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Depressed dog or out of sorts?


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We've had Luna about two and a half years and we both love her. She's never been an affectionate dog, doesn't come for cuddles or to be petted. In all that time we've never shouted at her or raised our voices to her, never told her off for anything even when she killed 2 hens, just shown her love and kindness because she's a lovely dog who deserves it. Last year we nearly lost her when a bladder stone ruptured her bladder, worrying times, but she's right as rain now.
 
That said I am concerned about her. We have a dog flap and she's always spent a lot of time outside, coming in around our meal times and in the evenings to sit in the lounge. In the last 3 months or so though she spends almost all her time outside, lying behind the garden door even in pouring rain and wind. She's walked twice a day and becomes very lively when she knows she's going out and while out is doing all the doggy things like sniffing, digging and being sociable with any she meets. When she comes back though, she lies down again, she won't engage at all if you speak to her and the only thing that she'll move for is food. I tried to get her to come in this morning because it's sunnier in our back garden but no, wouldn't budge. She's clearly a dog who has never been played with, I've tried to engage her to play with squeaky toys, tug ropes and a sort of frisbee, not interested. She will occasionally chase a ball but loses interest very quickly. I'm actually worried about her and find it upsetting but can huskies be like this, just so insular?
 
Another thing I've mentioned before is her weight, I've cut back on portion size and have bought in ready made raw so I know exactly how much she gets, she's not a big fan and will eat some but leave some. No table scraps, no biscuits, 2 small Spirit treat sticks a day.
 
Should I be worried? I'm sad for her that she just doesn't seem interested in being involved with us except for walks.
 
 
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Has she had a vet check recently?If so and everything is normal, maybe it’s a seasonal thing.Has anything changed in the house?
My two will go through periods of ups and downs.
The girl though used to be very standoffish. The more I worked with her (training) the more she warmed up (playful). She still has moments of not wanting anything to do with anyone. 
I would just keep an eye on it. As long as mine are eating, drinking, poops look good, and they perk up on walks, I try not to stress.
They have really matured over the past two years and their calmness catches me off guard sometimes.

 

 

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Did you rescue her? If she’s fit and healthy then this could be her personality, as much as husky’s enjoy alone time they usually enjoy human interaction. Try setting some time aside to sit with her just stroking her and talking to her, this will build up your bond with her and eventually she may seek you out for some affection. I play ball with my two, one loves bringing it back for me to throw and the other runs off with it to peel it, they get bored quickly with toys.
Does Luna have play time with any other dogs? I think she’d benefit from some dog interaction, is this a possibility?
You could add biscuits in with her food for variety and maybe try enticing her to play by using treats, you could place some around the garden and get her to find them, this could become a game for you both to enjoy. When you’re peeling and cooking vegetables try throwing her pieces of carrot, when mine hear me cutting veg they’re in the kitchen like a shot waiting for some. There are ways you can get Luna to engage with you, it will take time to figure out what it is she likes to do other than her walks.


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Thanks for your responses. Luna was rehomed at just over 6 years old, she’s now 8.5 yrs, she lived in a very busy household with 6 children of varying ages up to young adult and down to 18months, two other huskies until one was rehomed. Her owner was expecting her 7th child and felt she couldn’t cope with the dogs, her partner refused to get rid of “his” so she wanted a new home for Luna, the other dog was apparently Luna’s litter mate. I think the dogs had been quite neglected in one sense but as they had each other for company perhaps it wasn’t as bad as it might have been. In our household we are two older folks, 2 cats and a few hens. I am retired, my husband still works varying hours. We both walk Luna once a day.

She was examined at the vet recently as part of a check up for a repeat script for her incontinence. The vet was the one who had a lot of input when Luna was so ill, she found Luna well, strong heart and yes, overweight.

Since we’ve had her I’ve tried to engage her in play many times, as I mentioned, we have balls, tug toys, squeaky toys, I bought her a soft squeaky rabbit for her so to speak. She is very sociable, she likes and respects other dogs and will interact with them while we’re out and she’s off leash but she loses interest pretty quickly after an initial run round. She loves to dig and I’m happy to let her, she has no idea how to retrieve so I attempted to try and get her to do it, not interested. She will follow a ball but when she gets to it, she might pounce, but loses interest when it doesn’t fight back lol.

