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My wife and I came back from vacation early this week. We had our GSD(3 y/o) male and a puppy GSD borded at the breeders house. One day after work, I took both dogs outside to play and go to the bathroom. The next day, the male GSD looked sad and didn't look well at all. We do have a cat and our 12 y/o son that lives there as well, but those two are on vacation in NC. Lately my male shepherd has been licking his paws raw and has not been alert or happy to go outside like he always is. The male does eat, drinks, and uses the bathroom w/ no problem. Is it just that the male just knows that the cat and my son are missing and misses them dearly or does it sound like something else? Your advise is most appreciated. Thanks.

Brian
 

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I would always rule out any possible medical problem before assuming it is mental/behavioral/emotional. Call the vet and schedule a visit to check him out physically. Check with where you boarded him and ask if anything out of the ordinary happened or if any dog there has come down sick. Check to see what food he was eating while there, too. These are questions I would ask an owner even before the doc came in the exam room. You might want to take his temp at home as well.
 

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I agree that a visit to the vet is warranted. Chewing the paws can be a sign of allergies, and if severe enough can cause listlessness as well. He could have been exposed to something in the kennel that promoted an infection - since dogs have sweat glands between their toes - staph infections are fairly common on the feet (hot spots). They could've used some kind of chemical to clean the kennel that he has had a reaction to. I would also look for a medical reason before I assumed that it was depression related.

I hope he feels better soon! :)
 

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Thanx for the backup. I forgot to mention allergies.. many cleaning products can cause allergic symptoms, and this is suspicious because he was somewhere out of the ordinary.
 
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