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Ask the Veterinarian/Restless dog and sleepless nights


I have a 10-year-old dachshund-mix that hasn't been feeling well recently. We have spent a lot of time at the vet trying to find what is wrong. Long story short, first he was treated for upset stomach, then back pain which none of the medications set well with him, and he is now on medication for a stomach ulcer. He is on Carafate and Pepcid right now and it seems to make him feel better. However, when he was on tramadol for what was assumed to be back pain, he refused to go in his crate anymore. He would start dry heaving like he was going to throw up. Up until this point he has slept in his crate no problem for the 9 years that I have had him. He even would go in there on his own to take naps. The few times I allowed him to sleep in bed with me he would sleep all night no problem. Now he will only sleep about three to four hours before he wakes up. He is restless and walking all over the bed, jumping down to go get water, or just sitting up in bed. He isn't showing any other signs of pain. By morning he is ready to sleep. Any suggestions?

It's probably the medication that is making him restless. He might not want to go into his crate because he perceives it as the "thing" where he started not feeling well. Animals are funny that way. One reason cats won't use a litter box is because they might have pain in their spine or legs and using the box makes that pain worse, so they then associate the pain with the litter box and won't use it.

That could be how he is seeing his crate, or he just might want to be close to you because he doesn't feel well. It doesn't sound like the problems are really resolved.
Hopefully there were tests run on his spine and legs as well as gastro-intestinal tests to see what is going on in there.

I can't tell you for sure if it's the medication, but that makes sense- that and he still isn't feeling well.

I think you need to explore the issue he was having further. Another thing, in case he IS having back issues you might want to consider a ramp for him to get on and off the bed.
You can make one cheaply with wood and an old carpet.

I hope you find the bottom of the problem soon.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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