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Night Anxiety


Guest ronansmom
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Guest ronansmom

Mac will be five in August. We got him days after his second birthday. Recently, within the past few months, he has exhibited what I can only describe as night anxiety. Around 2:00 AM he will whine, growl and/or bark as well as pace. Although I can't swear he doesn't hear noises, I don't hear anything and windows are closed for air conditioning. This can go on for as long as, or longer than one hour. He sleeps in our bedroom either on his dog bed or in our bed. Our other greyhound, six years old, also sleeps in our room and is unaffected by Mac's actions. We bought the thundershirt to help him with storms, but I understand it should not be on for long periods of time. Am I right in that thought? I do give him Benedryl for storms but don't want to make it a nightly thing. Thinking of trying rescue remedy.

Any suggestions?

 

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It could be a lot of things. Five seems too young to have a cognitive dysfunction problem that affects his day-night behavior patterns, but it's not totally impossible. It could be a source of pain that he doesn't show during the day, but something that bothers him more at night. Possible hearing or vision problems. Someone at the neurologist's office once told me their dog did a similar pacing/panting nighttime behavior because he was having seizures at night. I'd go to your vet and rule out some of these things. If it's truly just anxiety, the vet can prescribe a medication to help him relax. I know people are sometimes reluctant to try anxiety meds, but in this situation, he could really benefit. Think of how miserable it must be to never get a good night's sleep.

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We just went through this with our 11-1/2 year old, sort of. He didn't whine, but he'd jump up every 20 minutes, and pace and pant. He did it occasionally during the day but it was mostly night. It appears to have been a bad resurgence of hookworms. Every time we treat for them, the behavior stops. (We're having to do multiple rounds of worming, and we can get Panacur OTC in our state, don't know about others.) Given your dog's youth, I'd suspect something like this before I'd suspect cognitive issues. In any case, good luck!

 

ETA: We used Benedryl to knock him out, but it never really solved the problem. And it got to where even that didn't work.

 

I should add that there is also a pain issue in our case, but we don't think that was responsible for the night time behavior.

Edited by greyhead
Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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He's trying to tell you something. Don't know whether you live in a city or rural area, or whether your hound is prey driven, but since dogs' hearing ability is unbelievably keen, I wonder if he's hearing a wild animal on it's nightly route, or unlikely but maybe a neighbor coming home from a late work shift...

 

Some questions come to mind:

What time does he eat his last meal before bedtime?

What time is his last evening outing?

Have you taken him outside when he awakens at 2:00 AM?

If so, what does he do while he's outside?

Is he on any medications that may have panting or anxiety as side effects?

Can you think of anything that's changed for him or his environment since this started?

Since you mentioned it's been happening for months, I'd assume it's not fireworks in the distance.

 

Rather than treating his symptoms, it would be wonderful to try to pinpoint the root cause.

You're right about Thundershirts not being worn too long.

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