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westiemum

Doggie Dementia/ccd?

460 posts in this topic

Most of you are familiar with my beloved Mac - my ex puppy farm rescue westie who is now 11.5 years... a little background... in the last 12-15 months he has had 2 ACL repairs and a full left ear ablation and yet appears physically to be in the best shape he's been in for years and pain free - couldn't believe how he bounded up and down the stairs at the beach weekend before last when before his ACL ops he would wait and look plaintively until someone carried him and down. He's very deaf (years of chronic untreated ear infections in the puppy farm) and has aging thickening cloudy lenses in his eyes although he still appears to see quite well. He has some arthritis and isn't as fast on his legs as he was but he still runs around (more slowly) and gets around with the other two westies. He still greets me at the door as usual with the other westies. No toileting problems. Generally sleeps through the night - occasionally wakes up and goes outside for a wee (doggie door). The only meds he is on are sylvet capsules for his arthritis and joint powder.

Anyway I'm booking him into my vet tomorrow... but in the meantime could I have some opinions please...

Over the last few months since I returned from overseas in mid October, I've noticed he appears to be becoming a grumpy westie. A couple of weeks ago he barked at me inside - he's never done that before although it was dinner time and he does let me know - that's not unusual - its the barking that was unusual. Last night I was sitting in the lounge with the other two westies and suddenly heard this growling - it was coming from my bedroom. I went in, Mac was lying on his rug on the floor and seemed to be growling at nothing - he stopped when he realised I was there. Tonight, he was on the lounge next to me and seemed to start growling at nothing. He's done this before over the last few months but I thought it was directed at the youngest boy westie - and often a minor vocal 'dispute' over who's sleeping in what dog bed. Never any snapping or biting. Occasionally when he looks at me, he seems to stare at me and be a bit confused/fearful?.

Yes I know I'm probably answering my own question and I'm fairly sure its the beginning of some form of doggie dementia (TBC) - but please can I have some opinions on that and some practical advice, aside from the vet involvement, in the meantime? How quickly can I expect this to progress if that's what it is?

Thanks everyone.

Edited by westiemum

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gillybob   

My boy Bob is slowly getting worse.

He does a lot of standing in one spot looking confused.

He is like your boy, healthy and still runs around, he is about 15 now.

Bob barks, he will stand in the lounge room and bark for no reason.

Its not fair because he looks so confused when he does it.

Its taken a few years for him to get to this stage.

I think it must be like people with dementia.

It took my dad about 7 years to really get to the stage he needed nurseing, but mum only took a couple of years.

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sheena   

My old BC girl RIP gat dementia. First she got the arthritis, lost control of her bladder, went deaf & blind & then got dementia to the stage where she didn't recognise me & if I approached her she would run off as if fearing I was going to attack her & I had never raised a finger to her in her life. It was so sad....I loved her so much. The day I had the vet booked in to come & put her to sleep, she ran off & a neighbour found her two weeks later. We live out in the bush, & on a farm, so we were quite distraught. With her, it all happened very quickly, within about 6 months & started after we had her brother PTS for cancer. She was a good age though, 13, which is pretty good for a BC :laugh:

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Thanks everyone for your replies - much appreciated. Persephone has sight appears quite good - he finds his way around without bumping into things and has no difficulty finding dropped pieces of food in the kitchen - he's still my little westie hoover - although I know he could be smelling it. There's certainly nothing wrong with that.

He's still the most gorgeous boy who still adores tummy rubs - its just that he doesn't seem to be as 'with it' as he was.... :thumbsup: Or am I just being a paranoid 'mother'? :o :D

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Sheridan   

No, you're not being paranoid at all. Grumpy has dementia, which means he will suddenly turn and have a go for no reason, even if it's something I've been doing for ages. He stands looking confused; he wants attention and then when he gets it, will sometimes get grumpy about it. In the main, he's become far more stubborn and set in his ways. He used to love surprises and doesn't now. His eyesight is fading, which also doesn't help. He's not at the bumping into things stage but he doesn't like having hands down near his face. He'll be 15 on Saturday and is still physically healthy.

Edited by Sheridan

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Thanks Sheridan - my Mac is sounding like an earlier stage of your Grumpy. I've booked him into the vet on Monday night - so we'll see what she thinks. The funny thing is he seems better today and hasn't let me out of his sight all night - which is usual.

Thansk again for your reply - much appreciated. :laugh:

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Sheridan   
Thanks Sheridan - my Mac is sounding like an earlier stage of your Grumpy. I've booked him into the vet on Monday night - so we'll see what she thinks. The funny thing is he seems better today and hasn't let me out of his sight all night - which is usual.

Thansk again for your reply - much appreciated. :laugh:

Vivitonin (sp?) is an anti-dementia drug which may help. It didn't for Grumpy and given his idiosyncratic response to some drugs I'm hesitant about trying anything else.

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There is a special food you can get, I think it is hills b/d

I also tried DAP (dog appreasing pheremone) spray for a senior who developed the night wanders/night barking. You can spray it on a bandanna or cloth and tie it around their neck.

I think routine is also recommended for seniors with signs of dementia, possibly is reassuring for them.

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Erny   
There is a special food you can get, I think it is hills b/d

I remember being informed about diet potentially providing some beneficial results in cases of dementia. It relates to the diet increasing oxygen in the blood stream or some such.

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Thanks everyone - yes it is the Hills B/D - I've just done a search so will see if I can pick some up tomorrow. Although I'm not a big fan of dry food I think its worth a try.

