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Night Terrors - Update


Guest lanielovesgreys
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Guest lanielovesgreys

I posted a while back about Ozzy, our 4 year old boy who had some new sleep aggression behavior. While sleep aggression is semi-common, I thought it was weird that it just showed up one day. If he's sleeping at my feet and I accidentally put my feet on him or ugh, step on him (even his face once, sorry buddy!), there are no problems. But it's another thing all together if it's a dog. He doesn't snap often, just a low growl.

 

But at night, it's bad. He'll wake up in the middle of the night growling and barking like he's in a dog fight. It used to just be a bark or two, but now it's lots of barking until we get up and turn on the light. P.S. we've tried a nightlight in case it's the darkness that's an issue. We've also tried a crate covered up so it's like a cave, but he is absolutely terrified of it. This happens every night, sometimes 4-5 times. It's for sure getting worse.

 

We took him to the vet and did a bunch of blood work and found nothing abnormal. We haven't gone any further, and maybe we should (some kind of brain scan?). The vet found some stiffness in his spine, and gave up gabapentin to try. It works, for the most part (most nights no growling or barking), but I think it's only working because it's a sedative. He's our 5th grey and I haven't had one on arthritis/LS meds at 4 before. Not to say it can't happen or isn't right for my boy. I'm not a vet.

 

I just don't even know what to do next. I thought about reaching out to the rescue group, but I figure this group may have more collective knowledge. If this was your dog, what would you do?

 

 

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Veterinary behaviorist

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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At this point, when your regular vet is offering no real solutions or diagnosis, I would opt for a specialist - probably a neurologist. But you need to figure out in advance how far you want to go with treatment and finding out what the issue is - a neuro will likely recommend an MRI/CT of his spine and brain; will knowing these results change what you would be willing to do to treat your dog? Do you have insurance that would cover any advanced treatment?

 

A veterinary behaviorist is also a good route to explore. Make sure they are certified, use only positive reinforcement for training, and, if possible, familiar with working with greyhounds. Your adoption group may be able to give you a reference for one in your area. You should try and video several of these episodes. Either set up a cam, or keep your phone handy at night. Write down a description of an episode in as much detail as you can remember. Begin to keep a log of activities and daily routine, much as you would if he were having seizures - your daily schedule, food eaten, treats, activity level, any trips or car rides, visitors, dog encounters, and of course his episodes.

 

It's good to keep remembering that he likely can't control what's happening, and may not even be aware of what's going on as he's having an episode. Do what you need to do to keep everyone safe.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest Scouts_mom

I wonder if his night vision is going? I don't know if it is even possible, or why it would happen, or if anything could be done about it. Just a thought.

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Guest AtticusMom

You're right about the gabapentin. It does have a sedative effect for our greys, especially when they first start taking it. Can you ask your vet to refer you to a specialist? We have taken a couple of our pets to a neurologist, which was very helpful. Best wishes.

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Sounds like felix when his lower back is bothering him. The weather,running etc all plays a part in how they feel. He shows his pain either by lying around a lot or the same snarky actions. For him metacam made a difference but his appetite declined after a while. I'm trying to figure the dosage.

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Sounds like felix when his lower back is bothering him. The weather,running etc all plays a part in how they feel. He shows his pain either by lying around a lot or the same snarky actions. For him metacam made a difference but his appetite declined after a while. I'm trying to figure the dosage.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Noosh

I suppose any thoughts can help at this point...

We are fostering a large 4 year old boy, who on the second night with us, woke with barking, growling and squealing, and his legs were moving like he was running, even though he was still laying on his bed. It was quite disturbing for us all. We weren't sure if he was awake or not, before we called his name to wake him just in case. We were able to calm him down, and we were able to go back to sleep.

A call the next day to the Adoption Centre Vet suggested perhaps it was a cramp. It can really hurt! We give him a magnesium tablet ( just pharmacy or supermarket brand ) as advised, and he hasn't had one since.

I have since checked with a breeder and other owners, and some have had the same experience with their dogs. They all suggested a Magnesium supplement daily. This is very innocuous, with no danger to your dogs health.

Hope you find a answer :hope

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I suppose any thoughts can help at this point...

We are fostering a large 4 year old boy, who on the second night with us, woke with barking, growling and squealing, and his legs were moving like he was running, even though he was still laying on his bed. It was quite disturbing for us all. We weren't sure if he was awake or not, before we called his name to wake him just in case. We were able to calm him down, and we were able to go back to sleep.

A call the next day to the Adoption Centre Vet suggested perhaps it was a cramp. It can really hurt! We give him a magnesium tablet ( just pharmacy or supermarket brand ) as advised, and he hasn't had one since.

I have since checked with a breeder and other owners, and some have had the same experience with their dogs. They all suggested a Magnesium supplement daily. This is very innocuous, with no danger to your dogs health.

Hope you find a answer :hope

Myrtle does this too! When I run to check on her, her back leg was as hard as a rock! She also cramps, but only at night. I give her a nightly body rub before bed and very seldom do we have another incident. Good Luck!

 

I think I would get another opinion from another vet. Could he be having a seizure?

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