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Old dog, dementia and howling at night

(13 Posts)
MelanieFrontage Mon 16-Dec-19 23:20:22

We are both absolutely exhausted.
Our old dog was diagnosed with dementia, in addition to that she’s deaf and pretty much blind.
The last 2 weeks she has started howling at night. When she howls we go and see her. She has water so we let her out, she wanders around and then comes in.
This is literally every hour though the night. We are absolutely knackered.
I’m going to phone and hopefully see the vet tomorrow.
I know that this is the end and it’s so upsetting.
Does anyone else have any experience that will give me hope that the howling is anything other than severe dementia?

OP’s posts: |
Medievalist Mon 16-Dec-19 23:30:17

No experience of dementia in dogs (only dm ☹️). But I recently had my 12 year old Labrador put to sleep and I regret not having done it sooner. She was deaf, poor eyesight, unable to bark properly, arthritic etc. When she became ill, because I couldn't bear to part with her, I allowed her to be admitted to vet hospital for tests. I could have spared her a few days of distress and confusion if I hadn't gone down that route.

It does sound as if it might be time for you to say goodbye. thanksthanksthanks

BitOfFun Mon 16-Dec-19 23:35:36

It's possible that she's confused and scared by the dark. Could you leave a nightlight on for her?

Majorcollywobble Mon 16-Dec-19 23:35:36

How upsetting for you and your poor dog . She’s clearly conveying her upset as best she can - who knows what’s going on in her mind x you may not find this suggestion helpful but could she sleep upstairs with you ? Good luck for tomorrow. X

MelanieFrontage Mon 16-Dec-19 23:46:32

Thanks all, I carried her upstairs last week and mid evening she went downstairs and started howling.
She sleeps downstairs but all doors are open And have been for her whole life.
She is very happy in her bed in the kitchen.
Shit, I dunno. I’m guessing that now is that time.

OP’s posts: |
PosieParkerIsAHero Mon 16-Dec-19 23:48:41

Can't she sleep in your bed?

I'm lay here with 3 dogs

Leedsmom Mon 16-Dec-19 23:52:16

Our elderly dog does similar in that he will ask to go out multiple times, then almost as soon as he’s out he’ll be howling to be let back in again. He’ll do this even if he’s been out 2 minutes ago.
He sleeps in our room at night though and sleeps all night.
Could you try wearing her out a bit in the day (difficult if she struggles to move) and then shutting her in with you at night?

Laughterisbest Tue 17-Dec-19 08:32:53

I don't have anything to suggest other than that it's probably time.

I have had a dog with dementia, but as long as he was in my room he slept all night. If he had been pacing and howling through the night I wouldn't have let it go on.

It's hard when there's nothing specific, but I would let her go.

DeepDarkWoods Tue 17-Dec-19 08:38:51

Oh bless her, what is she like during the day?

FeedThemFlumps Tue 17-Dec-19 09:56:38

I think unless you've lived with a dog like this it's hard to imagine how unsettled they can be - even if taken up into the bedroom at night. For younger dogs that tends to be a cure all solution but does not help some dementia dogs at all. In fact it can make them a bit worse because it's new and strange, not their routine.

Good luck at the vet today.

There are supplements and medications that can help some dogs - at least enough to give them and their owners a good quality of life for a bit longer. With your vets help hopefully you'll find one that works for your dog.

Soubriquet Tue 17-Dec-19 10:16:41

My little dog had dementia.

At first it was howling at night. Then it was standing in corners howling at the wall because he couldn’t figure out how to get out.

Then he couldn’t find food and water. That was when I said enough.

We had him pts the next day. I wished I had done it earlier tbh. When the vet examined him, though he looked fat, he actually had lost lots of weight around his face and the fat was swelling around his kidneys. They also found lumps which was a high chance of cancer.

I fed him a dinner of rotisserie chicken and chocolate buttons that morning.


I miss him but I know it was right to let him go.

Pictures of my Nero

MelanieFrontage Tue 17-Dec-19 12:18:58

Thanks for all the responses and I’m sorry to read of similar experiences, it’s so sad when dogs develop illnesses that can’t be cured.

Thanks especially to @BitOfFun we left a light on for her last night and we all got a good nights sleep, she made some noise in the middle of the night but soon settled again. We are so relieved.

During the day she is absolutely fine (apart from a few wee accidents) she sleeps most of the time and sometimes does wander into a corner and can’t work her way out but we are lucky that both of us work from home and she’s with us in our office during the day so we can keep an eye on her. She’s actually still quite bright and ‘with it’ so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the night light will continue working.

OP’s posts: |
missmouse101 Tue 17-Dec-19 12:27:37

Op, is she on any meds to help things? Vivitonin is good for this, it is for dogs with senility. Worth a try surely?

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