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Dog screams at night... PLEASE READ!
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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:
Interesting problem but certainly one that justifies concern. It is hard to know exactly what is going onl. It could be a bad dream, but that is extremely rare in dogs, at least as reported by owners. A seizure when sleeping is possible but I would expect that the dog would be having occasional ones during the day as well (and it is possible that you just are not home when those happen). I would recommend that you start a detailed history of when this started, how often it happens, how long each episode lasts, the frequency of the urination with it, how easy it is to wake the dog, how he responds to you while doing thisk, and any other thing you can think about relative to this. All that information helps put the full picture into place to help determine what might be happening. If this is happening more that twice a month or is increasing in frequency, then it is appropriate to see your veterinarian.
 
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williams77 replied to Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS's response:
Thank you so much for the reply! I started keeping a journal a couple of weeks ago (when he wet the bed). The first journal entry I have is for 12/15/10. I awoke to him "screaming" and called his name and shook him to wake him up. He didn't wake up right away, but it didn't take long either... less than a minute. This is the time he wet the bed though, within a few seconds of waking him up. It happened again on 1/1/11 and as soon as I heard him, I began to rub his belly and my husband called his name. Again, it only took a few seconds to wake him. After he woke up, he jumped off the bed and lifted his leg and peed on the corner of the bed. The last time it happened was on 1/10/11. This time he had been sleeping on the floor on a blanket. I went over to him and found my other dog was already next to him checking him out, so he was already awake when I got over to him. I got him up to try and take him outside, but as he approached the bedroom door he seemed kind of wobbly and disoriented. He turned from the direction of the door and went to the other side of the bed and just stood there and peed (not lifting his leg). All three times occurred between 3:30 and 4:30am. The last time, I noticed it had gotten hot in the bedroom, but I didn't notice the other times. I love him very much , but can't afford to take him to the vet for a bunch of tests just for them to say it's a nightmare or that they don't know what it is. Any suggestions would be great... If it could be something serious or you feel it warrants a trip to the vet, I will most certainly take him. I appreciate any help you can give!!!!!!!
 
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kb2877 replied to williams77's response:
william.. I would take him to the vet. If he is loosing control of his bladder and is wobbly and disoriented it might be a seizure. (This started happening recently to my older dog.) It could be something else but it definitely doesn't sound like its a nightmare.
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS replied to williams77's response:
This is happening enough times to justify a veterinary visit with all your information. Explain the money issues because they might be desirable but not absolutely necessary. A trial with medication might work well to see if they are seizures and if the episodes can be stopped or at least reduced in frequency/severity. If these really are seizures, and from what you describe that is a possibility, then it is important to get them under control. Each time a seizure happens it does some damage and increases the likelihood that more seizures closer together will happen. Thanks for the great descriptions. I hope things work out for your dog.
 
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JJLOU responded:
I may find your story unbelievable as of yesterday. But, now I am surfing the net to find out why one of my two shizu dogs (8F and 9M years old) did exactly the same last night (2:00 AM) as you described:..."and I do mean scream... it's no ordinary dog noise... it's loud, scary, and sounds as if he is in extreme pain" No pee. One was awake on foot and wagging her tail at the time when I got to them and the other seemed to be lying awake in bed. Problem is I don't even know which one did the screaming. My wife believes that it's me doing too much disciplines during the day so the dog (she) had nightmare reaction. Perhaps. But, I am no cruel guy. Both dogs are all right all day today. No seisure. The vet can't do much about it, but advised to observe.
Please help. Thanks.
 
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JJLOU replied to JJLOU's response:
To provide further info surrounding the incident.

1. This is the very first time that such screaming happened.

2. Could it be the cold temperature triggering the scream? I mean New England is buried in snow these days.
 
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beagelmommy responded:
Hi there, i just wanted to tell you, that my 6 yrold Beagle "Daisy" dreams alot and is very very vocal!!!!!!! She has on occasion peed in our bed, which is to say, she peed on my pillow,since she sleeps at the top of the bed wedged between a pillow (protecting her from the wood headborad) and my pillows.I asked my vet and was told that it could be age,dreams,or just plain oops didn't make to the yard.So just keep an eye on him and maybe for a while wake him each time you notice him "dreaming" i.e. his feet twiching etc. Ask your vet on your next visit, he could just maybe have had a uti.
 
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williams77 replied to JJLOU's response:
I have not taken my dog to the vet yet. I was waiting to see if it happened again. My husband actually thought it might be the heat at night that is causing this. In the winter, it gets very hot upstairs in our bedroom. We used to shut the bedroom door at night to keep the dogs from getting into trouble downstairs while we're asleep (not so much this dog, but more for our younger one). We decided to try shutting the vent in the bedroom and leaving the door open to let out some of the heat. So far, it hasn't happened again and it has been about a month. I don't know if this actually solved the problem or if he just hasn't had an episode in a while for a different reason. Maybe the heat is causing a bad dream, or maybe it's causing a seizure (not even sure that's possible). All I know right now is that this seems to be working and neither of them has gotten into any trouble having freedom in the house at night. Please keep me posted on your dogs situation. I am sorry to hear your dog is experiencing this too and am very interested to hear of his progress.
 
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izzie1313 responded:
Hi,

I hope your dog gets to feeling better. My little dog Tyke still has nightmares from the people who used to own him. They gave him to me and he only weighed 3 pounds but now he weighs 11 1/2 pounds. Just got him last summer. When I first got him he would scream out in his sleep and seem to not know his whereabout when first woken up and a few times wet on his bed. After a few times of his screaming I started letting him sleep on the bed which seem to help a lot after a couple of weeks. There are some many different reasons that could be causing your dog's screaming at night. Keeping a record of when he screams out , his reactions when you wake him up, maybe could help the vet decide what is the best course to to take in helping the dog. That is what I did for Tyke and the Vet after running a couple of test determine Tyke was having nightmares and was underweight (from people who owned him before), but who has since gained his proper wieght. Some dogs I guess can have bad dreams but its not very common, there is so much about a animals we don't understand because of a language barrier that we have a hard time trying to figure out whats really going on with them. Vets are truely wonderful people, who use every means available to determine excately whats going on with your pet just to get them back to health.
 
