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My Sheltie has a "cognative disorder"

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The vet thinks he is much older then we thought. Maybe 12-13 instead of 8-9. Just within the past month, he has become very forgetful. Like Alzheimers or dymentia, the vet said a cognative disorder. It started when he began peeing in the house or right outside the garage door. And he would point like he always did at the door to go out, but he started pointing at the wrong side. Just silly little forgetful things like that. He looks at us completely blank like he doesn't know or care who we are. He does a lot of odd little things like walks continuously in circles. He shakes, twitches, like maybe he has a seizure or stroke when we weren't home to help him. He doesn't care about treats anymore, he barely even cares about his food either although he was never a big eater. Oh and a big one, he doesn't bark at the door when we drive in and run to great us. He just glances up when we come in. He has arthritis too, can hardly get up. I mean, a month or two ago, he was a happy hyper Sheltie and now he lays in the same place for hours...

I don't know what else to say. I don't think he has a lot of time left. Anyone else ever have an old dog with a cognative disorder? How long do we let him be like this? He just lays there all day and hardly does anything. Do we try to get him moving or let him rest? I don't know what to do.

post #2 of 17
I've heard of a lot of shelties that walk in circles. A friend of mine had circles in her carpet from her sheltie. I wouldn't worry about that one.

I've not had a dog with a cognitive disorder but did have a cat with one. She forgot about most things as she aged. She'd bed down in one place for a few months then out of the blue, forget about it and move herself elsewhere. We'd have to remind her to eat and would bring her food to her in her bedding area. We'd carry her to the litter box because she forgot where that was also.

I guess the point in all of this is that you sometimes just need to follow the lead of the dog. If he finds a comfy spot in the house, make that his little nest. Bring his food there, leave a water bowl nearby, and treat his potty habits like he were a puppy. If he moves, move his stuff with him.

Have you been able to get him to a vet to assess what is causing the disorder? With my cat, either a brain tumor or stroke was suspected when it started and it became apparent over time that she was having a series of strokes. With her age, we weren't aggressive with any treatment, as anything invasive probably would have killed her.
post #3 of 17
Aw - I'm so sorry!
post #4 of 17
oh my it must be really worrying you, I dont know anything about the disorder, but after reading your thread I just wanted to acknowledge how difficult things must be for you & your sheltie Heres sending some get well soon ((((((( vibes )))))) and hoping that you get some positive advice & help from your vets

Keep us posted !
post #5 of 17
I have litel useful advice-just know someone whose Sheltie had a cognitive disorder. She had him euthanized after about 6 months...but she refused to pts until that time. The only reason she did had the poor boy pts was because he had gotten scared of everything he was so lost that he had begun to bite people...a lot. He spent most of the day quaking at every little thing & was ripping out his hair he was so stressed. The life was gone from his eyes. He was a rescue dog who was severly abused(bought as a puppy from a puppy mill, too) & had other health problems that compounded things....
post #6 of 17
I read your post and was thinking, oh my gosh, this is exactly like Angus, our Springer Spaniel. He was put down 3 years ago.
He had his back legs give out at at times and was treated for arthritis. Then he started walking circles, through the living room, kitchen and dining room, around and around without stopping. He started peeing/pooing in the house and walking in it and he NEVER even had accidents. He was 14, this started in December and we had him PTS in October. I came home from work and found him stuck under a bench and it was obvious he had been struggling for hours, hair was everywhere. This happened two more times and that's when we decided it was time. It probably was time 6 months before that, but we weren't given a diagnosis and kept hoping he would get better. Like your Sheltie, he was fine and then one day he wasn't. A very sad thing for us to go through, watching him decline in his mind, not his body.
I don't know what to tell you about your guy. It will come down to a quality of life issue and that's the hard one to make a decision on. And there's always the hope, at least there was for me, that he would get better. I'm sorry you are going through this. Your post helped me though, I didn't realize this happened to other dogs.
~Rhonda
post #7 of 17
This thread reminds me of my friend's dog. He was 15 when they finally put him to sleep. It was a terribly hard decision for her family, and I don't want to sound harsh, but I think they waited too long. He had no hope of getting better, and it was just awful to see a dog decline like that. He was so confused all the time, and in pain from the arthritis. He just got worse and worse and I think they didn't want to admit it.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-ji View Post
I read your post and was thinking, oh my gosh, this is exactly like Angus, our Springer Spaniel. He was put down 3 years ago.
He had his back legs give out at at times and was treated for arthritis. Then he started walking circles, through the living room, kitchen and dining room, around and around without stopping. He started peeing/pooing in the house and walking in it and he NEVER even had accidents. He was 14, this started in December and we had him PTS in October. I came home from work and found him stuck under a bench and it was obvious he had been struggling for hours, hair was everywhere. This happened two more times and that's when we decided it was time. It probably was time 6 months before that, but we weren't given a diagnosis and kept hoping he would get better. Like your Sheltie, he was fine and then one day he wasn't. A very sad thing for us to go through, watching him decline in his mind, not his body.
I don't know what to tell you about your guy. It will come down to a quality of life issue and that's the hard one to make a decision on. And there's always the hope, at least there was for me, that he would get better. I'm sorry you are going through this. Your post helped me though, I didn't realize this happened to other dogs.
~Rhonda

