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Guest GentleHugs

Just a suggestion here but it has worked in the past before when a friend of mine was trying to figure out if her Grey was seizing or not. Of course, when she described the episode to me, it clicked *seizure* in my head but of course, I'm not a vet either.

 

Her vet wasn't fully convinced upon her description of each event or episode so I suggested that she video tape the episode and show it to her vet.

 

Bingo! The tape was enough to show that her Grey was in fact having seizure episodes. The vet said from now on, if there's a question of whether a dog is experiencing seizures or not, he was going to request his client to video tape it - especially if he could not witness the event itself and the description wasn't enough to obviously prove a seizure related event.

 

If you have access to a camcorder, video tape him the next time he exhibits this behavior and show it to the vet. The old adage a picture is worth a thousand words sometimes holds more water than anything else.

 

Thanks for not giving up on him...

 

GentleHugs,

Therese and the girls

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Her vet wasn't fully convinced upon her description of each event or episode so I suggested that she video tape the episode and show it to her vet.

 

Bingo! The tape was enough to show that her Grey was in fact having seizure episodes.

 

Bingo! is right, Therese. I bought a video camera years ago for the sole purpose of showing vets what the animals were doing at home. It works like a charm. I never seem to use the camera for anything else. :lol

 

Marcia in SC

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Guest TBSFlame
That must have been so scary for you.

We had one foster here with sleep and space aggression. Her reactions were lightening fast. Over time I trusted her and let her on the bed with me with no problem. Until one night I moved (and surely I must haved moved in my sleep before) and she jumped up to snap at me. I called her name and she stopped, blinked and looked like she didn't know how she'd gotten into that position. No more bed sharing with her.

So I am thinking maybe it is possible for sleep aggression to cause this, even with Gabe standing over you.

Thank you for making the effort to find a cause for Gabe's problem.

I do think it is possible for it to be the sleep agression. Our first grey had sleep agression and he was the sweetest most gentle dog you would ever want but if awaken while sleeping he was lighting fast and would jump up and snap/bark. He would have his eyes open but not seem to know where he was or what he was doing there when he came out of it. It did get better as he aged but he was not fun to sleep with.

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Wow- I've been thinking about you and what's been going on. I don't know a whole lot about seizures, but this sounds a lot like one.

 

Please update after the tests. Thank you for not giving up on him. He sounds like a greyt dog. Poor thing.

 

Hugs to the both of you.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Guest widowcali

I would take him to the vet. When you described what happened I immediatly thought seizure of some type. Especially since you said that when you put the blanket between you it broke his trance or whatever.

 

I hope everything works out okay.

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We have homes in Kansas and Oklahoma, since I attend law school at OU Monday-Wednesday. Our vet has been in touch with a neurologist at Kansas State, who says he would do the MRI for roughly $1,000, not including any blood work that they'd need to do beforehand and not including the fees for any meeting with us. Less expensive than some places, I'm sure, but still a lot of money. We're perfectly willing to spend it if it will help Gabe, but our vet seems to think it won't show anything. If the cause were a brain tumor, we would've likely seen other signs by now.

 

Your post did remind me, however, that I should try Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater. It's an agricultural school and almost certainly has someone specializing in veterinary neurology.

 

 

The vet school at K-State has extensive experience with Greyhounds. That's where Dr. Fenwick practiced until he went to Va. State.

Ann

 

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Guest rsqdogsmom

The behavior you have described , while fairly rare in dogs, is increasing in frequency in humans.

I am drawing a total blank as to the medical term used, but there have been several studies done on

this syndrome in recent years.

 

The most notorious case involved a man who KILLED his wife while asleep and had NO memory of the incident.

He was acquitted after tapes of him in the hospital showed him performing "normal" tasks, like eating, dressing,

making toast and 'watching' TV all while clinically asleep and with him having NO awareness of his behavior.

There have even been well documented cases of people driving a car while 'asleep', over-eating to the point of

bloat and punching holes in walls while 'fighting' with non-existant assailants. :eek

 

Quite a number of these cases involve VIOLENCE towards others and in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE the people have

been described as appearing EXACTLY as you have described Gabe:

wide open eyes, apparently awake but with a 'glazed' expression;

inability to get the person to 'snap out of it' despite calling their name;

appearing to be 'in a trance' and unable to respond to normal stimuli;

complete LACK of any memory of their behavior while in this state and, MOST telling,

in EACH instance the violence was UNPROVOKED and directed towards someone the person

was known to 'love' prior to AND after the attack.

