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Older Dog has started barking at night

(41 Posts)
Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 17:49:00

Please can anyone give me advice. Our border collie is 10 years old and has just started barking at night. We have tried leaving him but he won't stop until one of us comes down to sleep on the sofa.
Once we do this, he goes straight back to sleep.
He doesn't want to go out.
He is afraid of stairs, so we are unable to get him upstairs with us. Does anyone have a clue what is wrong with him please?

Smileless2012 Tue 14-Sep-21 17:51:49

Could it be the onset of dementia?

Redhead56 Tue 14-Sep-21 17:58:27

Try a kind soft mesh muzzle it helped our Jack Russell who started barking and was walking backwards. He was diagnosed with severe dementia I was broken hearted when he passed away.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:01:23

Thank you for replying, Smileless2012.
I did consider that. I have called our vets and they have said no,
Although they don't know. They have said it could be anxiety, stress, bladder problems or kidney problems...
So in other words they don't know.
In himself he is fine, eating well, drinking normally. He has severe arthritis but is on a new monthly injection which has worked wonders.
He is still really alert except for the barking.

JaneJudge Tue 14-Sep-21 18:02:48

Get one of those plug in calmer things, they really help.

Has he gone deaf? it is a thing with collies

Smileless2012 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:03:50

Not a very satisfactory from your vets IMO. They need to do some tests to find out why don't they. I hope you can get a definitive diagnosis/explanationflowers.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:06:07

I did wonder about a muzzle but l worry that he will become very distressed.
We rescued him at 10 months, he had been terribly mistreated.
He is afraid of stairs, he cannot be in enclosed spaces so cannot be in kennels.
This started out of the blue a week ago Saturday.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:11:29

Thank you Jane Judge. No he isn't deaf. Since he started on his Librela injections he seems like a new dog health wise.
He is on a diet as his arthritis stopped him moving around. He has lost 4kg so far.
We have a plug in adapter.

Audi10 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:13:47

I wonder if it’s the start of dementia, could you buy a plug in for him , feliway is for cats, not sure if dogs can have the same

Casdon Tue 14-Sep-21 18:13:56

I’m not sure that it’s as serious as some are suggesting. My dog is 5, and he barked one night to let us know he needed to go out (he had a bad stomach). He’s a clever dog, and obviously realised having done it once that we responded. So, the next night again he barked - it took me a week to realise he was just wanting attention, he was lonely. I stuck it out for two nights ignoring him, and he stopped, he obviously realised it wasn’t going to work again. Border collies are clever dogs, so there may have been a similar trigger moment with yours if you think back.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:18:11

Yes Smileless2012, l agree. I did manage to get a urine sample from him last Friday, which l took straight down to the vets and have called twice for results.
The receptionist told me someone should get back to me in the next couple of days.
I think they should also do a scan.
Redhead56, how was the dementia diagnosed please? So sorry for you that your beloved dog died.

Smileless2012 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:20:43

Are there any other vets in your area Maya1? I would strongly think about going elsewhere. This is poor care IMO.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:23:13

Casdon, it is just my husband and l here with him. We are both retired and because he has had so many problems he hasn't been left very often.
We don't go on holiday unless he can come with us or days out.
We did wonder if something happened on that Saturday night,
It was the first night we left him since lockdown to babysit our granddaughter.
I feel so guilty now.

Casdon Tue 14-Sep-21 18:29:44

Maya1 I really think that might be what started him off then, mine is very sensitive, he’s a spaniel but I know border collies are too, and he probably feels very insecure when he wakes in the night and needs the reassurance that you are there.

Will he go up the stairs on a harness, as if this is the problem he would probably be happier being near to you at night if you can’t break him of the barking habit?

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 18:33:48

Thanks Smileless2012. The only other vets are VetsforPets, a chain.
We have used these vets for years with all our dogs and have never had a problem like this. They are usually outstanding.

Hopikins Tue 14-Sep-21 18:47:17

My daughter in the USA has two dogs. Both rescue, the eldest one started barking at night and was found to be deaf, her sight is also pretty poor now. Even though she had the company of the younger dog she still wanted human company for reassurance at night, I guess not being able to hear makes them nervous and they need to know you are around. I am afraid there is not an easy answer.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 19:02:00

Thanks Casdon, l will get him a new harness tomorrow, and we will try your suggestion. He is very sensitive to all things, raised voices etc.
No Hopikins, l just whispered ducky fillets to him, he was asleep and he quickly popped his head up...he loves his treats.
Thank you all for trying to help. I am so very grateful.

Smileless2012 Tue 14-Sep-21 19:18:22

I hope you are able to sort this Maya1 do let us know how you get on.

Caleo Tue 14-Sep-21 19:41:27

I'd move my bed downstairs, but that is just me and would not suit everyone.

25Avalon Tue 14-Sep-21 20:23:33

Have you tried leaving the television on for him? You would possibly be better off speaking to a dog behaviouralist.

Hetty58 Tue 14-Sep-21 20:36:47

Caleo, I sleep downstairs these days as my JRT often needs a trip outside in the early hours. It's quite bad enough struggling with the harness and putting garden shoes on - without negotiating stairs when I'm half asleep

Bluebellwould Tue 14-Sep-21 20:39:36

Why not try an intercom type thing so you could speak to him from your bedroom? You might have to wake up but not get out of bed. Good luck.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 20:40:19

Thanks everyone. I will keep you updated.
Yes, we have left the both television and the radio on for him.
It didn't help, l will contact Wood Green animal charity, we rescued him from there and l believe they can recommend behaviouralists.
If it comes to it, and we cannot get him sorted or upstairs, we would have to change our sofa for a sofa bed.

Maya1 Tue 14-Sep-21 20:44:15

Bluebellwould, The intercom is a great idea, l hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 15-Sep-21 13:50:13

Think back: could anything have scared him a week ago on Friday or Saturday that he is reacting to?

Have there been any changes in your neighbourhood? New neighbours, a new dog or cat next door?

Has a fox or badger suddenly decided that your garden, or the neighbours, would be a good place to stroll at night?

I would find another vet and get a second opinion if I were you. Yours sound rather useless.