Dementia and anxiety in your older dog – What you can do.

It is sad to see our beloved animal companions get old and even harder to see them start to loss their mind. In many dogs the first sign of this is anxiety in the evening or throughout the night, although dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome can manifest in many different ways.

Not all dementia has an anxiety component to it and not all anxiety in older dogs is from dementia but the two often go together.

So what causes dementia in older dogs?

There are four main causes of dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

  1. Free radical formation Free radicals harm healthy cells in the brain.
  2. Hypoxia to the brain In other words there is not enough blood getting to the brain.
  3. Alterations in neurotransmitters There is too much or not enough of certain necessary neurotransmitters in the brain. You need neurotransmitters to have your neurons or brain cells function together.
  4. Neural infiltrates such as B amyloid and lipofusion These infiltrates destroy healthy brain tissue, similar to alzheimer’s disease in people.

In Traditional Chinese medicine (or TCM), anxiety in older animals is caused by too much heart fire related to the kidneys becoming deficient as your dog ages. Kidneys are considered to be the water element and as we age the kidneys get deficient and water in the body system decreases to a point that it allows heart which is a fire element to flare too much and cause anxiety especially during the heart peak hours of 11pm – 1am.

According to TCM, another issue is that older animals can become what is called yin deficient. Yin holds the yang at night so we can sleep. If there is not enough yin, the yang is not held and sleep doesn’t happen.

Sometimes these problems are reversible if caught early but even when they are not, there are things you can do to help slow down the progression of the disease and help with symptoms. Usually in spite of everything we do, dementia is progressive and eventually gets to the point that nothing helps anymore. This process can happen quickly or occur slowly over a number of years.

Here is a list of some things that I have found can help your older dog with dementia or anxiety. Please check with your veterinarian to come up with a plan that is safe for your dog.

  1. Walking is the most important thing you can do for your older dog. Walking just ten minutes twice a day can significantly increase brain blood flow and reverse symptoms of dementia from hypoxia. Plus it can help prevent muscle atrophy and help with arthritis.
  2. Ginkgo Biloba does three important things. It helps increase blood flow to the brain by vasodilation , it helps regulate dopamine in the brain and it helps prevent amyloid deposits. I dose ginkgo at 100mg per 50lb of dog or more. I sell a powdered herbal formula called Brain and Heart Support Formula through my etsy store Kingdom of Basil which can be added to food. In animals with picky appetite you can also use the Animals’ Apawthecary tincture Hawthorn Plus which contains hawthorn and ginkgo. Another option is to use the product Senilife which contains ginkgo and other antioxidant ingredients (see Peggy’s comment in the comments section). I find ginkgo can help slow the progression of dementia
  3. Fish or Cod Liver Oil and other antioxidants help prevent and repair free radical damage and stimulate brain function. In addition Fish Oil also help with arthritis and dry coat problems in older dogs. I dose Fish Oil at 500mg per 40 lb of dog. I prefer the Nordic Natural Cod Liver Oil. Extra vitamin B and E can also help these dogs.
  4. SamE helps increase dopamine function in the brain, stimulates brain function and works as an antioxidant. It also helps with joint pain and liver function which many older dogs have problems with. I dose SamE at around 425mg per 50lb of dog. I prefer to use the dog product Nutramax Denosyl.
  5. Remove any compact fluorescent or fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent lighting can cause a high pitched hum that humans can not hear but dogs and cats can. Older dogs loss their high frequency hearing last so even almost deaf dogs can still hear very high frequency noises. In addition fluorescent lighting can affect brain function and can cause headaches. See The danger of compact fluorescent lighting.
  6. Get rid of the dry food. Many older dogs do better on home cooked food or canned food. I don’t recommend switching an old dog to raw food if they have not been on it before. From a Chinese medicine view, dry food is too processed and dry for an older dog who already is kidney deficient.
  7. Oneof my patients, Luna wearing a T shirt

    One of my patients, Luna wearing a T shirt

  8. 5.Wearing a T-shirt, Thundershirt, or Anxiety Wrap can help your older dog if they have problems with anxiety. It sounds weird I know, but it actually does work.

    It is based around the ideas from Tellington TTouch of using an ace bandage. See the article Put an ace bandage on my dog?. Wearing the shirt enhances your dog’s sense of their own body and makes them feel more confident in their movements and behavior. You can use a snug fitting human T-shirt, a Thundershirt, or an anxiety wrap. I have found however that if your dog has a lot of arthritic pain the anxiety wrap is too hard to put on, so try the Thundershirt or a T-shirt in that case. This is also an idea that can work in young dogs with anxiety.

