DogDaz Zoo: Sofie Update – Night Terrors Are Back

04 Feb

Mom! Louise has all the toys and she isn't sharing.

Every time I think that I may be getting a handle on Sofie’s night issues, I feel like I am going backwards.  The medication worked for about one week.  Now Sofie is having her night terrors every couple of nights instead of every night (which is a blessing).  She woke up last night at 3:20 AM and barked uncontrollably for about 5 minutes.  Then, I was able to calm her enough and get her to go back to sleep. (Was she really even awake?)  What triggers this behavior? No one was walking around the house – I did not hear any cars or animals outside.  I am not sure if the waking is inside her head or externally triggered at this point. I call what happens to her ‘night terrors’ because they are feelings of great fear experienced on suddenly waking in the night. That to me is what she is experiencing.  She is fast asleep and then she wakes barking, ruff up, tail erect, in alert protection mode.     

I tried the holistic route (Composure Pro, Shen Calmer, Adaptil); I tried the medical route (Xanax, Prozac, Phenobarbital, Clomipramine); I tried the behaviorist, what is left? Don’t say a pet psychic (not that I won’t try it), but just knowing that she is in pain doesn’t tell me how to help her.  Getting an MRI to rule out a brain tumor is very costly, and, if true, would confirm concerns but not leave me with any additional solutions. I have so many questions:

  • Medical: Was the Clomicalm just sedating her for the first week and now she is hearing outside noises again?

  • Herbal: Do I add Melatonin or some other night booster to help her sleep? (Vet said 4mg at night is OK)

  • Behavioral: Do other people’s dogs wake every night because of unseen noises?  Is this just ‘normal’ for some breeds?  Should I start walking her before bed to get her more tired?

  • Psychic: Is she picking up on something that I am doing during the night that I am not aware of?  I am a lousy sleeper (have been for years).  But I don’t startle awake and she tends to be sleeping when I wake during the night on my own.

I am feeling like such a personal animal parent failure.  If love could fix things all my animals would be perfect, but that does not work.  It is very lonely on this path to find a solution for Sofie.  It seems to me that Sofie and I have been abandoned by Vets, the Behaviorist, the family.   When something gets this complicated, no one wants to touch it.

Until I get her sleep under control, how can I hope to address her separation and thunder anxieties? Oh, Sofie, I know you want to be calm.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤


Posted by on February 4, 2016 in Dogs


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28 responses to “DogDaz Zoo: Sofie Update – Night Terrors Are Back

  1. Zelda

    February 4, 2016 at 00:42

    If you’re worried that noises are waking her up, maybe you could get her a white noise generator. I have a air purifier that doubles as one in the room with my sleeping crate. Good luck!

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 05:52

      Great suggestion. Thanks.

  2. speedyrabbit

    February 4, 2016 at 02:43

    From what I have been reading dogs that suffer from high anxiety go hand in hand with night terrors.And there does seem to be a link with anxiety and night terrors and something causing them physical pain too.The trouble is if Sofie is in physical pain what could be causing it?I found this site they seem quite sensible,so it might be worth contacting them as they seem to treat dogs on an individual basis.I think it would be worth an email or 2 just to see what they think.But I’ll keep on reading and researching for you,xx Rachel

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 05:54

      Thanks for the link. I did not find this one. You are so kind to help. Much appreciated. She slept tonight but was sucking and panting a lot. I tried the melatonin. Time will tell – Lorian.

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 06:32

      The article was interesting. We have done tons of tests to rule out many possible medical underlying reasons. She is only 5, so dementia is possible, but rare. I will contact this Vet and pose the case. Maybe someone will heed the call. Thanks, Rachel. I appreciate the virtual support.

