night barking/roaming around/

by Steven
(Boise,Idaho)

We have a 6 year old mini schnauzer who is going blind due to retinal degeneration. Lately she has taken to staying up all night roaming around and lightly barking. put her in a kennel and she scratches to get out. Put her in a room and she also scratches to get out. She will sit in the middle of the room and lightly Woof. Is she loosing her mind??? She is walked for a good time in the evening allowed to run in the school football area to take the edge off. Help pls

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Aug 11, 2015
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Blindness/Anxiety
by: Jenny

I agree with others. This is definitely anxiety and fear and the sounds she is making are little comforting noises to perhaps alert you to the fact that she is worried about being alone and not being able to see properly. Have you tried her with a low light on? That might work. If not, this is the time to keep her close because she needs you.

Aug 07, 2015
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other senses
by: Betty

She may also be adjusting to being more in darkness, her vision is probably worse when all the lights are off, so she is on guard and wants people to know she's there. She is lightly barking to hear her sound bounce off of objects. They say when you loose sight your other senses highten.

I agree the closeness of being in bed with you may help her to calm down and relax and not be so nervous in the darkness. Also may try having a favorite toy or blanket with her when the lights are out, that may help her relax and curl up with one of them.

Aug 07, 2015
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poor thing
by: Linda and Max

I am not an animal behaviourist but if there are no underlying other health issues, it sounds like she is coming to terms with her blindness.
It sounds like she is frightened and anxious and cannot settle because of it. The fact that is is a soft woof is quite pitiful, poor thing.
I don't think she is losing her mind, she is losing her sight.
Give her lost of attention, talk gently to her. Take her on familiar walks so you can still go on them when her sight disappears. Take her on walks on the leash so she can do the same routes confidently with no sight. Fill her with confidence and love.
I wouldn't always recommend this, but have you tried letting her sleep on the bed where she is near you? Would that help her or would she still be restless?

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