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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys!

I am taking Keiko to the vet this saturday...I've been dreading this appointment because I'm in denial that he's aging and might not have a lot of time with me left. (He's turning 14 in November) His dementia has gotten worse, his hips/back legs are getting a lot more stiff (to the point where he is struggling to hold himself up when he poops) and he's got a rash under his belly near his privates that isn't getting better.

Skin rash:
- I'm going to have to do another skin scraping for the rash but we've already tried antibiotics, changing his diet and medicated shampoos and conditioners and nothing is working. There is no hair left in the area, it's extremely itchy and it smells. Poor guy has been wearing a cone for a while now. I'm really hoping the vet has something new we can try.

Dementia:
- Some days are worse than others. This one time we were in the elevator waiting to go down to the first floor...as the door was closing I think he forgot that we just got in there so he dashed out and hit his head against the door. It totally caught me by surprise because he's never done that before.

Stiff joints/hips and losing muscle control?:
- He's having some issues pooping. He takes A LONGGGG time now...I don't think he is constipated..I put extra water in his food, pumpkin, wet food etc and it doesn't change anything. He poops and then sort of forgets he's not done yet so he starts walking stuck in the crouching position and then he poops again. Once he's done he falls over and can't get up.

I know that the vet will suggest a bunch of stuff and prescribe a mountain of medication but I wanted to know if any of you had any experiences with these kinds of issues what kind of medications worked best with little to no side effects?

My friend given some pain medication from her vet to give her cats but it suppressed their appetite and they ended up losing a lot of weight.

I'm not asking for medical advice, Keiko will be going to the vet on Saturday but it would be nice if people could share some experiences that I could discuss with the vet in case there are other options that she doesn't provide.

Thanks!
 

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The walking while pooping generally happens when they lose muscles in their back legs. It can be caused by a number of things. Shadow did it towards the end of his life but I didn't track down the cause given that he was extremely elderly and I figured that the main issues were lack of exercise and arthritis.

https://dogshealthproblems.com/loss-of-muscle-mass-in-dogs-legs/

There is some medicine that you can try to help with the Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, sometimes it makes a world of difference, sometimes not, but it might be worth a try. There's also a book that may help you, it's called Remember Me? Loving and Caring for a Dog with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction by Eileen Andersonhttps://www.amazon.com/Remember-Me-Loving-Cognitive-Dysfunction/dp/1943634017/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505339974&sr=8-3&keywords=Remember+Me+book . I wish it had been around when I was struggling with Shadow's memory loss. I'm so sorry that your girl is beginning to show signs of it!

My best advice would be it might be worth it to try something for the memory loss, I do not know much about the medicine for it (heck can't remember the name!) but if it stops the progression it will be worth it, I can tell you from experience that it will get worse.

For the muscle loss, if it's due to arthritis I'd go the natural route first. My suggestion is to try Cetyl-M, it's been studied in humans and is proven to help with arthritis with no known side effects as of the last time I researched it, and dog owners have claimed it's really helped their dogs. So it won't hurt to try it, and hopefully it will also help your girl. Their is a loading period for it so it may take a little time to show real improvement https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GYD724Y/ref=twister_B01N9QQF7H?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 I've also seen green lipped muscle recommended as being helpful for arthritis but have no real experience with it. If nothing else helps you may have to put her on a true pain killer. Shadow was on Rimadyl and I can say that it really helped him, his arthritis was severe. What I never did figure out is if it contributed to his loss of appetite. He was 17 years old when I put him on it and while it could have been the Rimadyl it could just as easily have been something else.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, thanks for much for the info @Rain!! I should check out that book. Watching Keiko pace around 24/7 and seeing him standing there in a daze is so heartbreaking :( He's my first dog so all this stuff is new to me.

Thanks @Aspen726! I will definitely update this thread after his vet visit. :)
 

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Wow, thanks for much for the info @Rain!! I should check out that book. Watching Keiko pace around 24/7 and seeing him standing there in a daze is so heartbreaking :( He's my first dog so all this stuff is new to me.