      • speedyrabbit

        February 4, 2016 at 09:32

        I thought it was interesting too and that he was able to think outside the box appealed to me too xx Rachel

  3. Genevieve Petrillo

    February 4, 2016 at 04:33

    That picture really says it all. And if Sofie looks that exhausted, I can imagine how you look. Melatonin and an extra late-night walk sound harmless enough to try. My friend’s dog had dementia and barked at nothing during the day, but it didn’t extend into the night, although that is a logical progression. On a lighter note, maybe Sofie is fine, your house is haunted, and she’s the only one seeing the ghost. Hire an exorcist! Wait – maybe that wasn’t really a lighter note. 🙂 Hang in there.

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 05:57

      I wish it was that easy, but other than live human energies the house is clean. I know this, since I see ghosts. Great suggestion though.

  4. fredrieka

    February 4, 2016 at 06:16

    I got to thinking and this may seem weird. Elders have night terrors. That use light therapy.. SAD light. I wonder if this could help.. during the day where she lays around and where she sleeps at night. Just wondering

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 06:23

      It needs to be a high spectrum UV ray right?

      • fredrieka

        February 4, 2016 at 06:32

        Yes my husband bought a bulb at home depot. Do a little research. They use SAD light therapy for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

        • dogdaz

          February 4, 2016 at 09:42

          Thanks. What a ‘bright’ idea.

  5. easyweimaraner

    February 4, 2016 at 10:22

    Oh I wish love could be the cure for all things… and I hope there is a way to help your Sofie-bear… we cross our paws and fingers, that one of the suggestions is the key to a night with sweet dreams for Sopfie and for you…

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 20:19

      Thanks Easy. If only love were the answer.

  6. Groovy Goldendoodles

    February 4, 2016 at 10:32

    Looking at that photo breaks my heart. I can’t seem to think of anything it suggest that you’ve already tried. Just wanted to say that I (along with many) are thinking of you both. Hope this ends soon.

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 20:20

      Thanks Groovy. Prayers help.

  7. paws2smile

    February 4, 2016 at 19:12

    Awww 😦 Poor Sofie! I was going to suggest lavender essential oils on the pads of her paws??

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 20:21

      What a great idea. I will have to get some. Lavender is calming.

  8. maggie0019

    February 4, 2016 at 19:39

    The clomicalm worked very well for Maggie. I am sorry to hear Sofie is still having issues. Perhaps that excellent suggestion for a “white noise” machine – we have a vaporizer, and use that. Woof! Paws crossed.

    • dogdaz

      February 4, 2016 at 20:22

      Things are improving. I need to get a vaporizer for me, so maybe that will be enough sound.

  9. Misty Shores Chesapeakes

    February 5, 2016 at 11:38

    I just couldn’t bring myself to like this post, it is just too sad. I hope you will be able to get things under control for Sofie.

    • dogdaz

      February 5, 2016 at 15:00

      Like does not mean ‘you like it,’ in the social media world, I think it really just means ‘ you read it.’ But I understand. I don’t like it much either. She is now waking about every other day, but last night was bad for us both 😦

  10. hutchagoodlife

    February 6, 2016 at 06:12

    Oh dear. Unfortunately whee don’t have any helpful ideas but it looks like other comments do. Please give Sofie an extra cuddle from us and whee hope this gets better soon

    • dogdaz

      February 6, 2016 at 07:08

      Much appreciated.

  11. angelswhisper2011

    February 9, 2016 at 04:54

    Have you tried the Bach Remedy already, Lorian and maybe the MIR-method will help. Here is a the link to check it out
    Healing Pawkisses are on the way sweet Sofie ❤ ❤ ❤

    • dogdaz

      February 9, 2016 at 07:20

      I’ll go check it out. So far 7.5 mg of Melatonin with the Clomicalm has been good for 2 nights now (shhhh! Don’t want to jinx it)

    • dogdaz

      February 9, 2016 at 12:58

      I tried the Bach Remedy actually first many years ago. Sadly, it did nothing for her. It did help one of my cats back then though. I am trying to read more on this MIR-method. Could you send me any articles that don’t involve signing up ? Thanks

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