Ask Dr Claire

My 9 year old Maltese cross has become very scared at night. She stares at the ceiling like she can see something, pants, can last up to 4 hours

This type of behaviour at night could indicate anxiety and is unfortunately a fairly common problem in aged dogs. It’s thought that failing eyesight and hearing make these guys more disoriented in darkness or dim light.

However there might also be something else underlying, and it’s important to differentiate a behavioural issue from a medical one in your Maltese. 

A hands-on examination from your local vet would be a great place to start. They may even recommend a blood test as a great way to assess your dog’s base health, and will be able to perform a full eye, nerve and musculoskeletal check as part of the hands on examination.

Finding the cause of the vomiting will help us reach the best treatment plan too.

I do have a post on night anxiety in dogs that may be of interest to you.

If you’d like to chat in person, you can book a vet on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail as soon as possible.

We’re here to help!

Chat soon,
Dr Claire