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PLEASE HELP... my dog is screaming in his sleep?
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williams77 posted:
I have a 9 yr old poodle terrier mix, who occasionally screams in his sleep. It has been going on very sporadically for over a yr now. Recently, however, he has begun having accidents in the bedroom after it happens before we can get him outside, which has made me concerned it may be a seizure or something worse. As soon as I hear him let out a scream (and I do mean scream... it's no ordinary dog noise... it's loud, scary, and sounds as if he is in extreme pain), I get up and wake him up. It generally only takes a second of rubbing him and calling his name to wake him up and the he usually seems ok. But a few times ago when this happened, he peed in the bed without ever getting up. The last time it happened, I woke him up and then tried to get him out of the bedroom to take him outside, but he seemed disoriented and just peed on the floor (while standing, which he is a male dog but he didn't lift his leg). It was rather warm in the room the last time it happened, so my husband thinks he just got hot and had a bad dream. I hate to spend all of that money at the vet just for him to tell me he's having a bad dream, but I am starting to get realy worried that something else might be going on. Does anyone know what this might be? Could it be a dream or is he having a seizure or something worse? Please help.
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
Please see my response to your other post.
 
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mydogsarethebest responded:
have a dog who just did exactly the same thing. did you ever find out what it may have been?
 
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williams77 replied to mydogsarethebest's response:
No, I didn't. I started keeping a journal that includes the date, time, and a detailed description of what my dog does and what the conditions are in the house when it happens. The last time it happened, my husband noticed it was very hot in our bedroom (It may have been the other times too, but I didn't think to include that detail in my journal entries). Anyways, we decided to leave the bedroom door open at night to let out some of the hot air (I'm not sure why, but the upstairs always gets hot at night). Ever since we have been doing this, it hasn't happened again and it's been approx a month since it happened last. I'm not sure if it was a nightmare caused by the heat (which often happens to me if I'm too hot when I sleep), or some type of seizure due to the heat. To be honest it would have had to have been a night terror to cause that kind of noise (believe me, it was no ordinary dog noise), so I'm more apt to think it's the latter. It may not even be related to the heat. Whatever it was, it has stopped for now. If it happens again, I'm going to take him to the vet. He is overweight, so I've also put him on a diet and have been taking him for long walks for exercise. That could be helping as well. I'm sorry to hear your dog is experiencing this too. It's can be very scary. I will keep you posted if it happens again and we have to take him to the vet. I haven't heard of very many other people who have also experienced, so I'd be interested in hearing how your dog is doing and what the vet says if you take him. I also have anoter post on here and a couple people did respond. You may want to check that out too. Good luck!
 
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sandy2468 responded:
hi, i have a 10 yr. old shih tzu who is a femal (daisy) she is also a little overweight, & has the same symthoms as your dog. i cant even discribe the sound of the primal screem she makes in the middle of the nite.we have taken her to two different vets recently & they have no answers. have you any answers yet???? please reply if you can.
 
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williams77 replied to sandy2468's response:
I am very sorry to hear that this happened to your dog too. I know how very scary it is. I am also sorry to report that we never did find out what it was. It's actually been around 7-8 mos since the last time it happened. He still cries sometimes in his sleep, but it's nothing like what was happening before. Our house gets very hot upstairs at night in the winter, so my husband thought it might have something to do with the heat. He thought he was, for lack of a better term, overheating. (My dog is overweight too). I'm not as convinced that it was the heat, but I have to say that as soon as the weather got a little nicer and we didn't need the heat on so much it stopped. I don't think I'll ever really know what caused the episodes. On a positive note, he is currently doing well and is happy. He's still overweight, but we are working on that He doesn't seem to have any adverse effects from the episodes. I pray that it just stops for your dog as well!
 
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DianeRaven replied to sandy2468's response:
I have a 9yr old male Shih Tzu,Boscoe.He has had this nightime screaming(4x) in the last 2yrs,exact same symtoms,urinating,this HORRIBLE scream.Took him to our vet,nightmares,maybe!!??Yesterday he went in for teeth cleaning&after they administerd the pre-meds to calm him before putting him under,he started screaming,stiffened&pooped&peeped all over himself.They stopped procedure,increased my plan(we have Banfield)& did e.k.g.,x-rays,blood cont,urine tests...ETC.He was at vets for 8hrs.We are going in for check-up today&I will begin logging everyday re:Boscoe.Might be seizures/epilepys...nightmares.I think its seizures.The bill was $736.50,I didn't pay a dime&love my vet.Any feedback much appreciated.
 
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JezzyLou replied to DianeRaven's response:
I hope I can shed some light on this for at least those of you with Shih Tzus on here who are experiencing what I also described to our multiple Veterinarians as high pitched Shrieks - sounding like a Hawk in the wild or a Primal scream as someone else said.

