Welcome to the chat! I am Dr. Altman and am happy to answer your questions today
So sorry to hear you are having these change which sound like cognitive changes in your senior pet. It is also possible his hearing and/ or sight are affected and this is why he is reacting with a startle when touched suddenly (testing with barriers throughout the house with movement for his sight or sounds at various octaves to test his hearing)
Below is more information on my suspicion, called canine cognitive disorder:
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 or 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
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.
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