Newbie with a very strange problem.. - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie with a very strange problem..

Hi everyone,

I am a long time lurker, first time poster. I have a 4 year old Havanese name Lexi, and she has been acting VERY strange ever since I got home from work on Friday. I'm hoping maybe someone has some insight as to what is going on with her.. I did some searches on the forum, but couldn't find any posts similar to what she is experiencing.

My Lexi is all of a sudden afraid to walk on the carpet in my apartment. We have lived here for a little over 4 months, and she never had this problem before! The apartment is all carpet except for the kitchen area and two bathrooms. She will sit on either the kitchen and bathroom floors and just stare at us. If she needs to walk on the carpet, she will bolt to wherever she needs to go. I tried picking her up and setting her down on the carpet and she got all upset and tried to climb on me. I can't think of any explanation for this.. We haven't done anything to the carpets that would cause any smell that would bother her. It seems to have bothered her so much that she can't be comfortable in the apartment.

I took her to the animal medical center Friday night after noticing the strange behavior (this was before I realized the rug was the problem). They told me she had a fever and low white blood cell count, which worried them. They wanted to keep her overnight to run additional tests. I know they did blood tests, urine tests, xrays, and tested for lyme disease. They called me Saturday morning and said that her temperature had gone done, they re-checked the white blood cell count and it came back normal the second time. Also, none of her other tests came back as abnormal. They told me that she was doing ok and I could pick her up that night. When I took her home Saturday night, the weird behavior started up again and seemed worse. This was when I noticed the whole rug issue. She also would not get comfortable that night and wouldn't sleep, therefore I couldn't sleep either! I ended up calling my poor parents in the middle of the night and asking if I could try sleeping with her on the couch over there. Once I got there, Lexi was calm and slept fine! Me, not so much! Once she woke up, though, and started walking around the house, the weirdness started up again with their carpet, although it didnt seem as bad as at my apartment.

Anyways, I ended up calling the animal medical center today and explaining the carpet thing, the vet had no clue what to tell me. Just to make an appointment with my regular vet tomorrow and that maybe it was a behavioral thing. Hopefully I can get in an appointment tomorrow and they will have some suggestions. I am just worried they will look at me like I'm a crazy person. If I don't find a fix soon, I will never get anymore sleep!

I just want my normal Lexi back! This whole thing has made me a complete wreck! Has anyone ever experience anything similar? Any suggestions?

Thanks for listening!


p.s - Here is a picture of my baby (hopefully I do this right!)
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:18 PM
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What a beautiful hav! I wonder if Lexi was stung or bitten by a spider or something. That would explain possible fever and also explain her being afraid to walk on the carpet if the bug was lurking in the fibers.

Don't let your own anxiety show or Lexi will pick up on it. Reward her for walking across the carpet. Maybe the memory will fade with a good treat!

Good luck. I'm interested to know what your other forum members will think!


Max and Cooper
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:22 PM
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I really have no idea, but wondering if 'maybe' she got a nail hung in the carpet and it hurt her a little to jerk it loose. Maybe she is now afraid of the carpet if that did happen. I sure hope she will get over this fear soon. Maybe try putting a few treats on the carpet to see if she will go for them. Good luck.

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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:23 PM
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Lynn, Lexi is gorgeous! This is an odd one even for a forum full of crazies. But you are not crazy and I am sure there will be some good ideas here if not advice.

I have a few questions and then some thoughts. I suspect you are going to have to be a bit of a detective. You've only lived in your apt for 4 months...before that, did you have different sort of flooring? And you didn't shampoo the carpet? could it have been cleaned before you moved in? Have you noticed Lexi scratching more since you moved there? could the rug be making her itch and now she is avoiding it? You could also check for little bumps or red patches (that could explain the elevated fever and white blood cells) Could she have something wrong with her nails or pads that get aggravated by the rug but are fine on a harder floor? Do you have a neighbor below you and you didn't before? could that neighbor have a ceiling fan or even florescent lights that buzz and cause a strange sensation?

Good luck and please keep us posted! and WELCOME TO THE FORUM!

Missy, Jasper & Cash
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:25 PM
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My parents had a cat that acted that way once when they got fleas in the house. Once the fleas were gone the cat still tried to jump from chair to table and avoid the carpet. Check for fleas maybe, but then don't baby her. Get some yummy treats and get her back on the carpet before she practices this behavior too long!
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:25 PM
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First of all, welcome, and Lexi is adorable!

Aw, poor baby! I assume you have checked her pads of her feet carefully. I'm wondering unless she's allergic to something in the carpet if she started getting sick while she was on the carpet and now associates it with feeling bad. Have you tried to cover up a portion with a blanket and set her on that to see how she reacts? I also am very leery of pest control and wonder if your apartment has a service? If they spray regularly, she could have gotten exposed to some of that. There are lots of possibilities but I would start by covering up a portion of the carpet with something she likes.

Kathy and Jackson Jackson
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:42 PM
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Definitely different . Most dogs that are afraid of flooring is usually tile or linoleum (slippery surfaces. ) First off ,don't try to flood the dog by forcing her onto the carpet. Try putting his food bowl such that she has to take at least one step onto it. Then if she goes onto it alright, move it a bit more. Keep increasing the distance but do it over a few days. When she goes onto it praise her and encourage her to go further. Try luring her with some toys from the carpet. Something must have spooked her about it. Just take it slow.

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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 04:57 PM
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It definitely sounds like more than just a carpeting issue. I too wonder if she was bitten or injured by something, hence the fever. Could she have gotten into anything in the house that made her sick? I hope you get to the bottom of it soon. She's adorable.

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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the suggestions! I realize this is definitely a STRANGE issue!

I left Lexi at my parents so my boyfriend and I could vacuum the apartment good and open the slider and windows to air everything out, just in case there was a smell that was bothering her. She is a very sensitive dog, so I am worried that she will have a hard time letting go of whatever bothered her (if there is something). I was in a car accident about a year and 1/2 ago, and Lexi was in the car with me. I was rear-ended, it was very minor and Lexi always wears a seatbelt, but she still got jolted a little. Ever since then she is awful in the car... panting, shaking, crying. She used to love going for car rides with me. I am just worried that she won't let this go like the car issue.

To answer some of your questions.. Before this apartment, I had similar flooring and she never had this problem. I have never done anything myself to shampoo the carpets here, I do know that before I moved in they were shampooed. I have had the same neighbor below me since I have lived here.. I don't think any of the apartments have ceiling fans. I haven't noticed anything wrong with her paws or nails, but I will double check again. On Friday when the weird behavior started, one of the first things I noticed was that she was constantly smelling her paws and the rug, so that makes me think there's a scent that was bothering her.

I will start working with treats and encouragement... I'll also try laying something down and see if she is ok on that.

I'll update tomorrow. I hope I can fix this, I really hate seeing my baby this way!!!

Thanks again everyone
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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 06:46 PM
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When Freddie was a pup, he did the same thing with grass. One day he would not set foot on the grass. I would throw toys onto it and he would stop short! If I put him on the grass, he would run back to the patio. He even started peeing and pooping on the patio floor! I figured out there was a frog in the yard. I'm pretty sure it spooked him. Here's what worked for me. When I got home from work, I walked straight outside onto the grass, treats in hand. He was so excited to see me, he would follow me and would forget he was standing on the grass. I gave him treats. After the excitement wore off and he realized where he was, he would run back to the patio. After about a week of doing this, he no longer feared the grass. I have not had an issue since. Good luck.

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