Earlier this year, during the darkest depths of winter we sent out a plea to customers to help find dogs who may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) so that we could work with them to try and get their beloved canine companion back to their usual tail-waggingly happy self.
We were contacted by Pip, a veterinary nurse who was growing increasingly concerned about her 6 year old Pug, Rubi.
Rubi is usually a healthy, happy dog with a very loving nature. She is eager for attention from anyone who would be a willing participant – and sometimes even those who attempt to ignore her. She loves nothing more than trying to lick anyone who gives her some fuss.
But sadly last winter, Rubi’s behaviour changed. “Rubi was very out of sorts,” explains Pip, a veterinary nurse from Shropshire. “There was one occasion when I thought I had lost her. She is usually my shadow but I suddenly couldn’t find her anywhere. Eventually I found her in our spare room sleeping, something she had never done before.”
Pip was so concerned that she decided to book Rubi in for a check-up with the vet. The vet listened to her heart to rule out an abnormality there and they also ran a full blood check. They performed full biochemistry and hematology looking for any signs of kidney or liver disease and infection – thankfully all these tests came back clear and there was nothing physically wrong with Rubi.
“I was relieved that Rubi had been given a full bill of health, but I knew in my gut that there was something wrong. The problem had to be more psychological. After having conversations with colleagues and doing my own research, I concluded that the only thing it could be was winter blues – there had been no other major changes to Rubi’s lifestyle and diet. I am aware of Seasonal Affective Disorder in humans, but firmly believe that dogs can suffer this too and the unsettled weather we have had this winter has led to Rubi suffering from this condition.”