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I've posted here before, but just a little recap on my dog: she's about 15 years old, senile and has difficulty walking, getting up and staying up. She takes medication for her dementia (I don't think it even does anything, honestly) and gets a Glyco Flex biscuit every day to help with mobility.

Due to her mobility problems, she often can't get herself up when she wants or needs to. Her response to this is to yelp very loudly, and while I'm willing to get her on her feet during the day, she howls every single night. Since she's become impaired from old age, I've learned that her howls can mean one of four things: she's thirsty and can't get up, she's hungry and can't get up, she wants to walk around or she's stuck behind something. So when she starts her crying, I just go down that list; I give her her kibbles, I put her at her water bowl, I dislodge her from whatever nook she crawled into or I just help her get on her feet so she can walk in a circle for half an hour.

I get why she yelps; she wants up and she can't get up, and she doesn't know why her legs aren't doing what she wants them to do, so she responds the only way she knows how. I try not to get upset with her, but she tries my patience.

Her nighttime yelping is affecting me a lot because I have to constantly get up and try to figure out what she's whining about and it's incredibly frustrating to have to get up several times per hour to play guessing games with her until she decides to calm down and sleep. As you can imagine, I'm exhausted. Plus, when she makes even a tiny peep, the other dog will start barking because he hears her.

She sleeps a lot during the day, and I've tried just constantly waking her up when she does so she sleeps at night, but she's still up at midnight or 1am howling even when I don't let her sleep during the day. Usually she wants a midnight snack, so I let her eat and see if she's thirsty, but some nights she will absolutely not stop no matter what I do. I'm already struggling with insomnia and her keeping me awake day and night isn't helping. One day I just got so fed up with her continuing to bark despite my efforts that I stuffed my ears with cotton, secured the cotton with tape and tuned out her barking as best as I could because I was too tired to care what she wanted.

I also got her doggy socks from Woodrow Wear, but they constantly fall off her (I even put ace bandage strips under the socks to keep them on and they still twist around so the textured side is on top of her foot, basically making the socks useless), and they only help her stand on the linoleum slightly better than when she is sock-less. And I HATE trying to put the socks on her because she'll flinch and yank her feet away right when I've got a sock halfway on, usually pulling it back off. Or she'll gnaw on my hands when I'm trying to put her socks on.

I really don't want to use a muzzle or one of those Citronella collars on her because I know it's not a behavioral problem that can be corrected (I know she's not being a bad dog because she can't help her behavior right now). I don't want to use sleeping pills because it's insanely difficult to pill her. I don't want to crate her because she'll feel "stuck" in her kennel and will still bark when she can't move. But what else can I do to make her stop howling at night? She's driving me nuts!
 

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Oh my, I wrote something incredibly similar about my Shadow a few years ago, only his problem was night time incessant pacing, the click, click, click, click of his nails would drive me up the wall after 30 or 40 minutes of listening to it. I can totally sympathize with you!

Your best bet really is going to be some type of sleeping meds. Talk to your vet about which ones are safe to use. Once you have them find some type of food that she simply LOVES that can be made into the consistency of canned dog food (use the dog food if that's what she loves. Hide the pill in a ball of the food, the smallest ball possible, then get 3 to 5 other balls of the food, feed 1 or 2 of the balls without the pill, then feed the one with the pill, then feed the remaining balls. The trick is to feed them rapid fire so that the dog is gulping the food in anticipation of the next one.

Some things to try, soft cheese like cream cheese if your dog's stomach can handle it. Hot dogs, slit the middle and slip the pill in, cat food if your dog's stomach can handle it, canned dog food, pill pockets some dogs love them, raw ground beef if your dog's stomach can handle it.

Again I sympathize. Shadow also got to where he was not able to stand up on the linoleum but insisted on sleeping on it. He'd get lost in corners at times I took to blocking them off. He could frustrate me to no end but I treasured the little bit of time I had left with him.

