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Senior Savvy Owners- Help!


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Lou will be 12 in December. He has always been the cool Lou. No barking, sleeping when not eating, you know, cool and layed back.


I will back track a little. in april we lost my brindle Plummer. I did notice Lou whinning some. But now his whinny is daily and several times a day. He also has started barking at his bedding. I just don't get it!!! I purchased a orthopedic bed, I make it fluffy etc. Barking at his bedding has become daily also, not like him.


Where do I start? I mad an appt. for his chiro on Monday nite. He has gone in the past for a neck issue, I am not sure if he is in pain or not. I don't think so, he would whimper if he moved the wrong way..


Vet visit and cancel chiro?? Any experience in change of behavior with seniors would be appreciated.



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Ruling out pain is important. Don't count on them to "tell" you they are in pain. In my experience many of them don't.


Summit has a front leg that he is always lame on periodically when it gets cold. Arthritis. But darned if I can figure out which joint is the one that hurts. He doesn't give you any hint. Another winter he was extremely lame on one of his hind legs. Never could figure out what the problem was and it mysteriously disappeared on its own.


Kili ended up having to visit the chiro starting back in August. She wasn't whimpering, limping, or crying. Only indications? She was refusing to hold her sits on the start line and was refusing to take jumps and tunnels. Got her adjusted and she was immediately back to herself, taking jumps and tunnels like normal.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Brady got more restless and would pace, but this was at night. I work outside the home, so if he does this during the day, I have no idea, but he doesn't do it when I am home. My vet found a tear on his cornea that scarred and impacted his vision. I have nightlights around now and that has helped. He also gets his own special "me" time every night before bed. I sit on his bed with him and read a book or play a game or something, just being next to him and periodically rubbing his back. He loves the attention and the closeness and drifts off to a blissful sleep.


But, if the behaviors began after you lost Plummer, I would think that there is a connection. Can you borrow a hound for a week or so to see if the behavior stops? I also have music on for Brady 24/7. He doesn't care for silence.


Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
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It may be related to losing Plummer, or at least that's where it might have started. Molly reacted very strongly to losing Fletcher this summer. They weren't that close, or at least I never noticed, but after he died, she started acting very different, acting afraid of her food, very nervous in general. She is normally a very laid back, reserved dog. She had just turned 11 a few months earlier when this started. Definitely get him checked for pain, but keep this in mind as well.

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Guest Giselle

So is it mostly excessive vocalization that you're worried about?


Older dogs often exhibit excessive vocalization and other behaviors that more and more vets are attributing to a sort of "dog dementia". As I understand it, "true" cognitive dysfunction is more serious than age-related dementia because the former is more related to Alzheimer's (a serious, degenerative neuronal disease) whereas the latter is just old age deficits. Regardless, excessive vocalization is very common, and many old dogs will bark at objects and whine loudly.


Here's a semi-related link about cognitive dysfunction syndrome:


Hopefully, it just gives you some ideas about the changes senior animals can go through and some of the things you can do to ameliorate the symptoms.

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If he was already beginning to experience these senior moments before losing his friend, you might not have noticed. But the change in his living circumstances may have aggravated his anxiety and prompted a flare-up in dementia (if that's what it is) symptoms. The two dogs likely supported one another, and when one left, the other didn't do as well alone.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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Does he prefer his old bed? Or want some wrinkles smoothed out?

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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the first thing i thought of when i read your post was doggie dementia. dear old willie wonka had it. it started off w/ him fighting in his crate, trying to get comfortable, i thought. he used a soft sided crate and it would tumble w/ his chaos. he also started marking his dog bed and the blanket on it.he could no longer be contained in an area- battered the gate to the kitchen when we tried to keep him in there(a new behavior). then his days and nights were totally confused he paced and panted all night. this didn't happen over night, it was a progression of changed behaviors which resulted in a very disoriented, confused, frightened dog.


harp music can be very relaxing and try keeping a light on. be patient, old age takes it's toll on both the dogs and us as well. :bighug

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