 

Again, I cannot recall right now what the treatment was for these people, however, I DO recall that all of this

was SLEEP related and monitored at sleep clinics when it was determined BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT

that the people were NOT and COULD NOT be faking.

 

I don't know if this info helps but, you could look on the web and maybe find out more about what

the DIAGNOSIS was and the treatment for the PEOPLE and perhaps that will help YOU help your VET

help GABE. :heart:hope

 

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Guest shelbygirl07

My husband has Parasomnia. He gets up in the middle of the night and wanders the house. He can hold a full conversation with you and you won't even know that he was sleeping. I caught him outside in the middle of the winter, just wearing his boxers, sitting in his Mustang with the engine running. Thank god that car is loud because he could have just drove off and caused himself or someone else harm if i didn't wake up. There is a certain way to talk to a parasomniac to get them to comply and return to bed. I had to as much research and talk to a bunch of doctors to learn the correct way to help him. When we were first together, i tried to coax him back to bed but it ended up being the wrong way and he almost punched me in the face. He was having a nightmare and acting it out so i tried to help but helped the wrong way..

I have seen this happen in all breeds of dogs. More so in Rotties, who suffer from sleep aggression then any other breed that comes into the hospital.

Our Vet gives this advice to owners who have dogs that have sleep agression (which is very similar to parasomnia in humans):

Come up with a "Safety word" for your dog. What is a "Safety WOrd" ? It's a word that corrisponds to a positive state of mind when the dog is awake. If the dog cuddles with you, use a word or phrase that signifies what the dog is doing. For instance: "Cuddle mamma" or "snuggles" or something that you say to the dog over and over again when they are awake and exibiting a behavior that is positive. Over time with saying this phrase or word to your dog, they will associate it with positive and non aggressive behavior.

WHen the dog has a moment like the one that you just exerienced, snap your fingers, say the dog's name and the safety word in a soft but stern voice. SNAP Gabe, snuggles.... and if the dog knows the word and it has been said enough in a positive state of mind, the dog should snap out of the aggression. DO NOT USE THE SAFTEY WORD FOR ANY OTHER COMMAND BESIDES THIS ONE.... that is where most pet owners go wrong. They end up using the saftey word as a command when the dog is awake and showing aggression. If you do this, you will need to start all over with another word or phrase. THink of this word as "Sterile". It has only one purpose and that is a command while the dog is asleep.

Now, this works as part of a treatment program if the dog does have underlying medical issues. Once you get the health concerns out of the way, you can work on the mental aspect of the problem. I have a safety word with SHelby so that this can be avoided.

I have one with my husband too...... "soft fluffy bunnies". how funny is that???? LMAO

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Why not go to Kansas State for a consult if they have experience with greys? They might have seen this before.

 

Sending prayers.

 

Although we haven't yet visited Kansas State, our vet has been in touch with the vets there. He's also posted our case on behavioral and internal medicine listserves, to see whether anyone has any ideas. Lots of minds are working on it - we just don't have any answers yet.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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The behavior you have described , while fairly rare in dogs, is increasing in frequency in humans.

I am drawing a total blank as to the medical term used, but there have been several studies done on

this syndrome in recent years.

 

The most notorious case involved a man who KILLED his wife while asleep and had NO memory of the incident.

He was acquitted after tapes of him in the hospital showed him performing "normal" tasks, like eating, dressing,

making toast and 'watching' TV all while clinically asleep and with him having NO awareness of his behavior.

There have even been well documented cases of people driving a car while 'asleep', over-eating to the point of

bloat and punching holes in walls while 'fighting' with non-existant assailants. :eek

 

Quite a number of these cases involve VIOLENCE towards others and in EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE the people have

been described as appearing EXACTLY as you have described Gabe:

wide open eyes, apparently awake but with a 'glazed' expression;

inability to get the person to 'snap out of it' despite calling their name;

appearing to be 'in a trance' and unable to respond to normal stimuli;

complete LACK of any memory of their behavior while in this state and, MOST telling,

in EACH instance the violence was UNPROVOKED and directed towards someone the person

was known to 'love' prior to AND after the attack.

 

Again, I cannot recall right now what the treatment was for these people, however, I DO recall that all of this

was SLEEP related and monitored at sleep clinics when it was determined BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT

that the people were NOT and COULD NOT be faking.

