Sunday, November 11, 2012

Canine Dementia Disorder

My precious Princess is more than 14 years old now.  For the past few months there have been some changes in her behavior.  She can't sleep through the night and I'm used to getting up once or twice to let her go outside.  I take a break myself because if I don't, I know I'll just wake up later on my own.  So we two old gals have that in common and I'm quite understanding of that.

A few months ago, she started waking up during the night more frequently - like two to four times between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.  I've been letting her out and assume she's been taking care of business.  Once back in the bedroom, she will pace and go from dog bed, to dog bed and just stand there.  If I make her lay down, she will get up a couple of minutes later and pace again.  Poor Blair is such a good dog that if Princess paces over to the bed that she is sleeping in, Blair will just get up and move to another bed.  Bless her heart.

After Princess finally settles down and I fall back to sleep, I am woken up again by the smell of dog poo.  What the heck - I just let you out, girl!  This doesn't happen every night but is becoming more and more frequent.  My vet knows about this and said as long as I can tolerate it, nothing needs to be done.

My vet didn't mention Canine Dimentia Disorder to me at that time.  Maybe she thought I was fully aware of it.  I told her that I certainly wouldn't think of having Princess killed just because she can't hold her poo, for goodness sake!  But the nightly pacing is really draining to deal with.  I should get up every morning for work at about 5:40 a.m. and am not getting any solid sleep.  

I work with a woman who is a dog lover and recently had her senior Pug euthanized.  She told me that her little dog had the night wanders too and mentioned "doggie dementia".   (Her little dog was very ill and wasn't euthanized because of the night wanders.)   Hmmm...made sense.  They are living so much longer, just like us and that brings new problems to deal with.

After getting up several times with my girl last night, I decided to do a little on-line research and came across some helpful information.  I found the same information in several places.  One site said that so many people euthanize their dogs too soon because they didn't want to deal with the issues.

I found this website - A Path With Paws - that had some helpful information and several others but didn't bookmark them all so can't provide the link.  There are several symptoms of doggie dementia and of them, night pacing, "forgetting their housebreaking" and getting confused and stuck behind furniture applies to my Princess.

I've decided to go the homeopathic route with my girl since I can't afford the prescription drug for doggie dementia.  My friend, Gail, has her dog on it and it works wonders.  Midnight (Gail's dog) gets up and night and barks and doesn't exhibit the other symptoms Princess shows.

Today I gave her a bath...and Zoe.  I washed all the dog bedding again and gave Princess a partial pedicure.  As of this evening, my old girl is sharing some of my Fish Oil and we are now both on Ginko Biloba.  Plus, I will be giving Princess some Melatonin tablets tonight, which is supposed to help with sleeping.  I know the effects won't be felt by her immediately, but I'm hoping that she starts sleeping a little soon.  I'm also going to purchase her a heated orthopedic bed tomorrow.  Nothing is too much or too good for my special old girl who I love so much.  And I know she loves me more than any person on this planet could.