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Senior Greyhound - Sudden Anxiety


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Hello All,

I am Mr. Spock’s daddy. For all you Star Trek geeks out there, no my name is not Sarek. Mr. Spock turned 12 on November 2nd.
Mr. Spock’s eyesight has been declining over the past year and is now not very good. His hearing is very good though. In the past month or so he has become very anxious, especially at night, panting, pacing and often waking us up at 2am. We take him out just in case he needs to go to the bathroom, which sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t. When he goes to lay down on his beds he goes around and around, lays down and then gets right back up again. Eventually he stays down. During the day he does much better. The vet did blood work which came back normal. His urine sample was a bit high in protein, but otherwise he checks out as a pretty healthy 12 year old. He’s eating, drinking, peeing and pooping ok. I take him for a mile-ish walk every morning, no limping or detectable pain. He takes one Dasuquin (with MSM) a day and lately he’s been on gabapentin every 8 - 12 hours and deracoxib before bed to help him sleep. The meds help a little. 
Any suggestions? Could be be freaked out that his eyesight is declining? Could this be some sort of depression or worse some sort of dementia? This all came on pretty quickly. Thanks in advance for your suggestions, thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,

Spock’s Daddy 

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Is there a noise that is disturbing him that he can only hear at night when everything else is silent? Does your heating switch on at that time or a plane flies overhead?

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Yes, it could be dementia. But see if you can think of things that have changed. Are you keeping windows open at night? Could he be hearing sounds through open windows that he wasn't hearing previously? (A neighbor's air conditioner coming on? Mine roars like a jet plane.) A few years ago, Georgia Department of Transportation was adding an expressway bridge about 2 miles from my condo, and they were driving piles into the ground--usually at night, when there was less traffic on the roads. I could hear it when we were outside for a walk, so I'm sure my two greyhounds heard it, too. A neighbor going to work at an odd hour--or coming home? Years ago, my first greyhound's favorite neighbor was a bartender who got off work at 2am; she learned to recognize the sound of his pickup over all other traffic noises. (He's not a bartender any more, but he's still the dogs' favorite neighbor...and every dog I've had has learned to recognize the sound of his truck. Meanwhile, his vocal Australian shepherd hears us when we go out for a walk, and I'm sure Butch wants to know why his dog is waking him up at night.) My 12-year-old greyhound started freaking out over the summer and insisting on going back in the house when she heard leaf-blowers...from a neighboring condo complex. She's not afraid of the blowers in our neighborhood; she can see the landscapers and see what they're doing. But leaf-blowers from a distance, when she can't see the people, just buzz and sound like the world's largest hornets, and they terrified her. 

Ask your vet. Ask about CBD chews to calm your boy--one tasty treat at bedtime might smooth over everything. (My two each get a CBD chew during thunderstorms. They expect them, and I'm not sure the dogs aren't hoping for thunder every time we get rain.)

 

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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1 hour ago, HeyRunDog said:

Is there a noise that is disturbing him that he can only hear at night when everything else is silent? Does your heating switch on at that time or a plane flies overhead?

Great point, but no. Thx 

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1 hour ago, KF_in_Georgia said:

Yes, it could be dementia. But see if you can think of things that have changed. Are you keeping windows open at night? Could he be hearing sounds through open windows that he wasn't hearing previously? (A neighbor's air conditioner coming on? Mine roars like a jet plane.) A few years ago, Georgia Department of Transportation was adding an expressway bridge about 2 miles from my condo, and they were driving piles into the ground--usually at night, when there was less traffic on the roads. I could hear it when we were outside for a walk, so I'm sure my two greyhounds heard it, too. A neighbor going to work at an odd hour--or coming home? Years ago, my first greyhound's favorite neighbor was a bartender who got off work at 2am; she learned to recognize the sound of his pickup over all other traffic noises. (He's not a bartender any more, but he's still the dogs' favorite neighbor...and every dog I've had has learned to recognize the sound of his truck. Meanwhile, his vocal Australian shepherd hears us when we go out for a walk, and I'm sure Butch wants to know why his dog is waking him up at night.) My 12-year-old greyhound started freaking out over the summer and insisting on going back in the house when she heard leaf-blowers...from a neighboring condo complex. She's not afraid of the blowers in our neighborhood; she can see the landscapers and see what they're doing. But leaf-blowers from a distance, when she can't see the people, just buzz and sound like the world's largest hornets, and they terrified her. 

Ask your vet. Ask about CBD chews to calm your boy--one tasty treat at bedtime might smooth over everything. (My two each get a CBD chew during thunderstorms. They expect them, and I'm not sure the dogs aren't hoping for thunder every time we get rain.)

