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Help with possible dementia(9 Posts)
Our 12 year old pointer/griffon was diagnosed with possible dementia a year ago although the symptoms she had then have improved so we're not sure what it is/was. In the summer she had a herniated disc so had to have complete rest and now is only allowed walks on the lead. She is on steroids to help with the pain and the vet said she will need these for the rest of her life.
Our problem with her is that some nights she just will not settle and if she does for a couple of hours, she is then up and wanting to go in the garden. I go with her to make sure she does a wee. From then on she prowls up and down for the rest of the night, tapping on the door wanting to go out again. We have tried everything we can think of to help her, but it is really getting us down due to the lack of sleep. Any ideas, please?
No experience of this but have you asked your vet if there is any medication that can help settle him especially if it's dementia related?
Edition Dog magazine had a little piece on it which said:
"Although there is no cure for cognitive delcine providing the dog with stimulating mind games such as hunting for treats and toys in the garden or using food puzzles and snuffle mats can help keep their minds active. The inclusion of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet will also help in some way to slow down the decline if the initial symptoms are spotted early enough"
Have you told the vet about the pacing? He/she can prescribe something that might take the edge off the condition, at least for a while.
One of my dogs had dementia but fortunately not the night-time restlessness. I did move him into the bedroom to sleep though. Previously he'd been happy in the kitchen but he wouldn't settle there any more.
It's very hard. My dog had another condition which eventually became too bad and he had to be put to sleep. If he'd been unsettled all through the night I'm not sure how long I could have carried on.
The vet did give our dog medication at the beginning, which helped for a short time but then no longer had any effect.. She used to sleep all night in the lounge but when this started, we restricted her movements to our bedroom only. Some nights she will sleep for most of the night but, like last night, she was up and down from just after 3am, tapping on our bedroom door to be let out.
It is very difficult because during the day, she seems her usual, happy self, eating and drinking and loving her walks. It is the nights that seem relentless but how can we have her put to sleep when she is otherwise very healthy?
I know. Mine demanded food from early afternoon till bedtime, every hour or more. He'd bark at me till I fed him. But I had to vary what I gave him or he didn't like it. And give him enough to appease him but not too much as he'd want more soon anyway. It was tricky but nothing like as bad as disturbed nights!
I just hope you have more good nights than bad.
Restlessness and needing to wee/drink a lot are 2 of the main side effects of steroids. I’d definitely take her to the vets and see what medication could take the edge off. Have you tried giving her things to do to keep her settled and laying down rather than roaming?
I knew about the wanting to eat and drink more, plus the occasional incontinence, but not the restlessness so that makes more sense.
We have tried everything to help her settle at night. She goes to sleep reasonably quickly but once she's awake, she just wants to keep going outside. It wasn't so bad in the summer but now it's much colder at night, it is very much harder.
The vet has given her medication in the past but these no longer work and he says there isn't anything else. We've even tried the Bach Rescue Remedy drops, which, again, helped for a short while but no longer make any difference.