Sabi snapped at me today

Share advice for keeping your aging dog happy and healthy

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When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat May 19, '12 11:40pm PST 
I am in shock.
Sabi has never, ever, been a snappy or nasty dog. As a puppy she was careful never to hurt and quick to cuddle if she did. When her hips were really sore and I had to help her get up she never once snapped. When her neck was really sore and I thought we were done she still never snapped.
Kids have fallen on her. I have tripped over her. Dozens of pups have tormented her. She has never been anything but kind. In all the years she worked I never once saw her be mean. She was good at her job, she is very protective, but never, ever mean.
I was playing with her outside.I put my hands on either side of her stomach and she turned and snapped at my hand, hard enough to leave a bruise. I was so shocked I just let her go and stepped back. She immediately came to me and she knew she messed up. I have checked her over and found no sores or sore spots.
I am not sure if I should get her checked out or if her old brain just blipped for a minute.
I just can't believe she did that.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 1:46am PST 
I'm so sorry that happened. hug It sounds to me that she might have just had a senior moment. I am so surprised to hear that Sabi, of all dogs, snapped, from what I know of her she seems so gentle ... I guess any dog can have a slip up though. Sorry, it must have been horrible for you. frown
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 2:57am PST 
when misty got passed the age of 12 she started to act like that at time's...
if she was on the bed,and i did not want her there,she would growl if i wanted her of the bed.
but you say you touched her belly..maybe she has issue there
a vet is an option,to exclude pain...and if she is ok...than it is a senior reaction...
they just don't want to be touched at sertain spots anymore...
but i would take her to the vet just to let them look at her to see if she is okshrug

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 5:45am PST 
Any and every dog has their off days or moments. I'm sorry she snapped at you.hug

There was once or twice where Charlie snapped at me - redirecting from another dog or guarding his bone from another dog and me trying to take it in the heat of the moment, etc.

Maya, soon after she hit eight, she began having an off day here and there, and it gradually became more consistent. Never did she intend to be mean, but there were times where she was sore or tired and just didn't want to be bothered with anything.

Don't take it too personally, I'm sure she had a reason that you just couldn't find and I hope you both feel better.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 7:32am PST 
Thanks guys. I am taking her to the vets on Tuesday to be checked out.
She seems her normal self. I think she probably was just having a senior moment, it just startled me so badly. She was playing with her rock and she gets pretty focused on it. I have seen other senior dogs get snappy I guess I just didn't expect it from her. She has aged so quickly in just over a year. She is only 10 and still really active and playful, but I suspected a while back that her mind was slipping. A couple of years ago she started staring at walls, and then growling at them.

Barked: Sun May 20, '12 8:07am PST 
I agree... a vet examine is in order. For a dog to demonstrate any out of character aggression at that age could definitely be a indication of a Health concern.

My last Rottweiler was an attention & affection glutton. When he was 10 he had a couple of very out of character demonstrations of aggression. One such was growling at my brother when he went to hug him while he was laying over his lap. This had not been an issue any other time in the past. In fact Merlin loved all the attention and "snuggling" from my brother. I decided I would need to keep an eye on him. He was limping a little intermittently but it wasn't a daily occurrence. Given his age & how much he had always slept... I just figured maybe he had "slept wrong on his leg". He was 140 lbs... so it seemed quite reasonable.

A few weeks later I noticed what looked to be something stuck in his paw while I was cutting his nails. It didn't look like it was something that would be easy to pull out... as in... I didn't want find out it was something seriously stuck in his paw. I called the vet and took him in that afternoon. I assumed they would have to put him under or something to take it out. Big expense but .. whatever.

The vet examined him and identified swelling in one of his back legs... wasn't even the the same leg as the paw I was concerned about. She recommended x-rays.

She kept him at the clinic until she could squeeze in time to get him x-rayed. Several hours later she called me back. When I got there she wasn't so smiley any more. She took me into the exam room & put on that box light thing to show me the x-ray. She showed me on the x-ray where he had advanced bone cancer in the upper portion of his leg. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. I had only taken him in to have something removed from his paw... It had not for a second crossed my mind that something far more serious had been developing.

The vet said his leg would snap within 3 months!
No wonder he had growled at my brother that time.

From that experience I decided any surprising behavioural change in an mature dog (especially aggression) would result in a vet visit as a precaution.

Beauty and the- Beast
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 8:17am PST 
I have had several shepherds live to old ages. Each one is different. My old Sch3 dog was the most intelligent and gentle dog. It took me a while to discover that she was losing her hearing (at 10 yrs). It is amazing how well they are able to hide their aging disabilities. My hubby thought she was ignoring him so he grabbed her and she turned and bit him good and left a pretty good bruise. It was then I realized she did not hear him behind her and it was an automatic reaction. She sure felt pretty bad after.
I certainly would not worry too much but to be more aware, especially with kids approaching her from behind where she maybe can't see or hear them.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 9:45am PST 
Ripley thats what was so weird she didn't even act really aggressive it was almost like she totally forgot I was there. But even startled I have just never seen here do that before.
Seela long time no see. I know she is losing her hearing I guess maybe this was my bad. I forget sometimes that she is getting older, or I make myself forget. Ten is old for a Shepherd, well into the senior phase I suppose.
Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 11:48am PST 
What did she do after she snapped?

Lap Dog- Extraordinaire!
Barked: Sun May 20, '12 11:50am PST 
I had a Shih Tzu that died last December @ 14. Around 11 or 12 she would growl when asked to move off the couch. She snapped at my son, whom she grew up with (she was a year younger), a couple of times when he pushed her over with his foot.

I just attributed it to old age. We were careful moving her and learned to always give her fair warning when we needed her to move or do something. I have been around a lot of older relatives and know how crotchity, grumpy, and testy old people get -- it must be the same for dogs. We just made allowances for Cleo's testiness and moved on.
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