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One of my family's dogs has started twitching in her sleep, constantly. Normally I wouldn't be concerned; I've been raised around dogs and have had at least one dog sleep in my bed at night for the past 8 years. I know what's generally normal for all of my dogs and this is definitely not the same as any twitching I've seen before in them or others' pets. It is also completely new for her.

She is a spayed seven year old chihuahua mix. For a couple weeks, whenever she's sleeping, she twitches fairly hard nonstop for the entire time she's asleep, every single time. The twitching is only around her chest and shoulders. Her breathing is also louder when this is happening. Before this started she only twitched occasionally and was fairly quiet. She is overweight with luxating patellas in both back legs. She came from an accidental litter a close friend's dogs had; I know her relatives are not entirely healthy as two of them have "Chinook seizures" (I can't recall the more technical word for it at the moment but thats what their vet informed their owners). We are working on getting her weight down.

So... it's possible this is just some odd quirk I haven't seen in any of the dogs I've had, but with it being a sudden difference it's worrying me anyway. Thoughts?
 

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Poor girl. It does sound like a condition, though not a too serious one. It could be related to seizures that is causing this, though you would have to ask a vet. Some dogs can have nightmares that cause them to breath more heavily and jerk. Now, I'm not sure how dog nightmares work, but I hear senior dogs can have night-terrors and a dog is considered a senior past 6 years of age.

As long as she seems to be getting enough sleep and isn't tired or sore during the day it probably isn't any danger to her. I am no expert, however, so I would ask a vet during your next visit.

We have a dog that has seizures sometimes, about once every 2-3 months, and they always happen at night. Just something interesting about her.

I hope all turns out okay. Best of luck!
 
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