One thing that may work for you that I could not try is to put as many carpet runners down so that she can get footing to stand on her own. Maybe confine her to one room at night that's carpeted even if it's only a couple of cheap area rugs that you got from Wal Mart, just something to help her get her footing to stand up. Make sure the room does not contain any spaces that she can squeeze into and get stuck and put her water and food in there. Adding a night light so that the room is a little lit may also help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I honestly don't mind hearing the clicking of nails on the floor because, in my case, that lets me know that my pup could still get herself around (and hopefully won't need my help). As far as her current pills, I usually will stuff them into a wad of peanut butter and pop them into her mouth, and she doesn't seem to be interested in canned food (I cannot afford Hill's A/D, though I know it has a reputation of being irresistible to pets). I admit that she does get quite a bit of human food because that's the only way I can get her pills and supplement biscuits into her most of the time, and it's whatever I have that I can give her that isn't bad for her: soup, stew, pasta, chunks of meat.

She's actually a little better with pills since she began showing signs of dementia because she'll open her mouth without knowing what I'm feeding her. When she was still "all there," she would refuse absolutely anything I gave her because she knew when I was sucking up to her trying to get her to eat something, it was drugged.

And yeah, my girl seems to love sleeping on the linoleum too, even though she's got a spot to sleep on in the living room. I always worry that she's uncomfortable on the kitchen floor, but if she wasn't comfy, surely she wouldn't be able to fall asleep, right? She also dreams a lot - I always see her paws twitching when she snoozes, or sometimes she moves her legs as if she's trying to run. And she sleeps with her eyes and mouth open, so I'll always go and make sure she's still actually alive because she sometimes doesn't look like she is.

I keep a few mats around her bowls so she can keep her footing when she eats and drinks, though sometimes she still loses her balance and falls back on her rear end. Even when I overlap the mats, it never fails, she always manages to spread them apart and make a little space between them that reveals the linoleum, she stands on it and she slips.

I don't want to move her food and water bowls to the living room because I don't want to confuse her more. She seems to still get that those are in the kitchen (where they've been the whole time I've had her). I don't want to section her off in the living room because she might start to howl when she wants food/water and can't get to it (sometimes she can walk herself to her bowl just fine).

Most of the spots she tries to squeeze into are blocked off, but she still occasionally manages to surprise me by getting stuck somewhere really odd, like tangling herself in the legs of a chair in the kitchen. I also do leave a light on for her every night.

I feel terrible getting angry and frustrated with her because I know she can't help it. I felt the same way when I had to help care for my grandmother when she had dementia. I do love her and she's always been a good dog and I want to do what I can to make her quality of life as good as possible. She has to go back to the vet for a checkup soon (a month after finishing her Lyme disease medication, I believe) and I'll bring up sleeping pills. I just worry that she's going to sleep all the time if she naps all day and has to be drugged at night.
 

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My old dog, Annie, has some senility as well, and sometimes has difficulty navigating on hardwood/fake wood floors, so I'm unfortunately familiar with some of the issues you are dealing with, though thankfully not the nighttime barking (knock on wood).

Are her mobility issues arthritis/stiffness related? Or just generalized weakness due to loss of muscle mass or other issue? It may be worth asking your vet about trying a prescription NSAID or pain med to see if that makes a difference in her mobility, which may help to make her more content in general. Depending on what other health issues she has, your options may be limited, but there are so many things that might help, hopefully they can find something. I won't do NSAIDs with Annie because she developed HGE last summer after starting low dose deramaxx (something she had been on previously without issues, and it could have been unrelated, but better safe than sorry) and has kidney disease (since before the deramaxx) which makes them more risky for her. I did have to put her on pred and tramadol when she hurt her neck a month or so ago, and she suffered no apparent ill effects (haven't checked blood values), though my vet recommended a modified dose of both due to her existing health issues. I weaned her off as soon as possible, but still give the tramadol here and there if she seems stiff or uncomfortable- it's an acceptable risk to me. I did have Annie on Dasuquin, but didn't notice a significant difference, and it's hard to medicate her, so stopped and just do the rx meds as needed now.

