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    9 Yr Old Dog Will Not Sleep Through the Night
    TheAustinKs posted:
    Hi, we have a 9 year old mix shepard. We have never had a problem with him sleeping through the night, he sleeps on a dog bed in our room. For the past couple of weeks he wakes us up in the middle of the night, multiple times, by coming to the bed and with excessive panting. We take him outside and it does not seem like he urgently needs to go to the bathrom or anything. The only thing that seems to calm him down is if we get up ordistract him by giving him a treat/ice cube. Scolding him seems to make it worse. Help!!
    Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
    Pets can make it hard to sleep through the night but since this is a new thing, there are some interesting possibilities. You describe an anxiety because you mentioned calming him down by distraction. Older dogs can develop canine cognitive dysfunction. This is a condition related to senility in humans with changes going on in the brain. They also have changes in their sensory systems so I'll give you a couple of things you can try to see if they make a difference.

    One of the easiest things to try is to add a night light near where the dog sleeps. Decreased vision can make him think it is darker that it really is and the extra light be helpful. A second thing you can try would be melatonin (you can get this at health food stores). He would need about 2 mg given in the morning (if that doesn't help, try giving it at night). Melantonin is associated with having the body recognize day and night and the dog's body may not be producing enough of it. The third thing that you can do is to add some antioxidants to his diet. There are special foods that are high in antioxidants, but vitamin C is also an antioxidant (helps get rid of the free radicals in the brain associated with the development of cognitive dysfunction). Encouraging activity during the day and good old fashioned exercise is very useful too.

    If these do not seem to help much, your veterinarian can check to see if there are other reasons for the problem or use medications that are a little more specific.

    Good luck, I know it isn't easy on dog or owner.
    sweetwhitrose responded:
    Try a bowl of water by him do not pay mine to him that just add to the behavor.. give it a few day of not pay any mine to him it should stop it just that time of year when dog r more active.
    TheAustinKs replied to Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS's response:
    Thankyou very much! We have started the melatonin and vitamin C, and while he is still waking us up in the evening, it is down to one time, which is better than on the hour! We took him to the vet to get bloodwork done and everything came back normal, so we are just working through this as we can.
    MinPinLaddy responded:
    I had the same problem and end up taking her to the vet. I found out she had enlarged heart. She is on heart medicine. She is 8 yrs old. All the years she was fine but out of the blue, like yours, she was panting and I could nt figure out why. She was not acting right for few days. The vet exam her and said she look fine but I insisted a chest X-ray done to check her heart and we found the problem. Since she is taking heart meds. She was on it for two weeks and had to up the dose to level it out. The vet said it is like us taking blood pressure medicine. She is back to herself and no panting like before. Wish you the best of luck!

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