Restless 13 year old lab

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Restless 13 year old lab

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Old 01-17-2012, 08:57 PM
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Restless 13 year old lab

hi there my 13 year old black lab finds it nearly impossible to settle down. It's not just that he follows me around the house; even if I am sitting in one place he can't seem to find a spot to rest. he is extremely healthy otherwise. He is on thyroid medication, and has been for years with no ill effects.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:30 PM
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When was the last time his thyroid level was checked? General Bloodwork for organ function? General Physical Exam?

Could be that he's uncomfortable for some reason and that's why he is restless... but also could be the beginnings of cognitive dysfunction.

You should make sure he's been checked by a vet and bloodwork/ultrasound have been done within the last couple of months to rule out medical issues (always the top rule-out for a 13 year old dog...) and if not, ask your vet about starting either medication or special foods to slow dementia in dogs.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:23 PM
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Restless 13 year old lab

Thank you for your reply, Holly. Yes, he has had all the important bloodwork and we have seen the vet recently. I'm coming to believe that it's some cognitive dysfunction/dementia, as you mentioned. Had him on some meds for it for a while, but they didn't help. I was just wondering what types of help other people had tried who had this same issue with their dogs. It's not a huge problem (and he is 13, after all!), but I feel badly for him and wish he could calm himself.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:35 PM
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I echo Holly's suggestion to double check thyroid. It may indeed be dementia, but you can make sure the thyroid is not part or all of the problem.

You can get a much better Thyroid test than your vet can do in house by sending a sample to Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet. I have had two hypothyroid dogs, and getting their meds just right is very important. There is a tendency for dogs to need a slightly higher dose as they get older.

Also, it is very important that the dog get a quality thyroid replacement. Soloxine is the best version. Generics sometimes don't absorb as well. I had all sorts of problems when my vet went to a generic, and I learned from Dr. Jean that some of the generics are not as bio-available to some dogs.

Let me just add that not all vets realize how important it is to micro-manage the thyroid dose, so you may have to push through a bit with your vet, especially if the vet has done an in house test and says it looks normal. The in house tests just are not very precise.

Anxiety and fearfulness are symptoms of low thyroid. The final determination of medication levels should consider the clinical picture... that is your observations of your dog.

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:34 PM
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There are foods, anti-oxidant foods, that can help slow dementia. Hill's has a prescription food called B/D (a diet for the brain) that is supposed to help slow dementia. I'm sure there are other anti-oxidant foods around as well (probably Senior foods...)

What meds was he on for the dementia?
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siobhan62 View Post
hi there my 13 year old black lab finds it nearly impossible to settle down. It's not just that he follows me around the house; even if I am sitting in one place he can't seem to find a spot to rest. he is extremely healthy otherwise. He is on thyroid medication, and has been for years with no ill effects.
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I would be tempted to try some glucosamine/chondroitin for a dog that age. With labs they chase balls for years and then develop arthritis and have many aches and pains that they cant tell you about. The glucosamine puts fluid back in the joints and chondroitin is for pain. They are both natural and could not hurt to try. I would give 1500 mgs morning and night for about 6 weeks and see if their is a difference. Trader Joes had a chewable dog formula that I have used in the past it is easy to give and works great.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:43 PM
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Thank you, everyone, for your help. I really appreciate it. Tess, he is on soloxine and he is tested regularly, and they have sent it out to some lab back east that is very precise, apparently, so I do trust the results. My vet feels he is on exactly the right dose of Soloxine. Thank you, Holly, for the suggestion about the food. That is one thing I haven't tried and I will look into it. I'm sorry, but I can't remember what the med was for dementia. Dawnben, he has also been on Glucosamine for a long time, but not with the chondroitin. My vet just told me that he'd prefer I would have Midnight on chontroitin, as well, which I will do. It may not be fixable, but perhaps at least we can improve it. Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:26 AM
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Siobhan, sounds like you have the thyroid thing well in hand!

Hope there is something else you can do to help him feel more content.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:12 PM
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he has also been on Glucosamine for a long time, but not with the chondroitin. My vet just told me that he'd prefer I would have Midnight on chontroitin, as well, which I will do. It may not be fixable, but perhaps at least we can improve it. Thanks again.[/quote]

Some times the dose is to low to help also. I would give at least 1500 mgs morning and night. The chondroitin is for pain so I would get him on it soon. That alone my make him more comfortable and able to relax.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for your replies, everyone. I am going to go with the glucosamine with chondroitin and up the dosage and see if that helps. He's quite calm during the day, but in the afternoon and early evening he wanders and seems to have a harder time. I will let you know how it goes....
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