You might try different grip socks? Some of them have the rubber stuff all the way around, so even if the sock turns, it should still work. Like these: Grippersâ„¢ Non Slip Dog Socks | Dog Quality I bought some like them (different brand), but I think Annie needs 2 different sizes because the back ones fell off quickly. These ones have a velcro strip you can wrap around the outside to help keep them on. When I had a dog that I was putting socks (just regular ones) on to keep her from scratching herself raw, I found that a 1" strip of duct or elastikon tape loosely wrapped at the top was sufficient to keep them on for a good while. You might have better luck getting them on if you cut the cuff lengthwise to make them less difficult to put on, then secure it closed with a strap or tape. Or distract her with a little peanut butter smeared on a plate?

Will she sleep if you put her in bed with you? If so, that's what I would do. Annie's always slept in my bed, and usually settles down fairly quickly once her evening needs (food, going outside) have been addressed. Sometimes she wakes up and tries to wander, which wakes me up because she's right by me. It annoys me when it happens (who likes to be woke up? lol), but normally it means she needs to go out, so it's better to have my sleep disturbed than not! If you are afraid she might "go" or that she'll fall off, maybe try putting her in a box or basket on or near the bed, so you can pet her to calm her down if she starts carrying on. Annie likes a thick, fluffy bed and to be covered up, so I have an old comforter on my bed in a pile just for her that she lays on, then gets covered up with part of. To get her to settle down, I pull her blanket over right beside me and pet her til she relaxes, then once she's asleep, I can scoot her away if I want. I usually try not to have her right against me because I don't want to wake her up moving around, and (guilty confession) her breath is horrific due to her kidneys and teeth so I try not to have it aimed at my face.

Please don't use a citronella collar or muzzle for her, as the behavior that she's showing likely isn't something she's doing consciously, nor something you can train her not to do- plus she's already in distress, which is why she's noisy to begin with. Not a fair correction. Additionally, muzzles that will keep her from barking will also keep her from drinking easily, and if she gets stuck somewhere and freaks out because she can't get out, she may overheat because she can't pant.

If you can't find a solution in changing your routine, ask your vet about safe medication to help her sleep in the evenings. You may be able to crush it and mix it with some food, depending on what it is, or it may be readily available in a liquid form. If not, you can have most medications compounded into a flavored liquid, flavored tablet/chew (this might work if she takes the glycoflex readily), or possibly even an ear gel that wouldn't have to be given by mouth, just rubbed on her skin. It sounds like you are having a rough time, and being able to both sleep at night would go a long way in resolving your current issues.
 

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Thanks so much for the recommendation for those Grippers socks! They look like they'll work much better for my pup and they're cheaper than Woodrow Wear's stuff. I'm currently waiting on a response from the people who run the site to see what size would be appropriate for my girl.

I assumed her mobility issues were due to arthritis because of how much her toes crunch when she walks, and the fact that she seems kind of stiff when she walks in general. She was on painkillers while taking her Lyme disease meds (for the lameness in her legs) and I didn't really see any noticeable improvement in how she got around.

Is there anything I could do to help improve her mobility? The senility isn't all that bad, but the whole reason she yelps all the time is because she can't get herself up. I can't afford physical therapy, but is there anything I can try on my own at home? Sometimes I wonder if she barks the way she does because she wants someone to be near her. She'll be laying down yelping and she might have gotten one of her socks off, and when I grab her leg to put it back on, she'll stand right up, effectively wrenching her leg that I'm holding on to. She has never had problems sleeping through the night until she started showing signs of senility; in fact, the only time she ever barked when she was younger was when someone drove up the driveway, the other dog was playing with her or if anyone touched her face/feet/tail. She never barked for no reason.

She used to sleep in my bed, but the thing is I'm worried she'll fall off if I let her sleep with me now. I just got a new mattress recently and it's relatively high off the floor. I'm concerned that she could hurt herself if she fell off my bed. My dog also doesn't seem to be calmed when she's touched in any way. She kind of freaks out and starts flailing around anytime I try to pet her, and she flinches if I move my hands near her. Like if I try to pet the side of her head, she'll slam that side of her head against the floor and start kicking her back legs. And she never, ever liked being picked up when she was more "with it," and while she doesn't howl when I pick her up now, I can tell she still doesn't like it. She also hates being covered up.

If I can get medication for her to let her sleep at night, I'll definitely go with liquid. Pilling her is godawful and I refuse to do it if I don't have to.
 

