Monday, January 16, 2012

More Idiopathy

Idiopathic happenings remain rampant around here.  Wouldn't you know, more idiopathy, just as things were looking up, instead of sideways, for Rose.  (Recall her vestibular adventure last November).

Now that Rose's head tilt is barely noticable we are trying out a new diagnosis: Canine Dementia.

If you've ever perused a dog magazine, you've seen those heartrending ads touting medication for doggy alzheimers.  A very cute dog with a slightly gray muzzle gazes vacantly at the camera.  The caption reads something like:  I'd say hello but I can't remember who you are.  At the bottom of the page some kind words from the makers of a pill helpfully tell you to consult your veterinarian.

Symptoms of Canine Dementia

-getting lost in familiar places
-wandering aimlessly
-forgetting house training
-staring blankly
-not interested in playing
-failing to recognize loved ones
-standing in corners
-sleep disturbance
-random barking

Here's the thing.  Not a great deal of research has been done on the aging dog.  Most of the recommended treatment is similar to that being offered to elderly human beings.

There are supplements and food stuffs believed to assist in slowing the brain decline that comes with age.  Examples include, B vitamins, CholodinR, vitamin C, SAMe, beta carotene and blueberries.  These substances may reduce the damage done by free radicals.  Throwing your fist in the air and chanting Free Radicals! may help too.

Specific to dogs, we have available to us, expensive prescription dog foods that contain important ingredients that may help curb the ruin being racked to your old dog's brain.  There is that very expensive pill your vet can prescribe.  L-deprenyl is purported to give dopamine a boost. If the theory that an old brain runs low on dopanime which brings on dementia is true, and the L-deprenyl actually does improve dopamine action, the pill may ease symptoms of dementia.

Or you can try to soothe your dog's distress with stuff like DAP, dog appeasing pheromone.  Sigh.  Lighting a lavender scented candle may work too.


  1. I hadn't heard of dog dementia before, but it stands to reason that it would affect them as it does humans.

  2. Aw, the poor little things. I always thought it was funny when my younger dog would bury the rib bones in the back yard and then get upset because he forgot where he buried them.
    Too cute. Memory loss is horrible for all involved, and dogs can't practice by doing crossword puzzles.