Jump to content
BC Boards

Gibbs is having some Canine Cognitive Disorder symptoms


Recommended Posts

I've noticed over the last couple months: 

  • Disorientation/confusion
  • Anxiety/restlessness
  • Decreased desire to play
  • Can't seem to learn new tasks 
 
About 2 months ago G started wanting to go out in the middle of the night to pee. When we get out there he looks around and sniffs for up to 20 minutes before peeing. Last night, 2 a.m. and again at 5 a.m. And the urination is minimal, just a little bit. The looking around is done in the daylight as well. This is every time he goes outside. He'll stand in the middle of the yard and just stare for a long time, even if I call him/talk to him. On his walks he's not nearly as anxious.
 
He used to love to learn ~ tricks, etc, now he's not interested in anything but the treats.
 
G will be 14 in October. From what I've read his symptoms will get worse over time. I've never had to deal with this before. I  see that there is a medication that's used, will be talking to veterinarian today and ask what he thinks.
 
Does anyone else have experience with this condition?
 
R&G
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm so sorry, Ruth, this has to be hard for both of you.  We've had several Border Collies live into their dotage but none (so far) with severe symptoms of CCD.

My current senior, Roy, will be 13 in November and he's started a nasty practice of barking in the middle of the night (he sleeps in a crate).  He's never been a super chill type of dog - not overly nervous but not one to just settle and relax.  He's also a tad noise-sensitive.  But the night barking is relatively new.  Of course I would get up and let him out for a few minutes (not supervised but in a fenced yard) and put him back to bed. Sometimes he'd start to bark about 5 minutes later.  GRRR.  Telling him to be quiet was about 50-60% effective so often I just had to let him bark for 10 or 15 minutes till he finally shut up.  Ugh.

This past month I started giving him a product by NaturVet called Quiet Moments. It has chamomile, thiamine, passion flower, ginger, L-tryptophan and melatonin in a soft chew (he gets 2 chews about 1/2 hour before bedtime).  I specifically wanted something with melatonin and this seemed the best I could find in a short internet search.  It certainly hasn't hurt him, but I'm not sure it's been that effective either.  I have learned over the past several weeks that he has at least two different types of bark that mean different things - one type is the meaningless (to me) annoying bark that doesn't mean he has to relieve himself; the other has a sharp YIP attached to it which seems to mean he has to do his business.  Last night around 2 he started in with the meaningless bark and I told him firmly to be quiet - and he did!  No more noise and I let him out at just after 6 am and he was fine.  So - this formula certainly won't hurt him and maybe it's helping some with the restlessness.

I have also started running a quiet fan near his kennel for white noise (we live in the country and there are sometimes distant neighbor dogs who bark at night - also coyotes, owls, other night noises), and I have also given him 25mg of Benadryl if he's really over the top.  I am considering upping the ante with CBD as well.

I'll be interested to hear what your vet has to say.  I know the human meds for dementia are also not spectacularly effective despite what the commercials claim.

Good luck to you and Gibbs!

Amy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I have gone through this with some of my dogs and currently have a dog who is probably 14 or older and exhibiting similar signs. For my dogs, it has always seemed to me that a large part of it was failing eyesight, which seems to come to most dogs after a certain advanced age. Getting a bit lost or spacey. Sundowner's syndrome in one of my dogs. And some behavior changes. I never thought to medicate them because they were not suffering or anxious, just got a bit confused at times.  

What I always do is just accommodate. Past a certain age I no longer try to train new things, and become much less demanding that they obey cues for what they do know, although I will ask for something now and then just so the dog gets to do it and then get a treat. I tend to stop insisting on some household rules that used to be firm, unless that dog breaking the rule will cause other dog(s) to lose their training. 

At 14, these symptoms are all normal. If there's a lot of anxiety you might want something to calm that, or if there is pain then Rimadryl (you can get generic) is great for that. Mostly I just don't ask for anything and give the elder dog pretty much whatever they want unless bad for them.