 

Hi and thank you for your thoughtfulness. No strange or new sounds in the house (or outside). I know what you’re talking about because if the fire alarm low battery beep goes off anywhere in the house it drives him nuts. Quiet as a mouse around here. 
Great suggestion about the CBD chews. 
Thank you for your reply and thoughtfulness. 
 

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Hi Spock's Daddy - fellow MA resident!  I'm sorry Mr. Spock is going through this.  I'm wondering if it could be mostly due to his loss of sight. I know you said it has declined over the last year and he now has very little sight.  If he has lost pretty much all sight now, even with the gradual loss, he may be still adjusting to that.  Even though the house is quiet and the routine's are the same, he may be having a bit of trouble differentiating between night and day.  He may be anxious, too, about his sight loss.  If that is the case, maybe in a little time he'll be better.  I say this because my Lucas is now blind - he's younger than Mr. Spock - only 7 years old.  His blindness is a heredity condition and he went blind gradually over a couple of years.  It's been the last 3-4 months or so that he's been pretty much completely blind.  I share this because even now, occasionally, Lucas will wake up in the middle of the night and seem to "lose his bearings" - be a little anxious,want to come over to me for attention, and sometimes not able to find the doorway of the room etc.  One night he got up, had trouble with figuring out where he was and was very anxious.  Over the last month or two he has improved and these things happen less and less.  Give your boy a hug from me.

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12 minutes ago, BatterseaBrindl said:

Perhaps he is cold and a light fleece coat may help.   :nod

Often it is the simplest of things like that which can make a big difference. Peggy, now 13, often shrugs off her fleece blanket and lies on it, only to become unsettled by cold; putting a new blanket over her usually helps. I tried a fleece coat but then she can get too hot.

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Do you or could you leave a small nightlight on for him? We use the plug-in or battery operated holiday window candles, they provide just enough of a glow. Was your vet able to give you some idea of how much sight Mr Spock might have remaining? The nighttime anxiety could certainly be a result of the transition as his sight diminishes. I also wonder if it is the senior anxiety we often see as they simply age. A bit of Trazadone has helped here and is an option you might discuss with your vet. Ask too about Gabapentin, it has done wonders for my seniors. Agree with the others about offering a blanket, as well as ensuring that the bottom layer of his bed is warm and snuggly. You're a good dog dad, hang in there.

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You might want to get a small air filter device for your bedroom - one that makes a soft hum. The noise could help your hound to orient himself to where he is located when he wakes up. The suggestion about a light could also help depending on how much sight he has.  Another option is to associate a smell with the room he sleeps in - like maybe cinnamon or lavender as a way to help him locate himself in the house.

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I've been dealing with something like this with Lila (now 14.2) for a couple years. It could be lots of stuff and there are lots of good suggestions here. My first assumption is that it is some kind of pain issue. It took a really long time and trying multiple things with Lila. For her, it ended up being her tummy. Things that she ate without issue for years now give her some gastric distress and she's doing much better on a 100% home cooked diet. She also had a bad reaction to Gabapentin, which resulted in more pacing and panting.

It can be a lot of trial and error. I hope you can find a resolution, it is so hard to see them in distress!

Lila Football
Jerilyn, devoted Mistress to Lila (Good Looking)
 
 

 

 

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So many great advices. I would suggest a night light, too. It helped Andy a lot when he got older. Plus I started feeding him hypericum and gingko as herbs on his food - hxpericum for all neurological issues and gingko to increase the blood flow in his brain. 

He also reacted very positively to cbd oil with dmso.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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Hi Spock!  my boy Mack would pace around and want to go in and out of the house all night when he was uncomfortable, and i assume in pain. He passed 3 weeks ago and however turned 13 back in July.  His main issue was a 75-80% clogged aortic valve.  This problem prevented good blood flow and his back legs, which were weak.  He still trotted around, and up until the day before he passed, we were walking in the bushy trails. [sorry I just got sad there :(  ]

Check Spock's feet for temperature. Are any colder than the other.  Don't panic right away if one is colder as my girl sometimes gets a cold foot when she sleeps on it.  Just monitor his feet ever few hours.  This is why having 2 greyhounds is good, so you can compare :)  

Also, Mack was weaker in the rear end, so he we have compensate with the front legs and would get stiff shoulders and  a stiff neck.  When i would slide my finders up and down his back/body he would flinch or have a muscle spaz at the shoulders.  So check for this.   He was getting acupuncture for this and it helped a lot !!!

I would agree with above, the person who said the Gab meds may be an issue.  my vet gave us Traumacare for pain.

Also RE: the eyes, does he flinch when you put your hand to his eyes?   I would bug Mack with this as i was worried about his eye sight too.  (He had a stroke in Jan 2020 but bounced back wonderfully...for his age)
 

Good luck and God bless!!!

 

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