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Senior Grey


Guest DianaJH
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Guest DianaJH

My male grey was 13 yrs. old in November. His vision and hearing are fine. Over the past few months he has developed some unusual behaviors.

1. peeing on the floor during the night - No problems during the day, he sleeps all day. I have now begun gating off most of the house and taking up water after 7pm. He has also pooped several times during the night also. VERY unlike him! Had a urinalysis done and it came back okay.

2. pacing when we go to bed at night. Reminds me of human seniors who get "sun-downers" at night. He paces and pants for no apparent reason until he finally settles on the couch to sleep.

3. have to force him to get up to go outside to do his business

4. unexplained panting, sometimes while laying down

5. we have to coax and beg him to eat and stay with him until he's done or stops eating

6. trouble with stairs - most of the time during the day he comes up the stairs with no problem, at night, it takes him several tries (I'm talking 10-15) before he gets passed the first step. It's almost like he forgets how to. (This is the same whether it's a long set of stairs or just 3.)

I am NOT pleased with my vet. He doesn't offer any help or even seem to care.

I am hoping my friends on GreyTalk who know greys can offer some advice. This is the first time we've had a large dog this age and my heart is breaking!

THANK YOU for your advice! sorry this is so long.

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Sounds like he's in pain. Maybe some arthritis is causing him pain when lying down. The peeing might have to do with some back end weakness? Just some thoughts after having a super senior (15.5 years). :)

Carol-Glendale, AZ

Trolley (Figsiza Trollyn)

Nevada 1992-2008...always in my heart

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Might be a good idea to have the vet do a senior panel, and a UA. I wouldn't restrict water though, that could cause it's own problems

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Your vet does sound unhelpful! Can you tell him you'd like a second opinion, or even consider moving to another?

 

Get him a full physical healthcheck by all means but some of this could be mental I would have thought, i.e. down to the onset of senility. If so the good news is that there are definitely medications to help - here in the UK something called Vivitonin is often prescribed.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Guest Energy11

This sounds like Canine Cognitive Disorder (Doggie Alzheimers). Our Dasher had it, and the symptoms, simliar. Yes, it surely does sound like "Sundowner's Syndrome" in humans!

 

My Curfew, who has neurological issues, does a lot of the behaviors you are describing, at night. I have had to start giving him Valium at bedtime, which helps.

 

I'd get your vet to look him over, and go from there. Sending lots of love and prayers! Dee and The Five

 

 

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Guest kydie

for Me I would go back and ask for some labs, to start with, and I too vote for pain, there is no doubt that he could have some confusion issues at his age, had my old girl(non-grey) to the vet last week, as she acted like she was not hearing me, and with her it has always been, a "I hear you, but I'll take a message and get back to you later" issue. vet increased her Dasuquin, as he felt she could hear, but was just to hard to get up and move to often. good luck :)

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Guest SusanP

This sounds very much like many of the symptoms our Wizard just had. The only thing the vet could find was huge amounts of gas in his small intestine. She put him on Metranidizole and probiotics, but even then, it was a week before he improved. He was sick for 18 days total, and got better just this Monday. He was not constipated and did not have diarrhea, but he was peeing and pooping indoors, sometimes restless and pacing, having trouble going up stairs, sometimes stumbling a bit with his back legs, losing appetite, lagging behind on walks. He was subdued and not taking an interest in normal, everyday things.

 

Wizard slept at nite and had his accidents during the day, so it wasn't around the clock for him, either.

 

Talk to your vet (or a new vet) about gas and digestive issues.

 

ETA our vet did a full blood work-up, full thyroid testing, urinalysis, and finally an xray to check kidneys, bladder, spine, spleen, intestines. The xray revealed the gas.

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He could easily be developing some senility. My old dog did.

 

Just my opinion, but I would not withhold water from a dog that age, ever.

 

If you have to, belly band him, but they to be able to drink when they need water--my old dog also had some peeing issues, some sort of kidney problem, and my vet was adamant about not restricting his water intake.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Not cognitive disorder. He's ill or in pain from arthritis. Get a full CBC (full blood tests), a set of abdominal x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound if nothing shows up on those first two.

 

Any way you can keep him off the stairs? That would be best if possible. (My house has stairs too but we can avoid them by leashing up and walking up/down a gentle slope around the house and unlocking/relocking the fence gate.)

 

 

Hugs and best luck.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Swifthounds

Have you done blood work for him? I would start there if you can.

 

Is he on any medication?

 

If your vet isn't very compassionate, you might want to find another vet. Even if these are signs of aging and there aren't a lot of things that can be done, there's always something that will give him better quality of life.

