Dementia in Dogs
In the past 20 years, I have had 8 pups. 3 of them died with a diagnosis of dementia.
I did not know until recently that this was a “thing” in the canine world. I simply thought my pups were getting old and behaving as crazy as their human master; i.e, me. I was very grateful my veterinarian informed me that dementia is an actual condition in the dog world, so when I knew better, my responses were different and more thoughtful.
My precious yellow Lab, Marco, is going on 13 years old now. He is in terrific physical shape overall, however, about a year ago I noticed a few specific behavioral changes that mirrored what my white German Shepherd, Chrissy, my black Lab, Farah, and my Golden Retriever, Sage, had before they all passed on. In the end, they all had dementia.
One of Marco’s symptoms now is active sleep/dreams. While in a deep sleep, a lot of kicking, bucking, “chasing rabbits,” whining and barking, takes place. I call out his name, and he will stop, but it picks right back up again in just a few minutes.
Marco is very anxious. He will pace and pace until I tell him, “Marco honey, go lay down,” and he will. So