Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dementia in Senior Dogs; What We Do to Drive Veterinarians NUTS!

Guest Blogger: Linda Messina

Today we're going to post about Senior Dogs with Dementia. It's a subject I've been researching over the last couple of weeks because Reba is starting to show signs that she's made a decision to totally ignore me forever or she can't hear me or she's zoned out and is sleeping standing up.  I find that Reba is showing signs of dementia. She's pushing age 17 and these things are expected. It's how we handle them that matter.

In my research I found an article by Dr. Patty Khuly from Miami FL who has some very impressive degrees from some very impressive schools. In the article Dr. Khuly talkes about ways to deal with the effects of the disease. The symptons with an * by them are the things that Reba is showing so far.

Dementia in Senior Dogs: 6 Ways to Deal With the Effects

Confusion, disorientation, dogzheimers. Call it what you will, but canine dementia (known clinically as canine cognitive dysfunction) can be a serious problem. Just like humans, dogs can suffer from many of the same symptoms:

  • Sleep-wake cycle disturbances* 
  • Generalized anxiety 
  • Lower threshold for aggression 
  • Decreased activity levels* 
  • Inappropriate vocalization (howling, barking or whining) 
  • Repetitive behaviors (pacing)*
  • Elimination disorders 
  • Staring at walls* 
  • Fewer social interactions 
  • Disorientation (getting “lost” in the house
  • Nipping and biting* (not mentioned in the article but something Reba has started doing over the last couple of months. I think it may have to do with her losing her peripheral vision.
Getting old and loopy doesn’t have to be as stressful as all that — not for dogs lucky enough to be cared for by owners willing to learn what it takes to mitigate the effects of dementia as they age.

To read how to mitigate the effects, in six mostly simple steps, click here:

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms with your furbaby?

While we were checking Dr. Khuly out we noticed another article she's written about what us humans do to drive Vets nuts!

She starts out admitting that It’s a tough subject to tackle. She admits that veterinarians do plenty of annoying things, too. But this particular post is all about us, the pet parent. Personally my jaw dropped at some of these things people have done. So without any further hedging, let us launch into the most annoying things pet owners do here.  Let us know what you think.
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ra husky said...

Thank-you, as everyone gets on in age here I read as many of these articles as I can,

Two French Bulldogs said...

Very interesting
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

my neighbor's dog is 11 years old and blind ... i forwarded her this post ...thanks

cdm65 atcox .net ~@cdmtx65

kingslandkennels said...

Nice blog

dawn said...

I've had 2 dogs who had Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. So many times people think the symptoms that are listed are normal for a senior dog when they are actually a symptom. Mine both showed disorientation,repetitive behaviors. One had changes in her housebreaking. The other would stare at walls. It was the staring at walls that finally made me smack myself upside the head and say CCD. Both did show some improvement on the Anipryl. I just wish I had recognized the symptoms earlier so they could have started it earlier.

Hope everything is going well for you Reba!