MIMICKING THE SYMPTOMS OF CANINE DEMENTIA
On August 13, 2018 Murphy stopped eating. He wouldn’t eat his favorite food or treats and he wouldn’t eat my food. In fact, I don’t think he even recognized food as food.
From one day to the next. Like a light switch. I knew if I took him to the vet it would take days for test results to come back, so on August 14 I started syringe-feeding Murphy breakfast and dinner while I tried to understand what was wrong with him. Did he pick up something in the street or directly from another dog? Niko and Barnaby were fine so I didn’t think either of those options were the culprit. Was it an upset stomach like dogs, kids and people get from time to time? Was it worse? Those of you who are following Murphy’s journey know the answer!
Niko sat and watched every feeding, looking at us intently as Murphy and I struggled to get a routine going. He shook as he watched us and I knew he was scared about what was happening to his brother, and because he knew that I was scared too. In time Murphy and I became syringe-feeding pros and syringe-feeding became a normal part of mealtime in our busy home.
Several weeks into this routine Niko stopped eating. From one day to the next, like a light switch. His m.o. was different than Murphy’s though. Murphy would approach his bowl, push it around with his nose like he was burying a bone in the dirt and walk out of the kitchen. Niko chose a different method. He simply ignored the food and stood there staring at me. If I walked out of the kitchen and came back Niko was still staring. He ate treats though, and he ate my food. But he wouldn’t eat his.
Once again, I had no idea what was going on. Niko was 13-1/2. Could he have the beginning symptoms of CCD or is normal aging catching up with him. What is normal aging I asked myself? Not being able to answer that question I started Niko on Nuleaf CBD Oil and Animal Essentials Heart Health. These were the first supplements I gave Murphy back in September 2018. Niko is not the great little patient Murphy has always been. Getting a dropper or syringe in Niko’s mouth is nearly impossible. He bucks and bolts and hides and has moves like a prize fighter. “But I’m the mama” I roared. “Because I said so” I roared again! And suddenly he let me win.
So twice a day Niko gets his supplements just like his brother, on a pee pad on the couch. He actually likes the CBD oil and licks his lips when he sees the bottle. Last night he ate on his own without staring me down, and the same thing tonight. Is it CCD, normal aging, a reaction to being scared or is Niko mimicking his brother’s behavior. Or…is it none of those things? Maybe I’ll never know. But for now, both boys are eating.
Rest in Peace Little Warrior
On May 15, 2021, 6 days after his 18th birthday my sweet boy Murphy crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Murphy fought canine dementia for almost 3 years. For most of that time his dementia was under control thanks to a holistic cocktail I created for him after much trial and error. Murphy’s Holistic Cocktail was a combination of supplements that increased blood flow to his brain and heart and reduced inflammation. If your senior dog’s behavior has changed and you’re concerned about dementia here’s some useful information.