 

My two oldest are just past 12.4 and 13.2 years and they have some of the issues you've described. Comet, my 12 year old, developed a wind phobia around a few years ago (as in wind against the house terrifies him, though being outside, in the wind and rain seemed much better - except for the cold and rain). No one has found any hearing difficulties. He can spin like a top and still runs in the yard, though getting him up to go out, to eat, or to drink has been problematic. He gets very grumpy with the other hounds sometimes. Sometimes he just exhibits confusion about where he is or where he's going. He has had bouts where he just isn't interested in food. Nothing abnormal on his blood work. The biggest positive change for him came when we switched to feeding raw (PMR) and every cognitive symptom lessened by a good degree.

 

Trojan, my older (and newer to us guy - have had Comet since 2001 and Trojan since January 2009) doesn't run much anymore, has difficulty navigating stairs, and doesn't stand for long periods of time. Getting him to get up to drink or go out is sometimes a problem, but he eats like a champ.

 

I supplement all my dogs with glucosamine and condroitin. On the advice of a racing trainer, I've recently added in Acti-Flex, a joint supplement for horses. The early signs are promising. There seems to be more willingness to get up to eat, drink, potty. Something else I stumbled upon by chance is a product called Content-Um. It's made to calm dogs, but I find that supplementing with it lessens anxiety, pacing, stress, and confusion. It has worked so well for us, I get it several bottles of #100 at a time. (Most recently through Jeffers supply, which had it deeply discounted). Others have suggested SAMe, which from the research I've done so far seems promising. I'll probably give that a try in the near future.

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Guest DianaJH

I found out about a local vet that used to have a grey that was his "office dog". I will be making an appointment with him and gettting the work-ups you all suggest. THANK YOU for your support and advice. I hope it's not Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, that breaks my heart but, from what some posted, there is hope even in that situation.

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Guest Energy11

I found out about a local vet that used to have a grey that was his "office dog". I will be making an appointment with him and gettting the work-ups you all suggest. THANK YOU for your support and advice. I hope it's not Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, that breaks my heart but, from what some posted, there is hope even in that situation.

 

If it IS Canine Cognintive Dysfunction, you CAN treat it! Dasher did VERY well on Anipryl

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/diseasesall/a/aniprylseniors.htm!

 

I'd get a FULL senior panel done, and urine. Then, go from there. If it IS CCD, it is treatable! No worries there!

 

Sending you love, hugs and many prayers! Dee and The Five

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Guest sheila

My male grey was 13 yrs. old in November. His vision and hearing are fine. Over the past few months he has developed some unusual behaviors.

1. peeing on the floor during the night - No problems during the day, he sleeps all day. I have now begun gating off most of the house and taking up water after 7pm. He has also pooped several times during the night also. VERY unlike him! Had a urinalysis done and it came back okay.

2. pacing when we go to bed at night. Reminds me of human seniors who get "sun-downers" at night. He paces and pants for no apparent reason until he finally settles on the couch to sleep.

3. have to force him to get up to go outside to do his business

4. unexplained panting, sometimes while laying down

5. we have to coax and beg him to eat and stay with him until he's done or stops eating

6. trouble with stairs - most of the time during the day he comes up the stairs with no problem, at night, it takes him several tries (I'm talking 10-15) before he gets passed the first step. It's almost like he forgets how to. (This is the same whether it's a long set of stairs or just 3.)

I am NOT pleased with my vet. He doesn't offer any help or even seem to care.

I am hoping my friends on GreyTalk who know greys can offer some advice. This is the first time we've had a large dog this age and my heart is breaking!

THANK YOU for your advice! sorry this is so long.

 

Just based on my experience with a senior of this age.

 

1. You are awake during the day and able to offer him potty breaks in a way that you aren't on the overnight

2. If the couch is the space he is used to occupying at night there could be some pain involved in getting up there

3. If he has to do steps to get in and out of the house there could be some pain involved there as well

4. Again, some pain or stiffness sounds likely

5. A dog that is in pain is stressed and a stressed dog will reject food

6. It could be that in addition to pain his eyesight is deteriorating and he can't see the steps as well when it is dark

 

If it was me I would schedule a middle of the night potty break and invest in a sling or find a plan for otherwise helping him negotiate the steps. Be prepared at some point soon that you may have to actually pick up and carry the dog up and down the steps. You may have to start picking him up and putting him on the couch if that is where he wants to sleep.

Other than that all I can say is just keep him as comfortable as you can. This is what I did for my old man until the morning I woke up and found him lying in a pile of his own waste and I knew that this could not continue.

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In addition to all the other great suggestions about him being in pain and arthritis, I might also suggest that his eyesight be checked although, this is not as likely as the symptoms being caused from pain or arthritis. If a dog is having trouble seeing and it occurred very quickly rather than gradual, then he might not want to leave his "safe area" even to go out.

 

Is the dog limping at all or favoring a particular leg?

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