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Heidi is 12 1/2 years old and she has always had a stubborn streak. Lately I have been noticing that her stubbornness seems to be increasing and I have commented that she won't do anything if it isn't her idea. For instance, she stands outside in the middle of the yard, no matter how cold it is (and it is REALLY cold today) and she refuses to come in. When I get my shoes on and go outside and get her, she lets herself be led in very docilely. I thought today that it is almost as if she doesn't remember what to do. Does dementia even really exist in dogs? Does this sound like Heidi could be in early stages of it? If so, what is she experiencing and how can I help her?
 

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I don't know...my senior dog kinda does what he pleases... just bumping the thread
 

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I think it does exist in senior dogs.

I have a 14 year old aussie, she's deaf, but still pretty 'sharp':) She eats like a pig, has some arthritis, but I do see she is off in lala land sometimes when she is outside..roams around, with no real purpose, I figure she's getting her exercise:) She still finds her way to the door to come in, I DO keep a close eye on her, I don't want her falling or getting stuck in something:) (My yard is fenced:)

Masi is a great babysitter and keeps an eye on her as well...

So yes, I do think they get kind of confused maybe? dementia? not sure what to call it:)
 

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That yard behavior could just be going deaf. My guy started to lose his hearing around 10, and he just didn't hear me any more when I called him to come in. When I went out and signed for him to follow me, he did. Could it be she's just looking at the birds and not hearing you?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, no, because she is usually looking right at me! I have sometimes wondered if she is also losing her hearing though. She often ignores us, but my husband says she just has "selective hearing."
 

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I think it is possible. I have a 12 year old Lab/BC mix. I believe she's got some dementia going on. Oftentimes she just stands - anywhere - and just looks lost. Kind of like the look we humans get when we go into a room to get something only to forget what it was.... I know her hearing is fine because when I whisper "walk" or "hungry" her ears go straight up. My Rott mix had some odd behavior near the end of his life as well. It's frustrating, especially when she comes to a dead stop right in front of me on a walk and I trip over her. I try to remember I will be old someday too.
 

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It definitely exists. A few weeks ago I had to say goodbye to my 14 year old due to severe dementia. He forgot his house training (was physically healthy), was constantly following me around to the point of getting tired, walking circles on the rug without a purpose. He would wander away from us so he had to be on leash at all times. We lost all contact with him. I could have lived with all that if it weren't for the constant peeing in the house.
 

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improve diet with essential fatty acids , omega 3 , particularly sourced from fish oil -- coconut oil is brain beneficial. Anti aging antioxidants. Minerals . Vitamin B 12 (nutritional yeast / torula yeast) , lecithin either non-gmo soy sourced or better yet sourced from sunflower seeds -- or add sunflower seed flour which is also providing full vitamin E.
 

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In our family we call it dogzheimer's. We had a little Aussie that lived to be 16 yo. At theend of her life she suffered from dementia at times. I remember that my husband went away on business for a week. When he came back she initially greeted him. Then about an hour later she started barking at him like she didn't know him at all. Then a few hours later she acted like she was greeting him again for the first time, very excited to see him. Our current Aussie is 12 yo but he is huge so he I think he is aging faster. He doesn't stand around looking blankly in to space too often, instead he gets all panicky. He seems confused and scared and he paces and pants. It makes me feel awful. I tlaked to the vet and she prescribed xanax for when it gets bad. Luckily we haven't needed it yet. It still happens a few times a day but so far the episodes have been short (less than an hour.) i figure if it lasts more than an hour I will try the xanax so hopefully he will stop suffering.
 

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Also I would agree with the others that it may be a loss of hearing. I have found that I need to lead my older dog around like you have described and I think that it is a combination of poor hearing and confusion. Perhaps the confusion is in part caused by the poor hearing and eyesight. Imagine if you were watching your loved one talk to you and you could not hear the words. I think that would make you a little nervous and confused.
 

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in today's paper , Toronto Star
Drs Oz and Roizen column -- re memory loss and Alzheimer's type dementia -- article ends with this " as for what can help prevent Alzheimer's-associated brain degeneration , one possibility is to protect your gut-brain axis. An imbalance of intestinal bacteria may influence brain function; it also can affect your immune system and new research indicates that an immune protein C1g, may play some role in degenerative brain disease. So, nuture your gut bacteria with physical activity , stress reduction ...... avoid unnecessary anti bioitics and try taking a probiotic"
 

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Definitely could be dementia. My old girl often seemed confused. Her vision and hearing were also bad. I have known people who had problems with their senior cats as well - acting afraid in a familiar setting and failure to use the litter pan. Very sad when our seniors get this way.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I appreciate all the comments.

Carmen, my dogs were all on Nu-Pro Silver supplement and it has the fatty acids, etc. that you referred to. Last month, I ran out and on account of the holidays and all, I haven't ordered anymore. Perhaps this is part of Heidi's problem. I will get that ordered right away!

Ranger, Thanks for the insight about hearing loss. I see now how deafness might cause her confusion. It is definitely something to think about.
 

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Our lab /pit Dodger had episodes where he would be lost in the yard and couldnt find his way from one room to another. Ive seen dementia like symptoms in older dogs. Daisy was having some episodes of, for lack of a better word,diconnectiveness and also barking at nothing. Dodger would go outside but couldnt figure out how to come back in as well and would need to be lead in. If Heidi's hearing is worsening that to could explain her not coming in when called but willingly coming when led. Many times if hearing is going the dog may act more panicky since their not getting sensory feedback from the enviroment.
 
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