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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16862
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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I have an 13 year old toy poodle. Hes a great dog but we have

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I have an 13 year old toy poodle. Hes a great dog but we have been having issues when we goto bed. I can sit on the couch and he sleeps on my lap for hours. But as soon as we goto bed he starts shaking and querving bad. He will scratch at my face and sit on my chest. At first we thought he needed to go out to bathroom. But we take him out and he will dig in our mulch. And he has never been a digger. So we are lost at what to do with him.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
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In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
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Does he have any other symptoms such as a loss of house training, barking at people he should recognize, getting stuck behind doors or furniture, asking to go outside but not eliminating or asking to come in and wanting to go right back out?
What does he do if he is put into bed without you?
What if you lay in bed with him at a different time of day, is the behavior the same?
When is his last meal of the day?
Does it happen every single time?
Has he had a senior check up?
Does he have any problems jumping up or does he avoid stairs?
Do you take him for a long walk before going to bed?


Customer: replied 11 months ago.

No he doesn't seem to have any other symptoms. And he wants down ifyou put him in bed by hhimself. As of lately it has happened during the day. Its odd soon as you take him out of the room he seems to caom down. It doesn't happen all the time. It happened a couple nights aboit a month ago. And hadn't happened since till Wednesday night. And then it started all over again. And while he is shaking he stares at the wall. And yes had a check up 2 weeks ago. The only meds he is on is for his seizures.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.
Steve,
.
Thanks for the additional information. It may be that he hears something when you go to bed at night which is triggering the behavior. Dogs have keener hearing than we do and frequently will detect things that we can not. Often mice will come in from the outside and we won't know they are there, but a dog will hear them moving around in the walls. this might trigger the dog to exhibit digging behavior as a natural response. It might also be the cause of the digging in the mulch as well. It would explain why it doesn't happen all the time since the Mice might be in different areas at different times. It would happen more often at night since mice are more active at night. With the weather turning colder, the mice would be inside more and thus might be moving around a bit during the day.
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That is one possible reason. It might also be seizure behavior. Seizure manifest in various ways. You might be used to one type of seizure and now he is exhibiting a focal seizure which can result in abnormal behavior rather than collapsing. If you can capture this behavior on video using your phone or a portable device, you can show your vet and see if he feels this is seizures or behavioral.
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If seizure related, then he may need his medication adjusted. I know you are familiar with seizures but I also want to give you a site that goes ove seizures in great detail. Read up on focal seizures.
You can also start behavior modification. Keep some high value treats like hot dog slivers or liver slivers for use in training when you go to bed. When he acts in an acceptable manner, reward him with a tasty treat. You want it to be a good treat that he wants so use the ones I recommend even if they are messy. When he exhibits the undesired behavior, take him out of the room and crate him away from you. If he wants to be with you, that will be enough of a reprimand. If the behavior stops when you take him out, that should stop the behavior and allow you to sleep.
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I also suggest you take him for a long brisk walk right before bedtime. This allows him plenty of time to eliminate and tires him out as well so he may be ready to just lay down and sleep if this is purely behavioral. I know you just had him to the vet recently, but if a full senior checkup was not done with blood work, etc, I would have it done.
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I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16862
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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