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I Need Some Advice, From Someone Who Knows About Dogs.


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I have an aging Golden Retriever, as of late things are happening we don’t know how to address. She is 10 years old, which I believe is 60 in dog years. We bought her as a puppy, and on hot days, she seeks shelter under either our front or back porch, but at night she stays in the house with us. As of late, we call for her, if we hear thunder, and in the evening. However, sometimes, well many times now, we call out, or yell out for her, and she is often right under our feet. At first we thought she was going deaf, but in reality, she is trying to get through our steps. She is a big dog, 60-70 lbs, but she seems to be forgetting how she got under the porch, in the first place. Often, I will go down the steps, which for me is difficult, to point the way to get out, and at times I have to go down to the direction she went in, to show her how to get back out. Then when she comes into the house for the night, she seems very confused, and even confused as to where to go to sleep. 
 

So, my question is this; is there some form of Dementia or Alzheimer’s that dogs can get? It is really starting to worry us, not to mention the fact that Golden Retrievers, have problems with their hips, via serious arthritis as they age, and she can hardly get up very well at her age. It breaks our hearts to see her suffer this way. We have already begun to give me things to help with her difficulties standing up, and walking up stairs. But what if anything can done if indeed dogs can get any form of dementia, or Alzheimer’s? If what we are doing for her hips and legs, does not work, my wife and I are unable to help her stand, or help her up the 6 stairs to our back door. As we too, struggle with our own difficulties with the same at our age.  
 

So, can anyone help with some information. We can’t even bath her anymore, our grandchildren bath her each Sunday, or when they stay over. So, here’s hoping someone here can help. Vets won’t even discuss it with us, unless they have all their shots, which have fallen behind, and we can not afford the many shots. We took her last Saturday for a clinic who was offering shots at a reduced cost, and they told us that the shots and prices we had been quoted were both not needed and too costly. They could not do all that was needed, because what they were doing was sponsored by the country, and the country did not allot enough money. 
 

So, can anyone help?   

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I have had many dogs. Most have passed from old age and a couple I have had to put down because of an unrelenting problem. It is always distressing. Yes, many of the human afflictions of old age can also occur in dogs. A 10 year old large dog has reached a ripe old age. Personally , I am not one to prolong a suffering animal's life. The last dog I had to put down was my wife's 17 year old ShihTsu and it was very painful to everyone as she had been in the family for so long but she wasn't eating well and could not move well anymore. I don't envy you your situation. 🙁

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My beagle has bad arthritis and lots of warts which makes me worried to groom her (as in scraping on them being painful).  I am actually waiting for her to pass before we move to a new home as she has always had the habit of peeing on carpets when bored or tired and that is something I am not gointo tolerate when we get all new carpets.

PaPa, here is a page on dog dementia, might be easier to read on the website, but I am posting what I see as most helpful.

https://tractive.com/blog/en/health/dog-dementia

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The symptoms of dog dementia are extensive, ranging from mild to severe as the disease progresses. Initial symptoms of dog dementia are often mild, but they gradually worsen over time. Below are the most common symptoms of dog dementia:

Disorientation and confusion – Appearing lost or confused in familiar surroundings

Anxiety

Failing to remember routines and previously learned training or house rules

No longer responding to their name or familiar commands

Extreme irritability

Decreased desire to play

Aimless wandering

Staring blankly at walls or at nothing

Slow to learn new tasks

Lack of self-grooming

Loss of appetite

Changes in sleep cycle like night waking and/or sleeping during the day

The early signs of dog dementia can be difficult to detect. They can often be misinterpreted as “just getting old.” However, early recognition is very important and all dog owners should be on the lookout for mild versions of the symptoms listed above.

Looks like treatment is iffy and only after an expensive diagnosis that rules out everything else.  Biggest problem would be if it is possible for your dog to wander off.  If so, getting a GPS tracker to find them could be a decent investment.

As far as what you can do, limits on your own health may prevent some of the below, but here is what is recommended.

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How can I best care for my dog with dementia?

When it comes to caring for a dog with dementia, you’ll want to consider their needs when it comes to your home, surroundings, and lifestyle. You can help your dog cope with dementia and care for them, in the following ways.

Provide daytime activities and opportunities for play.

Encourage opportunities for structured social interaction.

Expose your dog to sunlight to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

Keep walking the dog – do not reduce physical activity. If they can’t walk, use a stroller or wagon.

Pet-proof your house like you would for a new puppy or toddler.

Establish feeding, watering, and walking routines and patterns for your dog’s comfort.

Use diapers, waterproof bedding, pads, or furniture if necessary.

Try switching to prescription senior dog food, or a whole foods natural diet².

Add supplements to the dog’s diet, but only under the guidance of a vet.

Explore alternative and conventional forms of treatment.

Avoid changing or rearranging furniture. Try to keep your dog’s home and surroundings as familiar and friendly as possible.

Know your dog’s limits when introducing new toys, food, people, or other animals.

Keep commands short, simple, and compassionate.

Give them plenty of love.

Keep track of your best friend with a GPS tracker built especially for dogs

By incorporating some of the above into your life as a means to care for your dog with dementia, you may be able to slow down or stop further development of the disease.

 

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