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Dementia dog
4

dexterslockedintheshedagain · 10/09/2020 07:54

My mixed breed rescue girl, Ruby, is (we think) 9/10yrs old. We have had her for 7yrs.

She's always slept well, crated with our other boy (6yr old staff) no issues.

However, lately she's started kicking off in the night, barking, whining, being restless, and won't stop until she's been let out, and has run around like a loon.

I can sleep through this, but DH sleeps like this princess and the pea anyway, and gets little sleep. This impacts on his already fragile MH.
Walking her before bed doesn't seem to make a difference either.

Is there anything we can give Ruby to calm her down during the night?

From their crate, they can see out if the kitchen door, and I'm wondering if covering either the crate or the door windows might help.

Is there anything we can give Ruby to calm her down during the night?

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moosemama · 10/09/2020 09:33

First off, get her checked over by the vet. Any significant change in behaviour always warrants a check-up to be sure there’s no physical cause.

I would also check for external factors which might be disturbing her, things like neighbours changing shift patterns and going in/coming home in the night, foxes or other wildlife in the garden, local cats. If it is any of those things, you may be able to do something with the environment to stop her being disturbed. (Radio left on low, thicker curtains, blocking the view of any headlights that might light up the room, etc.)

If it is dementia/cognitive dysfunction - and the vet should be able to help you work out if it is - there are meds the vet can provide which can really help some dogs.

My boy is almost 15 and started showing signs of cognitive decline earlier this year. We put him on Aktivait, which is a non-veterinary supplement designed to support cognitive function in elderly dogs and that, along with some new supplements for his arthritis, has made a massive difference. It’s not cheap it, but worth it for my boy.

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dexterslockedintheshedagain · 10/09/2020 09:37

@moosemama thank you for that -so helpful!
She's always been one to bark at a snail farting in the next town (!) but this is different. It's a sustained almost distress like noise.
She's due jabs in a few weeks, I'll speak to the vet then but in the meantime cover the crate with a heavy blanket or something.

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EdwardCullensBiteOnTheSide · 10/09/2020 09:45

Could you try leaving the crate open? Our old jrt developed dementia as well as arthritis. He paced endlessly, to ease the discomfort and also because he was confused. If he was contained anywhere he used to panic, he was never like this when he was well and young. The vet gave him something for the dementia but it did not make a difference, we managed to ease his pain a little but he still wasn't right. I wish I'd pushed for more to be done for him, but the vet was adamant he was OK really.

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Motorina · 10/09/2020 09:50

I had this with my old girl. I think a lot of it was she couldn't see so well any more (cataracts) and so, in the dark, scary shadows became intruders.

A nightlight made a real difference.

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