Night time anxiety/aggitation in older dog - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an older bearded collie dog. He is approximately 12 at best guess. He is a rescue. I've had him approximately 10 -11 years. Wow, I can't believe it's been that long!

He is a very mellow dog. He gets excited about dinner time but otherwise is a laid back, mellow and sleeps a lot.

He has begun pacing and panting and gently whining at night. At first I thought he just had to go out to pee so I got up, put him out, he peed, came back in and continued with the pacing/anxiety.

I have not had a vet check up done on him yet. I intend to take him in for a geriatric work up with complete blood work and exam. He has no health issues that I am aware of. He does have hip dysplasia in both hips moderately (I had his hips x-rayed a number of years ago to learn this). He is a touch arthritic, a bit slow to get up and reluctant to come up the steps should he go into the basement. Otherwise, he seems fine.

Is this just general senility? It's only at night that he does this.

I am about 30 weeks pregnant, I have two small children, I cannot deal with the sleep deprivation this is causing me. I have lost about three hours of sleep to his behavior several times a night and I am at my wits end.

Anyone else been through this with a dog? It's new for me!

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#2 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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Two things come to mind: cognitive disorder or trouble with his night vision. Either way, a vet visit should help you figure out what's going on.

I'm hoping you get some sleep soon. You much be exhausted.
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#3 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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His night vision is definately failing him but I think this is more than that. To see him agitated and panting is so NOT LIKE HIM! He's a really mellow dog. Like if he got any mellower, he'd slip into a coma. He's very well socialized and generally a solid temperamant dog. (Though he does not like loud noises like gunfire or fireworks. He does not have an anxiety disorder over them, but he'd prefer to go inside the house if we're going to let off fire crackers. If that's not an option, he'd just lay by the door and relax.)

I will get him in to the vet early next week for a check up. We've got a car in the shop so I'm carless during the day til it gets fixed.

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#4 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 04:05 AM
 
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Is it better or worse if you crate him? Many times dogs that are going senile do best if they are gently confined, and everything they need is right near them. Sometimes they need to eat or drink and they can't find the water bowl, for example. So crate, or confine in a small section of the kitchen and provide everything in that small area.

Some dogs in cognitive disorder are abnormally hungry; try feeding him when he acts like that. If that helps, you can spread out his feeds through the day and leave him with some at night too.
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#5 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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I noticed my old girl is panting more now that is old. Thankfully she does not pace, that would drive me crazy.
She just lies on her bed with her ears pulled back a bit and pants. I thought maybe she has heartburn, or alzteimers.
A crate sounds like it may be a good idea.

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#6 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Just thought of another - Cushing's Disease can present like this.
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#7 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't say it's better if crated. He's one to bark when crated a bit. Not manic incessant confinement-anxiety barking, just the random "Hey, you forgot I'm in here didn't you" sort of bark. All my crates are downstairs in my grooming area which is not a part of the house i hang out in unless I am grooming. Basement is unfinished so it's used for laundry, storage, workshop, grooming etc and I think he's not as comfortable down there in general. Also, the stairs are a bit hard for him. He can still come up them unassisted but it's work.

What I have done is confine him to our bedroom, just shut the door and ask him to settle down. He may for a bit but then gets up and walks around and pants and is aggitated. He was even shaking the other night. This is so NOT like him!

He does not exhibit any of this behavior during the day ever!

As for feeding him during this state, I hadn't thought of that. He's a food hound and I would love to get about 4-6 lbs off of him due to his hips. He's not obese but his ribs are a bit too well padded for my liking. I'm concerned that he'd equate the night pacing with food and do it just to eat. He's clever like that.

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#8 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We also have a night light on in the room as we've got kids cosleeping with us, so it's not like it's totally dark.

I will have a complete blood work up done next week and see what that shows.

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#9 of 14 Old 02-28-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post

As for feeding him during this state, I hadn't thought of that. He's a food hound and I would love to get about 4-6 lbs off of him due to his hips. He's not obese but his ribs are a bit too well padded for my liking. I'm concerned that he'd equate the night pacing with food and do it just to eat. He's clever like that.
so maybe don't feed him during the day, just once during the night? Not sure how you would schedule that though.
How about a crate in your room?

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#10 of 14 Old 03-01-2008, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know how a crate in my room would work out. He's such a solid tempered dog that he's never looked at a crate as any sort of security. I don't know if this level of anxiety can be mellowed simply be being crated for a dog whom crating was never a security issue.

It's after 4am now and my dh got up around 2 I'm guessing to put him out as he was pacing and barking a little. Then he brought him into our bedroom where he settled very breifly before the pacing and panting started. At 3, he finally put him in the basement, where he paced and randomly barked for another hour. I just got up and put him in a crate with a fan on him on low. I occasionally use a fan to assist in drying his coat after a bath so I thought it would be a familiar distraction for him. He's quiet now- well I mean he's not barking. He could still be heavily panting and aggitated as he was when I crated him.

This is so weird. He exhibits NONE of this behavior during the day. We'll be off to the vet when ever they can get us in early next week.

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#11 of 14 Old 03-01-2008, 11:08 PM
 
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My greyhound did something similar at night. He was all about going outside, though. He'd go out and lay down in cold rain and refuse to come in, that kind of thing. It made me crazy. After getting up to put him out, waiting around and eventually going out to get him, I'd come back inside at 3 am, cold, wet, annoyed and wide awake. Fortunately, I wasn't pregnant and my girls were sleeping through by the time he got really bad.

He suffered from senility from about age 12 on.

People who work with Alzheimer's patients call it Sundowning Syndrome. Patients become markedly more agitated and confused in the evening. Here's some basic info. about sundowning in people.

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#12 of 14 Old 03-02-2008, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info. It's just such a stark difference from his daytime behavior.

He slept all night last night, thank goodness, as it means that I DID TOO!

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#13 of 14 Old 02-17-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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I have the same problem with my "All American" dog, age 14. This is a new thing with him. Last night, I took him outside around 11:00 and it took four tries to get him back inside our motorhome. We are traveling now--but we have always traveled and he has been excellent, I don't think that is the problem. However, I do not know what it is. It occurs only at night. Some nights, he drools and trembles--like he does when it's stormy--except it is clear with a full moon. He, too, has problems with his hips and has arthritis. He's not as active as he was. Yet, this morning he pranced like a stallion at the end of his leash.

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#14 of 14 Old 02-17-2014, 08:07 PM
 
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Do you have him on any sort of pain meds for his hips? I would echo the cognitive dysfunction/dementia theory, but with a previous diagnosis of hip dysplasia combined with his difficulty getting up and down, I would also wonder if he's unable to rest d/t discomfort. Most dogs don't show pain in obvious ways, but panting, pacing, etc., can fit. One good cold snap or a little extra activity could be enough to make arthritis worse. Kudos to working on getting your pet down to a healthy weight; your vet can probably prescribe a good pain reliever once he's been evaluated. Good luck!
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