My 13 year old Jack Russell hasn't been sleeping through the night for the past few months. He is fixated on food! He wakes me up every 1-3 hours to eat. He always has food in his bowl, but he goes straight to the kitchen. My husband and I can't get a decent nights sleep, hubby is ready to get rid of him! He is constantly under foot in the kitchen during the day and has even gotten his paws stepped on because he is in the way. We are at our wits end!
What kind of food does he normally get? First I would suggest he has a very good high quality food, because it is possible -just possible -the food he is getting isn't sufficient for his needs nutritionally. It might seem enough, it might say enough on the wrapper, but it might not be fulfilling his needs. Senior dogs can have different dietary requirements.
Then it could be this is a form of boredom? And has become a habit -to be fixated on food. Does he have stimulating activities that really interest him and tire him out. Even at 13 a dog needs a little fun. (especially a J.R. because they are almost immortal!) You could try him with a Kong toy, that might help (ie it is food related....he can entertain himself....he can burn off excess energy)
And one last thought....it is just possible he has a form of cognitive dysfunction (age related). Dogs can get that. And if so, there are meds that can help.
I'd try the other things first. If there is no response from him you could speak to your vet about this. There also might be something mild and gentle to help him rest at night.
He gets Pedigree, he is still very active, runs around like a 2 year old! I am going to call the vet tomorrow, I am thinking along the lines of hyperthryroid, diabetes, or dementia. He is more anxious, has diarrhea a couple times a week, too thin, more irritable towards men and drinks alot more.
Thanks for all your suggestions!
Well, you could try taking him off the Pedigree, and trying him with some other food such as Burns, or James Wellbeloved, and there are a number of other high quality foods around. Pedigree is pretty low quality. I know....it's classic,well-known, the label sounds quite friendly, it's not too expensive, dogs eat it, enjoy it.....I used to give my dog Pedigree, and very very occasionally give her some (canned to add to her other food) now if that's all I can find at the time, although she usually gets some home-cooked meat or fish to add to her good dry food. She likes Pedigree. But I know it is store-bought pretty low level food. I know it's the equivalent of me eating takeout Macdonalds or something. OK as a oneoff, but no good every day.
As dogs grow older they can react to things they didn't used to when they were younger, such as food additives, lack of certain essential nutrients, etc. Some additives can cause hyperactivity, and in the long term, could even contribute to kidney or liver problems etc.
I took him to the vet today, his urine was high in protein and low in specific gravity, but no diabetes. She is running blood work, she is leaning towards Cushings disease. I will know more tomorrow when I get the results of the lab work.
I hope that your baby is feeling better.I have an 11 year old Peke and she has gained 7lbs in the last 2 months.We thought that she may have Cushings due to the weight gain and excessive eating and drinking.But all her labs came back fine.Now they are wondering about her thyroid levels.Are they checkig him for that to? Do they think that there is a possibilty that it could be Addisons instead of Cushings.Addisons is the opposite of Cushings and the symptoms that you have described sounds more like Addison to me.As far as being restless at night you can always try Benadryl if it doesnt help then there is a med called Acepromizine that can help.It is used alot for animals that get nervous due to storms,traveling,car trips ,ect.You would have to get it through your vet.Well i hope that all his test come back good.You will be in my prayers.God Bless You.
Boomer is back to his lively self - thanks! All his labs came back fine except for 2 elevated liver enzymes. He had a low dose dexamethasone suppression test Wednesday and I should have the results today or Monday. Thanks for the info about benadry and acepromizine - I am going to look into this.
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