Article on dementia

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This topic contains 62 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Lena 6 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 63 total)
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  • #11417

    Marisa
    Member

    Great news Pam glad to hear you are getting a little bit of respite. Long story short she didn’t have pneumonia … It was her reaction to pain in her spine – Apparently she has degenerative spinal disease…talk about misdiagnosis!

    So she is on anti – inflamatories to help her. We have been leaving the tv stereo on low & the diffuser on and we are only up about 2-3 times instead of 5-6 times. So here is hoping things are looking up for both of us! Make sure to keep me posted on your progress as I will too… 🙂

    #11418

    Pam
    Member

    Marisa, I am glad they caught the misdiagnosis before putting her on a course of useless antibiotics. What kind of spinal disease does she have? I found out long after the fact that Hutch probably has spondylosis (suspected since they didn’t actually do an x-ray). It must have been very painful when it started but now isn’t apparently. These tough little creatures don’t complain, alas! I hope the anti-inflammatories help your dog soon. It sounds like the infuser may be helping too. Perhaps I should try it on Hutch? Did you notice a difference right away, or did it take a few days?

    #11419

    Marisa
    Member

    Hi Pam – Yes was glad although the normal vet did give her an antibiotic shot before we took her to the specialist…it was a little frustrating as that bill was $500 for chest xrays etc then another $900 at the specialist who of course wanted another set of xrays as the other vet didn’t sedate her & they weren’t clear enough – an expensive 48hours!

    She has Degenerative myelopathy (disease of the spinal cord) our everyday vet just put it down to old age. The specialist took one look at her and saw that her back legs were weak, partially limp tail,lost muscle condition and would drag her paws occaisonally when walking. She unfortunately will become paralysed in the back legs over time. They are tough they just keep wagging their tails. I have to admit I haven’t seen a huge impact since the diffuser (but the vet did say need to give it 3 months!!) It really is hit & miss, the specialist did say there really is no real solution to it – otherise humans would not suffer from it like they do (I mean basically humans are generally put into a home where they are looked after and prevented from hurting themselves with their wandering etc – when they get bad)

    Sorry about the long reply, as you know it does become very frustrating and tiring….

    #11420

    Pam
    Member

    So sorry to hear about the DM diagnosis and all the expensive x-rays! There are lots of websites out there with information about DM and suggestions on how to cope. Maybe you can get your dog one of those carts to keep her mobile if she is fit enough in the front legs. Hutch leans to one side, alas, so that wouldn’t work for him. Good luck!

    #11421

    Lena
    Keymaster

    I’m sorry about the DM also Marisa. I have had some dogs respond very well to acupuncture with DM. Not all of them do but I had one old Shepherd that we kept up and walking for over a year. He did need acupuncture pretty often, about every week to every other week but he had an amazing response to it every time. If you do have someone in your area who does acupuncture might be something to try, you should see in the first few treatments if it is going to help or not. I know she has a lot else going on to which can make it more difficult as well.

    #11422

    Marisa
    Member

    The DM I can handle, we just walk her less when her feet start to drag but we have her out everyday, unless it is too hot. I don’t think I would go down the cart route,I think when it gets to that stage we will put her to sleep – Mags also has a slight lean to the left as well, after her two episodes of geriatric vestibular disease in the past 2 years.

    I like the idea of acupuncture but she isn’t a great candidate as she doesn’t like to stay still for too long (the vet agrees)

    The dementia seems to be the same however we have put her in the dining room for the last 2 nights and the one positive is we don’t hear her wandering or scratching sooo we are sleeping through – I am sure she still does all the things she did but it doesn’t affect us!(I feel like a bad parent) As long as she doesn’t start barking or howling we will be OK.

    #11423

    katy
    Member

    Lena –

    I am still following these posts even though my little girl is gone. I think of Charlotte often and wonder what I could have done differently. I pose this question to help others now dealing with this.

    I am wondering what you think of the sublingual type of melatonin for dogs. It occurred to me that since older dogs digestive systems don’t absorb nutrients and drugs very well, perhaps if one could spray the melatonin under the tongue as a sublingual – people might have better success with it working for their dogs. I’ve never used the spray (only sublingual tablets) on myself, but know that it gets in the system faster. I imagine it’s the same for dogs? Might be worth trying for those who are running out of options.

    My other question is… Can people be given valium shots/syringes to take home to inject their dogs so they all have a restful night? Or can the injectible valium only be given by a vet or vet tech?

    I my heart goes out to all of you who are struggling with doggie dementia.

    #11424

    Lena
    Keymaster

    Hi Katy,

    It is always hard to look back and wonder. I think we all do the best we can at the time. I also sometimes think back to my dog Jake who had dementia and wonder if I had taken different paths if it would have been easier. However I think in the end he would have ended up in the same place. Even with everything I have seen help it seems like in the end it reaches a point where nothing works.

