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dog night time anxiety
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An_246710 posted:
our 8 yr old chihuahua has developed night panic attacks. she pants and trembles and cannot seem to find a spot to rest. normally, she would sleep with us...now no one gets sleep because she paces in the bed, sits on our pillow and faces, licks our faces. she attempt to jump out of bed so be put her on the floor then she scratches on the mattress to get back in bed. she is hiding under furniture and next to the toilet..things she has never done. if we put her in a room and close the door, she scratches the door constantly until we let her out. my husband says she "can't find herself." she looks up at us with sad helpless eyes....this is breaking our hearts....she has always been calm and friendly....she travels well...not the typical chihuahua. i have tried homeopathic meds: COMPOSURE and ANXIETREX as well as the thunder shirt. these meds help a little but do not stop the behavior. she breaks our hearts when she is so frantic and looking so pathetic. any ideas?
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rohvannyn responded:
Three basic possibilities there... neurological, behavioral, and environmental.

Some questions to ask: Has anything changed? Are there different noises in the neighborhood? Anybody changing jobs or moving in or out? Any different foods, treats, medications? Any schedule changes? Anybody disagreeing or fighting?

I ask these questions because dogs, especially little ones, can be extremely sensitive to change, in unexpected ways. Perhaps there is a new high frequency sound that you cannot hear that is making her nervous and unable to sleep. Perhaps there is a food additive causing problems. There are so many possibilities. If it's a behavioral issue then it's certainly in response to something.

Finally, it could be possible that there is a neurological issue of some kind, and that's a question only a vet can answer. Think about the other factors, they will be helpful to the vet as well, if you decide to see one. Meanwhile, I hope your girl feels better soon.
 
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protec61 responded:
dear An_246710: thanks for your reply. we have been to vet. all blood work returned normal. anxiety behavior came out of the blue...nothing changed in our daily routine or environment. we took her to our condo in florida and same anxiety behavior. we ruled out environment. no fighting in house. we cannot attribute this behavior to any event. she has always been noise sensitive and to fireworks and thunder storms. occasionally she will have a daytime episode but not often. she can be absolutely calm with us watching tv and then to bed with us. within 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, behavior begins. same thing in florida. she does not have any problems flying. no change in food. we have tried extensive activity during the day and exposure to her doggie friends....works one day with an anxiety free night and the very next day the same daily program has no positive effect leaving all of us with an anxiety ridden night. we now keep her in the kitchen with a gate and a closed door. she has her bed and water. she tries to get through the gate. we can tell by all of her hair that shed on the floor. at 8 years old she is too young for dementia. any other ideas?
 
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jolbra responded:
This exact same thing happens to my llasa apso but it only happens once or twice a year and has happened that often all his life (7 years). I can't find any contributing factors either but it does seem like he is maybe hearing something I can't hear because when I rub his ears during the episode he seems to calm down a bit like I might be blocking out some sound when I do that. It usually ends sometime in the night after 4 or 5 hours but last night when it happened again it lasted ALL night...and he didn't calm down until mid-morning.
I'm struck by your description of your dogs' behavior because it is all just the same as ours. If you happen to figure anything out or discover something to give him that seems to help I would love to know. Thank you.
 
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protec61 replied to jolbra's response:
DEAR JOLBRA....HAVE TRIED TWO HOLISTIC REMEDIES THAT ARE ONLY 20% EFFECTIVE. CHILDREN'S BENADRYL DOES NOT WORK. WE HAVE FOUND SHE DOES NOT BEHAVE IN THIS MANNER WHEN FRIENDS BABYSIT. SHE DOES CONTINUE THIS BEHAVIOR IN OUR CONDO IN FLORIDA AS SELL AS OUR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN NJ. HER PERSISTENCE IN LICKING MY FACE IN BED IS INSANE. IT'S AS IF SHE IS ASKING FOR HELP. IF WE PUT HER DOWN SHE SCRATCHES THE SIDE OF THE BED UNTIL WE PICK HER UP AND PUT HER BACK IN BED. EPISODES ARE DECREASING TO SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK. DAILY EXERCISE AND STIMULATION DO NOT HAVE ANY POSITIVE EFFECT. I SEEM TO BE HER OBSESSION. IF I FIND ANY INFO, I WILL LET YOU KNOW.
 
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lovetobarn responded:
This past week has been brutal with my dog. She is acting the same as your dog. We have tried everything and nothing calms her down. During the day she is perfectly fine, eating normal, regular bowel movements, etc. Just wondering if you figured out what was wrong with your dog. Thanks!
 
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cici78 responded:
Hi! Just wondering what ended up happening with your Chi! Mine is now 8 and doing the EXACT same thing. It's sad and scary! Vets can't find anything wrong with her and pheromone treatment, which worked before, doesn't seem to be any more! Would love to know what happened in your case! Thanks!
 
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cici78 replied to lovetobarn's response:
Hi Lovetobarn - and remedy in your situation? I'm in the same boat and looking for help! Thanks!
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
Panic attacks, disorientation and anxiety can be so disturbing for pet caregivers and pets. I wish that I could say that there was a simple answer but there is not. If your dear Chihuahua has not been examined recently by your veterinarian, I would start there. Impaired vision, health issues and canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (a canine version of Alzheimer's Disease) could be responsible. Your veterinarian will likely need to run some baseline blood and urine tests to rule out internal disorders along with a thorough eye exam. If all checks out well, she may need calming medications like Zylkene (not a drug but a natural calming medication available from your veterinarian), night lights around the home to help her navigate the darkened home or a stronger medication such as Anipryl used for cognition issues. . Please make that appointment soon and let us know how she is doing.


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