 

I don't know if this info helps but, you could look on the web and maybe find out more about what

the DIAGNOSIS was and the treatment for the PEOPLE and perhaps that will help YOU help your VET

help GABE. :heart:hope

 

 

My husband has Parasomnia. He gets up in the middle of the night and wanders the house. He can hold a full conversation with you and you won't even know that he was sleeping. I caught him outside in the middle of the winter, just wearing his boxers, sitting in his Mustang with the engine running. Thank god that car is loud because he could have just drove off and caused himself or someone else harm if i didn't wake up. There is a certain way to talk to a parasomniac to get them to comply and return to bed. I had to as much research and talk to a bunch of doctors to learn the correct way to help him. When we were first together, i tried to coax him back to bed but it ended up being the wrong way and he almost punched me in the face. He was having a nightmare and acting it out so i tried to help but helped the wrong way..

I have seen this happen in all breeds of dogs. More so in Rotties, who suffer from sleep aggression then any other breed that comes into the hospital.

Our Vet gives this advice to owners who have dogs that have sleep agression (which is very similar to parasomnia in humans):

Come up with a "Safety word" for your dog. What is a "Safety WOrd" ? It's a word that corrisponds to a positive state of mind when the dog is awake. If the dog cuddles with you, use a word or phrase that signifies what the dog is doing. For instance: "Cuddle mamma" or "snuggles" or something that you say to the dog over and over again when they are awake and exibiting a behavior that is positive. Over time with saying this phrase or word to your dog, they will associate it with positive and non aggressive behavior.

WHen the dog has a moment like the one that you just exerienced, snap your fingers, say the dog's name and the safety word in a soft but stern voice. SNAP Gabe, snuggles.... and if the dog knows the word and it has been said enough in a positive state of mind, the dog should snap out of the aggression. DO NOT USE THE SAFTEY WORD FOR ANY OTHER COMMAND BESIDES THIS ONE.... that is where most pet owners go wrong. They end up using the saftey word as a command when the dog is awake and showing aggression. If you do this, you will need to start all over with another word or phrase. THink of this word as "Sterile". It has only one purpose and that is a command while the dog is asleep.

Now, this works as part of a treatment program if the dog does have underlying medical issues. Once you get the health concerns out of the way, you can work on the mental aspect of the problem. I have a safety word with SHelby so that this can be avoided.

I have one with my husband too...... "soft fluffy bunnies". how funny is that???? LMAO

 

Thank you both SO much! I haven't had a chance to read too in-depth (I have an Evidence final tomorrow - ugh!!) but what I have read sounds more like what we've experienced than anything else so far. I'll definitely ask our vet about this. You've given me hope that we might actually figure this thing out.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest LindsaySF
Has anyone else dealt with anything like this before?

Yes, with my boy Teagan. But I have never posted publically about it before. I honestly thought I was the only person dealing with this!

 

 

I’d been asleep for about twenty minutes when I woke up to find Gabe standing over me. He was growling, teeth bared, and before I could react at all, he lunged and bit me several times. He seemed to be in a trance and didn’t respond to my yelling his name, yelling no or my screaming. I tried to push him off but couldn’t, so I finally pulled a blanket up between us. Once I did this, it seemed to break his focus, and he was suddenly back to his old self, happily hopping off the bed when I ordered him off. He didn't seem to know what had happened.

Oddly, it happened at about the same time of day as the attack last month - just before 9am. I was in bed, surfing the internet, when I heard him start to growl. Nothing seemed to have provoked it - he was by himself on his bed, near the foot of my bed. Diamond was on her bed, to the right of mine. I sat up, and the growling and snarling got louder. It wasn't the low, irritated growl we usually associate with his sleep aggression - it was really throaty and vicious-sounding (the Old Yeller rabies scenes come to mind), and he was showing his teeth. He had a glazed look but seemed to be fully awake - eyes open, sitting up, moving (at one point, he turned his head to look at Diamond). He didn't respond at all to his name. The really spooky part was that he did this for a LONG time. I'd estimate a minute to a minute and a half. Long enough that I had time to debate whether I should try to get Diamond out of the room (she was still sleeping). I ultimately decided that any movement on my part or hers was a bad idea at that point.

 

It all stopped just as suddenly as it started. Gabe kind of blinked, yawned, and stretched and nestled to make himself more comfortable in his bed. He was very suddenly my sweet boy again, as if it hadn't happened.

This is almost exactly what Teagan has done to me on multiple occasions. I have woken up to him standing over me and growling, but he seemed quite scared (tail tucked far under him, hunched over posture, etc). There was nothing dominant about his pose, it was as if he was terrified I would move, and he was 'holding me at bay'. He was growling and staring at me, but there was a glazed over look in his eyes.