    As far as sublingual melatonin I’m not sure they have anything other then the pills and I those needs to stay under the tongue awhile to absorb so I am not sure if that would work well. If there is a liquid form that may be a good option, although even with a liquid you would need to to be under the tongue a certain amount of time.

    The problem with injectible valium is that it really needs to be given IV into a vein to work well. It does not work to give it sub-Q. So unless they had a port in it would not be very useful. It also clears pretty fast after being given IV, oral lasts a lot longer.

    #11425

    Marisa
    Member

    Hi There – just an update on Maggie….. We are sleeping through the night as we have slightly hidden the issue with putting her in the dining room at bedtime. We don’t hear her at all and are sleeping right through. We have to mop up pee a few times a week and the poo about once a week – but that I can handle, towels are out ready to put down etc (lucky we have floorboards. So really she can wander all she likes and doesn’t affect us or the 5yr old dally we have.

    Pam I hope things are Ok with Hutch and you are not too sleep deprived!

    #11426

    Pam
    Member

    I am so glad to hear you’re sleeping through the night again, Marisa! Hutch continues to sleep better, though every night is a bit different and we have the occasional bad night still. The secret seems to be not letting him sleep all evening so he wakes up at 11 or 12 and can’t settle again for hours. It makes going out in the evening risky, but it is still an improvement!

    #11427

    Christine
    Member

    I’m so pleased to have come across this forum – such great information and a comfort to know there are others out there having the same challenges as we are.

    We have a 15year Dachshund who has dementia and also has something else going on inside of her that the vet thinks is adding to her general state of ill-health. We have made the decision because of her age not to do any invasive tests or procedures believing that in the long run the treatment will be the same.

    Our challenge is trying to figure out what we need to do to make her last days/weeks/months here as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible. Up to now she has been a typical Dachshund eating everything in sight and never refusing food but now her sense of smell seems to have left her and even the tastiest of cooked chicken takes a while for her to detect and eat but not with the usual gusto. She displays all the DM symptoms described by others and while she has never been a touchy/feeling dog she has even further distanced herself from us.

    Being of the belief that all animals are sentient beings, as we are albeit of a different species, we really, really want to try and let her cross over on her own terms – we just don’t know where to draw the line in the sand.

    Sorry for the long post but thanks for listening.

    #11428

    Marisa
    Member

    Hi Christine – I know I was relieved when I came across this forum also….it definitely made me feel better, that others are experiencing the same issues.

    It kills you to see them turn into a different dog, than the one you used to know…Maggie is the same – the lights are on but no one is home. ( I watch a series called ‘The Walking Dead’ and there are zombies on it called ‘Walkers’ that is what we call her – as she walks around aimlessly)

    She has days where she isn’t interested in food and other where she just inhales her food. You will know when it is time to make that decision and it won’t be easy at all (we have had to do it once)- we hope she just stays asleep one night. Goodluck

    #11429

    Pam
    Member

    Hello Christine,

    I also really feel for you. I have described the situation with Hutch above. Sadly, we let him go a week ago. His dementia mainly exhibited itself at night with barking, but he was increasingly weak physically as well, though he ate well until the very end. The impetus for actually putting him to sleep was less anything he did, though the Thursday night before we put him down he didn’t sleep at all and barked all night, but rather that my girlfriend’s dog was severely injured in an attack by another dog and needs our full attention to get well.

    We had Hutch put to sleep at home and he went very peacefully after eating a meal of baked ham with enthusiasm. He had just seemed more and more frustrated and weary over the past few weeks, and the dementia medicine had stopped working as far as his sleep patterns were concerned.

    For your sake I hope your dog just goes to sleep on her own. You could try the Anipryl or its equivalent wherever you live, but it takes several weeks to have any effect. It did help for a few weeks with Hutch. If she has lost interest in food it probably won’t be very long now. Good luck and lots of strength!

    #11430

    Christine
    Member

    Thanks for the replies and support Marisa and Pam.

    I have a question about melatonin – Lena suggested 3-4mg per 50lb dog – the bottle I got from the store is human grade and the recommended dosage is 1mg per night… did I misunderstand the dosage? We gave her 1mg last night and she slept 6 hours but don’t know if that was because of the melatonin or the low dose morphine she’s on.

    Also does anyone know why during their pacing they always make a bee line for the corners and dark spaces…?

    #11431

    Lena
    Keymaster

    Hi Christine,

    I usually use a higher dose for dogs then some of the human suggestions so yes 3-4 mg per 50lbs. When the pacing is heading for dark corners I always wonder about headaches. They are not easily diagnosed but often the head will feel hot. Pain meds can help if that is the case as the morphine might be doing for her, acupuncture may also help with that. Not all pacing dogs head for the dark corners.

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