Older Basenji Behavior
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  • My 16-year-old Basenji is suddenly having a change in personality. She has gone from a very normal Basenji behavior to being needy. she has always had accidents in the house but over the last six months her accidents have become and what feels like punishment. Squatting on the couch in front of us. Pooping inside after a walk. we have had health checks screenings (all normal) we've had and we have increased her activity level with no effect. we have tried anxiety medications incontent meds... nothing is helping. We take her for a very long walk and she will not toilet herself outside but then come in the house and Pee on the couch. any help any suggestion please I don't want to have to put my 16-year-old dog down because she peas in my house.

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  • I just went through this with my boy and I call it Dogheimers. If you are okay with most of the behaviour then bu a bunch of Pee Pads and spread them all over. There is no magic pill or potion for this. Love her and enjoy her as long as you can.
    You may have to make a VERY tough decision soon.

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    @evelyn Yes Please buy potty pads for the "old" lady!! You can buy chair or bed size at Walmarts ~ in the human isle!! I just had to have my 16 & a half yr. old Basenji girl put to sleep Aug. 24, 2016, but not for doing a potty or poot inside). She'd gotten so she'd get off the sofa & pee in front of the TV & she may have just pee'd outside 15 minutes earlier! When you get older, (it's the same with humans), they might go outside & potty/poo & a few minutes later...have to go again! I had an old full size, cheap blanket that I kept folded into a square, placed in front of the front door. It was more for my Dorie but, I wiped my feet on it when I came in & had the maintenance people do the same (if it had rained or snowed out). She was very good for the last 5 or 6 years about using it if I was sleeping, gone or I just missed her "signal" that she had to go pee again. Sometimes she'd poot on it or in front of the back door, (which lead to the fenced back yard) & I'd just throw it in the washing machine every 2 or 3 days & wash it (without fabric softner as it keeps the liquid from soaking in fast enough). What I would give to have to get down on my knee's with a dry rag to soak up pee & a soapy bucket of water to wash that area in front of the TV again & both of my knee's are bad! I still have that old blanket in front of the front door. The only carpet in this apartment is in the bedroom & she pee'd on it every once in a great while, if she couldn't get to the tile areas. Then I had to get rid of the bed & just kept the bed room door closed unless I was putting up clean clothes. I'd love to get down on that carpet & scrub a potty spot again too!! I'm 60 yrs. old, had my bladder redone 13 yrs. ago but sometimes I go pee & 5 minutes later, I have to go again!! It's just part of the process of getting old & with Basenjis ~ they can hold it for really really long amounts of time ~ until they get older. Then it seems like, in a matter of a few short months, they pee all the time, inside & outside! Our bowels also start functioning different when we get older & your ole' gal's are the same way! I might poot & feel like I'm done & I no longer get sit down & comfy.. then guess what? Yup, I got to go again! It's absolutely maddening!! I believe those potty pads for humans are called Incontinence Pads & they come in (small) chair size or bed size. Get the bed size as it will be easier for her to pee on it & not get it on the floor. After you get a big pack, take a couple of them & get a little bit of her potty on them, then place them where she goes potty in the house. Let her see you put them down & pat them while you tell her, "It's okay girl, see...you can do your potty on here & it's being a good girl!" The first time you see her pee on one, use your "happy voice" telling her how good she is! I always gave my Dorie a couple of small treats too. She might miss the pads at first but try to let her know your happy about her trying! Because when "that day" comes & she's no longer there, you'll look at those area's & you'll know in your heart that you did everything you could do for her in those last few months! My Dorie would "clean" her back feet after pootin' on the one in front of the back door, sometime's she'd kick the pad & it would cover it up & other times, she'd rip some of the cotton off of it. Get a couple of bags to start with, until she gets used to them as, you will go thru a fair number to start with! But, no more meds, pretty Please!! Those meds on an older dog only cause more peeing & pooting problems. Being a Basenji, she's much more unhappy with her incontinence problems than you are. Basenjis are such a proud breed but I'm sure you already know that! Would you please keep us posted as to how she's doing on the pads? I hope it's a long time away before you look at those area's & feel the sadness & cry because they're always dry now. It's not a personality change with her so much as it is that she's ashamed of herself. The urge hits her so fast, she's doing good to even squat.

