Non stop barking

Seems old age is finally catching up with my Toto. For three days in a row, he’s had nightly seizures -like at 1 or 3 am- followed by non-stop barking from 5am to … Heaven knows, I leave for work at 8. It is angry barking at something. Seizures are normal, he’s got brain damage. He’s usually quite active after seizures, eats and drinks normally, not lethargic or anything.
Hungry? Nope.
Thirsty? Nope.
Bathroom? Nope.
Pain? Nope, he’s been checked by the vet. He’s Okish. Vet says he’s old and may be showing signs of senility.
Cats? No, he’s not barking in their direction/they are not around.
Bobby? No, though Bobby is also getting pissed off and ocassionally has joined in howling as in saying “enough, already!”
Lonely? I hug him and pet him and he keeps barking at something…
Ghosts? Since he’s blind, maybe it is his sixth sense. At this point, I am grasping at straws… Salt guns, anyone?

Now I think I know how you guys feel when your babies cry all night…

Sorry Icon. Hope Toto gets better soon.

Sounds like perseveration to me. Generally it’s not an intentional act but reflexive as the brain keeps misfiring in the same place over and over.

Think of it this way:

A seizure is like a giant lightning storm in the brain. Afterwards there’s a spot which is still zapping off little bolts of lightning constantly.

Since seizures are damaging to the brain, I’d focus in on seeing what medications are available for dog. To address the perseverative act you could see what anti-anxieties are available.

Most importantly, this is not a conscious act. This is not due to some external cause. You can’t convince Toto that he’s barking at nothing because he’s barking at his brain.

Today when the barking started -4:59am sharp- I took Toto and put him in my room. Immediately, the cats started attacking him, giving him more to bark about and joining Bobby into the fray…

I can see this making me very popular with the neighbors.

Anyways, I will call the vet again this morning and see if he changed anything about Toto’s medication or take him tonight and see what else can be done, though the vet says Toto is OK in that regard. Yet, Toto seems too hyperactive for my taste lately.

I agre with you, Skoster, definetively is a misfire, and Toto’s seeing or replaying something else. At least, I can still distract him with food, but I am afraid I’d be rewarding the 5am barking spree and we definetively don’t want that.

poor Toto, hope he recovers soon.

Well, took Toto to the vet today, he was checked -bloodwork, head to toe tapping, etc… No clues. It has happened before but not straight in a row for so long a period of time. sigh

My sister’s dog has started doing this as well. She is very old, and it seems she has dementia. She is partially blind, and often will just bark non-stop at the wall. There is nothing there, but because of her blindness and (perhaps) confusion she must think there is something there. If you find anything that helps, please post, because I’d like to help my sister deal with this before she just decides to have the poor dog euthanized.

Mine is on medication. Talk to the vet, there is a very good kind of aminoacid pill they give him for brain function, too.

Dementia is a natural result of living too long. I’d recommend my strategies: take doggie for longer walks, make him exhausted, so he sleeps through. Pented up energy is not good for young or old dogs.

Once the barking starts, I do not know how to stop it, but it can be prevented. Good luck.

Thanks Icon. I’ll recommend taking the poor thing to the vet. The dog can’t walk as long as she used to be able to, so I also wonder if maybe she wants to go out for longer walks like before, forgetting each time that she just can’t handle them anymore. It’s surprising how fast they seem to fade.

Instead of long walks, if they can, they can do frequent smaller ones. What you need is to keep them distracted. Toto is also blind, and does not hear well, so I guess their world becomes very frightening. If instead they are like stimulated with outside stuff, instead of silence, then they lose part of that anxiety of not knowing what’s there.

Probably the poor thing has some arthritis as well, so avoid stairs, preferably walk on soft soil or grass.

My vet is a specialist in Chinese medicine applie dto pets, his name is Doctor Hung, 02- 2740-7366

Thanks. more frequent but short walks might help. I know my own dog became obviously very distressed when he became deaf. The best way to calm him down was to hold and pat him.

Well, we are at it again. 2am barking sprees. But now they are accompanied by seizure bouts. 2 or 3 in one hour, stops for like 4 hours, then starts again. The vet says that the older Toto gets, the more seizures he’s gonna get. sigh

Yesterday, as I got home from work, I had to spring to give him a bath as he was all covered in his own, ehem, incontinence. Took him for a brief walk afterwards, he caught some fleas on his nose. He’s also eating less and less, but he is very thirsty. Last night, after a seizure, he drank a whole soup bowl of water by himself. His barking sounds different, too.

Icon, I’m sure this is something you’ve already thought about, but isn’t this now at the point where Toto’s experience of life is - as you said yourself - simply frightening. And if he’s not eating, it may be that he’s ready for nature to take its course. If I ever find myself trapped inside a body and mind that malfunctions in such a disastrous way, I fervently hope I have someone who loves me enough to release me from it.

Yes, that is the line in the sand. He always has such great appetite, if he stops eating altogether I think it will be time to talk about “release” that with the vet.

Last night he was a bit better, went out on his walk a bit wobbly, but seemed to help, as he ate as usual. I am a bit concerned about his thirst, though, he is drinking water as if it was going out of style. And peeing just as well… But the barking is getting to me, being awaked at 1am and 4:30am is no fun. He’s got more blood tests coming this weekend, let’s see if anything shows up.

Toto just had an ultrasound of the brain and blood test. Result: healthier than me.