Older Basenji Mix Whining

Hi,

I am so glad to find this forum! I work with a small dog rescue group and a couple of years ago we got a call from the local animal control to please take a look at, and pick up, this dog. I went over to look at her and ended up taking her home to foster her while getting her health back and assessing her personality. Needless to say, that was 2 years ago and she has never been adopted so she is pretty much our dog now. She is approximately 14 years old and from the best that we can ascertain she is a Basenji with a mix of ?. She is near deaf and visually impaired. When I picked her up she was skin and bones with no fur and some serious walking issues because someone had just thrown her over the 8 foot fence into the animal control yard :<{

Since that time she has grown in a beautiful coat (looks totally Basenji with the wrinkled forehead and color markings typical for a Basenji), now walks 1 mile/day and instead of trying to bite us when we pick her up, cuddles - for little awhile. She sleeps in her own bed in our bedroom and I feed her Primal dog food, supplemented with some good quality protein like liver, chicken, etc. to help her eat because she has always been reticent to eat. I also give her arthritis supplements.

She has always been a little whiney but lately she whines for quite awhile whenever she goes into her bed. Her bladder is getting old so she wakes up in the middle of the night to go outside by whining (wasn't able to train her on pee woads because of visual and hearing disabilities). That is fine. The issue is that afterwards she whines when back in bed for a good half hour again. I am becoming sleep deprived. I don't think it is pain because when she allowed to just roam freely around the house and yard she just walks and spins like always without whining. I had a complete annual physical on her a couple of months ago and everything came back completely normal. Similarly I had a urinalysis done on her a few weeks ago in case she had a UTI because she has begun peeing more but that came back normal as well.

I am beginning to think she may have some mild dementia or perhaps this is just her? I will also say that since this whole COVID issue, I am in a state that has strict stay at home orders so I have been home most of the time as opposed to working outside of the home. Perhaps she is getting very attached? But then, she has always had a whiney side to her nature and she still sleeps 18+ hours/day.

I would predicate any help I can get. Thank you again for being here!

last edited by marbrisson

So she's 14 years old, deaf, and visually impaired. Maybe she needs to have her bed closer to yours so she knows you are still there? Maybe close enough so you could put a hand on her to let her know where you are?

Good idea. I will try that. My vet also gave me some trazodone aehilr back which I have been reticent to give her but I may try a small dose of that too. Thank you for your suggestion.

@marbrisson said in Older Basenji Mix Whining:

may have some mild dementia

before I got to where you said this, I was thinking the same.

Has she always been your only dog? If not, I would think she misses whoever was there.

By being home more, she's used to you being there. If she was my girl, her whining at night would make me think she wants in the 'big bed' with you!

Thank you for being the special person you are, bless you for taking in this girl

I agree that it sounds like mild dementia.
Maybe melatonin would help her settle down?

My suggestion is to see how she does on the bed with you. Considering her sight and hearing is impaired, perhaps your body heat or having your body close to hers will give her comfort and allow you both to sleep through the night.

@marbrisson

She is special because she is at least part Basenji. You are special because of the love and care you are giving her.

As senses diminish, in her case hearing and sight, others become more necessary - in her case I would suggest touch has become very necessary to keep her confident and orientated.

Definitely let her become a bed-dog and try to let her know you are close throughout the day -

Keep up the good work ! And good luck to you both -

last edited by Zande

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