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Worried about my dog's mental health


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My 11 year old boxer cross has started to behave very strangely. On returning home for a walk or trip in the car (which she seems to enjoy) she has started to display symptoms of stress - shaking, panting, tail between legs, hiding/cowering. After about 30 minutes or so she seems normal again! It's all very puzzling but as it's happening on a daily basis its very worrying! She hasn't had any traumas or incidents so wondering could it be age related? Is it a mental health issue rather than a physical problem because she seems completely fit and well otherwise? Does anyone recognise this type of behaviour and if so any ideas how we might help her get over it?
She needs to go to the vet to be checked over. I am certainly no behaviour expert,but if she is fine while out of the house but anxious on returning then I suspect something at home is upsetting her. Have your living arrangements changed lately? Any new people in the house she's maybe having a problem with?
Exactly what my 17yr did. Please take them to the vet to be checked over.

Before my dog was diagnosed with heart problems he did after exercise..I think because he felt strange so he would take himself off somewhere quite and dark till he had recovered. He do sent do it so much now , but it's usually after he has overdone it
Thanks guys, I am thinking I should take her to the vet but of course I will just have to describe symptoms as most of the time she is the happiest dog you could wish for. Nothing has changed at home and she is a devoted, loyal and very much loved dog in every respect. Raven - I have been wondering if there's a physical cause but although she's getting on she can still enjoy a really long walk on the fells and can chase a ball for Britain! It's very mysterious! I will let you know if we get to the bottom of it.
My old dog was still so active i couldn't believe the diagnosis . I was walking five miles a day with him , he was off lead for most of it going back and forth with a ball so he did way more , he would swim and yes he did pant but he played hard too ..his whole body would wag with excitement ..

But we would get home and he would twitch , and shake , especially around his back end and legs , his head would go down and he would be restless , he would walk in circles not able to settle and eventually would take himself under the table looking scared . Nothing could get him out and we had no idea why he was behaving like this . we now know that he was having episodes with his heart and as he felt very strange but didn't understand it , he was probably scared and just took himself away till he felt better. He showed no symptoms of heart disease at this stage , but he is a terrier crossed with staffie so he is blummin bomb proof and will just keep going . Even now , he has stage 5 heart failure , and mast cell and is almost 17 (june) he will bring a ball drop it at my feet and spin in a circle wanting it thrown ..eyes bright , bum wagging , bouncing like a pup . I know when he has had enough when his back legs start to shake and i stop the game but he would keep going till he collapsed I'm sure . Please just get his heart checked ..well not just his heart , but a proper check for him so you can be sure its nothing physical . It would also be a bit of dementia setting in , maybe he has episodes of not knowing where he is ..but please get her checked by a vet x
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Thanks for your respose Raven. Your dog sounds like a wonderful old chap! I am alarmed by your description of his symptoms because they're exactly the same as Rosy is displaying. Like your old fella, Rosy is very active so I was thinking mental health rather than a phyical condition really! I certainly will take her to the vet, tomorrow if possible, and see what he has to say. Thanks again for your response.
17 is a brilliant age raven oaktree. What do you feed him and do you have any tips for increasing longevity in our dogs? you're obviously getting it right!
Yea .he is a real old guy . He has just always been fit he is a staffie x JRT cross so he is pretty bomb proof, very hardy . He had mast cell cancer removed from his leg a few years ago and took a long time to recover because there wasnt alot of skin left to play with . Once the wound was sorted he bounced back ..doing hus five miles a day +. The lasy year he has really slowed down . His heart is pretty bad and he has 3 lots of medication for that and sadly in the last few months his mast cell has returned..he has lumps and bumps popping up on a weekly basis now and we are getting very close to saying goodbye to him . He has senile moments , he will pace some night and bark at the wall ..but he still enjoys his walks and his food ..he still swims a few times a week . So while he is having more good days than bad days we will keep going .
He has been raw Fed since he was about 6 , but for the last year he has had Millie wolf heart because the raw started making him sick..but he is just a cracking boy ..I can trust him with anything from day old chicks to new born babies. He is always in the lambing shed with me and for the last 3 years has kept me company at stupid o'clock in the morning when the goats have kidded.don't think I will ever have another dog like this boy him so much :) x

this is my old boy a few days ago ..almost 17.


this is my youngster , not quite 2 ..

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What a lovely pair you have! There is something special about old dogs that always touches my heart.

knowing they've been a faithful companion for so long always gets to me. My oldest is 14 and an absolute trooper. He really is a star and although I dread him going I also feel blessed that I have had him so long and that he is so well in himself.
Thankyou Dogmatize. I adore older dogs and it breaks my heart that so many are dumped in rescue centers. After they have given their love and loyalty all their lives only to be let down when they need us the most just breaks my heart .

!4 is a fab age too , i too feel blessed to have my dogs in my life . I can't imagine my life without Grommy boy in it , he has just been there beside me for so many years ..i just don't know how i will ever get over losing him .
Hi Raven & Dogmatize. Thanks again for taking time to repond to my post. I took Rosy to the vet this morning and he immediately picked up that she has developed a heart murmur. Apparently boxers are very prone to develop heart problems as they get older so probably her boxer genes to blame. She came from a rescue centre to us when she was 4 so we're not really sure about her heritage! We're going to cut back on her exercise for a couple of weeks and see if symptoms/behaviours subside but its likely she will have to go on medication. I wasn't breve enough to ask about prognosis - but hopefully with some lifestyle changes she'll be with us for a time long and continue to enjoy life. Photo bleow is Rosy (white) and her housemate Bruce (black) playing tug of war in the garden yesterday! She clearly doesn't know she's supposed to be ill!

PS - two very handsome chaps there Raven!IMG_2901.jpg
I thought as much ..I'm very sorry ..but honestly with medication they can be fine for years. My old boys heart murmur was picked up when he was about 7 but it required no treatment for years and then it did suddenly deteriorate but he is a really old boy . So u could have years even without medication. It's important to keep him fit though so walking and swimming are good just learn to pick up the signals that he is doing too much. My old boy still swims and chases a ball but we stop him before he gets to the twitchy stage. Lovely photo byw:) . Have a look on line about using golden paste for heart problems in dogs and using hawthorn extracts the other thing is if he does need medication ask the vet for a perscriptionnand get them from an online pharmacy as they are less than half the price the vet's charge for them my vet will give me a 3month prescription x
Great catch Raven. Glad you were around to suggest that!
Thank you lovely xx..

My old boy went for years with a murmur before he was diagnosed with heart failure , I know its a shock but at least now you know you can put in steps to keep him healthy for as long as possible x
Sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks for the advice about sourcing medication online. If it comes to it I definitely will. Just spent a weekend in the lakes - so no fell walking for Rosy this visit but still a bit of swimming and playing with the ball. She didn't seem to mind too much! I hope we're as luck as you guys and have her company for many years to come. Thanks again.
Thanks for updating. I hate it when we don't hear the outcomes!
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