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Older Dog Started Barking All Night Please help!

#1 User is offline   k9kutz 

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:38 AM

Hi Everyone
Not sure this is exactly the right place to post this but did not really know where to post it, anyway here goes.

I have an old Pekingese (approx 13 years old) who I rescued about 5 years ago. Since Sunday night she has started barking all night long, it usually starts somewhere around midnight and ends about 7 am once we are finally up and getting ready for work. She sleeps in her own bed on the floor in the bedroom she goes out for final wee's about 10pm and then I put her in her bed, she is old and not very mobile as she has very bad but sadly inoperable luxating patella's. Nothing in here routine or life has changed in the last week? when it first started on Sunday night I tried ignoring her, when it did not stop I told her in a firm voice "Quite!", she still did not stop, I thought perhaps she needed to go the toilet I took her out a few times in the course of the night and she did nothing, or will do a wee but come straight back in and within 5 minutes start barking again. I try to ignore her as I donít want to reinforce the behaviour but it is just relentless "woof woof woof!" and I worry about the neighbours as late at night the sound travels. She has started getting out of her bed and wondering around the house barking at night, I have tried putting her on the bed and she still barks, she is quite during the day and does spend all day asleep although this is what she has done for the last 5 or so years I have had her. With her age and health she is not the sort of dog that you can take for a walk or really be active, and as we are at work all day she is home asleep all day.

This one really has me stumped I am about to call my vet and have a chat to her to see if she has any suggestions, but thought I would see if any of you guys had any thoughts or suggestions, the only thing I am thinking is some sort of dementia, although it has come on very suddenly. Like I said she is eating, drinking, going to the toilet and acting normal in every other way except the all night barking.

Any thoughts would be appreciated I have not had more than 2 hours sleep in the last 4 nights and am at my wits end with her.

Thanks,
Brad.

#2 User is offline   Nekhbet 

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:51 AM

I would get the vet to give the dog a good go over. Ear problems, eye problems, pain etc can all contribute to this behavior so if there is no medical reason for it then maybe there is a new cat/animal in the neighbourhood (or even in your rood/walls?!?) causing her grief.

Could she possibly be becoming slightly senile? (no offense meant)

#3 User is offline   k9kutz 

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:50 AM

Thanks for your input Nekhbet.
I tried calling my vet but sheís not in today so I will call tomorrow. I have given her a once over (I worked as a vet nurse previously and have since been in grooming for 6years) and everything looks ok but I will still get my vet to give her a once over of course.

No offence taken the only thing I can think of is that she has gone senile, my other old girl who I sent to the bridge 12 months ago went senile but it was a gradual process over about 6 months before she was really bad, that was very hard to see and deal with but at least she did it quietly, donít know how I am going to manage Rosie if she is to bark all night as part of her senility.

#4 User is offline   Ons 

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 11:55 AM

I was thinking along the same lines as Nekbet as well

I'm also wondering if she may feel safer if put in a crate at night? with a warm blanket and some water, that may make her feel more settled and less inclined to bark.

poor little sausage, I hope a solution is found :rofl:

#5 User is offline   mita 

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:09 PM

Your Peke may be a bit older than 13 yrs. There's a condition that can affect older dogs. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. One of the number of possible symptoms that starts creeping up, is barking for no reason at night. It's like how signs of dementia start creeping up in some ageing humans.
Talk to your vet about this possibility. Also one of the DOLers, dogmad, has a fund of knowledge about older dogs.

Here's an article about the condition. You'll see it mentions barking at night for no reason.

http://www.cpvh.com/Articles/4.html

This post has been edited by mita: 19 March 2009 - 01:20 PM


#6 User is offline   puggy_puggy 

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:52 PM

Wondering if Rescue Remedy might be useful.

#7 User is offline   k9kutz 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 07:32 AM

Thanks everyone for your input. I tried the crate and really though that might be the solution as she is good with crates and likes them, sadly not, she just sat in the crate and barked. There is just no stopping her other than to hold her and pat her and give her attention, i really dont know what to do, my vet suggested that there is not much that can be done if it is dementia, but we cant keep going like this i have not slept this week and its really taking its toll.

Thanks everyone for help

#8 User is offline   pebbles 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:36 AM

Would it be worth trying a small night light for her? Would she settle in another room where she could have a weak light left on? Perhaps even try leaving your bedroom light on, maybe you would have to stick your head under the pillow lol. Just a thought.

#9 User is offline   Lab lady 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 08:51 AM

I was just going to make that suggestion too pebbles, One of my old girls did that and i found leaving her with the light on helped, she would wake up and be a bit confused as to her surroundings and bark for my attention. I also left the tv on so when she woke up she could hear normal house sounds.

Hope you get some sleep soon, i know how distressing it is.

#10 User is offline   polomum 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 10:46 AM

Me thinks.......old dogs syndrome as hit........happened to our boxer at 14 years......relentless barking at night times....we put up with it for about 2 years until he sadly had seizures and had the be put down around Christmas time.........aweful to say but I'm much more relaxed since he passed away - I didn't realise how stressed I was looking after him..........We use to crate him with the light on and it helped on some nights - we live on a property (150 acres) so it didn't bother anyone else - I use to say all the time how lucky we didn't live in suburbia!!!!!!

#11 User is offline   k9kutz 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:11 PM

Rosie's had a thorough once over from the vet and some test's taken just to make sure she is ok for her age and her few health problems are still the same but being managed fine, so we have concluded that it is just a case of her losing her marbles.
Tonight i will try leaving her in the lounge room with a lamp and the TV on and see if that helps, at this point i am desperate and will try anything.

Thanks so much guys for your understanding and suggestions.

#12 User is offline   Rappie 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:19 PM

Canine cognitive dysfunction isn't uncommon unfortunately. I think some blood tests are a great idea in order to determine whether theres a medical cause for the behaviour changes.

It's not something you just have to deal with, there are some medical treatments available and Hills b/d is also something that is worth trying as I've seen it help several dogs.

#13 User is offline   Her Majesty Dogmad 

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:21 PM

I'm pretty sure you'll find this is dementia. Very hard to live with - I've just lost 3 dogs with dementia in the last 6 months and two of them kept me awake a lot in the night, one would bark at the wall etc and the other just wanted food all night long. I tried all sorts - the lights on etc etc, nothing stopped the barking. My vet recommended some low dose tranqs so I could get some rest but they didn't work on her.

Following the passing of the old girl that barked, with my Italian Greyhound, I actually achieved great success with chinese herbs from a natural vet in Sydney. He really improved on those for his last few months and I finally got some rest.

#14 User is offline   deerhound owner 

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:20 PM

I agree unfortunately, changes in the sleep wake cycle and excessive vocalisation are both symptoms of CCD. There is a site which is recruiting older dogs in Sydney for dementia research if you are interested in finding out more you can go to www.doggydementia.com

#15 User is offline   k9kutz 

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:26 AM

Sadley over the weekend things have not gone well for poor old Rosie, she has had internal hemmoraging (sp) of the upper bowel and is not well at all.

I have discussed some treatment options with my vet re the dementia but her main concern at the moment is the latest developments.

Thankyou deerhound for the link, i will check it out.

I will keep you posted on how Rosie is going :thumbsup:

Thanks again,
Brad.

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