Onset... dealing with Doggie Dementia

12 July 2010

Ola's showing signs of Canine Dementia Syndrome, which is akin to Alzheimer's Disease. She'll be 12 years old in September, so it's not really surprising that she's showing signs of senility, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

For four days, she's been experiencing periods of irrational terror, paranoia, possibly hallucinating, wanting to hide in tiny, dark, and secluded places, seemingly lost and confused, not responding to her name or simple commands like "sit" and "come", exhibiting a drastic increase in her OCD, and refusing to accept her favourite treats.

Ola goes through phases of absolute terror (the like of which I've only seen in vet offices, moments before the doc puts a gloved finger up the doggie's bum,) sometimes lasting for 10 hours. And then, just as suddenly as the fear and confusion had come,they're gone-- *poof* she's happy and responsive again. Today, she's doing a lot better, and has been (mostly) her usual happy self, with the exception of 10-ish minutes, when she wanted to hide under Lucien's desk.

We think the heat is a contributing factor... We've been having a heatwave, with temperatures inside reaching 82°F, and humidity of 71%. It seems that when it's hotter, Ola's loopier. Thankfully, the heat is supposed to break today, and mellow out into the high 70's through the rest of the week. I'm hopeful this will give her some relief, and allow happy-sweet Ola to take control of her body again, because petrified-dementia Ola is a very unhappy girl.

We'll see how it goes... for now, I'm happy that she's happy, dreaming her dreamy doggie dreams on the bathroom floor, and I hope when she wakes, she'll know who I am, and she'll know that she's safe in her own home... in her own skin.


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