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My sweet old pooch has been developing doggy dementia or doggy Alzheimer's.

(She sits and stares into space. I'm told that's an early sign. Plus her hearing's going and/or she forgets I'm there for a second.)

She's always been a little hyperactive, working herself into tizzies at night, and I have to wait it out, sometimes a good walk exhausts her, or worst case, some doggy tranqs. She was diagnosed with white dog shaker syndrome many years ago.


Last night, when she usually demands her middle-of-the-night bathroom break outside, she wouldn't go tinkle. She went outside and wanted to wander into the shadows. She tried to navigate stuff on the patio and bonked into some of it.

Plus she doesn't want to be touched. She'll lower her head, and at most I can touch it for a second or two, then she jerks away as if she's frightened.

Is she forgetting who I am in the middle of it, then startled by a stranger petting her head?

is there anything I can do to alleviate all this for her?

Thanks so much, everybody --

RJ
 

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Wow, unfortunately I don't have any answers for you, but lots of sympathy. I can't even imagine Samantha not wanting to be touched, she will strategically position herself so its impossible not to touch her, which she loves. You don't say how old your girl is, but I hope you and your Vet are able to come up with something to make her life more enjoyable. Fortunately Samantha doesn't have 'white shaker' though she is a poodle/bischon mix, which is the right breed for that. Let us know what you find to help your girl.
 

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Romeo and Julep...
I realize you posted this several years ago, but I'm hoping this can still reach you. I am going through this right now, and I'm looking for support to know when it is time to let my sweet girl go. My Izzie has been dealing with the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction for a year and a half or so. She has just hit the point where she doesn't want me touching her anymore. JUST like you described above. CBD oil has been helping with her overall anxiety, but the touching part has me concerned about the quality of her life at this point. Do you have any thoughts based on your experience? So sorry that you had to go through this too.
 

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I'm afraid the op hasn't been back for a while - so I'm sorry to hear about your dog. What I'd say is that if she has decided she doesn't want to be touched, respect that.

For quality of life in general, there is a scale used to assess our pets' quality of life when they are seriously ill. I understand it was developed for cancer care but the principles apply to any life limiting condition. What is their quality of life in relation to Hurt, Hunger, Hydration, Hygiene, Happiness, Mobility and More good days than bad days. You can find more detail here


There is a saying, better a week too soon than a day too late. It's a terrible decision but one that responsible owners have to face. If it helps, there are pet bereavement counselling services you can access.

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