  9. Melatonin can help old dogs sleep at night. Sometimes older dogs can get confused between night and day and end up sleeping all day and then pacing and panting at night. This can make it very hard for us humans to sleep also. Giving Melatonin in the evening can help regulate night and day for these guys and get everyone a better night’s sleep. I dose Melatonin at 3-4mg per 50lb of dog.
  10. Small meals more often and right before bed are sometimes better for these older dogs. A small meal of wet or cooked food right before bedtime can help get these dogs through the night and help them sleep better.
  11. Acupuncture can help decrease anxiety especially at night time by treating the yin, kidneys, and heart fire. In addition acupuncture can help with arthritis pain, weakness, and kidney function and help your dog age more gracefully as they get older. I often combine acupuncture with Chinese herbs for these dogs.
  12. Reiki can help to relax older dogs and calm anxiety. Reiki is a nice calming way of helping improve health and well being as animals age.
  13. Bach Rescue Remedy and other flower essences can help with anxiety and fear. Flower essences are homeopathic in nature and very safe for older animals. Rescue Remedy is the best know but there are many lines for treating a variety of behavior and emotional issues.

    You can dose flower essences by putting 3-4 drops in your dog’s drinking water every time you change their water. It’s ok to use flower essences in the water even if other animals drink from the same dish.

  14. Other herbal medications are out there for helping with anxiety in older dogs.

    Making a tea or tincture from hops leaves can help calm some older dogs. You can also buy hops leaves and sprinkle them in your dog’s food. Animal Apawthecary makes a Tranquility Tonic that if used at their recommended dosage is safe in most animals. I also have a formula I make and sell in my store, Kingdom of Basil, which helps to treat anxiety in older dogs and also contains ginkgo to help with brain function called Calm and Peaceful Formula. Also see my article Helping anxiety in an old friend – calm and peaceful formula.

    I recommend consulting with a holistic veterinary to decide on what is right for your dog.

    Some of the calming herbals can be dangerous if used incorrectly or in the wrong animal.

    To use Chinese herbs correctly you should consult with a veterinarian with a background is Chinese herbal medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine.

  15. Western Drugs are always an option. There are may drugs that help with anxiety and can be given if the natural alternatives do not work or are not enough. There are also drugs out there that help with dementia such as Selegiline (Anipryl). Most of the western drugs like the herbs are not cure alls but can help make things better.
  16. Some dogs are anxious because they are painful . This is an important thing to rule out before assuming there is a dementia component.

    If your dog is not on pain medication have them evaluated by your veterinarian. If they are on pain medication talk to your vet about increasing the dose or trying something else if there may be a pain factor. Dogs can’t always tell us when they are in pain and pain certainly can cause sleep disturbance and anxiety.

  17. Talk to your dog about the change in their position in the house. Many dogs especially the herding breeds take their job of watching the house very seriously. As they get older and can not do it the way they would like to anymore they can become quite anxious. Explaining that your accept them in their old age and making changes to help them, can ease anxiety. See the article Love me for who I am today.
  18. 13. Take care of yourself!. This is very important when you are caring for an elderly or sick animal. To be a good caregiver you need to be healthy and well rested.

    If you have a dog that is anxious at night and you are not sleeping consider putting them in a different room than you sleep in, crating them if they are ok with crating, or finding another solution. If you get sick because you are not taking care of yourself you will not be able to care for them.

    It may seem mean to kick them out of your room but it is kinder than letting them sleep with you and being a grumpy caregiver. I had to do this with my old dog Jake and it actually ended up with us both sleeping better. Before we slept in separate rooms, his anxiety made me anxious, which made him more anxious and by the morning we were both a mess.

Dementia and anxiety are some of the most frustrating and painful problems I see in older dogs and can be very difficult to deal with. Be gentle on yourself and your dog companion and try to find a healthy way to work with these problems for everyone in the household.

When dementia progresses to a point where you beloved companion is no longer present and enjoying life or in pain sometimes the greatest gift we can give them is to help them to go through euthanasia. This is not an easy decision to make and there are no set guilds that tell you when it is time. This can differ from dog to dog. The best we can do is to look into our hearts for what is right.

Also see Follow up to Dementia and Anxiety in Older Dogs – Sadie’s Hospice Care.

