|Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 5:49pm PST |
|It's a very gray area, and ultimately only you can make the right choice.
I've had two seniors of my own who were in very poor health for a very long time - both over a year. There are always things you can try, although you reach a point where there are no longer any feasible ideas. When you have multiple health issues, it becomes a balancing act of what you can try versus overall quality of life.
So, looking at things you can try... What stood out most to me about your post was that he's suddenly become obsessed with his privates. Was a urinalysis included in his recent vet trip? Just a basic UTI could produce a lot of the symptoms you're seeing. If the infection has reached his kidneys it could even exacerbate dementia.
Even if everything looks clear, a course of general antibiotics could help - we actually saved Belle at least 3 times by giving general antibiotics and steroids. She was failing, the vet couldn't pinpoint a problem, so we decided it was worth a try. There came a day when it didn't work anymore, but the 3 times it did were worth it.
I don't know if he's currently on any medications for his cateracts, but if not, they may help too. Have you looked at any websites for blind dogs? I spent a lot of time reading from various support groups when Vance lost his right eye and it was very helpful.
It's worth looking for info on blind and deaf dogs, too. It's so common - and can mimic dementia quite a bit too. I had a petsit client who'd had both eyes removed from glaucoma and gone deaf... I only lived with her a week at a time, but I developed a pretty good system with her using a short lead to guide her so she didn't get lost - even in the house. I did a little with scent too but I didn't have time to get too detailed... If she were mine I would have tried to drop some kind of unique scent trail to her bed, because she would get up at night and get lost in the kitchen every few hours.
In terms of snow glare, there actually are doggie sunglasses. I don't know anything about that particular store, it just shows the product well.
Dog gear like that seems so silly, but by my Vance's last winter, he was wearing snowboots and a flannel-lined wool jacket most of the time. He'd never have accepted it as a young dog, but by the time he needed them, they made him feel so much better that he was very happy to wear them. The complicating factor for you is the dementia. It's very possible he won't know how to deal with wearing something on his head, but it may be worth a try.
All of it depends on what he and your family can manage. I'm sure you'll know best what direction is right for all of you.
Edited by author Tue Jan 1, '13 5:51pm PST
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