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another senior dog issue?


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I am hoping to pick your brains on what I have just witnessed (and is still occurring at a slightly lesser intensity) with my senior dog Ritz -- Sheltie mix, will be 19 years in October.


This evening, she was sleeping in the TV room, then jumped up and started pacing/running through the house while panting and whining. I thought she might have a sudden urge to go outside to pee or poop so I picked her up and took her outside. [she can not descend the 4 steps from the porch to the ground.] She seemed to calm down a little bit outside and did pee after a couple of minutes. I walked the other dog, Torque, for a few minutes then heard her frantically barking at the front door. When I let her back inside, she was even more frantic with her pacing, panting, circling, and whining and shaking. I tried to hold/hug her, but she just shook and after a few seconds, just wanted to be let go. After a couple more minutes of frantic activity, I put a Thundershirt on her - to no avail. Then I tried to distract her by feeding her some ground meat (which she ate), but her frantic activity did not slow. She has now continued this activity for about 25 - 30 minutes, but is now just beginning to subside.


She definitely was in a panic state. She has always been an anxious dog and is currently on Alprazolam to reduce anxiety.


Is this one form of canine cognitive disorder? Could it be a seizure? Any other ideas?


Thanks for any thoughts.



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I'm sorry for you and Ritz. I hope she is ok today. I used to think seizures were all similar. Peitit mal or grand mal and had routine characteristics but then the vet I work for attended a continuing education seminar on neurology and showed me a website (by Cornell) that had videos of dogs with seizure type activity and I realized that I was wrong. Seizures can vary quite a bit. Hopefully this was just a nightmare made worse by cognitive dysfunction ( a client of ours calls it dogmentia) and not something worse. Good Luck.

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Thanks for your thoughts.


Nightmare? At this age, there could be several (or multiple) reasons for Ritz's behavior. A nightmare is not out of the question, but the length of the episode suggests more than a nightmare.


I had just brought her in to the vet on Saturday because I was worried about a UTI. She did have some blood in her urine, so she is on a course of Clavamox. At the same time, they pulled blood for chemistries, and she has exceptional bloodwork for her age. It is possible that her system could have gone wacky between Saturday a.m. and Sunday p.m., but recent test results are normal.


I spoke with the vet yesterday, and she agreed that it could have resulted from CCD or a seizure or ......? At her age, take your pick. One change we made was to increase her Alprazolam (anti-anxiety) from 1 tab per day [1/2 tab, twice per day] --- to 1 and 1/2 tab per day [1/2 at mid-day, and 1 tab about 7-8pm] to allow her to rest calmly throught the night. Last night was a good night, so we will see how it goes.

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