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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 30350
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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When we go to bed on a night time our starts panting, walking

Customer Question

When we go to bed on a night time our starts panting, walking up and down and seems to be very nervous.Over the day he is fine,what could be the problem.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. You've described sundowners syndrome - a form of cognitive dysfunction in dogs and humans. It's conjectured that the dark and quiet of night magnifies the sensory loss in these patients which results in their anxiety and subsequent aimless wandering. Other indications of cognitive dysfunction include disorientation, changes in social and interactive behavior - becoming "needier" or, conversely, more aloof - changes in locomotor and sleep cycle behaviors, and loss of "housetraining".

To answer your question directly, this is a progressive disorder and usually prompts euthanasia when owners are unable to control inappropriate behavior. If additional medical problems exist - brain tumor, e.g. - the onset of seizures may prompt euthanasia. You may find that a drug in the benzodiazepine class available from Garbage's vet will be helpful in calming Garbage.

Ancillary care involves physically and mentally stimulating exercises such as swimming, massage, and range of motion exercises, encouraging relaxation, ensuring that Garbage is taken out frequently to minimize the cost of elimination "mistakes", encouraging reestablishment of daily cycles by feeding at regular hours and at least a few hours before bedtime, and administering the drug before bed. Specialized diets rich in antioxidants may be of value such as Hill's Prescription Diet b/d. The monoamine oxidase inhibitor selegiline (Anipryl) is the only drug licensed for use for the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction in the States. Many of us aren't impressed with the studies supporting its use, however. Aktivait is available in the UK and is a food additive shown to improve function in dogs with cognitive changes.

Cognitive dysfunction in dogs is just as difficult to manage as is Altzheimer's in humans. I wish I had some magic for Garbage. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Garbage is a rescue dog found on arubbish tip at about 4 weeks old,he is frightend of fireworks thunderstorms and tremors.He does have problems with his kidneys and has lots ofdischarges, but thanks to our local vet that is not to bad at the moment,thank you for your help.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Garbage is lucky to have found you. You're quite welcome. I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.