Dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)

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StFrost
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Dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)

Post by StFrost »

Just about at my wits end. Sammie, our 17 year old, has dementia--gets lost in corners, forgets to go outside, runs around in circles, makes her bed, etc. All those are problems we can deal with during the day, but at night it is happening too, about every two hours…I believe I am averaging just under 4 hours sleep for the past three months. At her vet's recommendation we have tried: Sam-e and Melatonin to no avail or even slight improvement. I have tried DAP and aspirin (in case it was pain) as well, and she gets a monthly Adequan injection (I have not seen anything pro or con related to that). She is on Proin and DES for incontinence, and at her age, I am hesitant to change either dosage as she is embarrassed enough when she forgets to go outside (although infrequently, she knows when she does not make it) and I do not want to introduce any new meds…although last week I gave her a Benadryl just to get a night's sleep, I got just under six before she was up again. By the way, she still does her mile walk with me every evening and trots her two miles each on Sat. and Sunday with my wife and me. As early as last summer, she was hiking up to 10 miles every weekend too.

Any ideas? Thanks.

Cindy
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Re: Dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)

Post by Cindy »

I feel your pain although we are not quite at that stage with Kayla even though that's the general direction we're heading in. That being said, here are my thoughts ... About 6-8 months ago we started her on the following and did see some improvement: one 200 mg SamE, 1 Dasaquin with MSM, 1 Neutricks (my vet suggested Senilife as an alternative), 2400 mg fish oil (obviously this is all split between 2 feedings). Kayla has been on meds for incontinence but sometimes she forgets as well, so we've been putting a diaper on her while in the house (I'm happy to give you that information if you're interested). If nothing else, it certainly makes for easy clean up should an accident happen. We've also started crating her at night. This was due to her vestibular issues but it sure would help with the wandering. We tried the metal wire crate but she was too noisy in it so pulled out our nylon travel crate which is much quieter. Have you considered giving her something like UltraCalm biscuits or Happy Traveler? Both are herbal and I know that you kind of have to try stuff like that to see what works with your particular dog. Kayla has no reaction to Happy Traveler but the UltraCalms work great. Please feel free to email me with any specific questions. My best friend in WI is going through similar issues with her Brittany so we talk on almost a daily basis about ideas and what's working or not.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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StFrost
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Re: Dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)

Post by StFrost »

Thanks for your response.
We tried kenneling her, but she had a panic attack. We took her in when she was 10 so she had obviously never been kennel trained and it was too late at that point. As for the diapers, when we were getting her incontinence under control we tried those as well--she hid in the closet...LOL

The biscuits on the other seem like a good idea and I will look into those. She is already on a seafood diet as well as a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement, so additional oil would probably not serve.

THanks again.

Cindy
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Re: Dementia (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)

Post by Cindy »

Another option to crating her might be to "section off" part of your bedroom as a make shift kennel. I did this with Pippa when we first adopted her because I didn't have room for another crate!! Our bed was several feet from the wall so I put a dog bed on the floor and then used a baby gate between the side of the bed and the wall to keep her in the corner. If she got restless at night I could just hang my hand over the edge of the bed and give her a pat. Or, maybe there's another part of your house - like a bathroom or laundry room - where you could put her at night. This isn't optimal if she's used to sleeping with you but at some point you have to look out for yourself too. As for the additional fish oil ... I was told that most people don't give enough and it's the fish oil that helps the other supplements to work better. Barb could probably jump in here and explain this better :) The ultracalm biscuits come from Drs. Foster and Smith. My vet also said that there is a medication for canine dementia all anipryl http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/disease ... eniors.htm but it's expensive. What that means I don't know but might be worth asking about.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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