14 yr old Canine Cognitive Dysfunction-struggling

Hello everyone.. Our corgi, Blaze is just over 14 years old. He has had canine cognitive dysfunction for a long time now. He has all of the symptoms but one, he still eats well.  He has one eye and it has a cataract in it and is losing his hearing. Lately he has been struggling with stairs...He gets rambunctious and jumps of falls off some of them and was going to hurt himself so we started putting a gate up at the top and bottom of the stairs. That way he only goes up when we are behind him to catch him if he falls.  

When we put the gate up he started having separation anxiety issues.  He is always on the same floor as us except when we are gone.  I think he thinks we are upstairs without him and he panics.  When he panics he has accidents of both kinds.  We tried some natural remedies to calm him while we are gone and xanax.  Neither worked well. Now he is trying Clomicalm.  I feel he still has decent quality of life, so I know it isn't time to make a decision on that. I just wondered if anyone else can relate to this and if you have any ideas. I don't think he would keep a diaper on.

He gets confused outside and just stares off but then I can make the speak sign with my hands and he barks or he knows at 4pm that it is time to eat. It is confusing because he seems absent minded a lot of times but still with it at the same time.  Strange.

Anyway, it is sad watching him age so quickly. I am blessed to have 14 plus years with him so far. :)


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Some friends of ours have an elderly pug (13 or 14??) who has this condition. They have her on some meds, similar to Aricept for humans --- who knows, it may be the same thing. She has been on it for quite some time and is doing okay. Similar to your Blaze-- still has her appetite, but deaf, arthritic, and gets lost in the house and woofs to call for help. I have no idea how expensive it is.Maybe ask the vet about it???

Thanks Chris. I will check into it.  :)

There are a few things you could try to calm him that are not a medication.  One is Bach's Rescue Remedy (health food store) you can squirt a few drops in his mouth  5 minutes or so before you leave and also add a few drops regularly to his water bowl.  This cannot harm him in any way.

 Another thing that  can help is the essential oil Lavender, but you need a good brand. If you know someone who uses essential oils you can ask them. Put one drop on your hands, then rub it onto his muzzle and ears, staying away from the eyes. You can make up a little bottle with a dropper to dispense it, then use 2 drops of the mixture: put olive oil 2/3 full then add 10 drops or so of the Lavender oil. Even if he is still anxious, but it's reduced, he may not have the accidents. 

A natural product is made by Pet Naturals of Vermont called Dog Calming chews.  Some people have had good success with that.  Petco carries them.  I have used the ones made for cats with our cat when we had to travel cross country and it helped.  I would try this in a smaller than the recommended dose, say 1/4 when you are home and can observe him, then maybe try 1/2 also on a day when you are home to see what his reaction is and for how long. You really need to play it by ear, as older dogs metabolize things differently.

We had a cattle dog/border collie mix for 17+ years.  They do become more dependent on your presence for security. We had other dogs, so she always had a buddy when we left and that was OK with her.  Best wishes.

Thank you for your reply Anna.  I have tried the Bach remedies, it didn't do anything for him.  I will try some of your other suggestions. Wow, 17+ years, you can't ask for more than that.  Thanks again for your help.  I'm sure some of this will help.  :)


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