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A friend has a wonderful golden, Bruiser, who is 12+ years old. He is a sweet, wonderful dog, always greets me with a toy whenever I visit. Lately he has developed some strange phobias and unusual behavior. He is afraid to walk in certain areas of the house where he once did without problems. Once he wandered into a neighbor's yard, something he never did before in his life. Now he started making a fuss at night, whining and pacing until they take him outside. When he gets there, he doesn't do anything but stare into space. After about 15 minutes, they bring him back in, only to want out a little later in the night. Friend and her husband have been getting up to take him out two or three times a night like this. (He is not in the bedroom with them at night because he is afraid to walk down the hall to the bedroom.)

Do you think this is senility? Is there anything they can do for him? Owners are losing sleep over this night time behavior. Any suggestions?
 

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Time for them to take him to the vet. There may be some medications that can calm him down. It does sound like senility.
 

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Yes, first to the vet. Complete blood panel, ie., liver, kidney function, thyroid, blood sugar, etc.

There is a product for dog senility now; maybe ask your vet to look into it:

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/diseasesall/a/aniprylseniors.htm

One might also ask the vet about giving the dog melatonin about an hour before bed.
 

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Same thing happened to my poor Wendy. She started doing that around the age of 16 (she had already lost sight from one eye due to glaucoma).

She would walks around in circles doing nothing, staring at the air, or inside the house would stand looking at a wall, totally disconnected. She came back when we called her or gently stroke her. It´s totally senility, like they get the alzheimer´s

They need a nice dog bed to sleep all day on it and receive love, treats and hugs. I don´t think there´s much you can do except give them a good quality of life.

She passed at age 17 (pts when she lost sight of the second eye)
 
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