We have two Italian Greyhounds. The older, a 16-year-old neutered female, is nearly blind from cataracts (…

We have two Italian Greyhounds. The older, a 16-year-old neutered female, is nearly blind from cataracts (can only see shadows) and almost completely deaf (responds to loud noises with one ear). She is otherwise healthy having recently had some teeth removed with the vet commenting on the great shape she is otherwise in. She has always slept in the bed with us at night, however, with her lack of eyesight, she cannot judge the edge of the bed and has fallen off so we stopped that practice. She now sleeps on the ground floor of the house in her own bed on the floor. In fact, she spends 24 hours a day in that bed except to eat and when she goes out.
The problem is that at night she will awaken every two hours and begin to bark making it necessary for me to come down to her. I usually will take her out, but often she will just stand there barking until I bring her back in, so I do not think it is a bathroom issue. I think she realizes she is alone and that is what causes the barking. We have tried leaving lights on all night, or the TV, we even got her a heartbeat pillow, but still she will get up and bark every two hours at night. During the day, she will sleep all day without the barking.
The only thing I have found is if I sleep on the couch in the same room she will not get up. What I do not understand is that she cannot see or hear me sleeping in the room yet my being in the room seems to prevent her from waking.
If someone can explain to me how she knows if I am or am not in the room when she cannot see or hear me? It is uncanny. If I am sleeping silently in the room she is fine, but as soon as I leave the room, she is awake and barking within two hours. Better still can someone tell me how to deal with this issue. She is afraid to walk on a lead any more so ‘taking her for a walk before bed’ is not an option. We have tried several different feeding schedules (I make all their food) with no success. Now she is fed in the morning and in the evening. She is not on any medication. It is truly bewildering. Any help would be appreciated.

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Krista Magnifico
1 month ago

Hello,

You have a greyhound. Emphasis on “hound”. She can lose her hearing and sight completely but that nose of hers is a secret weapon. I would guess she knows you are there by all of her sense most importantly her nose. I would either move downstairs or use a gated play pen upstairs for her. It’s safe. She’s with you and it might be a solution. Keep us posted. Also look into cognitive dysfunction in older dogs. There are lots of tips and helpful supplements that might help. Good luck. Keep us posted.