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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18953
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Our 13+ year old Sharpei, has what I would call Sundowner Syndrome.

Customer Question

Our 13+ year old Sharpei, has what I would call Sundowner Syndrome. Sleeps all day then when the lights go out she wakes up and start to pace continuously and paws the spring door stops (which I removed) paws and whimpers to wake us, tries to crowd into small spaces. Instead of the normal aggressive behavior becomes timid with ears and tail down.
We have her on prescription dog food, amino acid supplements for neurological health, tried Benadryl with no results.
Her blood work is great, we have done a body scan that shows some arthritis at the base of the tail bone. Her appetite is good, body functions regular.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
I'd recommend you get her on -Selegeline (Anipryl (R)) which has been recently approved for use in the clinical indication of cognitive dysfunction (CDS) in dogs. Read this site for other drug choices.
http://www.2ndchance.info/CDS.htm
Please see this site for more information and other causes that may exhibit the same symptoms.
http://www.swiftwaterfarms.com/swiftwater/p22CanineCognitiveDysfunction.htm
http://www.cliniciansbrief.com/column/applied-behavior/house-soiling-cognitive-dysfunction-syndrome?96m5sri9MY
Besides the medication, you can also do more activities during the day, including walks and training (they are never too old to learn) that will keep her stimulated and tire her out at bed time. Feeding a small meal at bedtime sometimes helps as well. You might also have her sleep in an area where it is light. Mostly if you keep her awake during the day more, you should be able to get her to sleep better at night.
Your vet might also recommend a pain reliever or tranquilizer to help her sleep to get her back on a night schedule but I would try the Anipryl first.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.