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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I have an 11 year old West Highland Terrier and maybe about a month ago, he began to start howling and crying at night. He used to always sleep upstairs but after he started doing this he had to stay downstairs because he would keep everyone awake.
This has gradually got worse and now when he's in one of these 'spells' he will howl, cry, jumps on furniture if he can, starts retching, panting, pulls the cushion out of his basket etc
I'm sure it can't be because he wants attention because he's always around people, and if i ever hear him cry i try to give him as much attention as possible to see if he's okay but he will respond for a short while but then just walks away and carries on.
He is almost completely deaf but he's been like this for a while so i don't think this is the cause, however he was castrated a couple of months ago to remove a tumour and it really seemed to get worse after that, becoming a regular habit of his.
He does get walked regularly but often can't walk far due to his age.
I would really appreciate any feedback on what this could be about or due to, it literally makes me so sad seeing and hearing him going this crazy and not being able to help. When we tried to tell the vet he didn't seem to think it was a big deal, and more due to bad behaviour but he isn't a badly behaved dog at all, plus it's definitely got worse since we were last there.
Thank you
 

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I wonder if he is panicked at night, unable to hear and get his bearings. The drop in hormone level may also be affecting his confidence, his mood and his perceptions.
I would definitely talk this all over with the vet.

Does he have a crate he ever spends time in? If so, he might feel more secure in that at night, particularly if it was placed right next to the bed of his favorite member of the family. It seems like he needs more human contact at night, not less, or to be isolated downstairs, but also might benefit from some physical boundaries so he is not wandering about worrying about stuff.

Another alternative would be to tether him to someone's dresser, with his bed on the floor. Sometimes fewer options for a confused dog is actually the solution to this sort of anxious behavior. I would try putting him right near someone he feels safe with, rather than away from the family.

All just a guess though. You who are there, will be best able to figure out why he is so upset at night. The whole thing speaks of insecurity and anxiety to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for replying guys. He's been back to the vets and it's pretty much exactly what you said beardiedawg, he's now on selgian tablets
Thanks for all of the replies, it's much appreciated and definitely helped persuade my dad that we shouldn't just accept the behaviour with the reasoning he's getting old!
 
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