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MY DOG IS HAVING ANXIETY ATTACKS AT NIGHT
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ISABELLENO1 posted:
MY DOG IS 9 YEARS OLD. ABOUT TWO MONTHS AGO SHE STARTED HAVING WHAT I CALL ANXIETY ATTACKS AT NIGHT. THEY USUALLY LAST SEVERAL HOURS. SHE WAKES ME UP PAWING ME AND SHAKING AND PANTING. I TOOK HER TO OUR VET LAST WEEK AND HAD A COMPLETE PHYSICAL INCLUDING BLOOD TESTS AND THEY SAID SHE WAS VERY HEALTHY. EVERYTHING CAME OUT VERY GOOD. SHE IS EATING OK AND IS PLAYING OUTDOORS OK. I WORK AND HAVE TO GET SOME SLEEP. I HAVE TRIED, LONG RUNS TO WEAR HER OUT, SHUTTING HER OUT OF BEDROOM (SHE CLAWS THE DOOR TO DEATH) SHE HAS ALWAYS SLEPT AT THE FOOT OF OUR BED, BUT NOW SHE SLEEPS BETWEEN MY HUSBAND AND I, OR ON MY HEAD, OR ACROSS MY BODY, AS CLOSE AS SHE POSSIBLY CAN. OUR VET TOLD US WE COULD TRY BENADRYL, BUT THAT MADE HER SICK. SHORT OF PUTTING HER ON SLEEP MEDICATION, DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS. AT THIS POINT, I AM WILLING TO TRY ANYTHING.
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LoriGP responded:
My 13 year old dog has very similar "anxiety attaches". The vet diagnosed them as a form of seizure. Not even similar to the grand mal seizure I've seen in other dogs. My dog also sometimes wakes seems not to know where he is. His eyes are very dilated when he has these seizures. If Benadryl doesn't work, ask your vet if you can try Valium. We use it for our dog's back issues, but it also seems to control the seizures. Also, pay attention to when it happens and what might be the triggers. It may just be random or it may have set triggers. Sounds identical to my dogs symptoms.
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bernadine Cruz, DVM responded:
Dear Isabelleno1,
I agree with Lori that another medication may be needed. It could be a seizure but I have not heard of one that only occurs at night on such a consistent basis. Panic attacks may be the best diagnosis.

I would wonder if there have been any changes in your home or schedule that may have precipitated the attacks. There are many medications that can be used to panic attacks. As with people, it can be a matter of trial and error to find the one that works best.

If after trying various medications and behavioral modification techniques (try leaving a night light on for your dog) you may need to have your veterinarian refer you to a board certified veterinary behaviorist. You can even find these veterinarians on line in case there are none in your area.

I wish sound sleep for you and your dog...
Dr. Bernadine
 
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brennansgranmom replied to LoriGP's response:
I had a 10 yr old min-pin that witnessed a huge tree fall during a tremendous storm. He was standing on our deck with me when it happened. Limbs, leaves, etc came crashing down around us but we were not hurt. However, he began that evening with trembling, whining, and the strangest thing: flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth rapidly like a snake. Our vet gave us valium and we would use it when he started with a spell. After about three weeks, he was back to normal.
 
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Rcputz responded:
I have the same exact situation with my Lab right now
we are trying ACE 25 mg and it seems to work Our Vet gave us the drug but I really don't want drugs as a long term solutions
Our lab also now acts scared in the house during the day but not outside
Inside he wants to find places to hide like under the table or desk or in the closet etc. And all this just happened in the last two weeks and we can't point to any event that may have occurred different from any other day....
 
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AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS responded:
No sleep for you or the dog is not a good thing. Some older dogs get day-night shifts and some begin to lose their senses partially so night becomes darker and spookier.

As Dr. Cruz suggested look for changes that might account for this and try the Benadryl. If those don't work, you might try 1 (small dog), or 2 (medium to large dog) or 3 (very large dog) milligrams of Melatonin from the health food store about 30 minutes before bedtime to see if this is helpful. Another trick that works for some dogs is a snug (not tight) body wrap. We don't understand why but it can be helpful for some dogs. White noise may help too.

Good luck, no sleep is not fun.
 
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Rcputz replied to Bonnie Beaver, BS, DVM, MS's response:
Thank you I will try the Melatonin and let everyone know how that goes

Richard
 
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PrincessAjax replied to Rcputz's response:
I am, having the same issues with my 10 yr old dog. How did the melatonin work? He has just started on amitriptyline and are using an anxiety wrap.
 
