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Strange screaming behavior
Tompelletier posted:
My dog Bella, an 8 year old female Irish Terrier, had some kind of crazy fit a few days ago. She began doing what I can only describe as screaming. She was barking and screaming as if she were terrified or extremely angry. It happened at about our usual afternoon walk time. She acted like she was frantically trying to get out of the yard. She ran around our 3/4 acre yard twice. She didn't seem to be in obvious pain and she responded to me, but with extreme agitation.

When I was finally able to get the leash and harness on her and tried to take her for a walk around the block, she pulled very hard, something she doesn't usually do, screaming the entire time. My wife and I were so thrown by this behavior that we took her to an emergency vet, it being a Sunday and her regular vet was closed. Bella continued the screaming behavior and extreme agitation in the car, until about half way to the vet, when she suddenly stopped. From beginning to end, the screaming behavior lasted 15-20 minutes.

Over the next half hour, she calmed down so that when the vet actually saw her, she was mostly back to normal, although somewhat subdued. He couldn't find anything wrong with her aside from a slightly elevated temp 102.5.

Later that evening, back at home, Bella was sleeping in the living room, when she got up, acted like she wanted to go out, and then began screaming again. She ran upstairs and went under the bed, her secret "cave," and lay under there panting for 10 minutes and then calmed down.

The next morning, she seemed mostly better, although subdued. I was taking her on her walk around the block when she suddenly began screaming again. This time it only lasted a minute or two and then she calmed down.

I took her to her regular vet who could find nothing wrong with her. Standard blood test came back normal. We're now doing a Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever test.

Since the last "episode" the morning after the big one, she has been fine. A little subdued, but she seems more and more like herself. Her behavior is pretty much normal now.

But my wife and I are very much spooked. I have never heard a dog make the kind of noise she made during those episodes. It seems like extreme pain, or extreme fear, or extreme anger. Almost like a psychotic break, if such a thing exists for dogs.

Anyone ever heard of behavior like this?


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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