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My male chihuahua has been having night fits periodically.

My male chihuahua has...

My male chihuahua has been having night fits periodically. It happens like once a month. He will be fine during the day, once it is the middle of the night, he all of a sudden seems jumpy, whines a lot, nothing seems to comfort him and he is nervous. then he is fine and it doesn't happen again for awhile.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the Chihuahua?

Nothing physically that I can tell. As mentioned, it happens around once a month, he won't sleep. is nervous, jumpy, clingy, and whines consistently for no reason.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the Chihuahua. What is the Chihuahua's name and age?

Dodger, almost 11

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the Chihuahua's name?

Dodger

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Dodger?

Not really, he doesn't have any pre-existing issues. he's had really good health all these years and still has good mobility and diet.

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Answered in 16 minutes by:
1/4/2018
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10,962
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help with this concern about Dodger.

It sounds as if he may be having a nightmare or night terrors although this sort of thing is, obviously, quite difficult to prove. We do recognize sleep disorders in dogs with each patient exhibiting different types of behavior during an episode. But, what they have in common is that the behavior always happens during sleep (usually REM sleep) and they're typically pretty much back to normal within a short period of time. However, having said that, there are some dogs who will continue to act scared or nervous for a few hours afterwards, though. Unfortunately, we don't currently have any effective treatments for this condition. It's possible that otc, human Melatonin may be of benefit although no studies have been done to prove its benefit one way or the other. However, it won't be harmful and may be worth a try. I'd dose at 3 mg before bedtime. I might take several weeks to know whether or not this medication will be effective. Double check the label and avoid those which contain Xylitol since even small amounts can be toxic to dogs.

The other possible consideration might be a focal seizure although, again, this will be difficult to prove as well. There are treatment options but I probably wouldn't recommend any drugs at this point since he's only has an episode about once a month. If they become more frequent, you might consider discussing anti-seizure medication with your vet.

I hope this helps, Deb

Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
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I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

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