 

If I freeze in place, he stops after 30 seconds to a minute and gets off the bed (he seems to snap out of it). If I move (like I did the very first time this happened), he attacks. Thankfully it was a very mild bite the first time (barely broke the skin) because I put the blanket between us. But now he wears a muzzle at night and he is not allowed on the bed. Occasionally he will sneak up, but he is fine with the muzzle on.

 

His episodes are sporadic and I can't find a pattern to them. He will go weeks of not getting on the bed at all, or getting on the bed and not having an episode. Then some weeks he has an episode nearly every night. He is perfect in all other areas, and has NEVER shown aggression towards any people, young or old, man or woman, when he is totally awake. I can do his nails, brush and scale his teeth, roll him onto his back, etc. He is an easy-going and somewhat submissive (but not fearful) dog with people, which is why I'm sure his aggression issue at night has nothing to do with dominance.

 

 

However, my understanding of sleep aggression is that it’s a reflex. In order to do what he did this morning, he had to stand up, turn around, and cross the full length of the bed. He also paused before he attacked. For a few seconds when I woke up, he was standing over me, growling. (Also, I don’t think I was close enough to touch/bump Gabe). It seems too much to be reflexive.

I thought this at first with Teagan. My understanding of sleep aggression was a "startle reflex" where the dog did a growl/snap, until they were fully awake and realized who it was. But Teagan seemed to freak out without me even touching him, and it seemed to take him a very long time to 'snap out of it'. And once he did, he retreated, almost as if he knew something was wrong (I suppose me screaming at him might have given that away!) Calling his name won't snap him out of it, though sometimes a squirt of water from a spray bottle will.

 

I am pretty sure it is sleep aggression because it has only ever happened when he is sleeping, and only when he is in a very deep sleep. And interestingly, it has only happened at night, or when it is darker in the room, and usually when I am sleeping/reclining as well. He has let out the occasional growl during the day, but these 'episodes' only happen here in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning, or when I am totally asleep.

 

I did mention it to my vet, but there was talk of brain tumors (he has no other symptoms of this), MRI's (I can't afford that), rage syndrome (doesn't fit), etc. I have been thinking that it is just a very serious case of sleep aggression (lucky me), and I am surprised and somewhat relieved to see another person experiencing this.

 

I saw REM Behavior Disorder mentioned in your other thread and I am going to research that ASAP, thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Thank you SO much for this, Lindsay. It's a huge relief to know that I'm not the only one going through this. If you'd like, I'd be happy to pass on the information I've found on REM Behavior Disorder and to let you know what the neurologist thinks after we've seen him.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest friedmaf

Just wondering if there was an update to this story? Did the tests find anything wrong or is it strickly behavoiral? I have a similar situation and would really like to know if there was a resolution.

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I just read this whole thread and your description sounds just like Blake, who turned 7 in Sept. He turns viscious in his sleep, attacked me the one and only time he was allowed on the bed at night, about 1 to 1 1/2 years ago. He has come up off his bed while sleeping; growling, snarling and ready to attack anyone and anything that comes near him and it last from 1 -2 minutes, and he goes right back to sleep or stretches and goes for a drink. When he's in attack mode he doesn't respond to his name or sounds. After talking to 3 vets, and eliminating hypothyroidism, tumor because there was no other symptoms over time, we figured his behavior was similar to night terrors that people can have. He's smart, well behaved most of the time, has obedience training, but can turn into Cujo in his sleep, without warning or provocation.

 

Our solution is to have him sleep in the living room by himself at night, absolutely no touching him while he's sleeping and making sure he's fully awake and moving before touching him. All the dogs seem to sense that he shouldn't be approached while sleeping so they stay away from him when he's on his bed. One vet mentioned putting Blake on Prozac, but I opted to not go with meds and just make sure everyone is safe.

 

I still periodically hear him at night going into attack mode, but everyone is safe and he goes right back to sleep.

 

I know how scary it is. Blake has scared me numerous times, but we love him and his little quirks. We lovingly call him our problem child.

Edited by AngelWhispers

Denise & Strider, Blake, Fields, Frank, FlippyDoo, and Momma Gail.

The Bridge Angels Zack(Ags Marble Chip) 4/25/93-2/16/06, Wanda(Rainier Rowanda) 12/14/94-06/09/06, Brooke/Boogers(Rainier Restive) 01/01/99-10/20/08, Warlock(Rainier Rammer) 4/29/99-10/01/09), Patsie(Frisky Patsy) 5/17/96-2/05/10, Hatter(Cals Madhatter) 6/3/00-3/11/10, Dodger(Rainier Ransack) 4/29/99-4/16/10, and Sparkle(Okie Sparkle) 11/8/2000-1/28/11

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