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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16305
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Border Terrier, rescue dog at 5 years old came to us now 10

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Border Terrier, rescue dog at 5 years old came to us now 10 yrs, 5 weeks ago started getting very agitated at night, won't sleep on his bed where he has always slept with no problem since he has been with us, he barks at the door of the kitchen/diner and whine and is very anxious. Wants to be let out side and them sleeps in the greenhouse!! Bizarre.
Any ideas?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am so sorry to hear about Henry's strange night-time anxious behavior and changes in sleeping preference.
Ideally your fellow needs to see his veterinarian for an examination and a geriatric blood profile to help figure out out why he is behaving the way he is. Many laboratories offer a mini panel that hit the highlights and allow you to see if his organs are functioning normally for a reasonable price.
In some dogs as they age their organ systems don't work as well as they once did, and waste products that their organs usually filter out build up in the blood stream and that affects brain function. They may behave much differently, especially at night when they are tired and their senses are dulled, because their brain function isn't normal.
The other possibility given his anxiety and confusion which seems to worsen at night is that he is experiencing senility. These dogs may forget their housebreaking, seem more confused at night when it is dark, may want to eat, and seem to pace, looking for something they cannot find. They may all of the sudden get into the garbage, chew up things or want to sleep in unusual spots when they never displayed these habits before.
The only way to know for sure what is going on is to check his organ function with some blood tests.
If his organ function is normal there are medications that can help with senility and the associated anxiety, such as Anipryl (L-deprenyl or selegiline).
There is also a diet formulated for older dogs high in the particular trace minerals and supplements needed for healthy brain function in older dogs called Hills b/d.
Sometimes anti-anxiety drugs to help him sleep may be indicated.
It may be helpful to leave a night light on in the room he normally sleeps in as well as a TV or radio playing softly or a "white noise" machine on so he feels comforted and can settle.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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