Seeing a beloved dog get old is hard. I try to avoid thinking about what is to come and focus on loving up the dog while they are still here, making sure they know they are loved and protected.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Amy and D'Elle, it helps to know that I'm not alone. Fortunately Gibbs isn't a barker. Talked to the vet yesterday and he recommended benedryl, half a 25 mg tab at bedtime. Wouldn't you know it, last night G settled down and was snoring before I could give him the benedryl. Had to wake him up this a.m.!  also asked him about the prescription medications available, he said in his experience they don't do much good. And one of them, manufactured by Pfizer, was useless, and Pfizer got sued for false claims.

And I had a good 'pep talk' from my roommate. I've been anticipating G's passing away and was telling Roomie how hard it would be, etc. God bless him, Roomie responded with a wonderful reality check. He pointed out that G is still enjoying his life, continues to want to meet people, loves his walks and treats, etc. He's got cataracts, too. He can still see enough to avoid the furniture, etc, but not much more. Basically he said 'Enjoy him while you've got him'.

He's already on gabapentin for his arthritic left knee, will double check that he can take benedryl along with that. AND, he's taken to sleeping right beside me as I work at the computer in the morning. 

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

R&G

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It sounds like a UTI. I had the same issue with my 15 yr old Bill a couple of years ago. In elderly humans UTI's can present as dementia, same goes for dogs. Acting disinterested, barking at night is a big one, staring at the door or other objects. The fact that your dog goes out and there is scant urine is also a clue. I would get him checked for a UTI, in the mean time make sure his teeth are good, bad teeth/gums equal kidney problems or heart problems. I would also consider putting him on NAC, it's an amazing hepatic and renal support and it does wonders with arthritic dogs (people too) at almost 16 my Bill can still jump up on the sofa, and if I'd let him he'd try to jump up in the truck.  The NAC is also used for mental issues like anxiety OCD etc...my dogs get at least 2Kmgs a day.  Also of note, I see he's on Gabapentin, there have been some studies that link gabapentin to UTI's in the elderly, so that might be something to look at as well.  It might be all you need is a round of antibiotics to fix your kiddo. Luck!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

N-Acetylcysteine. Here is a quick rundown of some of the benefits of NAC.  Myself, my husband and all my dogs are on it, as well as a good many of my sheepdog friends. It's a gamechanger.  A friend of mine had an older dog that was slowing down, she put him on NAC and a couple other supplements I recommended and within 2 months she won her first Open trial at a pretty tough trial here in Texas. As an aside, my dogs and myself contracted bartonella, and NAC was crucial for our recovery. 

 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nac-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thx for your reply, Bo Boop, sorry that I've taken so long to read it. Oddly enough, I'm worrying much less. G is sleeping soundly at night. A big part of what was making him restless was fleas! In the 12 or so years I've had him, Gibbs has been Flea Free. I noticed a couple weeks ago he was chewing on himself for the first time ever. Ran my hand through his coat and he had flea dirt! Got him some Simparica, fleas have gone away, he's sleeping soundly and so am I!!  All is well. 

PS where do you get the NAC? Health food store, mail order?

R&G

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad to hear he's doing better!  I would still consider putting him on the NAC, you can get it at most health food stores or online on Amazon, Iherb, vitacost, even walmart. I recommend the Now brand. It's fairly inexpensive and def. worth it. Continued quiet nights to you guys!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is not strictly on topic, but with regard to elderly dogs............mine is getting periodic diarrhea. Been to vet a few times for this but nothing has changed - the vet just sells me some veterinary food. 

This most recent time I have been giving him chicken and rice and pumpkin, mixing in water so he doesn't get dehydrated. Usually that will make it better in a few days. This time it went away but then as I started to gradually add the kibble back in again it returned. He's eaten that kibble off and on for years, but that doesn't mean it's good for him now.....on the other hand I don't know that it is causing this either.

He is already on two medications, Truprofen and Vetmedin; not terribly keen on giving him another one unless I can't manage this with diet. The veterinary digestive support food is OK, but expensive, (not meaning I wouldn't feed that to him daily if that were the best thing to do).

