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Thread: Dealing with Doggy Dementia

  1. #1

    Default Dealing with Doggy Dementia

    Hi all
    I am new to this forum. My beautiful Jedda (15.5 yrs -Jack Russell) has developed dementia. It started slowly about 18 mths ago, but now she is completely deaf and is at a stage of constant pacing, wandering, panting and wimpering. She has forgotten her toilet training and doesn't recognise most of the family now. I have two other JRs and she does react to them at times, by barking in their faces or will try to bite their ears if she becomes agitated. She walks as if she is drunk, she can't negotiate stairs very well and falls regularly and now she is struggling to chew anything hard so we are giving her soft food. When we come home from work she seems excited/agitated to see us, but we are not sure if she is reacting to what the other dogs are doing or she really knows who we are, because within a short time she begins to pace again. She has been on vivitonin medication but there has been little change.

    We have been thinking about when is it time to release her from this life of confusion. It is so hard - we don't have any problems with dealing with her day to day needs, whether it is cleaning up her puddles or making sure she eats and trying to comfort her, but watchng her with this blank stare as she walks back and forth or worst when there is fear in her eyes and she constantly wimpers is heart breaking.

    She is under a vet and our next appointment is in a week.

    Can anyone help with advice on doggy dementia and what are the final stages of this disease.

    Thanks
    Denise

  2. #2
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    Biggest thing is to learn to laugh. Things will happen. She will get dinner and then come back 10 mins later to get dinner. She will start not to recognise people and things initially. She might walk into stuff. Just learn to be calm and laugh it off. It's sad but if you dwell on that, you wont be able to enjoy your last years with her.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Occy, we do laugh at times, when she is lying on the dog bed, gets off walks around the coffee table and then back to the dog bed and does this 10 times and each time faces in a different direction on the bed. Or when she walks towards you and is about 2 steps away then turns away and walking in the opposite direction.

  4. #4
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    Ahh the old "I can't remember what I came in here for" look.

    Hell *I* do that sometimes!

  5. #5
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    Jedda - routine is also important - the less upheavel the better off she will be. There are drugs that can help slow down the deterioration and talking to a vet is worthwhile

  6. #6
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    I'm afraid I dont have any advise just wanted give you this

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Occy View Post
    Biggest thing is to learn to laugh. Things will happen. She will get dinner and then come back 10 mins later to get dinner. She will start not to recognise people and things initially. She might walk into stuff. Just learn to be calm and laugh it off. It's sad but if you dwell on that, you wont be able to enjoy your last years with her.
    I am sorry to hear about your dog's dementia

    I agree with Occy...enjoy her

    There are some things you can do to make her life better...such as:

    Provide mental stimulation
    Play with her...go for short walks...pet and hug her
    Take more frequent toilet breaks
    Stick with a strict daily routine
    Minimise stress and changes in her daily life
    Attach a bell to her collar so you can hear her at all times
    Don't rearrange furniture etc
    Feed a good senior food

    People and dogs with dementia don't do well with changes in their life. It could be small things like moving furniture around. We might not think much of it...but it is stressful for the person or dog.

    Please keep us posted as to how she is doing.


  8. #8

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    Someone once explained dementia to me as being the place we (animals and humans) all go for a stopover and a rest on our way to a better place.....

    I havent seen a dog go through this and I admire you very much, not sure how I would cope. I do remember watching a Grand Parent and realising that it is probably worse for me as the observer than it was for her.....she was on her way somewhere else......
    Vellela

  9. #9

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    Thanks for your kind thoughts.

    We have been dealing with this for about 18 months now, it starts off with just a few little things like staring into space, then getting stuck in the corners of rooms and then the pacing starts and it goes on from there.

    I will keep you posted on Jedda's journey.

    Denise

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Jedda, my Nana once told me (before she died) that 'when you get up in the middle of the night, find yourself sitting on the side of the bed and can't remember whether you've just pee'd or still need to, then you know you've got dementia.'

    She also laughed it off, as she pointed out 'what the hell, it doesn't matter cause I'll forget it in five minutes!' Her humour not only carried her through, but everyone else who loved her!

    She has passed away now, and you will know when it is just getting all too much for Jedda, and it is time for her final journey to Rainbow Bridge.

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