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Thread: Dementia and pets

  1. #1
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    Default Dementia and pets

    Cats and dogs are living longer thanks to their owners' love but dementia increases with pets' ages | Mail Online
    I read this today and now am wondering how many of you have managed dementia in your pets.

    Ten years ago I had two elderly cats. One had developed dementia but managed well as she just stayed with the other one and went in and out and ate and slept at the same time. I didn't think much of it as it happened gradually and caused no-one any problems least of all the cats. Then the more dominant cat developed cancer on her nose and when it was time to say farewell I realised how cruel it would be to leave the other one alone with no guide through her now confusing life. So I took them both to the vet and stayed with them as they went to sleep. Then buried them together in the garden. It was sad but somehow right as they had spent their whole lives as friends.

  2. #2
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    It was hard to tell with mum's kelpie x.

    She was having trouble getting up and down, but couldn't bear to be without her people so any time we moved - she'd get up...

    She lost most of her senses starting with night vision
    then hearing,
    then she couldn't find her dinner and would charge blindly around the house until we caught her and put it directly under her nose...

    And she'd go out and sunbake on incredibly hot days and I didn't want mum to come home to fried dog.

    so that was it.

    Was hard to tell if she was demented or had just lost most of her way of being aware of the world. She did seem to recognise us to the end - if we were close enough.

  3. #3
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    My old staffy Eddie had doggy dementia for the last 12 months or so of his life. He was so funny at times We were aware of his condition so took extra care of him. He would 'get lost' in the front yard and just sit and bark until someone came and got him. He was mostly deaf and mostly blind as well. My staffy girl Maggie, use to sit with him, touching him to keep him calm, she was always with him. He would get 'stuck' in the curtains, which apparently is a normal dementia thing too. He never lost his appetite or his love of cuddles though. It was really quite easy to care for him, we just had to be extra mindful of where he was. God, I miss those two dogs. I laid them to rest 6 months apart <3

  4. #4
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    My old mare had dementia. It took us a while to notice because the onset was so slow. It became apparent when she couldn't find the gate anymore. Looking back I think it was a quite early onset... I had just missed the early signs and thought it's her eyesight going. It was too - but probably not to the extend I believed. She too had a close friend she would follow around. That way she almost never got stuck by not finding the gate or else. She seemed content enough so we just let her enjoy the life and finally eat all the food she was not allowed when younger due to her tendency to obesity.

    She was in her mid 30's when she lost interest in food. It was a clear sign that she had enough so we called the vet to PTS. Luckily she didn't fight the effect of the injection. It was very peaceful, she just lay down and that was it. It was as if she had already made the decision and welcomed the help.

  5. #5
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    I'm going through that now with my beautiful GSD Rex...at 11.6 yrs I suppose I'm lucky to have him reach this age. It's sad to see him at times not know where he is and sometimes he'll come to me wanting to go outside but when I open the door he just stands there...most likely forgot what he wanted.

    Rex has wobbley back legs and his eyesight is not 100%...I took him to the vet 4 wks ago for a check up and his heart and lungs are fine...he eats...drinks and goes to the toilet normally and there's no blood in his poo so for his age he's good for now. Rex has always been an inside dog and now sleeps most of the day. Chloe now 27 mths old runs around the yard like a bat out of hell but poor Rex just stands there and watches her.

    I would rather have Rex with Dementia and all the problems associated with old age than not have him at all...as I lost my GSD Tara to cancer and she was only 8.7 yrs old and I still miss her. I don't know how much time he has left...hopefully a year or two but it's not upto me.

    Here's a pic of my little man taken a month ago.
    Last edited by Dogman; 07-11-2014 at 05:06 PM.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  6. #6
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    I was a bit surprised when reading the article above how many of the readers commented with 'don't let the suffer like this but PTS'... If you were lucky enough to have spent with your pet a long time you're IMHO the best person to judge if they still have the will to go on or not. I sometimes can't help wondering who is 'suffering', the pet or the owner watching their beloved pet going downhill. It's not easy to bear but I really believe we owe it to be strong for them and not just get rid of them because we don't want to be reminded of death or because we don't want to spoil our better memories of our pets.

  7. #7
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    I kept my rough collie going till he was 14. demented old fart. But still wagged his tail if you baby talked him. We pulled the plug when he wouldnt eat.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by margoo View Post
    I was a bit surprised when reading the article above how many of the readers commented with 'don't let the suffer like this but PTS'... If you were lucky enough to have spent with your pet a long time you're IMHO the best person to judge if they still have the will to go on or not. I sometimes can't help wondering who is 'suffering', the pet or the owner watching their beloved pet going downhill. It's not easy to bear but I really believe we owe it to be strong for them and not just get rid of them because we don't want to be reminded of death or because we don't want to spoil our better memories of our pets.
    I didn't read the article because we know our own dogs and we know when it's time...we know Dementia is part of old age but some people simply don't want the extra work and cost of looking after an old dog. I sometimes see on Pet Rescue old dogs looking for a new home which makes me very sad and angry...how can people dump their dog just because it's old...some people are just scum.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  9. #9
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    It is an individual decision I think. Dementia is often accompanied by incontinence and life can become smelly and difficult with an elderly large or small dog.
    For some people seeing a once dignified friend become confused is too hard. As long as people take responsibility for the mental and physical comfort of their animals I wouldn't criticise a decision. But totally agree that abandoning any dog let alone an elderly faithful pet is inexcusable.

  10. #10
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    Tara is 12 1/4 now. She went through a patch of incontinence a few months back, but she hasn't for ages now. She still gets super excited when I get home from work, and charges around like a puppy.....but she's become a bit clingy lately, and she is reluctant to go outside unless I am with her....if I go inside she sits facing the door until I come back.....only when I park myself on the banana chair, where she can see me will she go explore the yard. She got into a bad fight with my friends mastiff a few weeks back, although they had been mostly friendly until that time, and she will snap at my cats if they jump on my bed, if she was there first. She's off her food a bit.

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