Please join me in the Path With Paws forums for more discussion of dementia and with any questions.

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44 Responses to “Dementia and anxiety in your older dog – What you can do.”

  1. Susanna Linse Says:

    Just saw my sweet Luna Belle’s photo in her t-shirt. I remember how crazy I thought the suggestion was until I tried it. The spinning and restlessness stopped and calmness prevailed. You made her life longer and more comfortable. I will be forever grateful for the wonderful kindness you showed my old gal.

  2. Thankful reader Says:

    what a great article. can’t wait to give these tips a try.

  3. Gramalew Says:

    I found this article very informative and helpful. Thank you so much.

  4. bill Says:

    Just a heads up… selegeline(anipryl name brand) has helped my old guy stop spinning in circles and walk straight again. It’s not a cheap drug, but it’s worth a try. Fosters and smith has it at around 70 bucks a month including shipping. I think my old timer is starting to not respond to it. But it worked for a while. Heartbreaking seeing them go through this. And are they happy? That’s the toughest part. I wish he could tell me what he wants.

  5. bill Says:

    Oh, and selegeline helps his sleep cycles. He sleeps at night now.

  6. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Thanks Bill for your comments on Anipryl. I have also seen it help some dogs. It is very hard to see them age so much faster than us. I always think that if they are still seeking attention from us and still enjoying their food there has to be some happiness there even when everything else is slowing down.

  7. Mike Says:

    Bill, I understand what you are going through. Our old dog is beginning to have the same problems. Doctor McCullough gave the same great advice our vet did. My vet added that when your dog is ready, he’ll tell you it’s time to stop being family and to become his best friend.

  8. jim Says:

    In addition to dementia, our dog’s also got quite bad hip dysplasia, which means she sometimes finds it hard to get up from lying/sleeping . . . which mean she pees/poops where she lies.
    We’re working aggressively on medication to help her mobility — in the meantime, we have no option but to make her sleep outside the house, in case she goes during the night.
    We’ve got her in a tent — she’s never really slept outside and, while we live in Southern california, it’s obviously colder than inside our house.
    Does anyone know if we need to be really worried about her temperature [I cover her with a blanket, but I fear she throws it off if she does, in fact, get up to pee]?

  9. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Hi Jim,
    I would think in Southern Cal you would be ok temperature wise but it depends if the cooler weather makes her hips hurt more. You could try to have a heating pad she could lay on outside or set up a heating light like what you would use for reptiles if that is the case. Another option would be putting a diaper on her at night so she could sleep inside without you having to worry. Many times getting better sleep can help with pain and if she is anxious outside that may be the best option.
    best wishes,
    Lena

  10. klv Says:

    jim
    Get some pee pads and put the dog on those! Nothing like adding to her anxiety by putting her outside away from the family (pack)!
    Yes, just a dog but at least be as loyal to her in her time of need as she has been to you!
    klv

  11. keith Says:

    you are making your dog sleep outside because she pee’s on the floor That is very cruel our dog does the same thing and we would never even think about making him sleep outside he is family, If your kids wet the bed would you make them sleep outside

  12. Donna J. Warlick Says:

    A suggestion for those of you using Anapryl or other vet meds. Ask your vet to prescribe the pill size DOUBLE what you need, and to order 1/2 tab daily (or whatever). For example, a 10 mg tab often costs 10 cents each, whereas a 20 mg tab costs 11 or 12 cents each. Then buy a cheap pill splitter. With 3 special needs, senior Cavaliers, I need all the $ help I can get, and this cuts our med bill close to half.

  13. L. Makely Says:

    I have a 14 year old Springer Span. She has always been very vocal but in the last few months she spends some time complaining, sometimes very loud. I think that all of this started when she started to loss her hearing and now I think she is lossing her eye sight as well. She has been on meloxicam of arthritis and I don’t think that she is in any pain. She is eating and seems fine except for all the complaining. We do have an appointment with her vet today, but I just wanted some feedback.

  14. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Dogs do sometimes get louder when they loss their hearing. It is sometimes hard to tell the difference between early dementia and loss of senses. Hopefully your vet will be able to help you also!
    best wishes,
    Lena

  15. Meg Cartwright Says:

    I really appreciated this article. Especially the part about being kind to yourself. A year ago I had to euthanize my 13 year-old dog because of advanced dementia. On the day he died he was still walking 2 hours/day and had a blood profile like a 3 year old. However his anxiety level was high, he was panting and pacing even after a long walk, had refused affection for almost a year, and had become very difficult to handle (it took three or four people to pill him), and was lethargic. Anipryl only made his anxiety worse. I knew he was suffering and it broke my heart. So at some point it is time to say goodbye and not be too hard on yourself.