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I'm considering getting Annie a set of grippers, so if you get them, let me know how they work for your girl :)

Currently I'm trying a little piece of grippy shelf liner glued to the bottom of her pads, like this: https://www.inthecompanyofdogs.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=D14208+L&srccode=NXCDC6&utm_source=google&utm_medium=comparison&utm_campaign=datafeed&source=origin&gdftrk=gdfV210680_a_7c3426_a_7c12944_a_7cD14208_a2s_L&gclid=Cj0KEQjw94-6BRDkk568hcyg3-YBEiQAnmuwksgJJ-FAT-e8GH1kq_SgYBAH7cBcwugLhhWetnKL9-QaAlRN8P8HAQ but way cheaper. I used tissue glue from work, but you could probably get something similar online. The first and only day I've used them so far, she was rather squirmy, and I cut them in not quite right shapes/sizes, plus it rained all day so they got wet everytime she went out- they stayed on most of the day, but I'm hoping to get better wear out of them with practice. She has some CP deficits in her front feet due to her neck, so the less cumbersome, the better, which is why I'm trying the pads instead of socks first. Will update if I start getting better results!

It may be worth mentioning the creakiness to your vet and seeing if they recommend trying any other medication- lots of arthritic dogs experience dramatic improvement on NSAIDs, and while there are risks, they can be minimized with careful monitoring, and the QOL improvements often are worth it. If she already was on an NSAID, maybe they'll rx a different one, or a general pain reliever instead. You might ask about Adequan too. It's not cheap, particularly if you have your vet give the series of injections, but for a small dog, the cost isn't too bad, and would be less if you/your vet are comfortable with you giving the injections. It's usually 4 weeks of 2 injections weekly (8 total), then as needed (many people do it monthly) after that. It does have a few contraindications, but is generally considered to have fewer side effects than most arthritis meds. May be worth at least asking about, then going from there once you've checked into a few options.

You may check to see if there are any canine swim facilities near you. Some of them offer hydrotherapy, which can be beneficial to old dogs particularly because it is non-weight bearing, but the paddling action of swimming closely mimics that of walking. Or perhaps see if there are any rehab places near you, and see if they offer single consult sessions where they could evaluate her and give you some stuff to work on at home.

I think it's pretty common for senile dogs, like people, to have restlessness at night.

You might try putting some sort of container on your bed for her to sleep in? That way she can be near you, but not in danger of falling off. I usually put Annie on the side of the bed closest to the wall, and put my legs across the area she'd fall off at. It'd be a struggle for her to get over them on the unsteady surface of my bed, and she usually wakes me up if she tries. She hates being crated on gated in any sort of confined space, but is fairly tolerant if you put her in something chest high or so, so she can stick her head out still. I actually bought a laundry basket and put a couple blankets with a sheet tied over the whole thing (so she can't get a leg out the holes when she gets up from laying down) to use as her "safe place" when everyone has to be gone for a while. She still doesn't particularly like it, but it's better than letting her roam where she might get into a tight spot and not be able to get out. Something like that might help to keep her calm and quiet, since she could be near you, but confined.

I would guess she maybe doesn't see well? That could explain the flinching when you move your hands near her- she can see something, but doesn't know what. You might try doing some easy scentwork stuff (drop some kibble or treats in a small area, then if she gets good at that, spread it out or hide it better) with her outside or somewhere else with good traction, it might make her feel more satisfied and tired.

If the vet recommends a medication that is not readily available in a liquid form, you most likely can have it compounded (will need an rx). If there are no compounding pharmacies near you, your vet may have one they recommend online.
 

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I'm more hopeful for the Grippers socks than Woodrow Wear socks. Her current ones (from Woodrow Wear) constantly fall off her, and someone from the site suggested wrapping her ankles in strips of ace bandage to sort of provide extra grip and thickness around the ankle part of the socks so they wouldn't fall off or twist around. Didn't do much good - the socks still twist and fall off even with the ace bandage, and because of their constant falling off, my pup managed to lose one of her socks, never to be seen again (plus, there are holes in a couple of the remaining ones from her putting her claws through them). I also tried washing them and drying them with heat and that didn't do anything either. I tried putting the ace bandage strips by themselves around her paws and that was a worthless effort.

