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Yorkie screams during the night
PiperC99 posted:
My 13 year old Yorkie just started having these weird episodes where she screams really loud like a baby 2-3 times, stiffens up her front legs, and throws her head back. She wakes up as soon as I pick her up, pat her chest, and rub her ears. This has only happened at night after she has gone into a deep sleep and it only lasts a couple of seconds. I have also noticed that it happens if she gets too hot and is on her back to get cool. She does have allergies and is overweight. She has been on allergy medicine and occasionally has to have steroid eye drops for eye congestion. She gets VERY congested, with the runny eyes and clear nasal fluid.

The Vet recently gave her pills for trachea congestion called Temaril-P. This seemed to make the problem occur more frequently, but only at night. She still has a lot of nasal congestion. Of course, I called the Vet and stopped the medicine. I keep trying to explain that she needs a decongestant, but this is the second Vet that I have seen and each with different opinions. He did do blood work and she is fine, except she is a couple pounds overweight. He suggested that might be the problem. She is in otherwise good health and hasn't even had to have a dental cleaning.

I am at a loss here, since no one seems to know why she is just doing this at night. Is is possibly some sort of night seizure? It doesn't happen every night, just occasionally. But, it did increase when I had her on the Temaril-P. Is there a good decongestant that would help as the allergy medicine isn't clearing that up. I have bad allergies and have had to take allergy medicine with decongestants in the Spring myself. My guess is that she is so congested that is causing it when she gets too hot. I am sure that the weight is an issue as well.

She is on a strict diet of a 1/8 scoop of kibbles, 3 times a day with a tsp of baked sweet potato on top to get her started on the dry kibbles. I have replaced her treats with ice cubes, a one inch slice of celery, and one baby carrot.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Hi there,

I am not sure but this could be some sort of seizure. With our fun cell phones now, perhaps you should video it and show it to your veterinarian. I understand your not wanting to use a medication that might cause it but Temaril-P is very safe, and I have not heard of this reaction before. I assume that your dog has not back or next pain. Blood work might not help determine what the exact cause for the seizure is but would rule-out organ diseases. Is she having trouble breathing during these events? It really is hard to tell. I would continue to work with your veterinarian to try another decongestant, unless we are truling missing some upper airway problem that is causing this.
Dr. Sandy
PiperC99 replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Dr. Willis,

Thank you so much for your advice. I have tried to catch it with my smartphone, but it is over before I can grab it. It really only lasts a couple of seconds before she wakes herself up.

She has stopped doing it completely now for over 2 weeks. I do think that it is a respiratory problem. I have changed her dose of allergy pills to half in the morning and half at night. Plus, I reduced the suggested 1/2 dose of Temaril-P to 1/4 every other morning, with the 1/2 allergy pill at night. I also try to keep the bedroom below 73 degrees at night and turn on the ceiling fan. I have noticed a big difference in her breathing. She still has wet congestion, but not nearly as bad. Her sneezing, literally lifts her off her paws! She still has occasional sneezing fits that I can relate to myself. Snoodle goes everywhere!

I do plan on asking for a pill form of decongestant on the next trip to the Vet. Hopefully, she won't have any more screaming episodes! She is also slowly loosing weight, which I am sure helps with the breathing.

Thank you again for your advice!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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