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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things that Moan and Groan in the Night


I thought that title would get your attention.  :-)  But no... I'm talking about the beloved Zephyr.  Since last summer sometimes Zephyr moans and groans during his sleep, mostly during the night when I'm trying to sleep.  He didn't do this before he got encephalitis, or a least not to this extent.  I thought I would describe this and then maybe some of you could tell me if any of your dogs do a similar thing.

First let me say that I really don't think it's dreaming.  It seems to only happen when he moves while sleeping, like when he rolls over, stretches out, any type of body adjustment.  A lot of the time it sounds to me like he is uncomfortable or somehow frustrated, sometimes it just sounds like a normal groan.  Sometimes it is so loud that it wakes me up, and that's when the worrying can set in.  You see, in the couple days that Zephyr was sick before we made the mad dash to the neurology center in Phoenix and I found out that he had encephalitis, he was groaning when he tried to sleep because his head hurt.  In addition, I was alerted to everyone of Zephyr's seizures because each began with a very loud kind of groan/yell.

Hence, I have spent many sleepless nights worrying that he is groaning because the encephalitis is coming back.  Luckily everyone of those nights has been greeted with a happy boy who vigorously shakes his head with no pain and goes about wagging his tail.  I try to remind myself of this during the sleepless nights, but there is no logic at 2:30 in the morning.  Oh yes, and there are the few times that I've thought he was having a seizure, thrown the covers off, flew out of bed only to scare the crap out of the animals, sending them flying up and standing there looking at me as if to say "What The Hell Are You Doing, Crazy Lady!!!"







I have a few ideas for why he might be doing this.  I first noticed it in July when I reduced his prednisone and I noticed it happen in December and January when I reduced it.  Even though I did small reductions, 1.25mg, spaced at least 2 weeks apart I think for the first one or two nights it made him achy and maybe that's why he would groan.  For a week now he's only been taking the 5mg of prednisone in the morning.  A lot of the time it does sound like a groan from being achy.  And, I read that when people reduce prednisone it can make them feel not so great and achy because the body has to get used to going back to producing it's own cortisone.  The night after he had his first big run in the snow in the forest he was very moany and groany.  So I figured that was from the fact that it's a lot more work for him to run in pretty deep snow and he was probably stiff and achy from that.  He did seem a little stiff in the morning after that.  But what about the nights that don't follow a prednisone reduction or heavy playing or running?  And what about the nights that he doesn't moan and groan?  Are some dogs just moany and groany when they sleep?  Zephyr is generally a pretty vocally expressive guy, he can really talk it up and tell you what he thinks.  Could the seizure med. do funny things?  Any one have experiences like this or any ideas?

13 comments:

gyeong said...

I have no advice, but I hope it's just something he does and not a symptom of a medical condition. Glad he is still feeling good.

houndstooth said...

Blueberry is a moaner and groaner, and she also seems to move more when she sleeps. I don't know if that's related or not. She seems to dream more, too. Or maybe I should say, she makes a lot more noise and movement when she dreams.

I've been on predisone, and it was pretty miserable. I don't remember being achy when I went off it, but I do remember feeling like I wanted to climb out of my own skin while I was on it. It's possible that he isn't feeling good while his body readjusts to less pred in his body!

Sue said...

Sorry can't offer any help on this one. Song does moan when she moves around in her bed, but not like you describe Zephyr doing.

Could it be that with the hi9gher meds he slept soundly, but now with the lower dose he is more awake and so restless?

Had to laugh at the photo of him on his back:)

Declan said...

Sorry, no real advice, but me & especially my Uncle Flynn was a groaner. I tend to groan when I'm asleep whereas Flynn would move a lot and groan. Obviously it's a greyhound thing but how you tell regular groaning from distressed moaning, we don't know. Deccy x

Sue aka Greyhound Lover said...

sorry no knowledge from me either, if it continues and you're still worried maybe have a chat with his vet.

Sending you both lots of love
Sue x

Angela J. said...

Nothing here either on the moaning but I know what you mean about hearing every little thing they do in the night. Beckett does a lot of sighing and yipping in his sleep and I've jumped up and flicked on the light thinking he was choking or something and they all look at me like I've lost my mind.

Declan said...

Mum mentioned about Zephyr to a friend of hers. She said that some of the side effects of predisone are hyperactivity and insomnia. Don't know if maybe that explains anything. Deccy x

KB said...

My pups both make noises in their sleep. Now, I have the same problem as you. I know that the next place that K's cancer will go is her lungs. All her little noises now awaken me with a start as I illogically leap to the 3 AM conclusion that her noise came from her lungs...

So, I understand the syndrome.

I'm afraid that I can't shed any light on why Zephyr moans and groans. We've had a couple of dogs who we weaned off pred, and I don't remember moaning and groaning but your explanation about achiness makes sense to me...

I hope that the fact that he's been fine each time recently will help you to learn to sleep through his nighttime noises.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

I can understand how this would be a big worry for you:( Wish I could help but I've never come across moaning and groaning like this. I'd be inclined to mention it to Zephyr's vet too.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Interesting... sometimes it sucks to be so observant. Sometimes I want to be blissfully unaware.

Steff said...

I have a bloodhound/lab mix, and he moans and groans constantly (he has no health problems as far as I can tell.). I've read other people write casually about their hounds moaning and groaning, so I wonder if groaning in generalthe is a hound thing (I have ownedto and known several dogs ofturns other breedsdo who didnt moantext like this) although in your pup's case it sounds like it is related to how he's feeling. I hope he's doing better. That ordeal must have been terrifying!

Diane Patricia said...

I found your blog through Greytalk as I was looking up meningitis. My greyhound has had it since 9/2009 and had the spinal tap and such. She's been on prednisone since then, adding Imuran less than a year ago. I have tried to wean her off the meds, but she just goes back to being stiff, sore, feverish and her eyes get all crazy. Unfortunately it all seems to be taking its toll on her now. She has lots of feet issues and skin problems related to a bad immune system and all the steroids. Still, it looks like your Zephyr kept his fur, mine didn't. I remember the neurologist saying that 1/3 of dogs with this disease are cured with steroids, 1/3 have no help with meds, and 1/3 have disease controlled by meds. I guess I got the middle one, but it just never goes away.

Hiking Hounds said...

Diane, Sorry to hear that your girl has meningitis/encephalitis. I think the chemotherapy treatment is what really stopped Zephyr's encephalitis. I don't know if your girl could do that, but it might be worth asking about. Zephyr did loose most of his fur and his skin was very thin, but it came back as the medicine was reduced. I am constantly worrying that the encephalitis will come back. It's great that you've been able to manage it. Best wishes to you and your girl.