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westiemum

Doggie Dementia/ccd?

460 posts in this topic

A little update. Mac is continuing to do soooo well. happydance2.gifhappydance2.gif

We've had a great weekend - he commandeered my favourite woollen Onkaparinga rug when he came out of hospital and I've never managed to get it back! Mind you he does sleep really soundly through the night on it - and yesterday we were having Sunday morning snuggles on my bed - all three - and Mac got on his back and rolled around on 'his' rug like he was on grass! He was really happy and puppy like. It was so good to see. I'm so pleased he got his second chance. He's the most amazingly resilient old man. smile.gif Still waiting for the harness B- hopefully this week.

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Rosetta   

Great news Westiemum :thumbsup: Sounds like Mac's night wanderings were related to his medical problems rather than his dementia - hope he is sleeping soundly now (you too :D )

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Thanks P and R. Yes I'm so thrilled to still have him and that he's doing so well. He's snuggling into me at the moment and is the most smoochy he's been in months. Yes R I think his worsening night pacing was to do with his airway problems as there have been no overnight problems since he came home from hospital - he very occasionally goes outside during the night for a wee but otherwise he sleeps through on my favourite rug!!laugh.gif

My only regret is that I may have mistaken a worsening airway condition for worsening dementia and delayed intervention until he was in crisis when there was a relatively simple surgical solution. It's possible it has gradually been worsening for some time. My poor little old man. frown.gif.

B his harness arrived tonight - it's really really good - highly recommend it - will post some photos tomorrow. smile.gif

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Hi B, haven't forgotten, having net connection probs at home so tried to upload here and no luck! Sorry - will have another go from home later tonight (assuming I can get online!)

Hope you can forgive me! crying.gif

tongue.gif

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Boronia   

Hi B, haven't forgotten, having net connection probs at home so tried to upload here and no luck! Sorry - will have another go from home later tonight (assuming I can get online!)

Hope you can forgive me! crying.gif

tongue.gif

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coogie   

Westiemum,

I have a soft fabric harness here that I don't use,in fact it has only been used about twice for a few minutes, it is purple with black edging and has a matching lead. It is the same style as the Puppia ones but I am not sure it is Puppia. It is very adjustable but has no size label and I don't recall the size - would you like to try it for Mac or one of the other doggies? I don't want any money for it as I would be pleased to just see it go to a good home. Just ask that you pass it on if it is no good. If you would like it just PM me your address and I will gladly send it.

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At last - loading some photos of Mac's new harness off a USB!! Apologies they aren't marvellous - but will give you a good idea. As I said I think its a fabulous harness - fits really snuggly and avoids his neck. Will be very interested in what you (and others!) think.:)

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Westiemum,

I have a soft fabric harness here that I don't use,in fact it has only been used about twice for a few minutes, it is purple with black edging and has a matching lead. It is the same style as the Puppia ones but I am not sure it is Puppia. It is very adjustable but has no size label and I don't recall the size - would you like to try it for Mac or one of the other doggies? I don't want any money for it as I would be pleased to just see it go to a good home. Just ask that you pass it on if it is no good. If you would like it just PM me your address and I will gladly send it.

coogie thats very kind - have Pm'd you. :)

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Thanks P. smile.gif Yes Mac is very good at making himself comfy. He has a whole side of a QS bed to himself and where does he sleep? Of course in the crook of my legs! On my side of the bed!

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Boronia   

Q: and where else would he be sleeping apart that particular spot eh?

A: nowhere else thank you very much!

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Correct B. It was a freezing night here last night - and he found my hot water bottle and plonked himself on it for the whole night.laugh.gif

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Hi all,

Quick update. Mac continues to do well. He's a bit wobbly on his feet on uneven surfaces like grass/ backyard but he's still spritely and interested in everything gong on around him and vocal even though his bark is very muffled these days. Still sleeping well through the night thank goodness.