  16. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Thanks for writing in Meg. I’m sorry about your companion. It is very difficult when physically they are still doing really well but their mind is clearly not there.

    Thank you for also bringing up euthanasia. Many dogs with dementia do reach a point where nothing helps anymore and it is clearly time to say goodbye. It is a very hard decision to make but I am so glad that we have the choice to be able to let them go when they reach that point.

    best wishes,
    Lena

  17. nika Says:

    I am in tears right now, out of frustration and sadness having not slept for many nights due to my 14 year old pitbull’s CCD/dementia. She sleeps all day, then starts pacing and whining the minute I lay down to go to sleep. She spends the majority of her waking ours stuck in a corner whining. Her decline happened so quick, it really has been like losing my best friend, with the painful reminder staring blankly at me each day. I tried anipryl for a month with no results. Was wondering if anyone didn’t see results for a month, but continued giving it to their dogs, with results being noticed after two months?
    I am determined to do right by her, she has been my amazing, loyal companion since the moment I got her at a kill-shelter on her last day 11 years ago. I will be trying the t-shirt idea, along with melatonin tonight–already giving her fish oils and a late night dinner. Hoping for some sleep tonight, and hopeful now that I have a few more tools to combat her suffering, along with mine. Thank you SO much for the interesting tips!

  18. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Nika,
    I really hope that some of the ideas in this article help. I’ve found that dementia is one of the hardest things to see our animal companions go through. The t-shirt idea sounds strange but it is probably my #1 way to get dogs through the night. #2 is the small meal before bed. Here’s to good sleep!
    best wishes,
    Lena

  19. Jennifer Says:

    Hi,

    Thank you for this article. I am hoping to try my nearly 17 YO chow mix on melatonin, but the kind i bought is 300 mcg. Can you tell me how much that is in mg? He weighs just under 40 lbs. Thank you-we really need some sleep here. We are using the T-shirt with limited success. Will try a small meal of wet food as well.

  20. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    300mcg=.3mg

  21. Jennifer Says:

    So am I doing the correct math that for his weight I need 9-10 tabs to meet the dosage you suggest? Thanks so much!

  22. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    If they really are 300mcg then you need about 10 for a 40lb dog. Are you sure that is the amount of melatonin in the pills? I have never seen a size smaller than 1mg. Most are 2-4mg. You might want to consider getting a larger dosage so you only have to give one or two pills.

  23. Jennifer Says:

    Yes, I have checked the bottle several times, and they are 300 mcg! My sister is a nurse practitioner, who also takes melatonin at times, and when I told her the bottle said 1-2 tabs per night for an adult, she said, that would do nothing for her! But it sounded scary to give my old guy so many (and hard to swallow), so I am going to return the bottle for a larger dose. The brand is Sundown Naturals. They are about the size of a baby aspirin only ‘taller.’ Thank you again. I just fed Zane a meal of canned food-the younger dogs are onto him ;) Hopefully it will help!

  24. Rhonda Says:

    My 12 year old Chow/Husky mix has being going steadily downhill. The Vet diagnosed him with dementia a few years ago, before I actually even noticed it. I have been dealing with him for ayear or so, but in the last few days he has really slipped. He forgets how to climp up the stairs. I live in an upstairs apartment building, and he started falling when going down, but I now hold the harness tight and I have to say easy easy easy every step of the way or he will forget. Just the other day he stopped short when going up the stairs. I have to coax him with ready set go and 1 2 3 go to get him to get his feet moving up the stairs. Then I have to stay close behind him as he sometimes forgets what he is doing and stops in the middle of the stairs. I would not trust anyone else to walk him. He wants to walk all the time. He walks so slow now it takes us forever to walk a quarter mile around the complex. He does not seem to be in pain, however when laying down he walks around in circles abourt 15 minutes before he finally lays down, and then he will cry and now he crawls under the coffee table to sleep. I can go on vacation because I am afraid to leave him with anyone else since I know his routine so well. He does not seem to be in pain. His last blood work was wonderful. Healthy just losing his mind. He takes a prescribed zanax everynight before bed. I wrap it in peanut butter, and he also takes his arthritis prescription also in peanut butter. He seems to be worse when the humidity is high. I will take care of him until he tells me he is ready to go. This breaks my heart, and I may never get another dog because I do not ever want to go through this again. And on top of this my 15 year old cat has just started howling at various times. She was just checked by the vet and nothing physically wrong with her.. So here we go again… God Bless everyone who has a pet with dementia. It is a hard choice to know what to do. I also use melatonin sometimes and it works to a certain extent. My dog also drinks water all night and then has to pee all the time. I put the dish away and he just barks for his water, so I am just between a rock and a hard place. here.

