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  #581  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:46 PM
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eyelostit eyelostit is offline
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Hi Robt,

Sorry you are going thru this , I know how crazy you must feel, I'd just use the baby food if it works, the cheerios were always your old standby.

Dolly
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Dolly & Niki passed 2010, 45 lb Border Collie Mix 8 yrs as diabetic, 13yrs old. Blind N 10.5 U 2 X * Dog is God spelled backwards*If there are no dogs in Heaven then when I die I want to go where they went. Niki's food Orijen & Turkey & Gr. Beans, See you at the bridge my beloved & cherished Niki, I miss you everyday
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  #582  
Old 09-20-2009, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Bob,

Believe me, you're doing everything possible. When Mik has these problems, the only thing you can do is to keep going with the basal insulin dose. This supplies Mik with the insulin his body needs; without the addition of food, the body needs less of it.

I'd go with whatever you think Mik will eat when he's ready to do that.

Kathy
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  #583  
Old 09-23-2009, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Little rascal is up to his old tricks now.He eats nothing at dinner, so I'cut his vetsulin to slightly less than half.

An hour later, he barks for food, and being the cold, mean, heartless SOB that I am, I give in and feed him. Repeat in another hour. Then another. Then another hour, but it's bedtime by then so I ignore his last panicked begging for food.

Then he comes to sleep on the floor beside our bed, on Karens' side.

Which is where I find him every morning, and every afternoon.
Same spot.

I swear, there are times I think Mik believes Karen is still in bed and he is waiting for her to get up. Its' been year. Can dogs remember that long?
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  #584  
Old 09-23-2009, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Yes; dogs can remember that long - more likely, though, Mik has that place as his favoirite "safe-spot" for sleeping. Or - just as possible, it's both.

Dogs really are the most amazing creatures.

Cheering you and Mik on.

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 20:12:55 (PDT)
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  #585  
Old 09-25-2009, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

"Yes; dogs can remember that long - more likely, though, Mik has that place as his favoirite "safe-spot" for sleeping."

It is quite remarkable. Before Karen died last year, Mik and Mak had their little beds right beside Karen's bed. After she passed, it was impossible to know where they might be at night. Anywhere in the house.

Getting up at 4:30, i have a flashlight beside the bed and work my way to the light switches. Little brown dogs on brown carpet are impossible to see.

Karen has been gone 11 and 1/2 months, and it's only been in the last thirty days or so that they decided to sleep near my bed. They both made that decision almost the same night.

Miks' 'doggie dementia' gets worse at times. He will begin barking for food the minute I get home and often not stop until I start turning off lights at bedtime.

No food interests him. I manage some cheerios to get his appetite rolling, enough to justify the 1/2 dose of Vetsulin, but within 30 minutes, he goes into his barking mode for hours.

On occassion, I can hold and comfort him for a while, then lead him to canned food and he will actually consume maybe 1/3-1/2 can. Then it's more barking.

He is losing wt again. Vet said he's getting old, and the dementia is common. It happens, and almost nothing can be done.
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  #586  
Old 09-25-2009, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Robert - I think that's your name, right?

I just have a couple of thoughts. For the life of me, I can't remember where I read, recently, about a drug (fairly new, I think), that can help with the typical dementia of old age in dogs. I'll look around and keep my eyes open for it, or for some source of possible information.

My other thought is about the prolonged, excessive (so it seems, right?) barking, after you get home. You say Mik is barking for food. I guess that's a strong possibility, even really likely - then he finds food moderately or not at all attractive. You have my total sympathies on that one; it's really tough.

Here's something that might porvide a lead for you.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Kitchen/

I've been a member of that group for well over a year. Read it for a time, found it too busy for me, and stopped reading. But now I want some help from there, so I posted earlier this evening.

The group owner, Monica Segal, is a very widely-respected canine nutritionist. She accommodates a wide variety of approaches, including raw feeding (which I won't do, and my vet agrees), home-cooking for your dog, commercial diets, vet prescription diets, and so forth. She also has a very well-informed group of moderators to help her out on the list.

You can join immediately, but posts from new members are moderated. They seem to approve posts fairly quickly.

They have already blown my mind with a wonderful reply to my initial questions about feeding my non-diabetic dog, Kwali - and because I'd also remarked on feeding my diabetic dog, Kumbi, they had something to say about that, too.

I've been suggesting this group a lot lately, so I really should put a link to it on my links page (making a note to do that).

There ARE, perhaps, other possible reasons Mik goes into these extended barking periods, but I do agree with you that wanting food (food he feels he can eat - how are we to know what that might be!) - is the most likely trigger for all the barking. I think you're doing as well as a human DogDad CAN do with Mik.