And I think I've finally had a harness win. After a false start or two, Karina from Adelaide Dog came to the rescue. She fitted Mac with an Ezy Dog Quick Fit harness that is well designed to go around his chest and stay well away from his neck. The problem I found with the two other harnesses I tried, is they didn't fit the chunky Westie body very well - if it was the right size around his waist it was too long down his back and vice versa. And one harness was a tight fit over his head and getting it on and off it dragged too closely over his neck for my liking.

So really pleased with this harness thanks to Karina. Will post a pic in the next few days.smile.gif

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Westiemum, I hope you don't mind me posting here? but I didn't want to start a new topic as I knew it had been discussed recently. And I apologise in advance for the essay :)

Lately our boy has been acting a little strange. He is a 'special' boy anyway but recently he has been doing things that are out of character even for him. He is a rescue boy and we are not sure how old he is, but both vets he has seen say that he is somewhere over the age of 10.

The things he has been doing aren't worrying as such, more so just a bit weird.. I am wondering if he is starting to get a little bit of dementia..?

A couple of times in the last few weeks I have caught him standing just staring off into space. The other night he wasn't on his bed and when I went looking I found him down the back of our house where he hasn't been before (when inside they stay in the lounge room or in our bedroom) just staring at nothing. I walked right up to him and he didn't register I was there until I touched him, even when I spoke to him. When I touched him he sort of snapped out of it and looked up at me as if to say 'what's going on?' then turned around and followed me back down to the lounge. His hearing is still fine (he can hear his kibble being measured out from the other side of the house when he is asleep haha) so there is no reason for me to think he didn't hear me when I called his name.. more so that he just didn't realise I had spoken.

A few times in the last fortnight he has been snoring away on his bed and all of a sudden he will jerk awake and give out a couple of barks. Each time my partner has got up and checked to see if there was something that set him off but found nothing. My boy isn't a barker, the only time he barks is when my girl is going off at something and he thinks it will be fun to join in. My girl is more alert to people/things around the house than he is and each time she hasn't reacted as if there is anything to set them off either.

Lastly, the other night he just wouldn't settle. When we get home from work they get their dinner and then come inside and chill on their beds in the lounge room with us. Once inside, Gus will settle on his bed and snooze away, only stirring if one of us sits down to give them pats or if we ask him to get up to go outside. The other night he came inside, sat down on his bed for a couple of minutes, got up, circled a couple of times, sat back down and looked at us and whined. This repeated for about half an hour or so until he seemed to get comfy and dropped off to sleep. I checked his breathing was ok, checked his gums were the right colour and felt him over for any tender spots etc, everything was fine. Asked OH if he had eaten his dinner with his usual gusto, which he had. We went off to bed and a while later he wandered into our room and instead of doing his usual butt wiggling, tail wagging happy dance over to my side of the bed to give me sloppy kisses he just flopped onto the floor by the door. We were a bit worried by that stage so OH bought Gussy's bed into our room so he could sleep with us but Gus wouldn't even get up to get onto his bed :( we talked about it and decided that if he was still being strange in the morning I would take him to the vet. Morning came and he was acting normal again and apart from the things I've described in the first two paragraphs has been acting like himself again since.

From what I have described, do you think it could be old age starting to creep in? Is it worth taking him to the vet for a check over? He saw the vet about 3 months ago and apart from a bit of arthritis, a gummy eye and being a little overweight (doesn't matter how little we feed him, what we feed him and how much exercise we do he doesn't seem to lose weight!) he was in good health. I just don't know what I would say to the vet.. "he doesn't have any physical symptoms, he's just being weird(er than usual!)!?" Some days he will be his usual self, whereas others he does the above.. it will be his first 'gotcha' day in a couple of weeks so we've had nearly a year to know what he is like and what is normal/abnormal behaviour for him. Not sure whether to be worried or not?

