October 18, 2013

White Dog sensed my 4am frustration. She pressed closer. Nuka was having a bad day. Full moon, change in weather, I could not figure out the cause but she had struggled against eating, had whimpered randomly and was now having night terrors.

All night Steve and I had taken turns holding her in our arms and calming her back to sleep only to have her awaken after less than a hour crying and scrambling frantically to gain her footing. Steve had taken her outside thinking maybe...she had been helped to drink water...we tried the dog bed, the floor against our bed, curled with Oso. Nothing was working but nothing seemed physically wrong (except her behavior). In just two hours Steve needed to rise to finish homework and then to head to work. I had a Paws To People booth to be at from 8am until 5pm. How could I leave her alone like this? How would we function without sleep? What was wrong?

As light dawned Nuka settled down and finally fell into a deep sleep. I heard White Dog sigh with relief and I kissed her head. 

"This is so much like what Ed described his mom going through after her stroke," Steve said, referring to a friend whose family was taking turns staying with her all night to keep her company and to ease her terrors. A little research revealed that Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in Dogs affects 50% of dogs over age ten, with those dogs exhibiting at least one of the symptoms including disturbance of aactivity and sleep patterns. The dog sleeps more in a 24-hour period, but sleeps less during the night. It seems there is a comparative connection between human Alzheimer's and the canine disease.

I resorted to heavily dosing Another White Dog with her pain med to guarantee she would sleep the day away and gave Michael written instructions on how to deal with the possibilities that might arise. The White Dog Army promised to look after her and provide Pack support. Reluctantly I left, praying for all to go well and hoping the long medicated sleep would be beneficial.

It seemed to help. Michael and the WDA had done a fine job and Nuka was awake and pain-free. She even ate on her own and fell back asleep in my arms post-dinner. Tonight will be the test and we are going to once again give her Tramadol, to ease any physical pain and to help her sleep...hopefully through the night.


rottrover said...

Nuka, tramadol helps me sleep, too. Trust your pack to keep you safe.


STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh Nuka, take care little white dog. We will keep you in our thoughts. No worries, and LOVE, Stella and Rory

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I hope sleep and rest came to you last night.

Random Felines said...

oh sweet Nuka.....we are sending you quiet healing purrs

Jeanne Pursell said...

We sure do hope that you all get more sleep tonight...and Nuka we are sending you all kinds of healing energy and hugs. xo Chloe and LadyBug

Brian said...

I sure hope happy sleeps and happy continues dear Nuka.

meowmeowmans said...

Oh, poor Nuka. We are seding heartfelt purrs and prayers, sweet one.

KB Bear said...

We truly hope that Nuka feels better consistently very soon. Kudos to Michael and the pack for helping her through that long day.

We had two elderly dogs a few years ago who were helped immensely by a doggy-dementia drug (I cannot remember the name of it). It was expensive but it seemed worth its high cost for the peace that it brought them. One of those dogs had terrible terrors with shaking and trembling before he started the med.

In any case, I hope that Nuka rests well tonight.