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Our 14 yr old blind, death, diabetic, and now dementia dog

is so anxious during day...
Our 14 yr old blind, death, diabetic, and now dementia dog is so anxious during day and night. At night we give her two Benadryl and she does pretty good not perfect. But the barking for no reason, the in and out during the day are hard. It makes me anxious and as much as we love her, I have thought of putting her down but I don't want to go thru that grieving as I will. We can't sedate her constantly but is there an anti-anxiety med for dogs like there is Xanax for people? We have used the calming tablets from Theisens but she was going through quite a few a day.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sorry the dog has that. The Expert will know what to do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Katie.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Katie?
Customer: No that's about it. Just don't know what to do for her or for us.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
10/17/2017
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,096
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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I understand your frustration. To answer you directly, yes, we often prescibe anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drugs to these dogs. I'm going to post my synopsis of cognitive dysfunction in dogs for you. Please pay particular attention to the use of anxiolytic benzodiazepines which can be prescribed by Katie's vet...

You appear to be describing cognitive dysfunction and, in particular, sundowners syndrome - a form of cognitive dysfunction in dogs and humans. It's conjectured that the dark and quiet of night magnifies the sensory loss in these patients which results in their anxiety and subsequent aimless wandering and vocalizing. Other indications of cognitive dysfunction include disorientation, changes in social and interactive behavior - becoming "needier" or, conversely, more aloof - changes in locomotor and sleep cycle behaviors, and loss of housetraining.

Unfortunately, this is a progressive disorder and often vexes caretakers unable to control inappropriate behavior. If additional medical problems exist - brain tumor, e.g. - seizures may arise and prompt the need for anticonvulsant drugs. You may find that a prescription benzodiazepine such as alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), or clorazepate (Tranxene) will be helpful for controlling Katie's anxiety and so discussing the use of such a psychotherapeutic drug should be discussed with her vet.

Ancillary care involves physically and mentally stimulating exercises such as swimming, massage, and range of motion exercises, encouraging relaxation, ensuring that **** is taken out frequently to minimize the cost of elimination "mistakes", encouraging reestablishment of daily cycles by feeding at regular hours and at least a few hours before bedtime, and administering the alprazolam before bed. Specialized diets rich in antioxidants may be of value such as Hill's Prescription Diet b/d. The monoamine oxidase inhibitor selegiline (Anipryl) is the only drug licensed for use for the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction in the States. Many of us aren't impressed with the studies supporting its use, however.

Cognitive dysfunction in dogs is just as difficult to manage as is Altzheimer's in humans. I wish I had some magic for Katie. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,096
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Very helpful and comforting. Thank you.

It's my pleasure.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,096
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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