Looks like I'm gonna have to jump through some hoops to get the Grippers socks. Because it's a Canadian company, I have to call my credit card provider to authorize an international purchase. I don't know why - I've never had to do that before.

There aren't any type of pet facilities anywhere near me aside from basic veterinary clinics, kennels and shelters. Not too many people in a cluster of small, poor towns can afford to get their pets advanced treatment, sadly. And as far as a container on my bed, I have a twin bed and I generally use all of it because I sprawl across the whole thing. I'm concerned about possibly booting her off the bed in my sleep. Besides, depending on the vessel I could keep her in, it might cause her more distress because she might not be able to get out of it. She can't really lift her legs super-high up. But I really don't think she finds comfort in having people nearby anyway; I think since she has no idea where she is or who I am, anyone who goes near her might cause her distress.

Honestly, the senility itself isn't really that bad. She developed dementia before the mobility problems and this just meant she'd do laps around the living room and kitchen all night long, only very occasionally having a fit if she got stuck behind something because she didn't have the sense to walk backwards. It's her weak legs that are the problem. I'm going to see if the vet might recommend steroids for her; perhaps cortisone would strengthen her legs a little. Does arthritis also affect the tail? Because she rarely wags her tail anymore, but when she does, she wags really hard, almost like she's trying to use her tail to propel her. When she was healthier, her tail was always curled up, but now it just kind of dangles.

I don't know how her vision is. Her pupils look a little cloudy, so she might have some diminished vision, but she can definitely still see to an extent. If I wave my hand at her from a distance, she'll look toward me. She only flinches and goes nuts if I move close to her face or pet her.

And yes, I remember from dealing with my senile grandmother how much energy she would find in the middle of the night. During the day, it was like trying to pull teeth out of a seizing shark to get her to walk ten steps to the bathroom (rather, she'd stand in the same spot for an hour and complain that she had to pee), but at night, she'd get this boost of energy and decide she wants to climb the stairs or go into the basement or go out to her car that was no longer there. My dog is the same way: sleeps all day and is up all night wanting to march, eat and drink. If she could just get herself up a little better, she'd be fine. I don't mind if she marches across the house until she's too tired to take another step. I just wish I could restore her strength enough so she wouldn't struggle to get up.
 

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I asked my vet about some sleeping pills for my girl and instead of giving me sleeping pills, the vet sent me home with Novifit M, which, from what I'm seeing, is a cognitive support medication for dogs and cats.

That's real nice and all, but if her dementia medication isn't making any difference in her ability to think, then I don't think these things will either. She doesn't need cognitive support because, at this point, the receptors are all fried. The lights are on, but no one's upstairs. She has no idea what she's even doing, and I accept that. I need her to sleep through the night so I can sleep through the night. The vets here are nice people and all, but they're dumb as rocks sometimes, like when they put my cat on hyperthyroid medication for almost having hyperthyroidism (and one of the vets is a jerk who manhandles patients, mouths off to owners and does everything he can to talk people out of euthanizing their pets in order to squeeze a little more business out of people).
 

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I asked my vet about some sleeping pills for my girl and instead of giving me sleeping pills, the vet sent me home with Novifit M, which, from what I'm seeing, is a cognitive support medication for dogs and cats.

That's real nice and all, but if her dementia medication isn't making any difference in her ability to think, then I don't think these things will either. She doesn't need cognitive support because, at this point, the receptors are all fried. The lights are on, but no one's upstairs. She has no idea what she's even doing, and I accept that. I need her to sleep through the night so I can sleep through the night. The vets here are nice people and all, but they're dumb as rocks sometimes, like when they put my cat on hyperthyroid medication for almost having hyperthyroidism (and one of the vets is a jerk who manhandles patients, mouths off to owners and does everything he can to talk people out of euthanizing their pets in order to squeeze a little more business out of people).
:( Is there a different vet you can go to?

This may help your girl Amazon.com : Melatonin 3 mg 100 tablets : Lignans For Dogs : Pet Supplies
I'm exhausted and not up doing more then scan the reviews but I did see one that said the person gives it to her 16 year old dog that has dementia and is doing something similar to your dog, the person says that the melatonin has helped.
 
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