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Supplements for CCD - a bit windy!

2069 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kayos and Havoc
I don't post much in here but I guess I need to. I need to admit that Max is getting old....
He is 9 ish.

Got Max into the vet for his senior check up on Friday and had his bloodwork done. I discussed his behavioral issues with the vet and described his recent "raging" at the window and at other dogs and his dragging hubby down the street injuring him last month when a puppy ran up behind them while out walking. Also talked about his other little idiosyncracies, like getting "lost" in corners, forgetting commands etc.

His physical exam was okay, heart and lungs clear, no lumps or bumps or anything. Aside from his Spondylosis he is showing signs of arthritis in his shoulders and elbows now too.

His bloodwork was perfect but his thyroid was just a smidge off which could account for the increase in aggression. However, the vet also felt that it could be Canine Cognitive Dysfunction and a bit higher pain level with the new arthritis. He has easily 5 or 6 definite symptomes of CCD.

Her recommendation was that anipryl has not been shown to be very effective in a lot of dogs and it was pretty costly. She suggested we try a dietary approach and offered Science Diet B/D which I understand has had some pretty positive effects. She also suggested if I don't chose the food (check my speling on this) alpoic acid. I am at work and the sheet and bottle is at home! Max also gets fish oil and a probiotic. I also started him on some digestize enzymes to help him better use his food. It may also help to keep Havoc from eating Max's feces (ick!) as I think the undigested particles draw Havoc to it.

Max is eating NB Duck and Potato which is grain free.

She wants to hold on thyroid medicine right now as she felt it was so close, adding it may agitate him more. And we also want to see if the dietary stuff helps him, if it does not we will add the thyroid meds in a few months. In addition Max has no clinical signs attributable to hypothyroidism, other than the "raging" behavior. His coat is "glorious" to use vet's term, his eyes are in good shape, his weight is excellent.

As to the "raging" my theory is that he just does not behave as well for hubby as he does for me. I can shut him off before he gets going and he is fine. He has always been a little dog aggressive adn I don't think hubby handles that as well as I do. I don't rally think the aggression is much of an issue, as always with Max we have to manage his environment in regards to other dogs.

Hard to really put a finger on it all but in a nutshell I am looking for other helpful things others have done for their dogs with CCD.

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I would treat the thyroid first. If only the T4 was checked and that's low, I bet his free T3 and free T4 is out of wack and the total T4 can no longer compensate.

I would immediately run a full panel on the thyroid. Thyroid aggression and behaviour problems associated with the thyroid often occurs when the thyroid is low-normal, not necessarily low.

You can always experiment for yourself by adding some kelp and seeing what that does, though if there is an autoimmune component it will make it worse, and you'll have to wait longer to retest the thyroid.

Any recent rabies vaccines? They can trigger autoimmune thyroid problems.
Max's last rabies vac was last June. We do the 3 year here so he won't have another one for awhile

Good point on the full panel, I do not know if she ran a full panel or not. The bloodwork bill was $165 and had a full chem panel and CBC as well. He has had some auto immune problems.

I don't think the throyid would have been checked at all if I had not asked due to the aggression as I know there can be a link. He has always been a little dog aggressive and I truly do not see it as any worse. I think it is worse for hubby and every report of "worse than normal aggression" has been when I have not been home to see it. I honestly do not see it. He rarely even looks at a dog when I walk him, granted I see it coming and tell him to leave it which he does. He will bark at the window but I can call him away and I don't see that as a problem, he tends to act worse for hubby. I wonder if my description of that to the vet leads her to believe it may be more CCD and or hubby's position related than thyroid. I have to take Kayos and one of the cats in next week and I will discuss the thryoid further with her. She is very open minded and does listen to her clients. She also is a proponent of diet and supplements in liue of drugs as well and I like that.

I see more lost and confused behavior than aggression. I wish he could talk sometimes!

I feel like I live at the vet's.

And so does my wallet!
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I know what you mean about the wallet!!!

What type of autoimmune problems? i don't remember?

Dodman (veterinarian behaviourist) has a book where he notes that a lot of the ADD hyper behaviour occurs in dogs that are low-normal in thyroid. That range, many vets won't treat. This was the case with our Max.....just couldn't focus, out of control, would go in a rage/fit, etc. The thyroid meds helped, and boy could we tell a difference in funny things after, like coat quality, though at the time, the vet raved about his coat before the meds! Still though, "settle" and "focus" are important commands for him.

It's definitely better if you can treat this without the meds though. I understand the watch and monitor. I just get mad when the thyroid is regularly discounted.

My understanding is that the Science Diet aging food just has lots of antioxidants, etc. for him. If it were me, I would give him a bunch of the antioxidants and supplments known to help with this like human aging, alzheimer's, etc. Alpha Lipoic Acid is great stuff. My dogs get it. I have my mom take it too, and i take some. But it's going to take a mix of supplements, or a good combination product.

Any chance there is a bit of intestinal bacterial overgrowth? That can cause the same symptoms.
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Quote: Good point on the full panel, I do not know if she ran a full panel or not. The bloodwork bill was $165 and had a full chem panel and CBC as well.
Just wanted to let you know that we did a full thyroid work up on Heidi a couple of years ago and it was almost $400
I should have asked before I had it done as I was not expecting it to be so high.

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Found a Yahoo group!
I am not sure if it's a good group for problem solving or just a pity party type place. Or better-both!

I have heard good things about the Anipryl-one of the IMOM dogs (young) had a stroke and is on it-it's helping, but the neurologist said that he'd had good success with it. I wonder if neuros give higher doses-my perception is that specialists up things more than general practitioners.

Really interesting on the thyroid. I will say from my own experience when I first was diagnosed, my hair was fine but I was so tired and sensitive to cold. I wonder how fast his would grow in if shaved? That's one thing I've noticed with Nina-I am going to have her checked and now I am wondering how much it costs! YIKES!

I wonder if any of it is hearing related? Of course not the getting lost in corners-though Kramer has a hard time turning around-because of his spine-so if he ever did get in a corner-he'd get stuck! I always try to think of reasons why it is not something-just an annoying optimistic habit of mine! I know you are seeing what you are seeing.

Lisa, do you think that VetriScience senior product would be good?
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Eek!!!! $400 - ouch!!

Lisa that supplement she had me start him on was Alpha Lipoic Acid, I had mis-spelled it. He is also on probiotic and enzymes just in case. One of the active ingredients in the B/D is the alpha lipoic acid and she knows I don't really care for Science Diet.

I wonder if the reason she did not want to treat the thyroid was because of the ADD type things he does, she felt it may make him more agitated. She did not discout the thyroid, I did suggest it first and she agreed. I don't know if she would have offered that or not. She is pretty up on behavioral problems and they do recommend titering instead of vaccines etc, so I am comfortable with her approach but will definitely continue to pursue the thyroid angle.

His autoimmune problems are related to cataracts and the eye vet thinks his spondylosis may also be autoimmune related.
Kathy, this may sound really goofy, but did your vet check his inner ears really carefully? I had a senior who seemed kind of lost, kind of stumbling around, and out of it. But then when we were checking her out super thoroughly, the vet noticed that she had what appeared to be a chronic inner ear infection. It wasn't a flaming infection, but it was there and probably had been there for quite a while (boy did I feel guilty

Sure enough, after a long course of serious antibiotics, she was back to being her bouncy old self, and a lot more responsive to us, which means that the infex probably affected her hearing some. I know this is a long-shot, but it's easy enough to check...
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Yes she did check them and it was a thorough check as well. Thanks for thinking of that and it is not goofy!
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