seriously sleep deprived - by my dog!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Adl123, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear All,
    I hope this post is appropriate for this board. Like most of us, I'm really sleep deprived. I get anywhere from 2 to 5 hours of broken sleep a night. I find myself grumpy and sometimes disproportionately angry.

    Although this has been going on for years, now,(just a few hours of sleep)- just when I was starting to sleep longer, my assistance dog, Elsa (I got her at almost 7 years of age from the rescue) is really pushing my buttons. She has this high-pitched collie-type bark when she is telling me something, and she has been ussing it at about 2 hour intervals all night long.

    So, I'll just start to doze off, and she comes to me and barks. It's like an electric shock going through my body, and I'm immediately angry. I've even thought of returning her to the rescue. I love her muchly, and I've spent lots of time training her,but I'm really frazzled, and don't know how to change this behavior.

    I try to lock her out of my bedroom, but there is no heat in there, and I can't use an electric heater because of the Oxygen machine, so I freeze, and then get another sore throat.(I live in a "vacation" cottage, up in the mountains, and the cold is piercing).

    I was hoping someone would know of an herb or something I could give her that is harmless, that would help. For the life of me, I don't know why she is donig this. She has water and food and has just been let out. There are no animal behaviorists up here.

    Thaks a lot,

    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2007]
  2. HurtsToMove

    HurtsToMove New Member

    You could try getting her a no-bark collar and using it only at night. I've used one and it really does work. I don't think it's cruel, it just teaches the dog VERY QUICKLY that bark=shock. My dog knows that it only happens when the collar is on, so he put 2+2 together. Your dog would realize the same thing, so just putting the collar on would quiet her down.
  3. Kryssie

    Kryssie New Member

    They also make citronella collars, which are an alternative to the shock method. It sprays a harmless burst of citrus in front of their face when they bark..

    Just an FYI..
  4. cjcookie

    cjcookie New Member

    My dogs curl up at the end of the bed and sleep all night. I know this may not be an option but it's worth a try.
  5. apl

    apl New Member

    This may seem an odd thing to say, but I have a question for you:

    1. What do you think has been helping you to sleep longer? Did you or have you changed medications before you started sleeping longer?

    2. Is there any possiblity that you might have sleep apnea or might be experiencing effects from medication that change your sleeping state or your breathing/muscle control, etc?

    Here's why I ask - It is entirely possible thtat your trained assistance dog is sensing something different with you and is concerned for your well-being.

    She may be sensing danger where there is none, but then again, there might be something to it, even if it is something small, like muscle activity, slight apnea, or brain wave changes.

    We know that pets and trained assistance animals can be very perceptive, and very caring for their owners' health. They may clue into things that are imperceptible to us.

    Case in point, dogs that have been known to sense a cancerous tumor or other such things in their owners, and keep annoying them by bumping the place on their owner's body with their nose over and over. It possibly seems like random bad behavior and is annnoying as heck, but it might be meaningful.

    Not to suggest that there is anything wrong, but there might be something new she is sensing that she is concerned about.

    Does anyone know if there is a resource for people with assistance dogs that might answer questions like these? Something like that could be very useful.

    You might want to set up a video camera (with audio) on yourself and your dog (if possible) at night and review several nights footage to see what is happening when she starts to bark. You might not catch the cause that way, but it's a start.

    I do think your dog is worried about you, for whatever reason. She might be onto something, or she might not be used to a new development (new meds, etc).

    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2007]
  6. apl

    apl New Member

    Terry, I just read your post again and see that you use an oxygen machine -

    how long have you had Elsa, and how long have you had the oxygen machine?

    I don't want to focus too much on the breathing when it might be something else, but it's soemthing to look at.

    Could the machine be doing something different (when she started the barking behavior), like making a new noise or having a glitch? Or is it a new thing to her?

    Also, I would personally not want to keep her from barking at night, in case there is something important she needs to warn you about. Before doing that, I would get several opinions from assistance dog trainers, etc. [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2007]
  7. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    Well, you say she barks when she wants to tell you something, so I must assume she is trying to tell you something. Either something about her, or about you. I have no idea but will try to brainstorm with you.

    Does she do this at this frequency also during the day, but it bothers you less, because you're awake anyway? If she does, is she asking to go out to potty that often? If so, she might have a UTI, as that would be VERY frequent, compared to what my doggy experiences. Could maybe be boredom or generalized anxiety too.

    If not at that frequency during day, then why so frequent just at night? Again, she's trying to tell you something. Maybe she gets cold during the night? Maybe she senses something about your sleep that she can detect? Maybe labored breathing, or seizure activity, or low oxygen levels? Maybe she perceives something about the heating source that worrries her? Like carbon monoxide?

    If all sleuthing fails to pinpoint a possible explanation, then maybe like us, she needs some help sleeping. BIOS CHEMICALS carryies a veterinary line which includes L-Tryptophan. This is VERY safe for dogs. Your vet NO DOUBT has knowledge of it and would give his blessing on a therapeutic trial.

    L-Tryptophan is an Amino Acid. I have been using my self for about 5 or 6 years, and sing it's praises constantly. Here is a testimony by ME, from a year or two ago, used on BIOSCHEMICALS website.

    "I am a repeat customer of BIOS Tryptophan. My dog recently needed surgery and was experiencing anxiety even after giving the prescribed pain meds. She was extremely restless, breathless, and paced the floor, whimpering. She was weak with exhaustion, frequently toppling over, but couldn't settle down.

