12-year-old dog has suddenly changed behavior in the past 2 weeks - anxious, clingy, having bathroom issues, etc. Vet has found nothing. Any other suggestions on what we should do?
About 2 weeks ago, my happy-go-lucky 12-year-old Pekingese
started acting strange. In what way strange, you ask? Well:
Pacing and whining all hours of the night. Going outside or being fed doesn't have an effect.
Occasionally eliminating in the house, when she was previously housebroken. Seems skittish and hesitant when outside. (It's also freezing in Minnesota, so the cold may be getting to her.)
Barking at random times during the night. Calms down a bit if we take her outside, but this also doesn't consistently have an effect.
Eating normally, but has lost a pound in one month (from 16 to 15 pounds).
Intermittent shaking, clinginess and neediness.
Extra itchy on one particular spot on her stomach. Vet gave us an antibiotic spray and said to give Benadryl twice a day. The itching has improved, but is still there.
We took her to the vet and ran a battery of tests (blood, urine, feces). All came back normal. After one very long night, where she paced/cried/barked for the entire night without stop, we called the vet again and they suggested anxiety and prescribed a sedative. We gave her the sedative (Trazadone) and she slept for about 15 hours straight. When she woke up, she was slightly better, but still not the same.
We called the vet again, and they said in the absence of any abnormal tests and since she's eating normally and not lethargic, they're just chalking it up to anxiety. They mentioned some older dogs will have a change in vision or hearing that will frighten them, causing this sort of behavior. Otherwise, they have no other solutions for us.
Couple of other things we've tried and items of note:
Taking her out more frequently, and in general getting her more exercise. I'm in Minnesota, and it's been about -400 degrees for months on end. She hasn't been getting her normal amount of exercise.
Checked every inch of her body, from teeth to nails, as did the vet. Everything seems normal.
Got her a thundershirt and added some fish oil to her food.
Put her on a very bland chicken/rice diet for 3-4 days to see if anything changed. No change.
Nothing has changed in our house in the past 2 weeks. No new furnace or noises, no schedule changes, nothing. We've led a very boring past 2 weeks.
I'm willing to accept this is old age eccentricities, but given the strange weight loss and suddenness of the behavior, I'm wondering if there's something we're missing.
I'd like to get a second opinion at a different vet to be sure. Given these details: if you've had experience with this sort of thing, what should I bring to the second vet when I go? What questions should I ask? Is there anything else I should be doing to diagnose or otherwise alleviate this sudden behavior change? I just want her to be comfortable.