Life with Jasmine, Juliet and Buttercup, Our Rescued Dachshunds

Random notes on our experience with THREE rescued miniature dachshunds

The Sadness of Aging: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Jasmine says What

Last fall, Jasmine started becoming increasingly incontinent. She would be sitting on the couch, and all of a sudden, there was a puddle underneath her. It usually happened when she was sleeping. She had experienced incontinence issues in the past, but they went away after a few weeks. But not this time.

What was more disconcerting was that she was showing other signs of not being ‘right’. She was not just urinating, she was also defecating in the house…little nuggets here and there. Jasmine also was getting confused at times, and often sat with a vacant look on her face.

We took her to the vet, had some tests run (she’s in fabulous health) and were told that she was showing signs of CCD — Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. Doggie dementia. The vet said that most of the supplements and ‘special diet’ solutions were not proven effective.

Since the fall, she has good days and bad days. There has been a bit of decline, but all in all, Jasmine is still a happy dog. What has really been hard is that, at the same time, she’s losing her eyesight. Hubby likens her to a “Roomba” vac…she bumps into things and changes direction. 😦 This doesn’t help her situation.

I did find a great website and book about the experience: Dog Dementia. This site has helped me internalize what’s happening here. Since I’ve been through being a caretaker for a family member with dementia, I understand (but still agonize over) the journey, but it still doesn’t make it easier. I also am on the fence about giving her prescription medication; it may help slow the progression of her disease down, but it won’t cure her. And will slowing the progression be better for her? After seeing my loved ones progress through dementia, I’m not sure that prolonging the progression is the kindest thing.

Jasmine still enjoys treats, “going to work” with me in my home office, naps on the couch, rays of sunshine and mealtimes. She has recently stopped being as happy about rides in the car, which makes me sad. All of this makes me sad. Jasmine has given us so much love and joy these past ten years. I wish I could have ten more.


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