  25. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Rhonda,
    You sound like such a loving, caring dog mom. I think dementia is the hardest thing to deal with in our animal companions. My heart goes out to you.
    -Lena

  26. Lori Escalera Says:

    It is nice to find these comments. I am especially sympathetic to Nika’s comment and it made me feel SO much comfort to know someone else must be as exhausted as I. My dog is 15 and very demented but it has all been fairly manageable with getting used to getting up at night. But real distress just set in on Saturday while he was at the sitter. And I am supposed to leave on an 8 day work trip in one week. Last night the constant barking and whining was unbelievable. I keep tourbegesic “torb” on hand. It knocks him out without any side effects (for him) when he is inconsolable. Ask your vet. I use this on him – so I don’t die first! Today my doctor recommended Anipryl. I get the human form (selegiline) which is NOT cheap. I read a lot of reviews on about.com and I didn’t know that so many people were going thru the same extreme situations with their dogs and dementia. I am also going to try melatonin for tonight. I notice that his severe arthritis does not bother him while he is hyperactive and running around (is this the same dog, I ask?!) Its probably the adrenaline in his system. I’ve used Metacam for his arthritis for years now. He has a compromised liver so the metacam was all I could use. Ironically I use it too (Meloxicam) works great on arthritis. I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing your stories. It really DOES help! Love and hope and REST to you all.

  27. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Thank you Lori and everyone else for sharing your stories and experiences!

  28. Deb Says:

    Thank you all for the wonderful information. My 15-year-old Maltese is breaking my heart. He was diagnosed with dementia two years ago and took Selegiline for anxiety driven activities, and it helped tremendously. Eventually, I was able to stop using it; we’d broken cycle of activity (scratching madly and barking at the door, but not wanting to go out). He has age-related deafness and is now losing his sight, as well. He is physically agile and loves his walks and food. But as described above, by various people, he repels affection, refuses to be held at all, and is now choking and gagging all night long, apparently from anxiety. So he’s back on Selegiline as of three days ago, along with steroids to ease the throat irritation. I’m praying for the Selegiline to help again, but am afraid it may be time to let him go. I am a Reiki practitioner and even that doesn’t help. I’ll know when it’s time, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Thank you for the feeling of community and love.

  29. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    My heart is with you Deb. It is so difficult to make that final decision even when it is time. I hope that the drugs help him have a little more quality time with you.
    best wishes,
    Lean

  30. Peggy Says:

    Thankyou Lena. I really like this article. It is kind of you to write it. Does Senilife work? I just started my dog on it. She was really anxious the other night. Standing up every 10 mins..labored breathing. It was so tough to watch.

    Peggy

  31. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Hi Peggy,
    I have not had experience with Senilife myself (or with the animals I work with). However I know veterinarians who use it and think it works well. It contains Ginkgo and is high in antioxidants, two things I highly recommend. Would love to know your experiences with it and I hope it helps your pup.
    best wishes,
    Lena

  32. Lynda Says:

    Hi, I have a 5 year old female German Sheppard that has those night symptoms… could it be dementia? Isn’t she too young?
    I will definitely try the t-shirt and melatonin could I add also the Gingko?
    I normally spend two to three hours every night awake trying to calm her down, she has that look in her eyes that tells me that she’s not herself… crating her doesn’t work at night, she gets so anxious.
    I was told that we’re not dominant for her enough but really don’t think that’s the problem.
    thank you for this article!
    Lynda

  33. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Hi Lynda,
    I doubt it is dementia at her age but definitely could be anxiety. I’m not sure how much the gingko would help if that is the case. The t-shirt could make a large difference. Also if this is a new behavior it might be worth a vet check and some blood work to make sure there isn’t a medical issue. I am quite positive it is not a dominance issue. It might be worth working with a positive reward behaviorist to see if they can give you some tools to cut her anxiety if all comes back ok with her health.
    best wishes,
    Lena

