Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Dogs Vets
Why does my dog keep changing position while sleeping
At any point, if your dog gets up repeatedly and keeps changing position, he is probably experiencing some form of pain or discomfort.
Lacking the gift of voice, therefore, we dog owners need to take action and find out what is happening to our furry friends. In most cases, the best option is to visit a vet.
Only the vet can truly diagnose what is going on through a physical examination and potentially further diagnostics.
Below is just a list of possible causes if your dog is getting up repeatedly and keeps changing position; however, as previously mentioned, the best option is to always visit the vet to be safe.
My dog is getting up repeatedly and keeps changing position
If your dog gets up repeatedly and keeps changing position, don’t just assume that it’s just a temporary oddity that may go away on its own.
A dog that can’t get comfortable is likely to be experiencing some pain or discomfort and the underlying causes may be serious.
Dogs tend to be rather stoic creatures, hiding their pain as long and as much as possible. This stems from the dog’s past history in the wild, where the manifestation of some form of disease makes them particularly vulnerable to predators.
As dogs cannot talk, it is very important to pay attention whenever dogs start to behave differently. Of course, a dog that gets up repeatedly and keeps changing its position is not always sick.
It may just be that the affected dog is feeling hot and can’t find a place to stay cool. Most dogs that are hot will pant and move from lying on a rug or carpet to a tile or shaded area outdoors.
Sometimes a dog that gets up repeatedly and keeps changing poses may just be a dog that is trying to find a place where it is quiet and can fall into a deep sleep.
The context in which the repetitive behavior is taking place along with the dog’s accompanying physical manifestations can therefore help dog owners determine if vet care should be sought; since these symptoms may be a sign of some serious medical issues, it is always best to play it safe and visit the vet sooner rather than later.
A sign of Possible Arthritis
If your dog gets up repeatedly and keeps changing his position, there is a chance that he is suffering from some kind of joint pain, especially arthritis, as seen in older dogs.
“This is a very common complaint I get from clients about their older pets.
Sometimes it can be an indication of arthritis and discomfort when moving and changing positions.
Older dogs develop arthritis and this can be somewhat embarrassing,” states veterinarian Dr. Nicole.
As tempting as it is to give dogs pain-relieving medications such as aspirin or Tylenol, it is important to understand that these drugs are not safe and can cause toxicity and death.
Therefore, a visit to the vet is necessary so that affected adult dogs can receive safe pain relief options that can help ensure a good quality of life.
Possible health problems – Internal pain
Many health problems in dogs can happen internally, making them difficult to recognize. Even blood work can sometimes provide no evidence of internal problems such as some forms of cancer affecting the dog’s organs.
Therefore an abdominal ultrasound can be useful to rule out any malignancy or cancer.
Abdominal pain may be the cause if your dog gets up repeatedly and keeps changing its position.
Affected dogs may develop restlessness and frequent stretching, which may be caused by gastroenteritis or a more serious problem such as an ingested foreign body causing a blockage.
It is important to see a veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will likely start with a physical examination and x-rays of the abdomen.
Sometimes internal pain can involve problems with the dog’s internal organs such as the kidneys, liver, spleen, or pancreas.
In certain cases, the dog may develop fluid buildup in the abdomen as a result of a problem with the dog’s liver.
If fluid builds up in the abdomen, lying down may feel uncomfortable and even make it difficult for the dog to breathe.
If the vet suspects a problem with the internal organs, then hemorrhages and ultrasound may be insightful to check their condition.
Other possible problems
Canine urinary tract problems and Age
If your dog is getting up repeatedly and continues to change position, there is a chance of several other different problems that require investigation with the help of a vet.
Sometimes a dog may become repeatedly when suffering from urinary incontinence.
As dogs age, their sphincters can weaken, which can cause leakage while the dog is resting or sleeping.
Consequently, the dog may be awakened by the sensation of a trickle of urine leaking and this may cause him to get up or move to another resting place.
If you have an older dog and you suspect this is happening, you can try passing a paper towel on the floor and see if you collect any ‘poo’.
Another possibility is a dog that is suffering from heart problems. As heart problems progress, affected dogs can develop a sudden worsening of signs and symptoms, which in medicine is called “decompensation“.
This deterioration can cause the dog’s heart to leak fluids into the chest area, making it difficult for the dog to breathe when lying down.
X-rays are effective in this case, as they can show signs of pulmonary edema (excess fluid in the lungs) and an enlarged heart.
Other possible differences, if your dog gets up repeatedly and keeps changing postures, include suffering from a pinched nerve in the neck or back, which makes the affected dog feel uncomfortable when trying to lie down and fall asleep, or the onset of a Саnine Соgnitive Dysfunсtiоn (ССD) is а dementiа-like syndrоme thаt оссurs in аррrоximаtely 15% оf оlder dоgs
Of course, there may be several other potential causes not listed here. See your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How can I help my dogs with Cognitive Dysfunction?
Aging dogs and older cats should be screened and evaluated for signs of cognitive impairment using available diagnostic tools and treatment should be started as soon as possible.
Treatment options include pharmaceutical agents, nutritional therapy, dietary supplements, and behavioral enrichment.
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