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    @evelyn Hi ~ it's me again. I haven't been able to stop thinking about your ole' gals problem of peeing & pooting in the house despite taking her out more often & on longer walks. Your Vet did get a urine sample & checked for a urinary tract infection, right? (I know you said she's been checked for everything but a UTI doesn't always show up in blood work) If you truly feel like she's doing it on purpose, mostly on the sofa ~ think about any changes that you or your spouse might have made lately - that uses the time that she has come to count on as "her time with her humans". If there are no changes, give her time to try using the potty pads. Give her loads of extra love & lots of reassurance that you're not mad or upset with her. She doesn't want to let you down or upset you. If she stops peeing on the sofa (I'm guessing that's the worst place she's peeing), then you have your answer! Praise her for being so good again, sneak in a few treats too! But if it continues or gets worse ~ I really hate to say it but, she might be trying to tell you that it's close to time for her to go. I hope with all my heart that it's a change in your routine or a UTI. If I were you, I'd still try the potty pads. Watch for other behavior changes, change in appetite, is she sleeping more or laying there with her eyes open. Look into her eyes, are they still bright or are they dull ~ like she's not really there. You won't like it but you may have to make a very hard decision before long. Love on her as much as you can, she only wants to please you now days! And at her age, you should please her also! Oh the joy they get, even if it's just your hand on her when she's laying next to you on the sofa! Keep us posted! {{Hugz}}

    last edited by Nancy Berry
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  • This does sound like "canine dementia". One of the symptoms is "Frequently soils in the house, regardless of the frequency she is brought outside." You might want to discuss it with your vet. Good article here.

    last edited by eeeefarm
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    @eeeefarm That is a great article!! I bookmarked it ~ Thank You eeeefarm!!

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  • You might also ask your vet about temporary hormones. Sometimes, even with canine dementia, hormones help control incontinence. There are also doggy diapers that can help.

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  • Sometimes nothing works- we went to the Vet several times and it was just age. You could do diapers but I would think your B would rip them off. I went and got some plastic crib liners and put those in a few places where my boy sat and lay down. He refused to go outside sometimes and when his eye site failed he was even more afridi of the dark.

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    @2baroos It's so very sad when any breed gets old & you aren't sure if you're doing right by your companion or not. My Yorkie went deaf & blind. I think the blindness was the worst! If she couldn't see light shadows, she would cry & had real tears coming out of her eyes, until I picked her up & laid her on my lap or on my chest (she only weighed 2 & a half lbs.) but she'd shiver & shake for a long time, even though I'd cover her up real good. She died on April 4, 1998 ... on Psalm Sunday. I've never been sure if I did right by letting her live or should I have had her put to sleep. She ate good...I sat & cut her dry, dog food into tiny pieces so she wouldn't choke! She still had most all of her teeth except maybe 5. I found out, no one but you knows when it's time to take your loving companion to the Vet or just let them pass peacefully at home, where they lived out their life with their humans. They don't "try" to make it hard on us ~ that's our own doing! I just hope I can find another fantastic girl while we still have our last good yrs. to spend together! I sure wish I'd have been a more suitable adopter for one on here that really "took my breath" when I saw her picture!! That was really a shock, losing my breath from looking at a picture of a "dog"! But when they grow old, we owe them just as good of a life, if not even better ~ for all the things they've done for us, things we've never been aware of. If you can't love them ~ you don't need them! And the Basenji is a most special companion. Just bcoz they start having "old age problems", you don't take them in & have them put to sleep! We don't do it for our Grandparents or our parents (even if that was legal)! But when the time comes, we know if it's the right thing or not! It's for sure that we love them to the end & even after. I'd be so happy if I had to clean up some pee left on my floor again. I'll always have my memories though ;=)

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  • @Nancy-Berry we are fefinately going to try the P pads her urinalysis came back fine just a slight rise in kidney issues but nothing clinical. And very good for her age. we also read the article that someone else posted and so many of those behavior sound like her. Especially with the confusion , pacing most of the night. and all the other behaviors I had never even connected to her pee/poo issues. We are definitely going to try a change in food get some anti-oxidants in her as well as getting some omega-3's to try to help with brain and cognitive function we definitely would never put her down for just peeing on our furniture. I believe now the personality changes may be confusion. She is clumsy falls off her "purch" which we have corrected so she can't hurt herself. Tries to enter the house through the side of the door that the hinges are on and can't figurj![alt text](image url)![0_1478128795602_IMG_0359.JPG](Uploading 15%) e out how to go around it. Jumps up on the couch and misses (miscalculates distance). Jumps up in your lap then be surprised your there. THANK YOU ALLLLLL! for all the great advise. Hannah is such an amazing member of our family. We just have to work through the frustration. Having a plan helps that.

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    @evelyn I'm so glad you're going to make what-ever time she has left, good & comfy & with her humans! Brings tears back to my eyes but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to stop them, unless I get another Basenji. It sounds like you've made all the plans you'll need & yes, it's going to be extra work but you already knew that & you're ready to do it. Good for you!! Hannah has a great pair of humans! :)

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  • @evelyn
    You might get a doggie ramp and see if you can get her to use it. Hope things help.

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  • @DebraDownSouth we've tried doggie ramps she is just too stubborn. Physically she is in great shape the vet said he would mistake her for a 7yr old. So it's just the behaviors and now what we believe is confusion.

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