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Dog waking every 2 hours.

Species: Dog
Breed: Maltese
Age: 5-8 years
Our dog gets congested, breathes through his mouth, his mouth dries out and he wants water; he wakes every hour. After drinking water 2 times, he has to go out to relieve himself.

Our sleep is broken and so is his. We are all sleepy and cranky all day. Is there a children's medicine we can give him to help him breath better at night? He weighs 10 lbs.

Help!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Tribble is having problems!

This is an interesting situation. I am wondering if the problem is really that he has a dry mouth or if there is something else going on. In all of my years of practice I have never heard of a dog having to get up every hour because of a dry mouth.

I'm wondering instead if there is something going on that is causing Tribble to be extra thirsty and also have to urinate more. There are a number of things that can cause this including diabetes, kidney disease (either from a bacterial infection or toxin), liver disease and more.

A dog should not have to go outside every 2 hours, so this is not normal.

The other possibility is that this has become a learned behavior. So, he has trained himself to get up every two hours. He may be asking to go out simply because he wakes up and he is lonely and wants you to communicate with him.

The first thing I would recommend is to have your vet take a look at him and do some tests (likely urine tests) to make sure there is no medical reason for him to have to go out so often. Your vet can also check to see if there is excessive nasal congestion. If there is an infection or other reason for him to be having problems they can address this, but really I don't think this is the issue. (Also, there isn't an over the counter decongestant that I can recommend.)

If this is believed to be a behavioral problem then what I would suggest is this:

Let's say you go to bed at 10pm and Tribble wakes you up at 12 am. Don't get up to let him out until 12:30. (If he goes back to sleep then that is great). Otherwise, let him out at 12:30. Then, when he wakes up again wait another 30 minutes before you let him out. This will help his sleep cycle to be reset. The next night he should go 2.5 hours between wanting to go out, so we can try to push it to 3. Eventually he should get through the night.

The other option is to ask your vet for some sedative to give him for a few nights to help him to relearn to sleep through the night. Unfortunately again, there is no over the counter medication that I can recommend.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.