Dementia in dogs: Zinger one year later
It was July 2014 when we first started to notice signs of dementia in Zinger and I wrote a little blog about it mentioning the various remedies we were trying to get him a little more stable and relaxed. I feed my dogs a raw natural diet, with lots of veg, raw meat and raw chicken wings. He is still very eager for his food (jumps about 4 feet in the air vertically while waiting to be fed), is extremely active, loves going in the car and long walks. The vet has given him a completely clean bill of physical health, but the brain is somewhat muddled. I always keep my dogs lean and Zinger is slim and physically fit.
Zinger has been on Vivitonin for just over a year now and although I am sure it has helped, it is not enough. The various herbal drops I was adding to his food each morning (previous blog) did not seem to have any effect so I started searching for other natural remedies for Canine Cognitive Disorder.
My previous blog explained the symptoms that Zinger, who will be 14 in September, started to show in July last year and they have become steadily worse. We often find him curled up on the lawn fast asleep in the pouring rain, because he will no longer come back through the dog flap, even though he is quite happy to go out through it to go out. When we have guests, he obsessively clambers on their laps, even our computer developer, Simon from Linear Blue had the pleasure of Zinger on his lap whilst he was working here at Animal Aunts HQ.
Then about a month ago, Zinger began to be very disturbed during the night, shredding his bed, scratching, panting, scratching at the door to go and then back in again which soon became a problem as the torture of sleep deprivation took its toll on us. The vet prescribed Activait to add to the Vivitonin and with more research and over a period of time, I have added turmeric, coconut oil, Zylkene and Senilife to the mix. At night I give him a couple of Rescue Remedy night capsules and steadily he is calming down and sleeping through the night again!
I have tried many things to help calm him, but the list of what seems to work for Zinger is quite long and I really have no idea which is working, but combined they are a big help and none can do any harm as far as I can see. Most of these are added into his morning feed apart from the Vivitonin which is given half an hour before food twice daily. They are all natural stress remedies (bar the Vivitonin) and as Zinger seems so much happier, this is the way for us!
- Vivitonin twice a day
- Aktivait one capsule daily
- Turmeric 1/5 tsp daily
- Coconut oil 1/5 tsp daily
- Senilife 1 capsule daily
- Zylkene one capsule daily
- Rescue Remedy Night capsules last thing at night
- Adaptil Collar (change every 4 weeks)
- Thundershirt when he is very disturbed.. with a few drops of Pet Remedy if desperate!
This combination is now working! We have enjoyed over a week of Zinger sleeping calmly through the night without the Rescue remedy or Thundershirt. He is much more relaxed in the day and although he still wont use the dog flap to come in, he is much happier in himself. He is still on the ball though, the other night one of his favourite people, Ed (nephew) who has known him all of his life arrived at about 8pm. Zinger was in a deep sleep on the sofa, but woke and leapt off the sofa to greet him with such excitement, wagging and leaping around like a pup. Zinger is a happier little fellow now he is getting some sleep and so are we!
UPDATE: 1st September 2015
Last week I ordered a memory foam bed from Orvis which was a gamble as Zinger has always slept at the end of my bed. I am thrilled to say that this bed is the icing on the cake and it was worth every penny. The combination of remedies natural or otherwise is working and the Orvis Wraparound memory foam bed means that Zinger sleeps peacefully throughout the night.. RESULT!