Thanks @Aspen726! I will definitely update this thread after his vet visit. :)
I understand completely! Shadow was the first dog I had, besides the one I had as a child that I couldn't keep after my mom passed away, and the learning curve was steep as he aged. Here's a thread I made on Shadow's night time pacing, on page 3 I discuss a bit about what other things he was doing besides the pacing at night http://www.dogforum.com/general-dog-discussion/i-love-night-life-i-love-62810/

I well remember how heartbreaking it was when the dementia really started to take hold and it sounds like it's the same for you and Keiko, my heart is breaking for y'all!
 

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I've had several pets that ended up with dementia in the last year of their lifes.

Sampson (dog) lived to 16 years
Ashley(cat) lived 21 years
Shilo (dog) lived 14 years... Shilo may have had a stroke though... not sure.

They would have episodes of wandering around the house looking lost and confused...and at first it was only for short periods of time and there was a good gap of time of like a week before another episode hit.

But, sadly, and like a car rolling down hill...slowly then faster... the episodes started lasting longer and became more frequent. Sampson would get lost in the bathroom...walk in...then couldn't figure out how to turn around...so she would stare at the tub and bark... thinking, I guess??? that it was the door. ?

She, one day, got under my upright piano, which has twin pillars on each end that were under the keyboard.
I was glad I was home because she tried to go through the twin pillars on the left side of the piano, and got wedged right behind the shoulder blades. I was able to lift her up to a point where the pillars narrowed a bit and push her out...and that was the day I made my decision that it was time. I just couldn't risk leaving her home alone anymore when I had to go to the store, or to work.

She was my first dog....and for the next 40 years I never ever thought I could love a dog as much as I loved her....until I got HaHa. I feel very very fortunate that I had 3 super special animals in my life.. Sampson, Ashley my cat, and HaHa. I dearly loved all my other pets, but those three, I had a connection with them that was on a totally different scale.

I'm so very sorry you are getting to that point with your dog that you are trying to find that balance between quality of life and quantity. I hope your vet can help you and Keiko have some more time together.

Stormy
 
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First of all, big big big hug to you and Keiko. It is so very hard when they reach this stage. Specially when its your first dog. My Spookie also struggled badly with the dementia. Would also get "lost" in a corner and could just not figure out how to turn around or reverse to get out. She got away with absolute murder in her last 2 years. I just loved her and let her be. Lucky for me her most favourite thing was just to be picked up and held. she could cuddle like that for hours. Whatever made her happy. And whatever she wanted to eat. She had a soft spot for half cooked steak.

I don't have advice on medicine to help the dementia. But for Spookie Swedish bitters (here in south Africa I can buy it at big grocery stores or a chemist) really helped her arthritis allot. She went from limping and unable to jump on the bed or couch to playing like a puppy again in a week on it. Its easy to use. you just add a cap full to their drinking water and add a little sugar because it really is very bitter. if you are unsure how much water Keiko drinks you can also put a cap full in a glass of water and give it to her with a syringe. Good luck to you guys! and keep us posted on how its going. :huddle:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the support :)

Vet visit wasn't great..but it was as expected (regarding the results and what my vet thought of Keiko's current health). I requested a copy of the vet's notes because we went over so much information there was no way I was going to remember it all! I love my vet so much, I'm so thankful that I finally found a vet I can trust. She really cares for her patients and never tries to push things on me. She respects all my decisions and is very supportive.

Our last visit was 5.5 months ago and the vet noticed right away that he's lost a lot of muscle mass (he's lost 5 lbs). She checked his joints and noticed a big difference in stiffness from his last visit as well.

This was her diagnosis after his physical exam:
Ddx:
Cognitive dysfunction, intracranial neoplasia or other disease, hepatic encephalopathy, other
Skin - pyoderma/fungal, allergy/atopy, contact dermatitis, calcinosis cutis, other.
Joints -DJD, spondylosis, IVDD, neoplasia, other.

