Ask Dr Claire
Dog has spasms whilst asleep that make her whole body jerk to the point she can fall off the couch
Dogs, like us, have a period in their sleep cycle called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. In this time there should only be eye muscle movement. Dogs who have a REM movement disorders often have mild facial or leg twitching, but for some they may have excessive movement and jerking – such as you’ve described with falling off the couch.
Problems in the brain can cause these problems, but more often than not no cause is found.
Usually no treatment is necessary unless the movements are so marked that they can result in harm to your pet. One solution is to have them sleep in safe padded areas, and not in places up high such as couches and beds they could fall off.
If you’re unsure a hands- on examination from your local vet is a great place to start, the vet can do a thorough neurological examination to make sure there are no abnormalities.
We’re on stand-by to help!