But I don't agree with your vet that NOTHING can be done. There just might be something that can be done, so I'd continue to explore and investigate.

One thing I know well - that is, you are a truly great DogDaddy. Your dogs are lucky to have you.

I shoulda been in bed at least an hour ago, so off I go; back later!

Fri, 25 Sep 2009 22:20:24 (PDT)
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  #587  
Old 09-25-2009, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Carol,
Thank you for the ideas and kind words. If you have not followed this epic thread, I have tried about 25 different foods from pet stores, every food from the vet, cooking chicken breasts, turkey, cat food, tuna, cereals, and perhaps 20 flavors of baby food.

Mik is a 'sniff and walk' dog. If it does not smell just right, he considers it radioactive.

He is more prone to eat if not in his 'dementia mode'. He Will face a wall, I am not kidding, his face three inches from the wall, go into some kind of mental and physical 'trance' and just bark. He does not even move. If I don't go try to break the spell, he can keep this up for 2,3,4 hours.

No kidding.

When the 'trance' is broken, i can usually get some food into him, but it's iffy.


When I'm lucky, he gets the Vetsulin and then gets a hunger high about an hour later. I have learned to discern that particular bark. i then return to the kitchen and try anywhere from one to 15 foods. At times, he will suddenly like one, and it's impossible to predict which one, and it won't be the same one the next day.

At these times, I can manage maybe 500 calories, but then he might not eat for two days.

Mik has decided that my life has spare time and it's his role to fill every minute.
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  #588  
Old 09-30-2009, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

I had noted this once before some time back, but I paid little attention to it because it only happened once or twice.

But lately, well, a dozen times, Mik needs water and hovers over his water bowl. He dips his head toward the water several times, sniffs it, then sort of whines, then begins only what I can describe as kind of 'crying'.

It actually seems like he has forgotton how to drink water. I splash some on his nose/mouth, and he jumps, licks it, then seems to kind of 'remember'.

It's really odd, like he forgot how to drink water. Bizarre behavior or the doggie dementia?

I mention is because he is now doing the same with his all time favorite Gerber baby food, Chicken and chicken gravy. This is most common with his 5 am feeding, but some times at 5 pm.

He will hover over it, dip his head, sniff, and kind of cry. I swipe a finger full and rub it across his mouth. He licks it, and then suddenly begins to eat.

Very odd
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  #589  
Old 09-30-2009, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Oh, Robert; you really are having quite a time with Mik. You have my great sympathies. My Kwali, ndd, has a few of Mik's features, in the sense that she "gets stuck" as though in a trance mode. She's always been that way. Somewhat over a year ago, she had a mild stroke, and got disoriented more easily, "stuck" more easily, at times. She recovered amazingly well, though her mouth is still somewhat (and somewhat variably) flaccid on the left side (it was her left side that was affected).

Kwali is now about 14.5, and she, like Mik, but far more rarely, I think, sometimes shows signs of being disoriented.

I think you're doing as well as a Human DogParent could possibly do, with Mik. It seems to me that helping the dog orient itself a bit, if possible, is what is useful for the dog - that is, perhaps, comforting. But I don't know how far we can go to overcome the neurological difficultes of post-stroke, or canine cognitive disorder.

I was thinking perhaps a veterinary behaviorist, preferably, board-certified, could give you some ideas for Mik, and might even know of some new drug (wish I could remember where I heard-tell there's some such thing) that aids with CCD (canine cognitive disorder).

For me, I expect I'll be facing with Kwali, eventually, something like what you're facing with Mik (except that Kwali isn't diabetic; however, she has gastro-intestinal problems).

And quite possibly, eventually, I'll face that with Kumbi, too - he's my diabetic dog, now nearing 13 years old.

I guess we all hope for many, many years with our dogs, and typically, of course, small dogs live longer than large ones - and there's that price to pay - they get into conditions common to old age. I think it's time I dragged out my copy of Dr. Nancy Kay's _Speaking For Spot_, and read it again. (I haven't read the whole book, but it's definitely a useful guide for us with our old - and diabetic - dogs - a guide to ways of thinking, and communicating with vets, too.)

I'll be here watching, and cheering you on.

Wed, 30 Sep 2009 23:21:29 (PDT)
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  #590  
Old 10-01-2009, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Mik: 13 yr old Shih-Tzu

Hi Robert,

I am so sorry that you and Mik are going thru this. I really have no words of wisdom but, my Roxee had a problem with finding her food even when I placed the bowl right under her nose. I made a small platform to raise the dish up higher off the floor so she would not have to reach down so far and it did help for a while.

I also had to use a smaller water dish for her as she needed to lap the water against the back of the dish to pick it up.

Just a thought. Keeping you and Mik (and Mak) in my thoughts and prayers.

John (Roxee's Dad)
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