    I called my vet and told him the situation and asked if I could give her some L-Tryptophan. He said, "Absolutely" it will relieve her anxiety and likely let her sleep. I gave it to her and she calmed right down in about 1/2 hr. and slept 8 hours with only one waking to go out for potty.

    Just a wonderful product to have in the natural medicine arsenal. Thank you."

    ~~~~~, South Glen Falls, NY

    Once your got yuor Vets' blessing, you can even order it from ProHealth Store here, and they have it in smaller amounts, if that would be a consideration. Also, this would not drug her, or knock her out. She would still be able to become alert if her instincts/assistance were needed.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2007]
  8. Clay2

    Clay2 New Member

    I see from your profile that you are an experience dog trainer, as you must be if you trained your own assistance dog. That's quite an undertaking.

    Have you called an assistance dog association to ask for input? The people I know who train them love to talk about it. Summit Assistance is up the coast from you. Send them an email and ask to contact the executive director, Sue.
  9. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    HURTS AND KRYSIE - the barking collars are a good idea, except I live in the mountains, where I really need a protector.

    COOKIE- She has free run of the house. She alternates with my other dog, guarding the living room and then comes to sleep at my feet. It's really cute how they switch places.

    APL- I don't have sleep apnea, but Iam on an oxygen machine. Although this behavior is new and the machineis not.

    My dog is still partially trained - I'm doing it myself. In all my years I've never come across such a vocal dog, and one that I frequently just can't figure out. I know she is trying to tell me something, but I can't figure out what.

    I don't just get up and let her out every time, because then, given her personality, she will think that, that is what I'm supposed to do, and will wake me up every night. She has such a good time sense, that once I do something, she thinks that it must be done at the same time every day- or night!

    WLLIESPAD and CLAY - Good ideas, thanks.

    Well, I've tried a couple of things. I put her on herbs from my Chinese doctor, for an infection. It's possible that she has a urinary tract infection. Also, I've added some sleepytime tea to her eveing meal. I've slept for almmost 5 hours straight the past two nights!! Hooray!!

    Things are looikng up.

    Thank you all for your great ideas. I'm going to keep them, just in case what I'm trying doesn't work longterm.


  10. JaneSmith

    JaneSmith New Member

    sorry and not to be mean......but this doesn't sound like a Fibro case. But good luck with the dog. Your health comes first.....some decisions to make.
  11. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ...because anything that affects our general health would have an effect on our FM/CFS issues, not to mention the host of other issues (depression, arthritis, cancer, MS, Lyme, and on and on) that many of us have...

    U.sually it's good to put "OT" in front of the subject line, meaning "off topic", that way those looking for strictly FM/CFS medical/health info can avoid the OT posts...Terry just forgot to do that, but no harm, no foul here...

    Terry, I have a similar problem as you with my cat. I can't keep her OFF me at night...she only weighs about 10 pounds, but when she insists on climbing ON me at 3 am, it gets uncomfortable. I wish I could train her to sleep NEXT to me, instead of on me, but I've had no luck. Closing the door to the bedroom isn't an option, she'd claw and cry all night long, no lie---she wouldn't just give up.

    I hate the interrupted sleep, too...I have enough problems with sleep, and when I drop off and am sleeping well, the last thing I need is to be awakened by the family pet.

    I envy my daughter...the other cat sleeps on the end of her bed, not on top of her.

    I don't have words of advice for you, Terry, just to empathize with your situation! Like you said, you want her to give protection, yet not wake you up with the nocturnal barking, and it's a fine line, unfortunately.

    I hope you can figure something out!

  12. Mwitherite

    Mwitherite New Member

    My dog affects my sleep too but that is because he tales up most of the couch that I sleep on.

    Anyway. I have an electric collar for my dog. IT HAS A WARNING ALARM BUTTON that makes a sound on the collar to warn the dog before you push the shocking button(which has settings 1-5) i had to use the shocker once. No I just use the alarm and my dog almost NEVER barks. Just in case anyone is concerned for my poor dog, I tested all the settings on my husband before I even pu it on my dog. It DOES REALLY help! Just a thought.

    - M
  13. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    . . .again. Sleep is a vital factor in healing from CFIDS and Fibro, as with any serious illness (and I have 15 others).
    I was really sincerely looking for help, since I'm so allergic to meds. I hope I didn't offend anyone by this post.

  14. Kryssie

    Kryssie New Member

    I don't think this was out of the way or offensive. I think it is related to your general health because we are all sleep deprived (most of us anyway) and we ALL look for ways to help us, even when different things affect it.
    I wish you luck with your dog.. maybe since you cant take the medication give it to him, LOL!! Just kidding.. hope that made you smile anyway.
  15. Dee50

    Dee50 New Member

    My Ruby is always vocal and sometimes its hard to understand what she is telling me. She will go in cycles of waking me up in the middle of the night but like you I'm not sure why. In my case Ruby is the only dog in the house. On the full moon I can count on her waking me up, some times she wakes me up and then will not go outside. That makes me mad.I live in town and I no if people are walking around outside late at night it upsets Ruby and she wakes me up. Do you think maybe you have some kind of wild animal roaming around close to your house that is upsetting her? Just a thought.
    Love, Dee50
  16. Lendy5

    Lendy5 New Member

    I agree with the others that maybe she is trying to warn you of something. Good Luck and I hope everything is o.k. Please keep us all posted.

    IMO I think this post belongs on this board, afterall most of us that suffer from FMS/CFS do have sleep disturbances.

    Hugs To All,
  17. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Thank you all, for your great kindness and your good ideas. You have really helped me, at a time when I needed it, for several reasons.

    God bless you all.