog

    and PS -- your vet may say "she doesn't LOOK like a thyroid problem" but that's why I said to read the book -- I have a female who is the complete antithesis of hypothyroid (she's SKINNY as a rail and almost nervous and totally NOT laid back but she is actually quite hypo(low) thyroid.  It was an amazing transformation after we found that.  I had the test done b/c I thot *she* was hyper thyroid  (the whole skinny, way too nervous and twitchy thing) but she surprised me big time.  

    DON'T let the vet just send it to a regular lab -- it's just not accurate enough.  They use the same index for all dog breeds/ages ... it's a waste usually.

    • Bronze

    Thanks for this advice! She recently was at the vet where they said she was overweight. We found that hard to understand because she is on an eating schedule where we monitor how much she eats and she also goes on daily walks. This is definitely something I will look into. Thanks again!