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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Recently, my 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Bluetick Coonhound mix has started waking up in the middle of the night like the world is ending.

Last weekend, I brought him with me to visit my family in Massachusetts, and when we returned to Virginia Sunday night, he woke up in the middle of the night running around the room crashing into walls and whimpering. He seemed to wake up from it, so I (stupidly) lifted him onto our bed to see if I could get a better look at him. I turned away for a second and he jumped off the bed and ran straight into a wall, scraping his lip on the carpet.

I started gathering our things to go the ER, and he seemed to be fine again. He was looking around, drinking water, he even went outside to relieve himself. When I brought him inside to get my purse, he went to the door and froze. It was like a baby deer learning how to stand again. The whites of his eyes were showing and he was drooling (which he never does). We carried him into the car, and he was perfectly normal. By time we reached the vet, he was perfectly content, focused and alert.

Bloodwork, neurological tests, and urine samples all came back with flying colors. I brought him home and he started acting nervous again, especially near our bedroom where the episode happened. He wouldn't go near it, and if I brought him into the room for a treat he would tuck his tail down and wait for me to let go of him so he could run back to the front door.

He was like this, fearful and disinterested in play or other dogs, for the rest of the day. The next morning, which was Tuesday, he threw up after drinking some water. I brought him back to the vet, and he spent the day there while I was at work. The vet said he was behaving completely normal, and was interested in the other dogs and friendly with the staff.

When I picked him up from the vet, it was like nothing had happened. He went into our room, laid on his bed, played tug of war, ate all of his food and had his usual happy-dog Jacoby smile. The vet said it looked like marijuana poisoning, since he has recently had his Lyme vaccination and no toxins came up in any of the tests.

For the rest of the week, he was like himself again, content and happy. Last night, I woke up around 2:30 AM and found him sitting near the door with fear in his eyes and a nervous pant. When I took him outside, he wanted to play and run around the yard and roll in the grass. When we came back in, he immediately became scared again, with his ears back and tail down.

He slept in the hallway for the rest of the night, right outside of the door, too scared to come back into the bedroom. I finally coaxed him into the room, but he went into our closet and watched me fearfully from under my coats while I got ready for work.

My question is, are these normal symptoms for seizure-like episodes? Do other dogs become terrified of the room where they had a seizure? Is it even seizures that are plaguing him? After reading more about night terrors, it seems less like a seizure, since he never loses consciousness or control over his bowels or bladder.

The ER vet said my description sounds like an idiopathic seizure, and also suggested marijuana poisoning. I just don't know where he could have ingested that much marijuana. My dad's girlfriend does smoke, but I don't know when he could have come into contact with it - and why is it still happening nearly a week after we left Massachusetts? My regular vet said he doesn't think he has epilepsy, although it could be possible. It's so hard to get any sleep thinking about how scared he is in his own home.

If anyone has any recommendations, or ideas, it would be greatly appreciated! Sorry for the long winded explanation, it's just such a strange ailment. I've never owned a pet with seizure-like episodes, so each time it happens I have my own anxiety attack about his health.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

It does not sound like seizures to me. It would not surprise me if he had a bad dream and the rest that happened scared him more. My Golden woke me up one night crying like I have never heard her. I come out to check on her and she was sound asleep. I have seen dogs run in their sleep and all kinds of things.

Does he have a kennel? If so, I would put that in your room and leave the door open. He may feel more secure in an enclosed area for now. He does not have to worry about something getting him.
 

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Sounds like night terrors and sleep walking to me. I havent seen a dog have a seiszure but i have them myself so you would expect alot of uncontrollqable jerking nad shaking
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No kennel, he's a rescue so when I got him he was terrified of the crate. He would bark incessantly for hours until let out. We live in an apartment unfortunately now, so we never really worked on stopping the barking and instead just eliminated the crate.

But thank you for the response! Last night he started the usual fearful stare by the door, so we put him in our bed and he slept the whole night through no problems. I think you guys are right about the terrors. It just doesn't seem like seizures since he's so conscious of his fear.
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Since the tests came back fine I don't think it's seizures at all. It sounds like night terrors. Sophie gets them, eldest human son usedta too, lucky me...anyway, it's just something that certain animals get. Sophie will stand up like you describe and go into panic mode while she's still asleep, barking, shaking, running to the bedroom door, but not responsive to us talking to her. Then after a couple very long minutes she stands still and shakes her head and jumps back on the bed and closes her eyes. Best I can say is try to keep him from hurting himself, if you see him ready to clunk into something toss a pillow/cushion/clothes, to cushion head from dressers, tables, the floor. Human kids usually outgrow it, dogs I'm not sure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
He's been doing great ever since so I think you guys are right. Thank you all for your advice! :)
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Our Addy had night terrors, she would sleep in either my daughter's bed or my bed; she would wake up eyes rolling barking, whimpering, twitching really bad, we would make a point to wake her up carefully by rubbing her and calling her name. She'd finally wake up and take a few minutes to get oriented and then look at us and sigh loudly and go back to sleep, Not as severe as yours but it took months for those to subside. She had also had liver failure from toxic ingestion...neurological symptoms also...might be related to that toxin.
 
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