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Canine cognitive dysfunction/ dementia


Well-known member
Our Pippin has had this for some time now, we have come to the end of the road with medications and he is getting progressively worse.

He also has CHF, though stable on medications.
Our wonderful vet has advised that 'maybe' it is time to let him go...
I am really struggling with making a decision 😢
Have any members been through this before or going through it now?
Any advice or just to talk to someone who has been through it would really help.

Theresa xx
Hi Theresa

I haven't dealt with severe cases of dementia in dogs, though I think my Oliver started having mild symptoms when he got to 13 - he would wander into a room, stand still, and clearly ask 'Now why did I come in here?'! So I can't give you practical support, but hope you can make the right decision for both of you. Whenever you have to make this hard decision, my own thinking is that it comes down to quality of life - is it causing Pippin distress? Is he losing his dignity? Is he still enjoying at least some things in life (most Cavaliers enjoy their food to the end! My Aled scoffed half a tin of food while in terminal heart failure and waiting for the taxi to take us to the vet's :) )? But if you are simply keeping him in existence, with decreasing quality of life, then now is probably the time for you to make the decision we all hate and let him go in peace.

Not much help, I'm afraid, but thinking of you,

Kate and Ruby xxx
Oh Theresa, I'm so sorry...no advice just sending love. Will drop you an email.

Our last dog had dementia. It was never officially diagnosed by the veterinarian because we never asked for a diagnosis. The symptoms were clear enough. We figured it out when we were on a trip and he kept wandering into a corner of our hotel room and was just sort of stuck there. He did not know what to do or how to turn around and get out. We always got him out of the corner, but he kept wandering into one because while he knew the layout of our own home, he did not "know" the hotel room.

He was fairly deaf and blind from cataracts, but still had a good appetite, maintained his house-training, no evidence of physical pain, and did not cause any problems, so there was no reason to put him down. He still had a good quality of life. Had it been anything less, we most likely would have been more pro-active on making a decision. We felt that we would know, and we did, when his body began to shut down and it was obvious the end was approaching quickly.
He was fairly deaf and blind from cataracts, but still had a good appetite, maintained his house training .

Pippin is this way but does have some other problems too, no pain but his hind legs get stiff and weak he also gets restless some days and nights.
He sleeps a lot otherwise but has some very coherent moments, which is why I struggle with the decision. I am unsure if he is ready to o go.
We have decided not to add anymore medication for his dementia as what's left to give will just sedate him and We don't want that. We just take it day to day for now.
He has CHF and on a cocktail of medication for that but very stable.
I know his time is soon �� We've almost reached a decision but I keep doubting myself.
I know only I can make the decision, it's just good to hear from someone who has been there.
If it was his heart, I would know what to do having been there with DJ and with Gus it was his body shutting down with age.
Thank you x
Our Pip!

Pippin has surprised us all and bounced back again!
We had two separate days set aside last month for him to be PTS but both times he rallied around.
His dementia has stabilised for now, as has his heart. He is actually doing better than he was. He passed his recent check up to all our surprise, not least our vets.
We are so pleased to still have him with us ❤️

He is with us 13 years now after arriving aged 9 weeks 13 years ago yesterday.
As I write he is barking out the front window at passers by 🙂
That is such good news! You may not have him for more years, but more months perhaps, and he is enjoying life.(y)

Kate and Rubycl*p