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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 13 year old American Eskimo. Over the last few years he has become skiddish to thunderstorms/ rain and buzzer sounds like family feud, to be expected. But lately he has started popping up in bed suddenly then heavy panting for about 20 seconds then trying to sit on my wife's body or head mostly near the head. Even if he lays on her he will pop up again in about 2 to 3 minutes and repeat the process. You can try to hold him or cuddle him, but still doesn't stop the popping up process and then trying to reposition again laying on you. This usually starts fromn 11 pm to 1 am and can go on for a few hours to all night right until you get up and go for the walk.
Been to the vet he says dogs change as they get old all else looks good. No signs of wandering or lost or barking at night. Daytime not very often this occurs. Tried putting him in his cage. Just ends up scratching all night then peeing all over the cage. Not sure what to do as you can't get any sleep with a 25 lb dog sitting on your head every 5 minutes. We have meds from the vet but only seems to make him loopy for about 3 to 4 hours.
Anybody else have this issue or solutions?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Have there been any other changes recently? Maybe your neighbors put out those little sonic things that are supposed to repel vermin. Home remodeling? New people in the neighborhood? I would think about that first since your vet cleared him medically.

But, absent any changes, have you discussed Sundowners Syndrome with your vet? It's basically dementia, but in dogs. There isn't an actual test, at least not as far as I know. The symptoms can start gradually, but they generally get worse as time passes. It won't always start as wandering around, barking, and getting lost, it might start as increased anxiety or just a barely perceptible change in behavior. There isn't a cure, and it will continue to get worse, but there are treatments and prescription medication to slow the progression, as well as diets that help retain cognitive function.
 

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I thought of Sundowners too. I hope it's something else, but that one's worth exploring further for sure.

If you have access to a canine physiotherapist or chiropractor, it might be worth having them do a thorough exam for pain issues in case something subtle is going on that's easily treated with pain management and/or targeted exercises. They can often pick up on things that a general practice vet might miss, but make a big difference to the dog - my own senior pup is undergoing physio right now and it's making a huge difference to his overall comfort and physical ability.

You could also try some kind of white noise in the meantime - even just a fan going - to see if he's more comfortable. If there is some kind of upsetting sound that he's reacting to, white noise may help soften or cover it up. Worth a shot, especially since there's apps and YouTube videos that you can use for free now if you don't have a fan or dedicated white noise machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We are replacing carpet upstairs with hardwood but just started this has been going on before that I did read that somewhere about environment changing. We actually have one of those mice sound buzzers in the garage for 10 years.. we run a Dyson fan no blades to give that background white noise. I kinda figured it was an early stage of cds or I guess sundowner as you call it.
Did you ever try a CBD oil, guess it's like a hemp and stuff no THC.?
He does have a lump on the front leg not to large but they pulled a sample and said it's just fatty tissue build up.
 

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I don't use CBD on my dog, but people at my club have used it for their older agility dogs to ease aches and pains. I hear mixed results. Some say it worked wonders, and others say it was a waste of money. It may have something to do with the type and severity of their pain. I haven't heard of anyone using it for anxiety issues or cognitive disfunction on dogs. You could run it by your vet to make sure it's not going to interfere with any medication and give it a try, I suppose, but I think I would be asking my vet about possible medication or other well studied options to slow the progression of cognitive decline.
 

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I also encourage people to be very picky about what brands of CBD they use - some of the stuff made for animals isn't held to strict standards and regulations (at least in the US, might be different where you are) so you want to know that you're using a company that's producing high purity products (no traces of THC or contaminates) and can certify the actual amount of CBD in the product so you know exactly what you're dosing and how much. Here's the current advice offered by the AKC: CBD Oil For Dogs: What You Need To Know

And yes, definitely loop your vet in when you're using supplements in conjunction with prescription medication so they can alert you to potential interactions and be better able to evaluate what is a side effect of which product. For example, some meds need several weeks to months of regular use to be fully effective, so if you start a supplement before that period is over it can be difficult to know for sure whether any improvement is the medication or the supplement.

I've heard some good things about the Bright Mind line of Purina Pro Plan food, which is supposed to be specifically targeted towards improving cognitive function and slowing decline. No personal experience, but I thought I'd throw it out there. As with humans, it's not going to truly reverse damage that's already happened, but it might be a good supportive option to explore.
 
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