How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10923
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now

My 12 year old bearded collie has become very restless at around

This answer was rated:

My 12 year old bearded collie has become very restless at around 3- 4 am. waking and whimpering. No urgency to unrinate or anxiety but I wonder if her joints are waking her up. Once she is out in the garden she settles and we all get back to sleep. Bought her a memory foam bed - but l wonder if this is too hot at night - causing inflammation.

She trots happily out on walks and still plays with the other beardie in the garden but is clearly slowing down. Should I try her on a diet supplement or pain relief.

Hello Di, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Cloud hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

I agree that arthritis discomfort/pain may be the reason that Cloud is restless at night although there is another possibility which I'll mention later.

If that's the case, then I do have a few suggestions which may be useful. The memory foam bed was a very good idea; I wouldn't necessarily expect it cause heat buildup although I suppose this is possible.

When it comes to options for arthritis, we primarily have proactive supplements (which are intended to prevent progression of disease) and reactive drugs (which can treat the pain/discomfort and inflammation associated with this condition).

Pain drugs can be effective but we usually combine them with an anti-inflammatory drug,


Drug options:

1. Over the counter Aspirin can be given as long as Cloud isn't currently taking a non-steroidal anti inflammatory (n'saids) or steroids and isn't vomiting. The dose would be 10 mg/lb twice a day with food to avoid stomach upset.

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) can also be given at a dose of 5 mg/lb twice a day, again with food to avoid gastric distress.

2. Pain medication such as Tramadol or Gabapentin can be given concurrently with n'saids but would have to be prescribed by your vet.


Supplement options:

1. I'm a huge fan of joint supplements which contain glucosamine such as Dasaquin or Cosequin which are veterinary products specifically formulated for dogs. Quality control is a big problem with these products since what’s on the label is not necessarily what’s in the bottle which is why I mentioned specific brands although this may be something which you already know. But you need to give them consistently (every day) for them to be effective (although supplements are not helpful for all dogs or humans for that matter!).


2. Also, fish oil supplements can be helpful since they have anti-inflammatory properties. Welactin and 3V Derm Caps are good veterinary products which are available here in the States and are also available on the internet. It takes several weeks for these products to build up in the system, so you might not see immediate results but you may also already know this.

3. Another option would be Zeel which is a human combination homeopathic that can be used in conjunction with other NSAID medications and has a very low incidence of adverse effects Dose would be one tablet two to three times a day....I'd go with three times a day for the first 2 weeks, then drop back to twice a day for maintenance.


Alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy, laser therapy, massage therapy and even acupuncture have been shown to be very useful for joint problems if you have such facilities where you live.





Another possible explanation for Cloud's behavior might be early doggy Alzheimer’s aka Cognitive Dysfunction or senility. This condition is recognized in dogs as they age and is as heart breaking and sad as it is in humans. We also recognize the equivalent of Sundown Syndrome in dogs although typically dogs with this condition will be restless in the evenings, not necessarily in the early hours of the morning.

Nor do they appear to be painful. Although if she was becoming a little confused, she might whimper.
Other symptoms of this condition which can be seen as it progresses include loss of house-breaking (these dogs basically “forget” that they are housebroken), staring off into space, acting confused, wandering aimlessly, panting, appetites can sometimes be affected but not always.

This can be a slowly progressive condition (in most cases) while other dogs can decline rapidly.

Treatment options are somewhat limited but the following may be helpful:

1. Cognitive supplements such as Neutricks, SAMe (Novifit) and Senilife

2. Diets such as B/D (which is a prescription diet from your vet) or the Purina senior diet with MCT oil may improve cognition and reduce anxiety if present.

3. Combinations of antioxidants such as Golden Years (Sogeval *) or Cell Advance 440 (VetriScience)
4. High dose fish oils such as mentioned above.
5. Combination of Acetyl-l-cystine and alpha lipoic acid (200mg/400mg)

One other suggestion which might be useful for her would be Melatonin at night which can act as a sleep aid for some dogs and is also potent antioxidant. The dose would be 6 mg about 30 minutes before bedtime.


I hope this helps; again, my apologies for the delayed response. Deb


Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

I’m just following up on our conversation about Cloud. How are things going with her? Deb