Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

The Miniature Schnauzer is a smallest dog in the Schnauzer breed and originated in the mid-to-late 19th Century from Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer is a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and other smaller breeds such as the Poodle. A miniature Schnauzer is a spunky, but aloof dog who does things their own way. They tend to be good guard dogs without the tendency to bite.
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al shookup
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Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

Post by al shookup »

My oldest dog Louie is now approaching 15 years of age and for about a year now he has suffered with 'Doggy Dementia'. His hearing has almost gone and he has no strength in his back legs and is skin and bone. He till eats very well and likes to go out for a short morning walk at a very slow pace. He is spoilt rotten and still loved greatly. It is hard work caring for a dog in his condition and I wondered if any other Mini owners have experienced the same and have any tips.
thanks
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zeta1454
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Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
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Re: Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

Post by zeta1454 »

It is one of the hardest issues to face with a much loved dog when they are approaching the end of their life and the longer a dog lives the greater the risk that they will develop ‘doggy dementia’. We have experienced this to a certain extent with 2 of our dogs. One (not a schnauzer) who passed away just short of his 15th birthday and currently with our Magic who is coming up to 14 years old in a couple months. Both did lose weight, much due to loss of muscle with old age and thinning skin.

With our elder dog that passed, he too enjoyed a walk and loved his food but it was at night that he became most disoriented. He no longer wanted to sleep on the bed with us but decided to sleep in the hallway and we made up a warm bed with blankets and a heated pad in winter for him. Every night he would cry out soon after we had gone to bed and I would go down and sit with him, sometimes he would wander about a bit and then lie down and I stayed with him until he fell asleep. With Magic our mini schnauzer she has bouts of ‘yipping’ where she cries out with a sharp yelp to be let upstairs and wants a fish skin treat before going back downstairs and she can repeat this a few times a day although she can be persuaded to go down without getting a treat ; she too cries out occasionally before settling to sleep and she does have times of going out in the garden and standing still for ages as if she doesn’t know why she is there.

I know that all the above are mild forms of doggy dementia so it may depend how serious the ‘behaviour’ that your Louie is showing. When you say that it is hard work, what are you having to do to cope?

You do need to be patient and it can be hard at times when a dog is no longer behaving in the way he did when he was younger. Try to keep his routines the same as much as possible to avoid confusion. We have found that our older dogs like to go out at exactly the same time for a walk; have meals at the same time every day; always have bed and food and water bowls in the same place. Walks will have to be very slow and give Louie plenty of time to sniff. You could try using a snuffle mat or other simple brain training game to keep him motivated as it is important to offer some stimulation / challenge to keep his brain working. If he is uncomfortable lying down, an orthopaedic bed can be helpful to support him in comfort.

There are supplements* and medications that are supposed to help with doggy dementia but I do think that when a dog has reached a good age, many of these will not have the noticeable impact they might in a younger dog. It is a sad fact of ageing which can affect all living creatures including humans.

*I don’t know whether these might be of help but here is a link to this type of product:

https://www.dorwest.com/product/brainco ... dogs-cats/

If there are incontinence issues which we have not experienced with our senior dogs, you may have to go back to some of the strategies used with puppies - taking Louie outside frequently and/ or providing pee pads or other indoor toilet. There are also incontinence pads* that a dog wears but these are, to my mind, a last resort and would need frequent checking and cleaning to avoid causing a health problem.Again it may be a question of patience and coping with cleaning up after him if this is an issue with Louie.
*
https://glenndarcy.dog/collections/male ... continence

I think as long as a dog is eating well, getting some outdoor exercise and stimulation and is getting pleasure out of life still, it is just trying to keep them happy until the time comes when you feel the spark really has gone from their life and it may be time to consider letting them pass with dignity through euthanasia. I do understand though that personal circumstances can also affect these decisions if coping with serious dementia issues does become too great a problem.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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al shookup
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Joined: 23 Dec 2009, 16:39

Re: Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

Post by al shookup »

Thanks for detailed response. Your experience mirrors mine in many ways. Louie needs to go out for a wee every couple of hours and he starts barking for attention at any time on a nightly basis. In fact my Wife and I are now taking turns as to who gets up to see to him. We have a two and a half Miniature Schnauzer (Frankie) who sleeps in the kitchen with Louie but that doesn't stop Louie from making his noise nightly.
It is hard work but we love him so long may he last.
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zeta1454
Moderator
Posts: 5140
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

Post by zeta1454 »

al shookup wrote: 07 Mar 2024, 17:38 Thanks for detailed response. Your experience mirrors mine in many ways. Louie needs to go out for a wee every couple of hours and he starts barking for attention at any time on a nightly basis. In fact my Wife and I are now taking turns as to who gets up to see to him. We have a two and a half Miniature Schnauzer (Frankie) who sleeps in the kitchen with Louie but that doesn't stop Louie from making his noise nightly.
It is hard work but we love him so long may he last.
It is hard in so many ways - frustrating at times, tiring and also, I feel, sadness. I know with our boy there was a sense of grief for the loss of the dog he once was even before he passed. Treasure the good moments for as long as you both can and while Louie still has his happy times. Take care :ymhug:
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/C ... 916994967/
Sharky980
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Re: Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

Post by Sharky980 »

We went through exactly the same with our Mini Molly
She was 15 1/2 when we lost her last year.
Her Dementia started at 13 she would get up pacing in the night and was anxious and stuck in corners staring at walls, we looked after her 24/7 as her senses started to go like her hearing and eyesight deteriorated but she still ate like a piggy haha and lived a little stroll
After about a year someone recommended Renew me tablets for cognitive support so we decided to try them and I must say we noticed a big improvement after 2 weeks of taking them daily she would sleep much better she didn’t pace as much and she was a lot calmer.
I have heard and read mixed things about it but it helped us and helped Molly and improved her life for her last year and a half.
al shookup
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Posts: 69
Joined: 23 Dec 2009, 16:39

Re: Difficulty living with a pet with Dementia!

Post by al shookup »

Thanks to every one who responded to my issue with Louie. Nothing has changed since my last post on this subject, he still seems to enjoy the bit of life he has but the heartbreaking thing is when little Frankie wants to play with him but soesn't get much response.
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