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My mom had mid-stage dementia and lives with me. She has a miniature pincher and lives for Molly, her dog. It's a constant question of "has she been fed", "what was she fed", "who fed the dog", over and over about every 10-15 minutes. If we tell her Molly has, then she argues with us because she doesn't remember. If we tell her to feed the dog and Molly doesn't eat (because she's already eaten), mom will stress over her being sick and upset. We've tried charts, which my mom won't believe because she thinks we hate Molly and wish she would die. I'm at a loss as to how to deal with the constant repeating. Mom doesn't like to leave the house because she's afraid Molly will get upset. I love dogs, but I'm getting frustrated with this one due to the issues she causes me. Molly could be a nice dog, but my mom dotes on her to an unhealthy degree. My Mom has said that she would die without Molly and she is the only reason mom doesn't kill herself. How do I deal with this situation? I would love dearly to get rid of the dog. I have an older dog of my own and the constant feeding of Molly creates friction between the dogs. Molly is fed in my mom's bedroom, but my dog will lay outside her room to try and sneak in to get the food that Molly doesn't eat. It's a constant watching the dogs, and the questions about feeding Molly, and I'm tired.

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Mother and I both spoil her cat. It used to be mine. Mother was in Independent Living and I was living in Colorado visiting every 3 months to take Mom to Dr. appointments, shopping, etc. My Grandaughter and her family were taking care of the cat and my home. When they moved, I came back to take the cat to Colorado. Me and the cat stayed at Mother's for a few weeks before we left. They grew very close. The cat stayed with Mother instead of going back to Colorado with me. Mother is in her 90's. She was having difficulty taking care of kitty and taking meds by herself, and she was having some confusion about what day it was, etc. Her apartment was cleaned once a week and that was not enough to keep Kitty's litter box clean. Mother asked me to come back. I did within two weeks of leaving Kitty with her in January of 2015. Kitty is a Godsend. The three of us have been through a minefield together at Mother's old senior "rouge" facility. They forced Mother out of her apartment and in to Personal Care where neither myself or the cat were permitted to stay with Mother. Mother was injured and declined significantly from their negligence and abuse. I was drug through the mud. They tried to hush me up. There is a history of massive dysfunction in my family with a brother and cousin who barely saw or communicated with my Mother and they started calling the shots together with the facility without my Mother's consent or my consent, I am Mother's POAof Health Care.. much to the dismay of my Mother and myself. Mother, kitty, myself are all grateful to my son who saw the injustice and he managed to get Mother moved to a better facility that is heavenly. Brother finally saw the light when money started flying out of Mother's funds for private Duty Nurses Aides when she needed the care when my hours were cut. Each day is a blessing in the new facility. Kitty cuddles with Mom much of the time. I have hundreds of pictures of them both. Mom likes to look at the pictures. Mom is in bed a lot now. Kitty is right beside her. They hold onto each other. Kitty wakes me up several times a night for me to get up and put food in her dish. Mom wakes me up when she has to go to the bathroom. I am grateful we are all safe here. We take kitty to the groomers for a lion cut, kitty gets medicine 3 times a day just like me and Mother. Mother doesn't miss any appointments for Kitty. My son or his wife stay with Mom so I can go to church or shopping and we get to see the great great grandchildren often. They love Kitty too. This is the close loving family I have always wanted and kitty is right there in the center of everything. My advice is to quit fighting it and shower your LO and their cat or dog with love. Dog spelled backwards is God and cat is ______. They offer unconditional love.
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Hi all pet people responders. Just got back from our nightly walk. Gave them baths. Dried them. Brushed their teeth. Wiped their gums. Sounds like infant/ toddler care. Yesterday was so good. My mom for once didn't repeat. She had been out with a friend for a few hours. Oh welll. Back to normal. The repitition. The total lack of maintaining knowledge of which dog has which collar. Going back to my decision of 2 days ago. Dissociate. Dissociate. Dissociate. Just trying maintain my patience. Going downstairs to clean. Heaven help us all
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Hi no advice just much the same here. Moms not repeating every 10 minutes yet but I'm sure we'll get there. Right now it's 2-3 times in an hour & then again in 3/4 hours. Did he eat? Does he have water? He's hot, He's cold, He's bored.... he's an 80lb indoor German Sheppard. She doesn't like him "trapped" in the back yard or in the house all day so as soon as she awakens she opens the front door & lets him out. No fence--just out for his walk. She's done this for the 10yrs of his life, the letting free part. The constant speculation on his moods & desires has started about a yr ago along with the dementia moving along. Everyone has tried to stop her from letting dog run free for the whole 10yrs. We've been blessed he's a friendly dog in a neighborhood where loose dogs aren't rare. Now that I'm living with her I'm right behind her bringing him back inside & very vigilant that he remains inside or in the backyard. The place he holds in her heart is evident now that due to CHF she is fluid restricted & she pores water into her hand for him to drink! Silly dog drinks it! Her liquid is precious to her but she'll share with him. I'm sure as dementia disease progresses things won't be so easy to deal with.
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Thanks. These guys aren't over weight. They run around a lot . They spend a lot of their day waiting for other dogs that are being walked by their " humans " to go bark at them
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If my memory serves me Triki Woo" was prone to "Flop Bot" which brought the vet to the house for frequent visits. Not only did she pay her bills she also sent treats for "Uncle Herriot" from Harrods.

