View Full Version : Incessant Barking - Losing my Sanity

9th March 2009, 08:49 PM
This is not Cavalier related, but it is dog related!

We adopted Jodie about one month ago. She is a 15.5yr old Samoyed who lived her whole life with most likely a wonderful mom. Unfortunately, her mom died of a stroke and Jodie was left on a bare kennel floor without meds for 2 weeks before being put into a new rescue for 3ish weeks.

The rescue informed us that Jodie was great other than some arthritis. When we received her, she had a horrible cough, severe arthritis and 70% incontinence (despite asking 3 times if she was incontinent because we felt that would be too difficult to deal with).

The cough was first treated with antibiotics, but persisted. She's on theophylline and cough tab now. The theophylline seems to have worked wonders and she rarely coughs. The incontinence was "fixed" with doggie diapers. She does most of her poos outside, but has the occasional mispoop. We dealt with two weeks of urine everywhere before the diapers arrived. We've also dealt with diarrhea everywhere and 6 vomits in one day from Campy which was also treated with antibiotics (baytril).

Jodie is also on rimadyl and tramadol for her arthritis. She can get up on her own if she's motivated, but usually we help her up. She can walk about 3-4 blocks and seems OK.

She is finicky about eating regular food and has to be pilled daily (tried pill pockets, peanut butter, dog food, marshmallows, cheese, etc.) She will eat any treat though.

The most frustrating thing we are dealing with is the incessant barking. She has barked for more or less 8 hours straight. We have tried gentle walks, feeding her, giving her water, and rolling her over if she is in an uncomfortable position. Sometimes we just sit and try to comfort her. We have tried ignoring the barking if we know all her needs have been met. The barking continues. Last night she barked from 11:30-12:00am and then again this morning from 5:00am-8:00am (felt like 4am) which is when I left for work. This is not an unusual occurrence. I feel like I am losing my mind. The barking seems unrelated to whether or not we are with her or in a separate room. Sometimes I have come home from being out and she is barking.

Forgot to mention that she also appears to be deaf. I know she has gone through a really horrid time of things - but if I can't sleep I feel like I will go crazy! Help!

9th March 2009, 10:26 PM
That sounds like a very challenging situation.Has your own vet assessed her? Very old dogs can feel the cold very severely in the early hours and if you can keep her warm as possible and maybe have some background noise in case she can hear.A few hot water bottles maybe to help settle her at 5 am?.Has your vet indicated her possible life expectancy?You've taken on a special dog who otherwise would have had an undignified and sad end to her life and given her proper care and shelter.Perhaps someone with experience of older dogs who are deaf might have some practical help for you.

9th March 2009, 10:39 PM
I am by no means an expert - having just adopted a deaf cavalier who is a barker. As he is only 1, I guess retraining is easier, but he seems to be improving already. I have been ignoring as much as poss, and rewarding when the barking stops. We DO have him sleep in the bedroom where he can se us if he wakes.

10th March 2009, 08:05 AM
Thank you for adopting this precious oldie, but I'm sorry she is proving to be such a challenge.

Samoyeds as a breed are indeed very vocal - if her Mum was also deaf she may well have been left to bark unchecked, and it's going to be a challenge to retrain her.

It is early days but I'm not too sure that ignoring her is going to work - I wonder if she would be better being distracted, perhaps even with something like a large marrowbone that would occupy her for a long period - perhaps in a crate to prevent fights.

Otherwise with something like a kong filled with peanut butter and treats?

1 month is very early days for a dog whom has been through such a distressing experience - she will be very traumatised by what has happened and this may be her only way of reacting.

Could you perhaps get her to an holistic vet and maybe benefit from homoeopathic/flower remedy treatment? Obviously only a medical professional can recommend treatment, but if I was in this situation I would possibly think about using Dr Bach Rescue Remedy {it doesn't affect any other medication she may be on}, you can put 3 drops in the water bowl - it won't hurt other dogs in the household - and/or you can put a couple of drops in her cheek pouch or on the lip folds. Even up to every five minutes if she is very distressed. Otherwise 3-4 times a day.