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Hi BlueyLove,

You're very welcome. Good post - you're obviously very observant. thumbsup1.gif Apologies I haven't got back to you - I'm packing my house up ready for demolition (long story!) and I'm up to my neck in boxes. I wouldn't be worried if I were you as this is really manageable with the help of a good vet. You've got onto it early so you can start managing it - and I think that's part of the key to a better longer term outcome. The research suggests that 60% of dogs over ten have at least one dementia symptom. So Gus isn't alone!

Where to start? Yes its possible its the beginnings of some dementia - but you need to confirm this with the vet. I know exactly what you mean by the staring into space. Mac does that and he growls at nothing at times. That was the thing that really alerted me in the first place that something was wrong. He also occasionally gets caught under the dining room table and can't work out how to get himself out. Started him on Vivitonin right at the beginning and its been brilliant. Makes a huge difference to Mac but apparently it doesn't work for all dogs. Its not overly expensive and is a good safe drug. If your vet agrees thats where I'd start along with a baseline blood panel (I have my oldies done every 12 months now). There are other dementia drugs available but I think they are for more severe cases. Mac doesn't need them and does fine on the Vivitonin. Incidentally, I ran out of Vivitonin ten days ago and had to wait for the vet to get a box in for me - and I really saw a difference in him - he wasn't as alert and spritely as he usually is. Within a day or so of being back on it he was much better again - so I think it really helps him.

I also have used Herb Robert which I think also helped. Its highly antioxidant and the Romany people have used it for centuries. Essentially just gave him his herbal tea with his breakfast and dinner.

Back in June Mac started the night pacing. This is where it got tricky for us as he was waking me up most nights and I work full-time. I was so sleep deprived and he was miserable and panting (i thought it was dementia panting). It was becoming a real problem. I took him to the vet and we thought it was an exacerbation of his dementia and he prescribed Prozac (human not canine as the human is a fraction of the price). He also gave me some valium to use until the Prozac kicked in. That was Wednesday 19 June. On the Saturday night the 22nd he didn't settle at all and neither of us slept at all that night. - the valium didn't work even with doubling the dose under the vets instruction. He paced ALL night. The next night he had emergency surgery for laryngeal paralysis to clear his airway (see earlier posts). He hasn't paced since he came home from hospital on the 25th of June and he hasn't had the Prozac or Valium since. We clearly mistook his panting for dementia panting when in hindsight he was clearly heading for respiratory crisis. I also thought his slowing down at the dog park was just part of his age when in fact his gradually closing airway and difficulty getting air meant he was becoming very exercise intolerant. I didn't connect the dots and neither did the vet. So overall an easy but not good mistake to make.

If Gus' being unsettled overnight continues and becomes regular, he starts to not to enjoy his walks and he starts panting or seems to be a bit breathless then he needs investigation IMO. Don't assume like I did that its to do with his dementia and miss something serious.

So Mac continues on his Vivitonin, Herb Robert and raw diet. He gets very very little processed food. His immune system is very good for a 14 year old, and his blood panel is perfect.

Hope that helps. Will be very interested to hear how you get on. smile.gif

Edited by westiemum

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Thanks for your reply Westiemum, especially as it sounds like you are currently surrounded by chaos :)

Since I posted he hasn't displayed any of the actions that I described, so it does seem to be an on and off thing. I think I will take him to the vet anyway as he has a lump on his belly that I thought was just a nipple but seems to have gotten bigger in the last couple of days. At least then I will have a reason for going other than just 'he is being wierd!' :laugh:

I'm glad that you picked up on Mac's laryngeal paralysis and he is doing much better now. Gosh these oldies can be worrying can't they! I knew that rescuing a senior dog would most likely cause stress but he is worth every minute of it in my opinion, I love my goofy old boy and it feels like he has been part of our family forever.

Thanks again very much for your post, it has been helpful and I will let you know any updates once we have been to see the vet.

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Good to hear BL. I hope all goes well at the vet. Might be worth taking with him/her about trying the Vivitonin. It might help slow any dementia symptoms. Will be very interested to hear how you get on. Good luck. smile.gif

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