As far as the diabetes issue is concerned by all means take them to the vet for testing but a sure sign of a dog with diabetes is copious drinking water and not being able to hold their urine. We had german shepherd with it and managed to keep her going for five years which 30+ years ago was quite a feat because you had to test her urine to determine the amount of Insulin to give. These days you can prick a pad and test like a human.
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Wasn't Trikki-Woo a Pomeranian, Erin?

You won't have a clue what I'm talking about, sorry - there was a series of books written under the pseudonym James Herriot about the life of a vet in rural Yorkshire in the 1930s onwards, much later made into a film and a tv series called All Creatures Great And Small. Extremely funny.

Anyway, the local grande dame in the series, whose name escapes me, had a terribly spoiled lap dog called Trikki-Woo which she loved to excess, fed all sorts of unsuitable treats on top of a staple diet of chicken breast poached in cream, and worried about endlessly - very good news for the practice's bank balance but not such fun for the dog, because Mrs Trikki was too soft-hearted to follow the vet's strict instructions about diet and exercise. I can't remember how it came about, but at some point Trikki had to go and stay in the vets' household along with the vets' own dogs - a rapscallion bunch of rough and tumble collies, retrievers and so on.

And of course Trikki was transformed. By the time his stay was up, he was racing around with the rest of them, coat gleaming (if a bit twiggy and muddy), muscle tone of an Olympian, eyes bright, all his ailments forgotten.

So I'm extremely glad to hear about the walks, and long may your mother be able to join in with them too! I suspect that perhaps one reason Poms may be prone to diabetes is that they are also prone to having owners who disregard their need for exercise and allow them to become obese. But a dog is a dog is a dog, hunting pack animals by nature, and it makes no difference whether they're knee-high to a grasshopper or three foot tall at the shoulder.
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You are welcome Sunnygirl. They are very pampered Pomeranians. I clean both of their teeth and gums daily. They are on vet prescribed soft food to aid in digestion. I think I go a little overboard in their care. Meaning I read Poms are prone to get diabetes. I was wondering why our vet hasn't screened for that. Well, because they have no symptoms. They give my mom and me great joy. They are very loved. They also need their daily walks and even though my mom can drive me nuts on these walks , it's something we do together , every day. It's great for her to get off of the couch and move. Doesn't hurt me either. I'm sure it's something I will be thankful for when ever she moves on to the next world , because she really enjoys it. The dogs do too . LOL.
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Thanks Erin, that makes me feel better to know the dog is protected.
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For me, Grammy made the crucial point - that if she wasn't obsessively repetitive about the dog, she'd pick the next most obvious thing instead. This aspect of dementia, the repetition, is incredibly stressful for the caregivers and observers and I hugely sympathise - Teepa Snow's techniques, I believe, are as good as any when it comes to not letting them drive you up the wall.

Meanwhile, though, since you can't easily make things worse than they already are, one additional related source of concern you can do something about; and that's the dog's diet. Remove the food from your mother's bedroom and insist that both dogs in the household share mealtimes together in a more appropriate place. There will be a heck of a row about it, to begin with certainly. But at least it will make a change from the churning discussion about whether or not the dog's eaten; plus it will allow you to ensure the dog is being fed consistently and properly; plus it will remove - eeuw! - dog food and detritus from your mother's sleeping quarters.