The other thing that springs to mind is she may have some confusion - there is a condition called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, similar to Alzheimers in humans. Generally the dog exhibits confused behaviour, barking for no reason, losing house training {that may be the case here, it may not even be incontinence}, getting stuck in corners, appearing "absent". It's hard when you don't know what she was like in her earlier years but may be worth mentioning this to your vet too. There are drugs that can help with this such as Vivitonin.

More info here http://www.cdsindogs.com/CDSInDogs.aspx?drug=CC&country=US&species=OO&sec=000 - the drug they mention is only available in the US, Anipryl, but it's a good description of symptoms.

I really hope you can help Jodie and she will have love and comfort for her remaining time wtih you.

10th March 2009, 09:13 PM
Thank you for the helpful replies! I have been living with a deaf Cavalier for years and he has not exhibited similar symptoms so I'm unsure if it's related to the deafness, but it is a possibility.

Samoyed lifespan is 12.5-14.5 years so anyone's guess is as good as mine. I had forgotten about rescue remedy - think I have some on hand! Unfortunately, we cannot really afford this dog - but it was us or euthanasia so we are doing our best for her remainder. We're also working with a Samoyed rescue and she is technically our foster so they are covering most vet expenses and we are covering food and medication. As is, we will not be able to afford holistic care at this time :(

I do wonder if she might be bored and gave her a lamb ear but it was gone in less than ten minutes. Will try the marrow bone. Neither she nor my Cavalier are food aggressive, but I will keep an eye out to make sure no fights occur.

The urinary incontinence is definitely incontinence, she actually constantly drips small amounts of urine to the point that her whole bottom was urine scald when we got her (we have cleared this up though!). When we take her out, she will release whatever is left in her bladder. I can only assume it is connected to her spinal arthritis. I'm looking into acupressure books/online videos too see if there's anything I can do to help her out there.

Will have to ask the vet about CCDS - and since I'm in the US we might be able to get the Anipryl if this is what she has. Once again, thanks for pointing me in the right direction, let's see if I can't find my sanity again ;)

10th March 2009, 10:36 PM
Glad it was some help - and don't forget that Rescue Remedy is for humans too :D

keep us posted - perhaps the rescue might do a fundraiser to help you with medication bills, especially as she obviously has more problems than you were led to believe?

My Cardiologist has Samoyeds, that's how I know a bit about them :)

It might also be worth you looking to see if there is a Samoyed forum - just googled but only finding UK sites...again maybe for help/advice/poss fundraising.

24th March 2009, 01:05 AM
We figured out that the excessive barking is from bad stomach aches. She only really barks when she is having diarrhea which has been painfully often and explosive in the past few weeks.

My Cavalier Misha caught the campy from her and I caught it from one of them so it has been a miserable few weeks. Jodie is still sick and on metronidazole and propectalin though the vet doesn't really think she will recover from this due to her age and stressful situation. She is doing marginally better on this though. We also started feeding her only boiled white rice and chicken for the past week or so. I'm slowly adding some egg and then vitamins and minerals in as well to balance it out.

We took her to our backyard lake this past weekend since the weather was nice.



I'm sure she would appreciate some healing thoughts.

Also, she was uncomfortable the other night and I did 3 acupressure points on her and she went right to sleep :-)

Daisy's Mom
24th March 2009, 01:21 AM
Bless you -- you are angels to take this poor old girl in! She is gorgeous by the way. There are way too many people out there that wouldn't put up with what you've put up with even for their very own dog, and here you are doing all this for someone else's dog because your heart is so big!

I hope things continue to improve for everyone involved.

24th March 2009, 08:38 AM
You are a real star taking on such a challenging dog not many would be up to it. I'm sure you are making her life so much more comfortable, she is gorgeous & is very lucky to have you :)

Cathy Moon
24th March 2009, 10:52 AM
Lovely photo of them together. :lotsaluv:
Have you tried feeding her Nature's Variety frozen raw diet? I've been using it as my first line of defense against diarrhea and it works amazingly well.

24th March 2009, 11:19 AM
Lovely photo..well done for caring so much for her. I hope she feels a little better soon.