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PrincessAjax responded:
Have you discovered anything regarding your dogs behavior? We are going through the EXACT same thing and are coming to the end of the road. We are starting today to treat Samson for seizures another possibility is brain tumor.

I'd appreciate any news you have.
 
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tongmuls replied to brennansgranmom's response:
Hello. I have a 9year old westie. That starts to have these symptoms that you mentioned. I havent seen him witness anything bad, so I don't know what went wrong except me leaving the country for a week.
Can I know if your dog is still under the medicine or he has been fine since after that 3 week?

I would appreciate any help you could give me regarding this.

Thanks.
 
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tongmuls replied to brennansgranmom's response:
Hello. I have a 9year old westie that has the exact symptoms that your min pin had. Can I just ask if your min pin has been off the medication or he is still under the medication?
I have no idea why my westie is acting this way, but wouldn't like to keep him on a long term medication.
I would appreciate any information that you can give me.
Thanks.
 
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salocharly responded:
here you have a some very good information on anxiety attacks at nigth hope it helps SP
 
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NatiPerez replied to brennansgranmom's response:
I also have a min pin and currently, its 6:41AM and I've been up since 4:30 letting him have his attack and trying to wait until its over. He does that same thing of flicking his tongue in and out. The other thing that he does is go into a frenzy searching for anything he find on the floor (paper, fur, etc) to lick or swallow so he can gag.

The first night he ever did this, I thought he just needed to vomit. After the "fit" (as i call it) ended, he hadn't thrown up, just calmed down and went to sleep. I've only witnessed these fits happening in the middle of the night - and maybe about 1 night a month.

The other things that made me wonder if it was an anxiety attack (looked up this possibility tonight for the first time) is the fact that I've taken him to the vet for this and even sent his vet video of him doing it and they can't figure out what it was. I was told to just kinda let it happen unless it gets worse. Also, he tends to calm down if i'm carrying him and walking around. When i try to get back in bed with him, he freaks out all over again.

I'm scared of giving him any medication that the vet doesn't prescribe since he has always had a liver disorder so there are certain medications that his liver won't process. But i can't deal with these sleepless nights.
 
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rosie3 responded:
Hi, my Jack Russell who will be 10 is going through this exact thing. Her blood work came back normal.
Can you please tell me if you ever resolved the issue and if so how. Nothing seems to be working. I would appreciate your help.
 
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NannyGates replied to rosie3's response:
I am blown away to find so many folks who are having the same issues with their dogs! I found the list we gave to our vet just about a year ago, which I'll share. No blood work done (but we've wondered if that should be done.) The recommendation was to give him Benadryl. There for awhile, we gave him only 1/2 tablet each evening before bedtime, but got away from that. We never know when he's going to "space out" and have gone to using meds when needed. (Think we will go back to every evening, however!)

Two things I don't think have been mentioned: (Certain Noises) - He's always howled when he hears sirens, but he can be in bed (with us) and sound asleep and if there's any beeping noises or whistles on T.V., he's off the bed and on the run. And Lord have mercy if/when there's a weather alert!
(Dry Nose) - As a puppy and beyond, he had the typical wet, cool, black nose. In recent years, we've noticed his nose being rather dry and appears to be almost "crusty." (Have even used olive oil on it!)

So here's the list which we created for the vet:

1. Out of the blue, will act as though he's afraid...will try to get behind a bedside table, in the closet, or beside the bed & the wall.

2. This began happening about 6 - 8 weeks ago..although, not every night.

3. Happens late at night or wee hours of the morning.

4. Will either jump on our bed (or if already there) will try to get close to our faces and even over our heads.

5. Also, goes into our son's room and does the same thing. Sometimes, will sit on his bed and bark.(He also has a "cubby hole" under son's hospital bed - it's a safe place.

6. Son says the dog will stay on his bed for awhile and then go to the door, look out and come back to son's bed.

7. Yes, there are times when there have been thunder/weather conditions, but not the majority of time.

8. His heart-rate increases and he, usually, pants.

9. At one point we seemed to have the best luck when we would get him situated between us and put a pillow on his body and keep our hands/arms on him.

10. I don't recall this ever happening in the daylight hours. The only time it happened out-doors was late at night as we sat around a camp-fire. (Update: on rare occasions, he has these "attacks" in the daytime, yet they are less dramatic.)

11. In general, he is active, seems to eat and drink in standard proportions. Although, for as "short" as he is....I guess we worry that he might be too heavy. (Btw, he's a mutt...however, best represents an Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie.)

12. Have noticed that, for quite some time, his nose has been rather dry and rough.....rarely, cool and moist.

Whaddya think?!



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