what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

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what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by djhme on Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:49 pm

Did you have any dogs that basically rejected you in their old age? Panda turned 11 last month, so he is definitely old. But his rejection is breaking my heart. He stays as far as is humanly possible away from me at all times. He used to love to sit on my lap for hours. Now he gets down the instant I'm not physically holding him there. He wants nothing to do with any of us. I work in a home office and he used to always be lying by my feet in a comfy bed. For the past few weeks, he has chosen to lay in a crate at the other end of the house all day (where they sleep at night). It's as far away from me as he can possibly get and still be indoors . . it's so upsetting.

Today this nearly caused a disaster. The snow is over my waist, so I am just keeping the deck and a small area in the yard shoveled for them to do their business. At noon the dogs went out to potty. Nutmeg and Budi came in but Panda refused. I went to put on my shoes to go get him . . . and got distracted by the phone ringing. Forty-five minutes later I just happened to glance out the window to see Panda lying in the snow shivering!!! Truly, it was the grace of God that I happened to look outside. Because he stays away from me, I hadn't noticed his absence. I ran out barefoot this time and wrapped him in a warm blanket. I warmed him with a hairdryer. The temp was 25 but thank God no wind chill. After I warmed him up, I tried keeping him on my lap, but he immediately jumped down and went to the other end of the house.

I immediately took him to the vet and paid $240 for extensive bloodwork. The vet is thinking low thyroid or canine cognitive dysfunction. After all, why didn't he come to the back door and bark? Why lie down in a snowbank and freeze to death? Why act as if we mean nothing to him and he wants nothing to do with any of us? pale
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by Xiu©Xiu on Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:34 pm

Sorry to hear about Panda, hope he get well soon.
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by djhme on Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:43 pm

Just got back the bloodwork, and everything is normal! Took in a urine sample to see if there's kidney issues (urine shows problems before blood does). If not, then the diagnosis will be canine cognitive dysfunction and the "remedy" is a Hills science diet food.
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by Xiu©Xiu on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:44 pm

What are you feeding him now?

I don't understand why most vets always prescribe science diets as a resolution when the majority of the ingredients are by-products, but who am I to say for being a first time dog owner. 


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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by maryj on Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:45 am

hills is not a good food it is filled w/fillers and grains.. both my pets went downhill after vet's recommendation that they needed prescription diets... never again

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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by djhme on Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:22 pm

Wow, that's scary. I have a dog who has kidney issues and has been doing well for several years on the Hills kidney RX diet. Based on what you've said, though, I'm thinking I may just add "Old Friend" supplement to his current high-quality food regimine (Merrick). It's from Pet Wellbeing, and it's supposed to help with cognition issues.
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by djhme on Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:45 pm

The vet just called and said he believe that it's canine cognitive dysfunction. Panda's bloodwork came back "fantastic;" Dr. Littman actually said he has the bloodwork values of a healthy 5-yr-old dog. He said that we should immediately try the brain food, so I've ordered a bag; it should be here by next Wed. I also ordered a canine supplement for elderly dog brains which shipped yesterday.

I'm trying to feel hopeful. The dr said that since Panda is physically so healthy he could get to the point where his mind is "gone" but he's far from death. At some point, I may need to make the decision to put him down if his quality of life becomes poor and he constantly frightened or confused. I fear that he will get to the point where he doesn't recognize any of us, and if he doesn't recognize me that will be especially heartbreaking as I've been his "everything" for 8 yr. He's always been a fearful dog. I think Panda will become terrified if he no longer knows that I am here with him.

OK, OK, I've got to stop going down this dark path. Maybe the supplement and the food will help. I was reading that 32% of all toy dogs have CDS by age 11, so I have to think positively that maybe I figured it out before it could advance. The worse thing is if you don't recognize there's a problem, then the brain plaque grows worse and worse and worse. Please send prayers!
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by maryj on Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:49 pm

I MYSELF WOULD NOT PUT A DOG DOWN IF HE BECAME SENILE... i DO KNOW THERE ARE SUPPLEMENTS THAT CAN HELP....

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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by Xiu©Xiu on Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:28 pm

Glad to hear there's supplements out there that can help.

Debra, hopefully you won't have to go through all that.
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by djhme on Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:43 pm

Panda just had his first dose of the Old Friend supplement and the Hills Science Diet RX Brain food.  Both suggest that I'll see improvement in 2-3 weeks.  Also, I just discovered that Purina Pro Plan is making a "Bright Mind for Small Dogs" that might be comparable and doesn't need an RX.

I will update on the forum to let you know what I think in 3 wk.
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by gloria2kids on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:24 am

Don't know if this will help. One of my Bostons lost her mind over a long slow period of time. I didn't know what to do and my vet suggested omega oil. I added one sardine a day to her food (Bostons will eat anything no matter they feel) and she did improve slowly. She always slept in my room and when she started to lose her senses. I hated her not being with me so slept downstairs for 18 months. The fish added did help and although she was still a slow old lady, we could go back upstairs to bed. She was 13 when she died. It was no miracle sure, just helped her brain function a bit for us to get by...I miss her dearly...
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by Jaimewife on Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:45 pm

Just curious how Panda is doing djhme. Our Pekingese went down this same path, but she was 15 when it happened. Hope the food/supplements are working.

And a big THANK YOU to Chiraffe for keeping the forum going. I was sad to hear it was ending, but so happy when you took it over. sunny

~Jaime
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Zoë - 1 year old
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by djhme on Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:03 pm

BTW that is Panda in my arms in my avatar. He's sooooo cute!

Panda is "perking up" a bit on the food and supplement.  The only problem is that he can't eat the food twice a day as recommended.  It makes his poops too loose.  The vet thinks that  he'd get the greatest benefit from eating Hills RX Diet B/D twice a day, and I agree . . . I just don't know if I can get him there.

The good news is that he is still able to participate in our one-mile-daily walks and is showing us affection if we are in his room (the family room, which he seems to feel like he doesn't want to leave).  We are trying to spend more time in there to help with this.

Jaimewife how did the disease progress in your pekingese and did you have the special food and supplements to help?
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Re: what on Earth is wrong with Panda?!

Post by Jaimewife on Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:32 pm

Oh, I've love to see Panda, but I've tried a couple of browsers and I can't see avatars... I can't upload one myself or attach pics either, darn. I'll try again at home!

I'm so happy to hear Panda is perking up!! It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help.

Our Peke was also distant and didn't want to be around us. One day she couldn't walk - the part of her brain that helped her flip the front of her foot out to step stopped working. Her spine also got distorted (common for Pekes) and she started having tremors. So we took her to a specialist who put her on medication. I also started giving her "Missing Link" - I'll try to message you the link, as I just registered on the new forum (I was a member on the old forum) and I can't post links for a week. Missing Link has a product for seniors that helps with brain health.

The things we did helped her for another couple of years. We had to say goodbye to her at 16 and 1/2, unrelated to the cognitive issues, a couple of Valentines Days ago.
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