My beautiful, sweet, smart and adorable dog Jezebel passed away on Friday December 7th. It was not how I envisioned her life would end nor was it how I envisioned her passing would be either as she was always my "healthy pet" and w/ the exception of being spayed at 8 mos old and having her spleen removed due to a small benign cyst two years ago, she never had any illnesses - was told her heart was fine w/ out any murmurs or mitral vavle disease and even her teeth were straight and white. I felt so blessed and counted my blessing every day with her - since Ihad also had a Maltese who had so many health issues his whole life - I was very experienced as a pet owner to see signs and symptoms of illness. Other than panting a lot - and suspected Cushings Disease although she was not overly symtomatic for it she did have some elevated blood levels over the last year or so which led us to suspect Cushings but not do the conclusive testing required. Anyhow, the screeching noises started about a year and a half before she passed away from upper and lower airway disease - but which was never really diagnosed properly til the very last week - if not days before her death. Panting in Shih Tzus can be due to air way obstruction - such as an elongated palate which we discovered during a Tracheal Wash during the last week of her life that she did have this condition. Thinking the panting was due to the "Cushings Syndrome" but not a big deal, we just accepted it as part of being Cushingnoid and Brachycephalic as Shih Tzus and short nosed dogs are classified as being. However, after repeated lung infections - including aspiration pneumonia 9 mos earlier and a very recent discovery of Allergic Bronchitis (a chronic condition) as in the last week of her life - she quickly went downhill in the breathing and oxygenating area. Instead of having these very loud and very primal sounding shrieks once a month or once a week, they were now coming every night and sometimes two or three times a night. I knew this was not normal and when I tried to describe it to Vets it was met w/ blank stares - even specialists who said it was not seizures but possibly periods of "apoxia" or "hypopoxia" basically where our dogs are not getting enough air and oxygen into their lungs especially when they sleep and their airways relaxes and restricts air from flowing thru easily hence, it's oxygen deprivation! My dog Jezzy was 14 yrs old and one month - and I was so unprepared for my otherwise healthy dog to have just had her symptoms ignored/shrugged off and then misdiagnosed as not being seizures - although they were seizure like activity in that she turned blue in her mouth, lips, tongue, and had passed out the point of being unresponsive and her body stiff as a board. She had to sleep right next to me w/ my hand on her heart all night during the last week of her life so that if she stopped breathing or had another shrieking episode I was right there to shake her and try to resuscitate her which I did every night for nearly a week. Finally, w/ further tests - an echo cardiogram - it revealed severe lung disease and pulmonary hypertension - as a result of the lung disease. The loud noises when they are sleeping is due to lack of oxygen getting thru their airways. She was pulse oxygenating well under 90 - about at 80 by the time we realized what was going on. She could not live outside of oxygen and passed over the rainbow bridge on Friday - unable to live outside of the oxygen cage. Don't ignore signs or symptoms of hypoxia- low blood oxygen caused her shrieks - not nightmares - especially in dogs w/ airway obstruction issues. Get a full cardiology work right away. You will be glad you did and may save a life.
 
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cosmica responded:
the same exact thing was happening to my dog. It was totally food related. I stop feeling him grain, chicken, and anything processed like sausage. The screaming stopped totally now. Even the vet was at a loss. Hope this helps anyone who has a dog experiencing this. BYW - the reason I stopped chicken is because it is the most likely candidate for allergies that and grain. Thank god he is fine now.
 
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Aprilmy replied to cosmica's response:
I have a 9 month old French Bulldog male. He has had 3 episodes this month, 7-10 days apart. Its usually 1-4am and he wakes up "Screaming bloody murder"! I mean i thought a crazy person broke into my house and was screaming in my other room!! Painful, fearful screams!!! I jump out of bed and turn on the light and he is lying in vomit and had peed himself . I usually have to wake him as he is just lost in these horrific screams. I called my vet and she said maybe seizures but the screams dont make sense. I have an amazing vet at the local Vet E.R who i am taking him to today. I will let you know how it goes. I too am afraid it may be elongated soft palate or maybe seizures??? It is soo scary and heartbreaking : (View Thread
 
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candikat responded:
I have a 4 year old Shih Tzu that this happened to the very first time tonight. It does not appear to have been a seizure but I was asleep and awoke to the "screaming" sound. Scared the cra out of both me and hubby. She was laying on her side sleeping but when I woke up she had her head laying over backwards (which she often does while asleep) but this time was screaming in pain. No idea what caused it. After googling it I found this conversation. I checked and sure enough she had urinated as well. She seemed really scared like she did not know what happened and wounded like someone hit her over the head. After a bath and some nice petting and talking to her she was back to tail wagging.
Something I have started to notice in the past year is she has developed "liver spots" on her tummy. They just look like darker splotches on her stomach. She did not used to have those. I had her teeth checked about a month or so ago and was told they are okay and the vet did not say much else (it wasn't a full check-up).
I'm just worried if it is a seizure or what to do now.
 
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volleybal4 replied to candikat's response:
Hello, I too had encountered the same yelping screaming pain in my shih tzu last night. He did not urinate but his neck and head appeared to be the same position as yours. Just curious if you heard anything from a vet?
 
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smurfnkids replied to volleybal4's response:
Hi, Trying to figure out why my moms shih Tzu screams...loud high pitch scream this happens when you get her really excited when playing, looking out the window seeing neighbors, her us coming up to the door she starts screaming , also when were out on the porch and the neighbor pulls in or anyone else. We are not sure why she does it she's 5 years old mom said she use to do it all the time when she got her we think she was abused/ rescue ... but then stopped for a while and just recently started back up doing it she starts whining like she's excited to see you then it turns into a long scream and she'll just look at you and keep screaming like she cant stop.


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