NSAID panel - mild azotemia; renal insufficiency; liver enzymes wnl - discussed that we will use NSAIDs with caution given Keiko's poor quality of life without analgesics on board. Consider Cartrophen injections, joint supplements etc.
B/d or J/d would be beneficial for joint health too.

We discussed that we would monitor his response to his medications and his quality of life. If his condition doesn't improve then we would then consider letting him go....ugh. Just typing that is bringing tears to my eyes.
 

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Aww man, I'm so sorry that y'all didn't get better news!

I pray that those medicines work, and his quality of life improves. I'm wondering if the SD food paired with Cytel-M would be enough to improve his joint pain so that y'all could put off the NSAID use. It might be something to discuss with your vet.

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/cetyl-myristoleate

Here's an article on Cytel-M but it's geared for human patients, Supplements 101: Cetyl Myristoleate - Healthy Beginnings It does go into detail about what to look for when purchasing Cytel-M.

Poking around on Goggle I cannot find any real studies done on cytel-m's use in dogs, but if you like I can pull the ones done on humans, and also reviews on the different Cytel-M products.
 

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Thanks @Rain :)

I guess I should have posted what we are going to do for now:

Inj Convenia 48mg SQ
Rx
Metacam 10ml bottle - give 6kg dose SID PO x 5 days then titrate dose to lowest effective thereafter. Monitor closely for GI upset and ensure Keiko is eating and drinking well when medicating.
Omega 3 FA supplementation pending owner's decision on diet change
Otizole (polymixin, pred, miconazole) to apply topically BID pending results

I don't want to change his diet yet...the last time I wanted to switch him (to a raw fed diet) it was too much shock to his system and he reacted very poorly to it. He's had pancreatitis twice (within the span of 10 years) so I'm quite paranoid about any sort of diet changes.

We're going to try the omega-3 FA supplementation first (double dosage)...is that similar to the Cytel-M? That link mentioned it was similar to omega-3 fatty acids but I'm totally medically/vet challenged so all the terminology and medical lingo goes over my head. lol
 

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Thanks @Rain :)

I guess I should have posted what we are going to do for now:

Inj Convenia 48mg SQ
Rx
Metacam 10ml bottle - give 6kg dose SID PO x 5 days then titrate dose to lowest effective thereafter. Monitor closely for GI upset and ensure Keiko is eating and drinking well when medicating.
Omega 3 FA supplementation pending owner's decision on diet change
Otizole (polymixin, pred, miconazole) to apply topically BID pending results

I don't want to change his diet yet...the last time I wanted to switch him (to a raw fed diet) it was too much shock to his system and he reacted very poorly to it. He's had pancreatitis twice (within the span of 10 years) so I'm quite paranoid about any sort of diet changes.

We're going to try the omega-3 FA supplementation first (double dosage)...is that similar to the Cytel-M? That link mentioned it was similar to omega-3 fatty acids but I'm totally medically/vet challenged so all the terminology and medical lingo goes over my head. lol
From what I understand it is a fatty aid, but is different from Omegas. The Cytel M seems to work by lubricating the joints and providing some pain relief and anti inflammatory. CETYLATED FATTY ACIDS: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD
 
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Just sending massive hugs to you and Keiko. It is the only fault of dogs really, they don't stay around nearly long enough.
 
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Yoshi,

I wish it would have been better for the two of you at your vet visit and appreciate your hardship. It's always nice to hear how much some others truly care for the well-being of their furry friends even when it seems so damned sad at times. Keep a smile on your face for Keiko as hard as it might be at times, I think it makes a difference for your dog.
 

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Thanks @Shandula and @DriveDog. I always feel like I'm not doing enough...I feel guilty all the time because he can't come along with me and Mia on our hikes or to the beach or even out doing errands. His dementia has made him very anxious in the car (he used to LOVE car rides). Poor guy is pretty much house-ridden but at least he likes the patio. I'll leave the door open during the day so he can walk in and out as he pleases.

I hope the meds can improve his life a little but just even within the last couple of days since the visit he seems to be moving even slower and his back is starting to slope down a little.
 
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