Something is up with our ex-racing greyhound, Badger. Badger is a people kind of dog. Whilst the other dogs we meet up with regularly on the local field enjoy romping around and playing together, Badger can always be found standing by the human company, usually getting his super-soft velvety ears stroked by anyone willing, and as he has his own little fan club amongst the local dog-owning community, their is always someone willing!
He is the epitome of calmness and gentleness, and although he now suffers with arthritis (blogged about here) he has been in generally good health.
But lately certain symptoms have been showing and they’re worrying me. These include:
- Vigorous shaking of the lower jaw.
- Dribbling. He’s not usually a dribbly dog.
- Lots of blinking and squinting.
- Not getting up to greet us anymore.
- Less responsive to commands.
- Randomly barking when he was previously a silent dog.
After blood tests and a thorough check-up, it would seem he is physically well other than he’s arthritus, so it’s a bit of a mystery. The vet has advised that her initial guess is one of three things:
- Pain related behaviour. His pain relief has been increased to see if this makes a difference.
- Some kind of mini-stroke/seizure.
- The onset of dementia.
The vets best guess at the moment is the onset of dementia. I guess there is nothing else I can do except monitor him closely, show him lots of patience and TLC and see what happens. I have no experience of dementia in dogs, but I will be arming myself with as much information as possible to help my old boy.
Gosh it’s hard when they get old.