Senior dog issues..

Toller_08

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#1
Anyone else dealt with a dog with senility issues? I don't know if dogs can even become senile, but I don't see why not. Can they? Winston is only our second ever senior dog... and wow, some days he's worse than a puppy! Ever since his last really bad time with his illness (so, a little over a month ago), he's gradually started exhibiting weird behaviours. He paces a lot, he whines for no reason, and barks constantly.

He used to just relax in the house, but now if anyone even changes position on the couch while watching TV, he thinks he needs to get up and start running around. Anticipating us going somewhere I guess. He's always been a bit of a whiner, but now he whines all the time. Not because of pain, either. It's always due to anticipation and whatnot. He'll be sitting on one couch with my mom, and if I'm on the other couch, he'll stare at me (or whoever else is on the couch) and whine, assuming/hoping I'm going to call him over. Which is odd, considering I don't sit on the couch with him often, and I don't give into his whines... nor does anyone else.

That's ok though. We can deal with that. The barking though... is absolutely ridiculous. He thinks he hears stuff, and gets into a barking frenzy for no reason. All of the other dogs just look at him like "what's your problem? there's nothing going on", and go back to sleep or play (or whatever they were doing at the time). If I so much as walk toward the front door, he barks. I don't have to touch it. I used to be able to open the door, get the mail, and come back inside and he'd think nothing of it. But it doesn't just have to do with the door. Just 15mins ago, we were all sitting in the living room, and he started barking. Either because he thought he heard something for the hundredth time today, or because of the (quiet) noise my glass made when I set it on the table. Either Way, it's unwarranted. He never used to bark very much at all. And he doesn't listen anymore when we tell him to be quiet.... but I know he's not deaf, as he listens to other stuff and still comes when called from far away.

Anyway, I don't know why I posted this. I know this just goes along with old dogs sometimes and there's not much I can do..
 

elegy

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#2
yes. i've had two dogs with "old dog brain". i actually ended up putting my poodle to sleep for it. she was getting stuck in corners, falling asleep standing up, just.... not really in there anymore. harv had old dog brain issues too.

there is medication available that is a great help to some dogs. it's called anipryl. neither of my dogs could take it because of other health issues, but i've seen good results in a couple dogs at work. anxiety medication can help some dogs too.
 

corgipower

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#3
I don't know if dogs can even become senile, but I don't see why not. Can they?
They get cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is similar to alzheimer's. I'm not very familiar with it, but the little I do know, it doesn't sound like that's what's going on.

I think he's just enjoying himself in the "golden years" :D
 

grab01

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#4
My Legend had CDS for the past year. It really is quite like Alzheimers. In his case, he began pacing, confused, he didn't eat for quite awhile..he'd just wander off mid meal, and he lost a ton of weight. He did eventually start eating again. He also began having aggression with one of our other dogs, a dog he'd lived with for 7 years...if Jules barked, Legend went into defense mode. They ended up living completely seperate and couldn't even hear each other. He also got caught in computer wires, ran into things because he paced and paced, and so on. He was on meds, that did help for awhile, but seemed to stop over time. He also lost bowel control.

There's a prescription diet aimed towards helping it, but I never tried it, so can't say whether it works or not.
 

Bigpoodleperson

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#5
As the others have said, old dogs can become senile. I would take him to your vet for a general exam and some labwork. Just to rule out anything else, and labwork is always a good thing with older guys.
I am sorry about your "old man", and i hope he gets better.
 
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#6
Harry is starting to get a bit confused sometimes. Hes having some issues that are worrying me. (Vet visit soon). But he also does that pacing thing, and then I feel like I can't move and disturb him cause he will wake up, get up and start pacing again. (This isn't every night, but just some nights).
 

puppydog

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#7
I am having great fun with my parents dog who is also my childhood dog.
She is hilarious in her old age. She swear she is going batty. But she is loads more fun now. She is not doing anything major, just some behaviour changes and she is more goofy now.
 

xpaeanx

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#8
if you do bring him to a vet, another thing to consider is that he may be going blind. Bailey went blind and he basically did the same thing. If I moved and it made a sound(even something as simple as picking a glass up from the coffee table) he'd freak out.
 

smkie

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#9
Mary gets so excited by things you think she is going to hyperventilate and i have to get her to settle down. SHe can't hear now at all i don't think. I have to watch her wandering off when she didn't before.
 

JudithMary

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#10
My last dog had Cusshings and it was her behavior changes that had me take her to the vet in the first place. Super sensitivity, restlessness, anxiety. Anipryl is used in the treatment of Cushings. She became addisonian later and reverted to her normal old self where she stayed till I had to put her to sleep at 14. I was glad to have a few good years at the end.
 

SeniorPetLover

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#11
I recently had a senior terrier begin to act odd. She would get stuck behind furniture, pace, circle, push her head into corners, and ignore me when I called her to come in from outside. She wandered around like she was lost.

I first attributed it to vision/hearing loss, but during the holidays her behavior continued to decline. She stopped eating the day after Christmas and I had to force feed her and give her fluids sub-q. I called the vet and we went in for an evaluation. By this point, she really seemed to have no idea where she was and she spent much of her time asleep.

Blood tests showed that her organs were all functioning properly. Her vision was cloudy, but not completely impaired. Other than the cognitive problems and lack of appetite, she was perfectly normal for her age. We hospitalized her for several days in hopes that she would respond to medication, but basically her condition remained the same. The vet told me that I could take her home and provide her with intensive nursing care, but she did not think we would be able to restore her quality of life. I finally made the decision to let her go rather than put her through continued force feedings just to keep her alive for my sake. I'm glad I did because it wound up being a brain tumor.

I have had others that had similar behaviors, but not as extreme and their conditions did not deteriorate as quickly. Sometimes it can be due to liver or kidney disease and sometimes it is just old age taking a toll on the mind. It is hard to watch them struggle. Get an evaluation from a good vet. Many things do respond to treatment. If it is evident that it doesn't, you will know what to do.
 

Southpaw

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#12
I think Molly is kind of "losing it" too. She takes her cues from Lucy now... Lucy's not exactly the best influence, but that's okay. :) I don't think she can really hear too well anymore, she'll get up and run to the door if Lucy goes to the door and starts barking--not because she really has any idea if someone is at the door or not. It's kind of cute though, she'll sit there and stare at Lucy, and do whatever Lucy does.

Sometimes she paces, or seems to forget where she was going... once in a while she'll walk downstairs, just stand there for a minute, and then go right back upstairs.

She doesn't do anything that would concern me, just some silly little behaviors that have only developed as she's gotten older... so yeah, maybe a bit senile. :p
 

Doberluv

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#13
I'm sorry you're having to go through this hard time. I can't really add anything, though I have had dogs that seemed to get sort of addled or confused, but nothing like you describe. I agree with a thorough exam and go from there. I send you my best vibes for some answers and some help.
 

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