He has begun to have bladder control problems. He goes through phases when he begins to shake, and whine for no apparent reason. He has, for the second time, exhibited a sort of PTSD response to normal stimuli. When we were at the other house a few months ago, he had this response to LS on the porch, when she had removed her boots, and smacked them together to knock off dried mud. He yelped, screamed and ran under the furniture, he was shaking uncontrollably.
When i would get near him, he would suddenly yelp as if i had kicked him in the ribs, and i hadn’t touched him. He would no longer raise up to put his feet on me, as he has always done, as if his “up button” was malfunctioning. He acted like he could no longer jump into our laps while sitting, either, and if we tried to pick him up he would scream. This lasted for about 3 days, and nothing helped. He was not physically injured in any way, so this was very much like PTSD response to some past trauma–triggered by something unknown.
Now, months later, he had about a 24 hour bout with the same thing, and i just ignored it. And now, i catch him sitting and staring at a dresser or a chair or a wall, as if in a trance. When i tell him to go lay down, he moves to another object and stares at it–almost in a posture of punishment, like when you reprimand a child and tell them to go face a corner. He seems fraught with anxiety and fears. He will whine and grumble while he stares, sometimes, like he’s having disturbing thoughts.
He seems fearful of his food bowl, of the kitchen floor, of grass, of trash bags, of anything in my hand, of the doorbell, or any other people in the house. He no longer runs fearlessly outside to the yard to relieve himself, but has to be cajoled, or dragged into going. He hides beneath beds and furniture.
While often comical to witness, it is at the same time disturbing. LS says, “He’s crazy. That dog is just crazy.” But he didn’t always act like this. I assume it’s possible for animals to have mental illness, just like humans do. But what brings this on? I’ve tried reprimands, gentle understanding, ignoring him…but nothing seems to help. He just acts like a crazy person.