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Discussion Starter #1
My senior Pasta has been having issues sleeping at night the past month or so. She sleeps most of the day then as soon as I go to bed she gets up and paces relentlessly. She has been looking confused lately but I don't think she's in pain. It seems to me she has dementia and is "sundowning." I got her a nightlight so she can see better but it hasn't helped. Also have been taking her outside for exercise right before bed and that hasn't helped either. The vet gave her a gabapentin prescription and it helps a little but not much, I give her one right before bed. Has anyone else had their seniors do this? Any suggestions for what I can do to help her would be much appreciated
 

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our Boxer was restless at night. She was really bad if Scott was not sitting on the couch with her.
 

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Hmmmm...gabapetin is usually given for nerve pain (although I am a nurse, not a vet!), so I am not sure why the vet gave this. We have had a cognitively impaired dog in the past, and currently have a 15 1/2 year old pug who has one eye, cataracts in the other which makes her vision poor, does not hear well, and definitely is cognitively impaired. With her dementia and extreme old age, she sleeps alot, and needs to be gently guided toward the door, to her food dish, etc. We have not had issues with her waking at night and wandering. Would it help your dog if you crated him at night? Please let us know how you successfully deal with this!
 

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I think crating her would upset her too much, she's very sensitive to changes and hasn't been in a crate in years. Maybe keeping her in the bedroom with the door closed might help though, would limit her movement like a crate but not be too much restriction. Going to try this tonight. I looked up Gabapetin and the primary use is for pain but they also use it for restless leg syndrome and anxiety disorders. sucks to get old :(
 

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Our family dog growing up started acting like this when she was older too. We would put her in the laundry room with her dog bed at night, and it seemed to help. It is hard when they get old.
 

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I like your idea about closing your bedroom door, since she is not accustomed to a crate! Let us know if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The bedroom helped last nite, she didn't make a sound until about 3:30 then started pacing. Let her have a drink then she went back to bed in about 20 mins.
 

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Did anyone else notice that Pasta will be 16 years old next month? That is a great old age :)
 

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Just a random observation and probably nothing, but you say you "let her have a drink" so I'm guessing there is no water bowl in the room at night. Maybe try leaving her access to water, even a little food all night? She could be getting extremely thirsty in the middle of the night making it harder for her to settle down when this starts. I feel for you and I know it is SO hard seeing a family member dealing with issues from old age. Human or dog. Good luck!
 

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There was a thread a long time ago on the Val's GSD forum on a supplement that was showing promise. Maybe have someone help you find that thread over there.
 

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I know for my senior (non GSD) dog that developed canine cognitive dysfunction, being confined to a smaller space DID help the restless pacing. I usually left him food and water at all times as well. His was rather advanced (coupled with deafness and partial blindness). He got to where he couldn't settle unless confined to my large bathroom (comparable to a small bedroom for a big dog). Otherwise, he just paced the perimeter of the rooms until exhausted.
 

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I heard they use coconut oil in human patients with altzheimers and dementia. Dont know how much it would help. Maybe there is something to give to make going to sleep easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
She does get a little coconut oil in her homemade wet food I make but it's not much. Think I will start adding a little more to her food. We have her food/water in the mud room because she is so messy. She has access to the mudroom all day except when we sleep because it makes her pace more when there's more rooms to go in, she usually never eats/drinks when she does this. Confining her to a smaller space definitely helped but I also think I need to see if she has to drink in the middle of the night. Poor old girl has all these old people problems but is still going pretty strong, I feel so lucky to have her this long without any major health issues. Thanks for noticing her birthday Jax, I'm going to throw her a big party for her sweet 16.
 
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