The past two days he has begun tangling himself in the kitchen chairs and the bench. He has absolutely no life left in his eyes. He had a number of seizures today. He cannot control his bladder. He doesn't even seem to recognize us at all. Dad is calling the ER vet now to see what we should do although I think the answer is obvious.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
The past two days he has begun tangling himself in the kitchen chairs and the bench. He has absolutely no life left in his eyes. He had a number of seizures today. He cannot control his bladder. He doesn't even seem to recognize us at all. Dad is calling the ER vet now to see what we should do although I think the answer is obvious.
Oh Jen! I'm so sorry! We're all here for you....I'll be on TCS for awhile...feel free to PM me for anything!
post #10 of 17
Does he normally have seizures? Thats not a normal effect of cognitive disorders. I hate to suggest it but... maybe he has cancer or a tumor in the brain. Dogs can get cancer and have it spread to the brain. The symptoms would be similiar to what you are describing.
Science diet does make a food for cognitive disorder called B/D. I don't know how well it works but it might be worth a shot....
PLEASE update us and let us know what happens with your baby!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
No he has a brain tumor most likely. We just took him in and given his age and the options to extend his life by 3 - 6 months, a year with surgery if many tests determine that surgery might help... we had him euthanized. The vet was the nicest woman and she thought that would be the best option. He is so old, and it isn't fair to put him through all those tests and steroids and anesthesia if he needed surgery, when the quality of life isn't even there. Max didn't even know us anymore, he didn't know who Max was. I think we did the best thing for him.

Bye Maxie.
post #12 of 17
Oh Jen, I'm so sorry! You know they're aging, but you don't expect them to go so fast!! Remember, he no longer has anything wrong with him...he's happy, healthy & young again!

Play happily over the rainbow bridge Max!
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Oh Jen, I'm so sorry! You know they're aging, but you don't expect them to go so fast!! Remember, he no longer has anything wrong with him...he's happy, healthy & young again!

Play happily over the rainbow bridge Max!
He went SO fast. That is another reason why the vet siad she didn't think treatment would help much. Prognosis was poor she said. It was just advancing too quickley for us to do anything to help, and even then, he still didn't know who we were or his surroundings.
post #14 of 17
Oh heck, I didnt think this would come so soon I am so sorry, from what you explained things seemed difficult for him and his quality of life was not good Bless the little boy He´ll find my RB dog Roger and they can have a good old doggie chase about
post #15 of 17
Jen, I'm so sorry to read this. The vet sounded very compassionate and helpful in guiding you to the best decision.
~Rhonda
post #16 of 17
I'm so sorry... At least he's at peace now. And at least it came quickly and he didn't have to suffer...
post #17 of 17
Poor Max. You really did do the right thing, hard as it was. He's no longer suffering and so confused.
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