Bonny beagle did you find that the DAP actually worked? I talked to one of the vet nurses some time ago who suggested it for my other westie who was night guarding and waking up the whole household. Do you think its worth the expense?

Erny what do you mean by diet? Can you point me in the right direction?

Sheridan I'll talk to the vet on Monday about the vivitonin.

Thanks very much everyone - he's lying next to me at the moment, growling with increasing volume and occasional barks. He then stops puts his head down on his paws then starts again... very strange and rather distressing to watch... he's really barking now... very unusual for him to bark like this... particularly inside.... :laugh:

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By the time I tried the DAP spray I had almost learned to sleep through the wanders and barking.

I think it depends on the dog. It didn't work like turning a switch but I would say there was a degree of improvement. If nothing else it was worth it for me to feel like I was doing something positive for the situation and had a plan of action in place to manage the behaviour. I got the spray not the diffuser so it was a one off cost, and there's other situations it can be useful.

We started the dog food at the same time so it's hard to say where the benefit came from.

Unfortunately she now has pemphigus foliaceus so is getting a home cooked diet.

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Erny   
Erny what do you mean by diet? Can you point me in the right direction?

I think I meant the special Hills Science diet. I just recall a Vet doing a lecture and saying that they were working on a new diet or a diet had just become available and that it was about oxygenating the blood. This was years ago and it was fairly early days. So I am supposing that this Hills Diet might have been the one she was referring to. The Vet was Dr Meredith McDonald of Thompson Road Small Animal Clinic 940 Thompson Road, Cranbourne, Victoria.

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Koemi   

I have no advice for you, but I can offer you sympathy and hugs, as I recently lost my little breeding machine girl to a bunch of causes, including dementia. :laugh:

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Koemi I'm so sorry to hear about your girl - how old was she? By 'breeding machine' do you mean she was an ex-breeding dog from a puppy farm? (Hope you don't mind me asking). :laugh:

Thanks Koemi, Erny and Bonny Beagle - you're gems. :rofl:

Have spent the evening getting informed: And so far it seems to me there are a couple of ways to approach this - drugs, nutritional supplementation or both. What do you think?

Drugs: Vivitonin and Anypril (l-deprenyl) which is also used in Cushings as well as canine senility

Nutritional supplementation: Hill B/D and a new promising supplement called Aktivait - but for the life of me I can't find an Australian distributor anywhere - all sellers seem to be out of the UK?

Has anyone used Aktivait? Where did you get it and how did you find it? (I've read it can take a couple of weeks to kick in).

The old boy growled later at the young boy westie - as if he didn't recognise him. Since then he has been sleeping peacefully since the barking episode earlier this evening on a beautiful quilt I bought from a DOLer whose name I've forgotten - thanks to whoever you are!.

I've noticed that if he sleeps with me he seems to sleep through the night without any middle of the night wandering! :rasberry: - well thats my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thanks again.

Edited by westiemum

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Erny   
Have spent the evening getting informed: And so far it seems to me there are a couple of ways to approach this - drugs, nutritional supplementation or both. What do you think?

I have no experience with Dementia or the diets and drugs available to assist it, so I'm afraid the only advice I can offer is to be guided by a Vet who is experienced in it.

If it were me, I guess I'd like to explore a diet only adjustment to see how that would go. But if the dementia is further on and/or if the behaviour is too problematic then the diet may not be efficient enough or sufficiently effective. I don't what the side effects of the drugs are, so I think that needs to be explored with the help of your Vet as well.

I just don't know enough about it for me to be of any help to you Westiemum, but I do hope you find your way with some good expert guidance :rasberry:.

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Yep great minds think alike Erny - I was thinking along exactly the same lines - that I would try some of the special foods and discuss the Aktivait possibility with the vet on Monday and go from there.

Whatever it is, he is mild at the moment and the behaviour is very manageable. :thumbsup: I'm really really hoping that I've caught it early and can at least give him a good quality of life for as long as possible - assuming this is what I'm dealing with.

Thanks everyone - I really appreciate your support, kind words and advice. :D

Have spent the evening getting informed: And so far it seems to me there are a couple of ways to approach this - drugs, nutritional supplementation or both. What do you think?

I have no experience with Dementia or the diets and drugs available to assist it, so I'm afraid the only advice I can offer is to be guided by a Vet who is experienced in it.

If it were me, I guess I'd like to explore a diet only adjustment to see how that would go. But if the dementia is further on and/or if the behaviour is too problematic then the diet may not be efficient enough or sufficiently effective. I don't what the side effects of the drugs are, so I think that needs to be explored with the help of your Vet as well.

I just don't know enough about it for me to be of any help to you Westiemum, but I do hope you find your way with some good expert guidance :rofl:.

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Sheridan   
I've noticed that if he sleeps with me he seems to sleep through the night without any middle of the night wandering! :love: - well thats my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thanks again.

If this was Grumpy, I'd be saying that he was a cunning little bastard who knows how to wind his mum around his little finger.

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corvus   

You could PM deerhoundowner. She's been researching canine dementia for the last 3 years. She is a wealth of knowledge on the topic.

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;) ;) :eek:

Sheridan I haven't laughed so much in days! Thanks so much - and you just might be right! :rolleyes: :thumbsup:

If this was Grumpy, I'd be saying that he was a cunning little bastard who knows how to wind his mum around his little finger.
Edited by westiemum

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