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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My dogs behaviour has slowly been changing over the last month

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My dogs behaviour has slowly been changing over the last month or so. When I rescued her I had no problems with her interacting with other dogs however now she is extremely boisterous and it's causing other dogs to react to her. When she plays with dogs now (as with myself etc) she growls and is very forceful. She ia vocal on the lead also. At home however she is very lethargic and has lost her appetite. I'm having to hand feed her to encourage her to eat and mix tinned food in as she is losing weight. She has always been a dog that loves human company, following you everywhere you went in the house but lately has been withdrawn and spends most her time alone in her bed sleeping. I didn't know whether I should be concerned and whether I should get her to the vets for a check up or tests as she's definitely not herself. Many thanks.
Hi there - I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian in the US who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that you're having some difficulties with Charlie - I know that it can be a little stressful when they aren't quite right. I do think, based on your description, that it'd be a good idea to have her looked at by your family vet. It's not really an emergency, but I'd schedule a quick checkup whenever you can. It could be that she is just "coming into her own" and maturing as a pet - their personalities grow and change over time just as ours do. Their personality is shaped by both genetics and external factors like their environment and experiences. Dogs learn to adapt their behavior to their circumstances quite readily, so sometimes they are adjusting in ways that they think are needed to make their lives easier. The lethargy and lack of appetite do concern me a bit, especially if you're seeing any weight loss. It could be a benign issue - just that she's tired from all that raucous play and getting picky with her food, but it could also be a sign of a whole-body illness happening. In cases like hers I usually do a full physical exam and a small panel of blood work to check the red and white blood cell count, the kidneys, liver, sugar, and the thyroid function. Thyroid hormone deficiencies can cause all variety of changes with the pet's social behavior and anxiety level, so I find a thyroid check to be important with cases like Charlie. If all the physical exam and lab work comes out normally, everyone will feel less worried about her health status and begin to focus on her behavioral concerns with a vet experienced with behavior or an experienced trainer. Please let me know what other questions I can handle for you :)~Dr. Sara
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks, ***** ***** book her in for an appointment first thing. Just a question regarding a dogs breathing. Should her chest move like a humans so in a subtle way or should her breaths be quite pronounced or long and slow. She is short haired.

No problem :) Breathing in pets can vary depending on their activity level - there shouldn't be any extra "work" or laboring happening, and their gums should be nice and bubble gum pink. The number of breaths taken in one minute (counting a full in-out as one breath) should be less than 40. I've seen dogs at rest with respiratory rates as low as 6-8 per minute. The slower the rate, the longer each breath takes to complete. Also, we don't count a respiratory rate if they are panting - we just call it a pant. Hope this helps :)~Dr. Sara
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