How about, getting some soft throw toys for your mother so that she can play with Molly instead? Or one of those puzzle balls with treats inside, even?
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My first thought is that many people dote on their pets that don't have dementia. And when the doting becomes obsession, it's not healthy for the person and especially for the animal. The animal depends on the person for everything, like a small child would be. I think that your mom needs a full work up with a geriatric doctor and see if pharmacuticals could bring some relief for every one involved. It might help if she were in some kind of adult daycare. I think the dog would be more relaxed and happier and so would your mother. Your mother would have something else to divert her attention and would probably obsess less with the dog. The dog deserves to be happy and relaxed too.
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Hi Sunny Girl. No worries. She lives with me. She has no ability or desire to walk them alone. She couldn't . She does not comprehend or if she does remember which collar is for which dog. She doesn't do much with out my supervision. Thanks for your input though. Too add the vet advises against full clensing under anesthesia due to his age 
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My first thought is that if she wasn't repeating this it would be something else. You have to change, she can't (brain broken;-) so I found if I calmly answered the question, yes for the hundredth time, as though it was the first, mom was happy. My sister couldn't stand it and would get upset...this just agitated mom and made her suspicious.

My second thought is that "this too shall pass." With demensia, each stage has it's own challenges but they all pass eventually. Once you come to terms with this, the "dealing with it" gets a little bit easier.

You may want to read some information about validation by Naomi Feil. Good luck.
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At some point, the animal has to be protected. People with dementia may mean well and would not intentionally harm their pet, but, their brain is not working properly.

For me, it wasn't something that I could just let go on and hope it worked out. I learned that I could not believe what my LO told me regarding how she cared for the pet. She imagined things that were not real, forgot things that were crucial and was not responsible enough to care for a pet.

ErinM60,
I would certainly NOT allow a person with dementia to be in charge of an electric collar for a pet. That could be extremely dangerous for the dog and could result in criminal charge regarding animal cruelty. And if a pet needs vet care and doesn't get it, that's a major issue too. If I was not able to intervene to protect the dog, I'd report it to someone who could and I would treat it as an emergency.
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My mother is obsessed with her dog as well , feeds him
Treats all day. We do walk him and my dog daily. I think it's because in her case, he is her constant companion. She repeatedly tells people how smart he is and he is "super dog". She told my friend he's learning to count. Well good for him. lol. He's older. He has some gum issues. To avoid a full cleaning , vet prescribed a gel that I use daily on effected teeth. It's not hard to do. He's too old for full dental cleaning where he would be under anesthesia. My mom can't or won't do it. She doesn't even bring it up. I don't think her dog would be getting the care he needs if she didn't live here. She can't figure out how to take invisible fence collar off and how to put his leash on when we go on walks.
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Antidepressants like sertraline take a couple of weeks to get to full effectiveness. Has it been a month that she's been on it?

Keep the doctor in the loop about the dog obsession; it's clear that this could make or break her ability to be cared for at home.
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My mom just started on Sertraline for depression and Narzamic for memory assistance. We've seen some improvement in her mood but not with the dog. She's calmer about it, but will still continue to feed the dog. She will feed the dog one-two times during the night.
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I can certainly relate to your situation. I encountered something quite similar at one point with my LO. My LO's Vascular Dementia and self imposed isolation caused her to focus and obsess about her beloved cat. She was totally obsessed with her cat to the point that the cat was not happy.

She had to have the cat within her sight at all times or she would freak out. She was constantly worried that the cat would escape the house through a crevice the size of a pea. She also would beg me to buy her 10 cans of cat food every day, even though, she already had over 50 in her cupboards. It was quite disturbing, as it was apparent that the cat, though loved, was causing my LO more pain and anxiety than pleasure. I knew the cat was unhappy, because she started spraying and not using her littler box. At some point, the person with dementia is so obsessed that they cannot be comfortable.

In my situation, I was able to have my LO placed in AL. She was okay with me looking after her cat while she was there getting her health back. Once there, she forgot about the cat. I could barely believe it, but, within a couple of weeks, she never mentioned the cat again. I will say that all of that obsession transferred to people and she would be overly concerned about people's welfare to the point of crying. She was placed on Cymbalta for anxiety and depression and that type of behavior faded. She's content now and doesn't worry, chew her nails or stress out over things.

I might discuss this with your mom's doctor and inquire about medication. It might help her anxiety level and let her relax regarding her dog.

I would not leave her alone though. Except for the early stages, it's quite risky, imo.

If she continues with her behavior, the only thing that I can say is to watch her constantly and prevent her from overfeeding the dog or unintentionally harming the dog. At some point, the dog's welfare has to be considered though. Be assured that the person with dementia will forget about it, so, it will not be something that they will miss long term. It can work out.
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Mom sounds depressed. Has she been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist?

If you think of dementia as being a broken brain, these kinds of obsessions and agitation are sort of understandable ( it doesn't make them any easier to live with!) My mom spent last summer telling us she had leprosy, weeping and wringing her hands. Wouldn't let tell great grandchildren visit.

Sometimes, meds for depression and/or anxiety can help.
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