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JJLOU replied to williams77's response:
Our dogs are doing fine these days (since the first scary episode). I am trying to remove as many factors which I thought might be contributing to the screaming. I am now being gentle to them, more attentive, provide warmer enviroment, good diet (quantity and quality), and good exercises (more outdoor activities), etc., etc. We will definitely keep you posted on how things are.
 
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Romulanale07 responded:
Hi there. I was relieved to find your article here because I too have a poodle rat terrier mix that had his first episode last night. He is 11 and I awoke to a horrible shrieking sound. He dreams alot and makes cute little wimpering noises and this sound was nothing I have ever heard. When I woke up and turned the light on he was still laying down and had urinated. He hardly ever has accidents and this is what concerned me. When I got him up he seemed like his normal self: he was growling when I put him down (yes this is normal for him) and walking just fine. I washed him up and put him in his doggie bed. Have you come to any conclusions on to what was going on with your dog? He has a history of pancreatitus, however I have learned how to control this. I have seen him have one seizure several years ago, so I am not sure if this means anything. Again, I am glad I am not alone on this. I would like to prevent this from happening again. Please help.
 
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williams77 replied to Romulanale07's response:
Hi! I am sorry to hear that your dog is experiencing the same thing that mine did. I wish I had some kind of conclusion for you (because I know how scary it can be), but I don't. I have had quite a few people respond to my post that have had similar experiences with their dogs as well, however no one seems to have figured out what could be causing it. On a positive note, I can tell you that it seems to have just stopped. He used to have one of these episodes every couple of weeks, but hasn't had one in a year. I hope the same happens for your dog as well. If you happen to figure it out, please let us know. I would still love to know what it was. Again, I wish I could be of more help and good luck!
 
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JJLOU replied to Romulanale07's response:
Since my posting 11 months ago about dog screaming at night, everything has been all right with our two shizus. We have a good vet, but learned nothing there about the why's or what's. Not on the web, either. It still remains a mystery. However, I do have a hunch here, that is, it's "cold weather"- related or triggered. Haven't you noticed that these dog screaming postings are during the cold weather? Try what I did (see above postings) and it just may help. In any case, I still believe you should call your vet.

What made it scary is: the shrieking sound is just like human in the middle of the night.
 
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judithleah responded:
I I have a simular situation with my 10 year old male shihtzu. A few times a month or more frequent. My dog screams like a dog in a dog fight yelping so very loud, and sounding like he is in severe pain. I am usually sleeping when it happens. So is he.
I live in an apartment and even a few neighbours have heard him. He ususally gives off 3 loud painful yelps by the time I get to the floor to him at the end of my bed. He don't like being up on the bed with me. My girl does though. My 6 yr old girl out of conern usually makes it to him first, before me. She has head butt him before to make him snap out of it, for concern, not to be mean. I grab him up as quick as I can and hold him and talk to him. He snaps out of it. The first time my boy went stiff and back and head arched. His eyes were dialted and didn't move at all. Froze , wave your hand in front and still nothing. That one and only time he had gone deep under. Like in a coma, had taken about 5 minutes for him to snap out of it. I held him in my arms on his back. Like a baby craddled in my arms, tearing up and talking lovingly to him. Then all of a sudden his eyes started to move, though he was exausted. The doctor told me he has a heart murmur and over weight. He is 24 pounds, and he should be max 18 pounds. He also has breathing problems when he sleeps. He snorts and snores louder then the loudest man ever. I always call out to him. When I worry about his breathing. I try to elevate his head more on his bed as well. It starts off with him breathing heavy and faster. With loud snorting noises that wake my girl dog up first. That she flys off the bed to him first in worry of him.

My heart is always in my mouth, wondering when and if I not be able to stop him from crying in pain and have a painful passing. I have had a few months with nothing happening, but heavy breathing during his sleep. I am not wanting to put him to sleep just yet. I also can't afford the ultra sound and the meds he might have to be on. There for I feel to pay for an ultra sound. Would be worse for me to know then to not know what is wrong. For fear of having heart palpatations each day of worry over him, and have him sense it as well. Then to know and worry more, and not be able to treat it.

Now that this is happening. I do remember 5 years ago his heavy snorting breathing back then a few days a week back then as well. Though now it is each night, loud enough to wake us. My girl shihtzu and myself. I can only afford their shots and flea medication for them both. I am on a fixed income as of last year of just over $800.00 a month, with my bills to pay and to feed the dogs and myself. I am at my wits end with worry of him. I hardly go out for worry to leave him aloneu. He is my first baby after the children grew up and left home.

I am not wanting to put him down. I fear though he could be in severe pain when this super loud yelping happens. I just hope he is not slowly drowning in fluids on his lungs, or having heart attacks Joolzy seems ok after. No damage to him what so ever. He is slower and less active in the last 5 yrs, maybe due to weight gain and this heart murmur, god knows how long he had it. He didn't have it that I know of until this year. If he did, it went undected by the vets. I often wonder if I am catching his episodes before he goes into them deeper, or if coinsidence. That he don't go as deep as he did the first time 6 months ago. Like a coma state. Any suggestions if simular symptoms are much appreciated. I don't think it is necessary as yet to have him put to sleep. Though my heart hurts to see him in pain.

Have a great weekend everyone. Thanks for reading my long winded book here.


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