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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19760
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Dr. Andy, My dog acts very paranoid at night. She's only

Customer Question

Dr. Andy,
My dog acts very paranoid at night. She's only 5. She acts normal all throughout the day. I see her until about 9am. I go to work and then come home on my lunch break. I get home around 5pm and she's fine. Around 6:30 when I start cooking dinner she acts crazy. She hides between my legs, stands right under my feet while I'm cooking. Then, for the rest of the night she whines and hides right next to me or burrows her way under something of mine. I've already ruled out the fact that I'm cooking. Also, I have two other dogs that act completely normal and look at her like she's crazy. She's a 25lb mutt, mostly beagle. This is a very new occurrence. I read your post on cognitive dysfunction and it sounds just like that, only it happens after 6:30pm and she's fine the next day. Could there be some kind of illness or infection? She seems completely normal otherwise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years 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.
It may very well be cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Much like Alzheimers, many dogs experience symptoms that worsen as the sun goes down and thus the popular "sundowners" label given to many alzheimer's patients. So it would be worth looking more into CDS. The good news is that there is a drug called L-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.
Please see this site for more information and other causes that may exhibit the same symptoms.
Now another possibility is that your dog is starting to experience progressive retinal atrophy. It often starts with a dog having problems seeing in lower light condition such as are found at night. This can make a dog anxious and cling more to their human. Read more on PRA below.
In beagles specifically it tends to happen after a few years. Read more on PRA in beagles.
Since PRA might be a cause, I'd have her eyes checked over by an ophthalmologist.
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.