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Thread: Dog screaming in sleep

  1. #1
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    Default Dog screaming in sleep

    Hey guys,

    My 10.5 year old Chihuahua Dixie has started doing something these last two months that is really starting to terrify me.

    When she is sleeping with me, whether it be during day or night, I sometimes wake up to her making pained noises in her sleep. When I try to gently wake her up, she makes this horrible, gutteral scream that just gives me the chills. It's like a combination of extreme fear and extreme pain. It sometimes is very hard to wake her up. I've even resorted to shaking her really hard to try to wake her up and it can take a little bit to get her up. She's very stiff legged when I pick her up while she's in this state and she is usually shaking/trembling really hard, almost like she's on the verge of a seizure. When she wakes up, she looks either scared or confused, then goes right back to sleep. I usually tuck her up to my chest when that happens so she feels protected.

    It's a horrible sound for anybody who loves their pet to hear. It's just a horrible, creepy scream she makes.

    She's never done this before. I'm not sure if she is having a nightmare or something worst may be going on. I've heard her whine in her dreams before, but nothing that sounds really awful like this.

    I'm not really sure how I feel about this but some people have told me my house may be haunted or something and that's why she's screaming. D: I dunno whether I believe that or not but her scream is really outlandish. It makes me wonder.

    I'm gonna call my vet tomorrow. But I'm curious what others have to say.

  2. #2
    Senior Member minnieme's Avatar
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    Might be a form of epilepsy. Seizures often indicate epilepsy, but the absence of them doesn't discount the disorder. The screaming/shaking/trembling/rigid body + being exhausted and going back to sleep after an episode makes me wonder if it's something neurological. I would definitely get to a vet.
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    Jill -- Minnie Mom since June 2011; raw feeder since July 2011

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    I'd definitely be taking her to the vet. I can understand dogs having nightmares with barking, whining and running and what have you in their sleep, Mollie does that all the time. What worries me is that you have such a hard time waking her up. I know you will, but emphasise that to the vet along with the stiff legs, the shaking and the odd screaming. Something has to be going on.
    And, your dog is having symptoms like this and people are putting it down to the house being haunted? Seriously?
    And, all the best luck, I really hope everything goes well. Please let us know what he says, ok?
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    I hope you don't believe your dog is screaming in her sleep because of bad spirits. That's dark ages stuff.

    she probably needs a vet. Dogs disguise pain as much as they can, but apparently she is showing it in her sleep or having something neurological going on. It's not ghosts.
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    Thanks for the help, guys.

    I called my vet and spoke to a nurse and described the issue as accurately as possible. She said this is something that can occur in older dogs, like a senility issue. She didn't think Dixie needed to be brought in but I'm still going to be keeping an eye on her anyways.

    If the pain was this bad I'd think she'd be acting strange or showing more signs when she's awake, but she's always happy and attentive. But I'm sure I'll probably be seeing the vet about this pretty soon. I don't think the problem will go away and I'm going to get worried and go.
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    Maybe if you can catch her doing it and take a video or something? Might be worth showing to the vet...just a thought!
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    Senior Member minnieme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schtuffy View Post
    Maybe if you can catch her doing it and take a video or something? Might be worth showing to the vet...just a thought!
    GREAT idea
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    Jill -- Minnie Mom since June 2011; raw feeder since July 2011

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    If she's stressed they do have something called Bach's rescue remedy for dogs.... maybe it will keep her relaxed through the night.

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