As far as I can tell she is fit and healthy, she eats well, is always willing to go on walks, is nosy and busy when out, her poop is pretty typical of raw fed, she eats grass and there are no visible signs of anything wrong, the only concern I have is that she pants a lot while we’re out. What bothers me is this withdrawing from us, I thought she was making strides as she had started coming upstairs and sleeping on the landing sometimes, a big advance for her as she has never done that since we got her. Now though she screws herself into a ball behind the back gate and just lies there for hours, gets up and turns round but goes back down in the same place. She comes in at night after we’ve gone to bed and gets on the settee or chair and can be there when I come down, I’m happy to see her but if she’s on the floor she rolls away from me if I try to stroke her.

I give her carrots occasionally, she loves them but generally I put them in her food whole. She gets bones too. She isn’t a dog who hangs around the kitchen at all. She was coming in at our mealtimes because hubby likes to give her the plates to lick, there’s seldom any food, she hasn’t been in for days now. I have been going outside and petting her and talking to her and I groom her from time to time which she seems to enjoy, she’s really not like any other dog I’ve had, 1 Old English and 2 border collies and a Jack Russell.

I can’t make it out at all. I guess while she’s doing everything she should I’ll have to accept it because I’m not sure the vet would consider it necessary to see her given she’s not ill in any way and times being like they are.


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You’re doing all the right things for her, the only thing that I can think of is that she may be missing her litter mate, particularly if they were close, playing together and grooming each other, 6 years together is a long time and dogs experience loss, whether it’s a human or an animal.
The panting when you’re out with her is probably her trying to cool down, I take water out with me when I’m on walks, maybe take some with you and see if this helps her.
It does sound as if she’s a little sad, just keep on doing what you’re doing, building up your bond by stroking and grooming her, I wouldn’t worry too much about her not playing with toys, husky’s aren’t like other dogs, they do things on their own terms. Keep on building up your relationship and you may start to see changes, sometimes we need to start at the beginning with retraining. I hope everything works out for you both.


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Thanks CF, I will keep trying but I think I’m also going to take her to the vet for a check over. We’ve had her 2 and a half years, if she was missing her brother then wouldn’t she have displayed this sooner? Unfortunately he had to be euthanised recently because a biopsy from his nose was not good news and then he had a stroke. Of the three litter mates Luna is the only one still with us and she very nearly wasn’t.

I also wondered about whether the Propalin syrup might be causative, she has it for incontinence almost certainly caused by her surgery. Other than that she has been started on a joint supplement as she was limping slightly and the vet thought possible arthritis.

Last night it poured and there was a thunderstorm with thunder and lightning, Luna stayed out in the pouring rain, she didn’t even look at me when I called her to come in. She has a shelter in the garden but didn’t use that and of course we have a dog flap so she could have come in but chose not to, unless she did after we went to bed. Here she is in her now regular position:
9b5e94ba563f7c2379a4cd9d8259adb2.jpg

I can’t tell you how upsetting I find this.


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I believe it would be very unusual for her to just now start showing signs of depression after two years. If I read that correctly.

The medication could be making her depression worse.

When you take her to the vet would you be comfortable with asking them if there is holistic way of treating her conditions?

 I originally started off treating my pups for their medical conditions with whatever pills the vet suggested. They ended up causing more issues. I switched to a holistic vet and over a few months their symptoms subsided and was able to reverse some of the damage in my male.

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Hi, sorry, I misunderstood, has this behaviour become apparent since she’s been on Propalin? This medication does have some side effects, loss of appetite, listlessness and irritability are a few. This could explain her leaving food, on your next vet trip I’d definitely ask about a natural remedy, Incontia is one that I’ve heard of, but speak to the vet before you change medication, I’d also mention her withdrawn behaviour, it maybe related to the Propalin. Would Luna come in if you put her lead on and walked her into the house, especially when the weathers bad? I hope you find a solution, it’s worrying when our fur babies are out of sorts.


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Hi, thanks again. I have wondered about the Propalin, she was tried on hormones to start with but they didn’t have any effect on her incontinence.

In the last couple of days I think we’ve made a little progress, she has come into the house, on to the settee where I spent quite a while grooming her which she always enjoys, made a point of going out and speaking to her when she’s been behind the gate and generally trying to make more contact with her. She’s started to come in again around mealtimes, has regained her spot under the honeysuckle in the patio area and is more responsive when we talk to her. I think we’ve a way to go, she still can’t play and I’m not sure she ever will. When this lockdown is over I’m planning to take her further afield to give her more to explore etc. in the hope that will also stimulate her. I tried hiding her treats under her blanket, so funny, clueless best describes it.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I’m going to continue putting the effort in because as dogs go, she’s such a winner [emoji177]


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Sounds as though you’ve made good progress, keep on building up the trust between you and with the effort you’re making your bond with her will strengthen and then you’ll reap the rewards. [emoji3][emoji240]


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