  34. Peggy Says:

    HI Lena
    Well…it has been a few weeks and the Senilife seems to be working!!! :-) She is so much more alert..tuned in and lots of energy. I also put her on the Nutramax Denosyl…and bought some fish oil as you recommended and put her on raw diet. She is getting lots of exercise.. I noticed this am..that she actually walked out the door. Normally she would walk to the door..get confused and walk away. So great to have my dog back. She had aged so much in the past 6 months..and I was tired of vets saying it is old age. Now….I have the dog back that I adopted 2 years ago. . Thankyou for all your suggestions. I will keep you posted as I try more with her. I’m actually giving her massages now…
    Peggy

  35. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    That is so wonderful Peggy! Thank you also for giving me an update. I know it will be helpful for everyone who finds this page to hear about what has worked. I hope she continues to do well!
    best wishes,
    Lena

  36. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Thank you to all who have participated in these comments. I will not longer be replying in the comment section. Please join me in the forums under dementia. http://pathwithpaws.com/forums/
    best wishes,
    Lena

  37. Colette Says:

    I have a beautiful bearded collie….been a loyal friend for nearly 15 years and then suddenly started going downhill….due in part to a reaction to a flea medication….he is unable to get upstairs so I am currently sleeping downstairs (have done for 6 weeks now) on an airbed….we don’t get too much sleep,my fiancee luckily is very understanding but none of us are getting the quota of sleep we need. It is a comfort to know people out there are going through the same as we are…..I do feel very alone at the moment as the general consensus amongst friends/family is that it’s a dog…move on. My beardie is on prednisolene at the moment but I am not sure that this is really helping that much. I live in the UK and some of the drugs mentioned are I think unavailable here. I will try the t-shirt thing….even though it does sound weird ! I wish all of you the best with your pets….it is very very hard to know that you may have to soon say goodbye….almost an unbearable thought…my thoughts are with you and of course the reason we are writing our comments here tonight.

  38. Kelly Says:

    I have a shi tzu, 18 years old, struggling with dementia. It is nice to know that others relate. He doesn’t pace through the night, but he does start early (around 3:30 a.m.). I have gotten used to this, but one thing he does quite often is yelp whenever I try to brush him, bath him or clip him. I have stopped taking him to the groomer because he gets so stressed out, but I am having a difficult time accomplishing the task because yelps and jumps around which stresses me out and definitely doesn’t get us very far. I so do not want to hurt him and I don’t know if I am or if he is just scared. He looks awful! :( Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

  39. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I offered a couple suggestions in the forums to your questions on grooming which I have found help some of these older guys with dementia. http://pathwithpaws.com/forums/topic.php?id=50&replies=3#post-72 . Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    best wishes,
    Lena

  40. Kelly Says:

    Thank you soooo much Lena! I must say, I also tried putting a shirt on my little guy this morning and I was amazed – he still paced, but he barely panted and when he did it was quiet. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even think he would keep the shirt on (he has always been real funny about sweaters and such), but he didn’t fight with it once. OMG! I am off to the pet store for a special top for him. ha! YEA!

  41. Kristin Says:

    Thanks to all for comments I have read…I too am exhausted as my 17 year old best friend Lacey has just recently been diagnosed. Dementia set in very fast for us and I am trying all I can, tonight I am going to try the Melatonin and T-Shirt. We are on Anipryl, but it will only be a week Wednesday. She has brought me so much joy and companionship for 10 years before I was married and a family and continues to be an important part of our family. I hope these things work because I can’t stand seeing her like this, I have read I will know when it is time if I need to step in and make that decision but I just don’t know.

  42. Ellie Says:

    My dog is 14 loves being outside at night. I dont know if he actually just loves the cold cold air or if he is confused that it is night time, but he just goes out there to lay down & fall asleep?!. His back legs are shot, they barely hold him up anymore. We give him ibuprofene for his pain, because the medicine he was on could potentionally hurt him? I guess. I came her looking for a way to help him feel better & make him more comfortable, also to find a way for all of us to get some sleep at night. Thanks!

  43. alison whyte Says:

    i also have a wee yorkie with dementia,my vet has given me a drug called vivitonin which seems to be doing no good , i am desperate for help and dont know where to turn

  44. Lena McCullough, DVM Says:

    Comments are closed on this article. Please join us in the forums http://pathwithpaws.com/forums/