Dementia/Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

(12 Posts)
user1471510561 Sat 01-Jun-19 09:39:55

Our beautiful Ddog was diagnosed with dementia in January last year (she will be 13 in October). We/she have coped very well with it, despite her having a number of health issues over the last few months.
Our problem now is that she won't sleep at all in the night, she just lays there panting. We have tried everything we can think of and the vet has tried all medication avenues, to no avail. Our only option now is to have her pts, which we really don't want to do as she still has a reasonable quality of life. She looks forward to her food, enjoys her walks and is quite active throughout the day, but we are just exhausted all the time. We take it in turns to sleep with her in the smaller bedroom, leave a night light on so it's not too dark but we are at our wit's end as to help her not pant all night.
Any suggestions, please?

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BiteyShark Sat 01-Jun-19 12:09:54

I don't know what to suggest really as it sounds like you have tried everything thanks

I assume you have tried something like a white noise machine? It helps me sleep and seems to calm my dog at night although he is young so no dementia.

user1471510561 Sun 02-Jun-19 08:56:07

Thank you, BiteyShark. No, I haven't tried a white noise machine and will definitely look into getting one. What one would you recommend, please?

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BiteyShark Sun 02-Jun-19 12:15:02

I use a LectoFan. It has several sounds so you would need to cycle through them to get a decent white noise and tone. I actually take mine on holiday as my brain is so tuned to it that it block out lots of outside noise in hotels etc.

user1471510561 Sun 02-Jun-19 18:36:24

Thank you. I have ordered one from Amazon and hope it works! flowers

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CuddlesAndShit Sun 02-Jun-19 18:41:20

Poor you and poor ddog sad you sound like lovely owners. Can I ask, how did she get diagnosed? I think my old girl is starting to develop this too and the vets are very vague so far.

In answer to your question, I don't have any advice other than when my ddog has had restless periods lpxz

CuddlesAndShit Sun 02-Jun-19 18:47:42

Sorry not sure what happened there!! What i was trying to say was that I create a really calm envorinment, like a spa almost! So we sit calmly with her, soft lighting and put on YouTube - there are loads of videos if you type in "relaxing music for dogs". If she accepts it we also give her a massage. Eventually, when she starts to settle down and lays down, we cover her with a blanket and keep the weight of our hand on her until she falls asleep.

It can be a long process but might be worth a try. It's so hard, I really sympathise flowers


user1471510561 Mon 03-Jun-19 08:23:32

Cuddles We took her to the vets after she had been displaying strange symptoms for a number of weeks. She was pacing up and down throughout the night, wouldn't settle, jump out of her bed, tail between her legs looking terrified and not recognising us for a number of minutes etc The vet gave her a thorough examination and said that, apart from arthritis, she was healthy so the only thing it could be was dementia.
We have tried the really calm environment, as you've kindly suggested, and it helped for a very short time but it makes no difference now. She has never been a dog for getting on the sofa or our bed but the only way we can get her to get even a little sleep, is to have her lie next to one of us and stroke her - all night! This is why we take it in turns to allow the other one of us to get a good night's sleep in the main bed.

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CuddlesAndShit Mon 03-Jun-19 09:57:21

Thank you so much for replying. I think my ddog is going down the same path and I really feel for you, its heartbreaking.

As soon as I pressed send I thought it was useless advice at this stage, I know how powerless you feel when they are pacing or anxious and you feel like you can't make it better for them. As tired as you must be, I think its lovely that you are spending your nights comforting her and I hope you find a solution that helps your girl at night (and gets you all a good night's sleep!)

CuddlesAndShit Mon 03-Jun-19 10:20:22

Sorry to spam your thread (last message I promise!), but I have just spoken to someone who suggested that melatonin can help anxious dogs sleep. If you havent already tried it, could be worth speaking to your vet to see if its worth a go.

BrightOink Sat 08-Jun-19 07:07:48

Our 15 year old boy has this. He's just started 2 new medications that have settled some of his pacing and crying. It was all night so I completely feel your pain. Has your vet suggested medications?

user1471510561 Sat 08-Jun-19 10:09:02

BrightOink I'm sorry you are going through the same thing with your lovely boy. Unfortunately, our vet has tried everything and nothing works for very long so she has left it up to us to decide when we've had enough of sleepless nights. It's very, very difficult because during the day it's so much easier to cope with. Good luck!

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