Let's talk about doggie dementia.
February 12, 2018 10:39 AM   Subscribe

In just a few short months, my 14 year old good boy Caye's eyesight and deafness has gotten worse. Now he's exhibiting classic Canine Cognitive Disorder symptoms - pacing, panting, quietly whining, random yelping, what people refer to as Sundowners as it typically happens after dinner time. It's heartbreaking to watch. I've been treating him with CBD oil and melatonin which help at night, but now his symptoms are starting to occur in the morning and throughout the day too. I'm going to try Cholodin too, which others have recommended.

I rent, so of course I need to be cognizant that I have neighbors who may not be happy with this behavior, especially the random yelping and barking - I literally just moved in 10 days ago. I haven't had to worry about neighbors as a renter before, so this is adding to my stress.

Worse, other than these symptoms, he is such a happy go lucky dog, always ready for adventures and car rides. He doesn't seem to be in any pain otherwise.

I know I need to take him to the vet soon, but would love to hear from others on their experience with CCD and what to expect from this point forward. I can barely type out the words but ... is this something that will eventually lead to me having to let him go? I think I know the answer, but I just don't think I want to hear it.
posted by HeyAllie to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is he still eating normally?
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:42 AM on February 12, 2018

Response by poster: Yes, he is eating normally. Another symptom of CCD, same as humans with dementia, is that he's forgotten he's eaten already, so he is constantly on the prowl for food.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:44 AM on February 12, 2018

It could be that more time to ease into the new routine/house will help. Dogs really thrive with routine, and moving is a huge break in routine, particularly for an older dog. 10 days is not a lot of time: If this were my dog, I would take him to the vet and lay out the whole situation, including letting the vet know that you've recently moved, and that your dog seems happy otherwise.
posted by answergrape at 10:46 AM on February 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Our sweet goldendoodle was 12? 13? when she started “mugging” us for a second dinner around 9 pm each night. She would also just whimper and whine and be pushy, which was a definite change in behavior for her. So, I too put her on cholodin as well as a melatonin supplement. That didn’t have as great the effect as I wanted, so off to the vet we went. She was prescribed trazodone which was extremely effective in treating her sundowners. She was her old self again. Trazodone is an old drug hat is inexpensive (usually on those $4 lists). Our vet warned us that the drugs to treat CCD specifically carried a lot of risks with bad side effects. The trazodone was fantastic and gave us another 6 months with her before her body gave up on her.
posted by FergieBelle at 11:54 AM on February 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

I had a couple of grown dogs go crazy because foxtails had gotten to their eardrums. They get disoriented, can't get around well, pant, whine lots of symptoms.
posted by Oyéah at 1:48 PM on February 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Cordyseng sprinkled on the food .
posted by hortense at 2:56 PM on February 12, 2018

Best answer: My darling Marie had dementia, and would get worse after sundown. She still enjoyed food, pets, and could mostly remember to go outside.

I don’t quite remember what we had her on, but I believe (?) it was Prozac, Tramadol, and a pain killer. It definitely helped. The tramadol was at night so she (and I) could get some rest. This helped her be content and relaxed for another couple of years.

Talk to your vet about these options, they should be familiar with them.

Good luck. I know how hard this is...

My Marie. Best. Dog. Ever...
posted by Vaike at 4:58 PM on February 12, 2018

Best answer: sorry, I think I meant to type trazedone.
posted by Vaike at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2018

Best answer: Agree with others that you should talk to your vet. The move probably isn't helping, and it may get better once she gets used to the new place. That said, if it's truly CCD, it may be less about trying to make the disorder itself better, and more about reducing the anxiety it's causing her. That's where the aforementioned Trazadone comes in, and can really make a huge difference in reducing her stress.
posted by thejanna at 10:56 AM on February 13, 2018

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