Anxiety or ..... ?

abs914

O.G.
Sep 3, 2008
773
7
NYC
Maybe a little over a month ago my 7 year old Bichon Dylan started having some behavioral changes. He began hiding in small spaces (closets, corners, the tv stand), digging into the hardwood floor and keeping his tail down. Blood work came back perfectly fine and the vet didn't find anything suspect during the physical exams (I brought him in 2-3 times). Because Dyl continues to eat/drink/play, the vet thinks it's an anxiety issue. He recommended Dylan start wearing the Adaptil collar (releases pheromones), which is supposed to help with anxiety. Things have actually been going okay with it, some episodes here and there, but all in all things were better. Until a few days ago.

Dylan is back to hiding in corners and digging into the floor. He's jumped into the bathtub a few times. I've been keeping the closets closed this time around so he's just been pawing and whining to get in. I did give him a bath on Wednesday or Thursday, but I'm not sure why that would cause things to start up again. I haven't found anything that triggers him. He randomly will jump off the bed or couch and go into a hiding spot and dig. When I started typing this he was curled up on a blanket on the floor and now he's in the bathtub.

I'm still not sure what's going on. When this all first started I thought he must have had a physical thing bothering him, but the vet doesn't seem to think so. I figure I'll give this a few more days before calling the vet again. Or maybe go for a second opinion? Other than the "anxiety" stuff, he's fine. He continues to bring me his toys throughout the day so we can play fetch for 15-20 mins at a time, his appetite is the same and he drinks water.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm also not sure if I'm supposed to let him stay in his hiding spots or drag him out. I've been doing both. I've only been consistently trying to stop the digging so he doesn't completely scratch up the floors.
 

boxermom

O.G.
Aug 26, 2006
27,084
592
North Carolina
What you described is how our dog acts when he's anxious. Our dog has always been like this, so it's odd that your dog after many years began acting differently.

There are over the counter calming products--some may work, some don't seem to help. Rescue Remedy is a natural product in drop form that sometimes helps our dog. I've known some people who give valium or similar to their dogs and I only use that as a last resort (during recent t-storms, for example).

wish I could be more help. We hate to see our animals unhappy.
 

abs914

O.G.
Sep 3, 2008
773
7
NYC
What you described is how our dog acts when he's anxious. Our dog has always been like this, so it's odd that your dog after many years began acting differently.

Right, that's why I haven't 100% accepted that it's anxiety and still wonder if he might be physically hurting. My last Bichon was on daily Prozac for the last 4-5 years of his life. The vet said if we go the pill route for Dylan he'd rather try Xanax. I left a message for the doc to call me today, so I'll see what he has to say. I just want Dyl to feel better!
 

hermes_lemming

my little etoupe
O.G.
May 5, 2006
11,822
2,324
My other dog used to do this. He actually just had too much energy and made the whole house a game. He starting digging on the wooden floor boards, hid behind my pic and jumped into the tub, etc.

This all went away once I started to take him to the dog park daily and crated him. For my personal situation, establishing routine and order helped.