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Old, brain damaged stray dog......

Posted by catherinet (My Page) on
Fri, May 8, 09 at 17:34

Hi all,
About 4+ months ago, we took in a stray dog. We think she is partially deaf, blind, and has a brain problem. We have taken her to the vet several times, and he thinks she is senile. She's around 14.
We really care for her, but she is a major amount of work.
She has somewhat deteriorated since we first brought her in.
She doesn't appear to listen to us. Sometimes, if we make a big enough racket, she'll look in our direction.
She spends all of her awake time walking in small circles. Constantly. She does this for hours and hours, and we have to forceably push her down, and then she will go to sleep.
Sometimes she doesn't seem to know how to eat or drink.
She has some better days, if she's gotten uninterrupted sleep.
We have started keeping her in a crate when we are gone because she gets caught in corners, chairs, etc.
My husband suggested an obedience school, but I doubt there is anything we can do for this poor little girl. I don't know how it happened....but I think she is brain damaged.
Do any of you think that there is anything we can do to help her more than we are? Its a really sad situation, and its like having an infant around all the time. Neither my husband nor I can consider euthanasia at this time.
She is a beautiful dog. I just feel so darned sorry for her. Like I said, some days are alot better than others, but even her good days aren't so hot.
Any suggestions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Old, brain damaged stray dog......

I wish I had some suggestions for you. Our Maggie did the same type of thing with the walking in circles when she had a brain tumor. When our Bessie was going deaf, it took a really loud noise to get a rise out of her.

A neurologist could probably give you a more definitive diagnosis with a lot of testing if you are willing to make the financial commitment.

At this point, you can just make her as comfortable as possible. You need to look at her quality of life and go from there.

Sorry that I am not much help, but will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.


RE: Old, brain damaged stray dog......

Walking into corners is classic symptom of cognitive dysfunction in dogs (very much like alzeimers in humans). Have you talked with your vet about these signs? She may benefit from treatment with a newish drug called Anipryl that raises dopamine in the brain. If this drug is right for her, she could have many more 'good days' than she's having now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anipryl

Try that again...

See. I have it too. You said 'walking in circles' not 'into corners.' Talk to your vet about meds that may help. A brain tumor seems more likely to have a physical impact on her - loss of some function. This really sounds more like age related CD to me.

RE: Old, brain damaged stray dog......

I agree completely with cynthia...ask your vet about canine cognitive disorder and Anipryl for treatment. We had an old, confused girl who was losing her normal ability to function and Anipryl worked wonders with her.

RE: Old, brain damaged stray dog......

I have no suggestions but you're very kind to be a caregiver to this old dog. I hope you can find an answer to the problem. It's sounds cognitive, and I think it's wise to crate her when you're gone so she doesn't hurt herself.

RE: Old, brain damaged stray dog......

As you've already stated, obedience school will have no affect on her.

I had a dog that suffered from the exact symptoms you described and it's very possible the dog you found may have wandered away from his owners. In my dog's early stages a gardener used our gate to access another yard and left it open. My dog wandered out and was missing for over an hour but luckily we found him at dusk, stuck in high grass on a hillside. If someone had found him they would have considered him neglected since he had lost weight and was confused.

The only advice I can offer is to watch out for his safety. My little guy panicked when we crated him, so we would keep him in a small bathroom at night. During the day he mostly slept so he had access to most of the house.

We had to hand feed him by placing the food directly in his mouth and I had to show him the water several times a day. Fortunately, and surprisingly, he never had any accidents in the house during this time.
He reached the point where he couldn't get up after lying down, and his breathing showed the signs of pain, so we made the decision to euthanize him. He was in a deep sleep when the vet arrived at the house, and he was never aware of the needle she placed in his leg. He was 18 yrs old.

I wish you luck and I do hope the drugs help. You're a very caring person to do this for an old stray dog with neurological problems.

RE: Old, brain damaged stray dog......

Cynthia is right - Anipryl may help her as she certainly is displaying cognitive problems. I've had two dogs on it now and it worked wonders. It isn't cheap though. If you can't afford it then you might go to IMOM, a site that helps you with vet bills.

Here is a link that might be useful: IMOM

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