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pupdate ~ much of the mystery is solved. My formerly flea-proof dog has become a flea magnet. Found flea dirt on him, for the first time ever in the 12 or so years I've had him. Got some Simparica for him from the vet. Vet looked at me and asked what flea med I'd used in the past. His chin dropped when I told him that G had not ever had fleas before this point. Oh, and he also had visible worms in his poop, again for the first time ever.

Simparica worked like a charm, he's sleeping like a log through the night, eating well, and got a wormer a few days ago. Voila! no little nasty wriggly things in his poop, either.

It's a mystery, what turned him into a flea magnet and what it was that kept him flea free for so long up until a couple weeks ago. I'll probably never know. 

51 minutes ago, D'Elle said:

mine is getting periodic diarrhea. Been to vet a few times for this but nothing has changed - the vet just sells me some veterinary food. 

D'Elle have you tried dairy? With previous dogs I've had some luck with yogurt w/the live cultures in it. What I remember is that the yogurt either helped a lot or did nothing. Hope you find an answer.

R&G

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, D'Elle said:

............mine is getting periodic diarrhea.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

2 suggestions and together or separate they are both good. The probiotic from visbiome is far and above better than any others. Pricey but worth it to get the gut back in alignment. Second one is my go to..1 tablespoon of marshmallow root powder,  1 tablespoon of slippery elm powder,  1 tablespoon of honey. Mix with 1 cup of boiling water  until you have the consistency of applesauce. This one works both ways, coats the gut and helps with diarrhea and or constipation. I'd recommend a locally sourced honey too. You can get the herb powders on line at any reputable company. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Journey said:

deleted double post..must have been a glitch in the universe yesterday!

My posts have been coming up double lately too. Must be a little glitch in the site.

Thanks for the suggestions, Journey and Urge To Herd.....mush appreciated. :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, D'Elle said:

This is not strictly on topic, but with regard to elderly dogs............mine is getting periodic diarrhea. Been to vet a few times for this but nothing has changed - the vet just sells me some veterinary food. 

This most recent time I have been giving him chicken and rice and pumpkin, mixing in water so he doesn't get dehydrated. Usually that will make it better in a few days. This time it went away but then as I started to gradually add the kibble back in again it returned. He's eaten that kibble off and on for years, but that doesn't mean it's good for him now.....on the other hand I don't know that it is causing this either.

He is already on two medications, Truprofen and Vetmedin; not terribly keen on giving him another one unless I can't manage this with diet. The veterinary digestive support food is OK, but expensive, (not meaning I wouldn't feed that to him daily if that were the best thing to do).

Any suggestions would be welcome.

My suggestion would be to start out by worming your dog, with fenbendazole and pyrantel pamoate.  Parasites can def. cause periodic loose stool, and oft times this alone will remedy the problem. I'd also get him on a good probiotic. A b12 supplement wouldn't hurt and as I always suggest NAC.  Giving pumpkin etc...might fix the immediate issue, it's only temporary, you need to address the the problem, what's causing the diarrhea. Another supplement I'm using now is berberine, it's excellent for gut health, but when you first get on it it can cause looseness and some gastric upset, that scares some folks, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're willing to deal with a couple days of possible loose poop and a bit of a belly ache.  All my dogs are on all of these supplements, and my husband and I take the same (to include the wormer!) I won't give my dog/s anything that I won't take.  Good luck with the puppers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Little Bo Peep.  I appreciate knowing the name of that medication, although I won't give worm medication unless it is shown that he has the worms because he is  a bit delicate at this point and I don't want to give him something he doesn't need. So far in each previous episode, lasting a few days each time, I have had him to the vet with a fecal sample and no worms have shown up.

Probiotic is a good idea and he and my other dog love yogurt so that will become daily instead of occasional. Just a tablespoon or so is all I give. And it is a good yogurt of course. I like @Journey's herbal mix and will try that once I can get to the local herb store, or find it online.

Thanks, as always, for everyone's input.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...