Jul 11, 2012 4:15 PM by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP
Q: My dog has been going to bed early all of a sudden. She has had no other health or behavior changes - she just goes to bed on her own relatively early. She used to just go to bed when we did. All she does is sleep all day so it isn't like she's had a lifestyle change to make her more tired. Should I be concerned?
A: Dear Sandee, Thank you for your question. It is always fine to be concerned - I see pet owners ignore what appear to be minor problems and then regret it later. I cannot be sure if Gabby Eloise's going to bed early is significant or not. Decreased energy and stamina can certainly be a problem and can indicate anything from heart disease to diabetes. It never hurts to get a thorough examination. Her age, lifestyle, preventive care situation and other aspects of her history will play a crucial role in determining if anything is wrong. A huge amount of information can be gleaned from a physical exam without much cost.
If you prefer to avoid seeing the vet, I would use the following guidelines: If everything else is truly normal (totally normal energy throughout the day, excellent appetite, no coughing, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no sneezing, no increased thirst, no increase in urination), you are probably okay, but I am uneasy with the statement "all she does is sleep all day." I would err on the side of pursuing a consult.
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