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Thread: Is this an early symptom of doggy dementia?

  1. #1
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    Default Is this an early symptom of doggy dementia?

    Dodge has always had the habit of barking at nothing... but she never used to do it too much. She will be turning 11 in december, and is finally starting to show her age (Just had to trim her nails for the first time because she's not wearing them down like she always used to).

    The last few months we've noticed an increase in her habit of barking at nothing. She just stands on the back deck or sits in her bed and barks at absolutely nothing, she'll do this for up to 30 minutes at a time... and does it more than once throughout the day. Thank goodness we don't live in town otherwise she'd be causing a lot of trouble! It's fine though, our neighbours are far away so can't hear her, and it doesn't bother us.... it seems odd though... Could barking at nothing for ages like this be an early sign of doggy dementia?

    She's also developed a habit of pooing in the most annoying places, like on the driveway or on the footpath in the back yard rather than moving like 5 steps away onto the grass to go -_-

    Probably 10 minutes before I started typing this, Dodge started barking again... and she's still going... sigh...

  2. #2
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    I think some dogs can start to go deaf at about that age - so she might have some tinnitus or she can't hear her own voice properly so she has to bark harder or something?

    not sure about the pooping where she shouldn't. She might not like the feel of the grass any more so you might have to insist.

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    I hadn't thought of hearing loss, I suppose that could be what is going on. I haven't noticed anything that would make me think she's struggling with her hearing, but who knows I guess!

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    Might want to get her eye sight checked too. Usually as a dog ages they lose hearing then sight then smell and then life can be a bit crap.

    But sometimes the eye sight goes first. So if she's got little floaties in her vision - she might bark at those... Or the trees look more ominous than they used to?

    Or she might have Dogzheimers. It was discussed on the Night Life on the ABC recently. But the right podcast is no longer available. Essentially - the vet said dogs can get a version of it (and cats too).

  5. #5
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    Id lay money on dodge has never ever barked at nothing. Just things that only dodge can sense, and not a human.
    But doing normal behaviours, in the wrong place, is for me, a bit of a tell tale. Especially, if the poo was a normal consistency one. not runny, and urgency with diarrhea accident. Normal turds, in front rooms appear? and then dont. Behaviours, that 'come and go' to me is dementia. Each month would often be something new to the dog.
    Eventually, when hearing, sight, is gone, the quality of life is poor. Dementia definately occurs in dogs too. And they have the same as humans pre senile dementia, where it hits before old age.
    Ive had 3 dogs with dementia, at 14, and 12 and 11 yrs. So pretty good innings!
    The 14yr old, was my bad decision, not to PTS, because of my needs, for years longer than i should. He was very fearful when he wet around the house, like i was going to beat him to death for it. It was horrid to put him through that. On reflection, i should of PTS at 13.
    But daft as a brush by the time i PTS, he would change rapidly, from one odd behaviour to another. Doorways, became upassable suddenly. Forget how to get down from his chair, and get stuck and anxious. Weird distressing for the dog stuff.
    I learnt a lot from this. And will try not to again.
    Last edited by bernie; 09-13-2015 at 07:07 AM.

  6. #6
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    I haven't noticed any drastic changes in her hearing or eyesight, but I think I might get the vet to check her over anyway. The pooing in unusual places is definitely a habit that comes and goes. She'll constantly do it for a few weeks and then she won't do it for ages... Odd

    I'll be watching her like a hawk now for any unusual behaviours. I'd hate to think she is developing doggy Alzheimers, but the idea has been at the back of my mind for quite a while now...

    Alzheimers runs in my family terribly. As a young child I watched my Great Grandparents develop it. And over the last 10 years I watched my beloved Grandma go from normal to basically being a vegetable and passing away last year. It is one of the most horrendous diseases, I don't think people really appreciate just how awful it is until you've experienced it first hand.

    Having seen what my grandmother went through once the disease really started to take hold, I'd never put my dog through that.

  7. #7

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    A vet check wouldn't go astray for a pup this age. At least you will know what you are working with - health wise.

    As far as the pooing - I know the length of the grass affects where my little princess will go ! Maybe Dodge also doesn't like grass touching her 'girly bits' when she goes to the toilet !
    Last edited by RileyJ; 09-13-2015 at 01:45 PM.

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