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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11680
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My dog is 16 years old and a chow mix. Lately she has been

Customer Question

My dog is 16 years old and a chow mix. Lately she has been wanting to go in the yard at all hours and doesn't seem to want to come in. She doesn't even sleep in her old bed any more. She has a good appetite and walks fairly well but has trouble getting up. We give her 25 mg of Tramadol twice a day for her hips and that helps. However, at night she won't settle down and just walks in circles until I let her out. I follow her to the yard and after a short time she just lies down and goes to sleep. I would appreciate your suggestions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and am happy to answer your questions today

So sorry to hear you Maggie is having what sound like cognitive changes at night

Below is more information on this condition, called canine cognitive disorder:

http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/keeping-your-dog-healthy/senior-dog-care/cognitive-dysfunction-in-elderly-dogs

There are treatments for this that can help in supplement form but also in some situations medications as well.

1.) Melatonin can help with barking, circling, increased movement at night

2.) Proneurozone which is a supplement for brain function that can help with mental clarify in senior pets. It is available through your veterinarian but also on-line at stores like amazon.com

3.) Fish oil is essential for brain function and used at higher doses to help cognitive function. For example, for your dog's size 1000 mg EPA & DHA daily. This can be a human formula

4.) Anipryl which is a medication used for cognitive function if the above options are not helping

5.) Alprazolam (xanax) is used for episodes of anxiety not controlled by conventional methods. Not intended for daily use but is effective as needed (in the diazepam or valium family)

6.) Donepezil 10 mg is a newer option used in human Alzheimer’s patients and is receiving attention by some veterinarians for cognitive dysfunction that we see in dogs as well as in humans. The dose ranges from 10-30 mg (1.5 mg/kg average) daily
7.) The tramadol- talk to your vet about increasing her evening dose to 50 mg to allow her to rest more comfortably. It can be given every 8 hours as well versus every 12. In addition, discuss gabapentin which is a medication that helps dull the nerve firing associated with pain in senior pets, is not expensive, and very well tolerated if there is any organ function changes at this age

These are all methods that your veterinarian would have available to you to assist with some of the cognitive issues and some that you should be able to purchase at a local vitamin store or on-line

I hope the above options are helpful to you but if I can assist with clarifying anything or guiding any further questions you might have please don't hesitate to ask.

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION. Bonuses are always welcome (I am not compensated in any other way). Thanks!

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Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today!

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