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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10859
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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I have an elderly Staffie he was arescue so not sure of exact

Customer Question

I have an elderly Staffie he was arescue so not sure of exact age but maybe 13 /14. He appears to have sundowners hes fine in the day ,calm and settled and starts getting agitated around 5pm and it gets worse as the evening progresses hes always been a bit highly strung and whiney but the whines have now escalated to full scale yapping hes panting and pacing .I have mentioned it to my vet and we tried a drug used to calm dogs when fireworks are being let off but its not had any effect at all.His behaviour is causing massive stress! Any suggestions?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 4 years ago.

Hello Shirley, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Sid hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

The behavior you're describing is actually fairly common for many dogs but it is nonetheless distressing for all of them and their owners.

We have fairly limited options when it comes to Sundown Syndrome which is usually secondary to dementia... which may be mild or severe...but we do have quite a few supplements which appear to help a large number of dogs with this condition. Of course, they don't appear to help every dog, unfortunately, but would be worth a try. Most all of them are available on the internet.

The only drug licensed for use in dogs for this disorder is Selegiline but I've been quite disappointed in the results thus far.

1. Cognitive supplements such as Neutricks, SAMe (Novifit) and Senilife may be useful for some dogs.


2. Combinations of antioxidants such as Golden Years (Sogeval *) or Cell Advance 440 (VetriScience)


3. High dose fish oils; Welactin or 3V Capsules are specifically formulated for dogs which is why I mention specific name brands.

4. Combination of Acetyl-l-cystine and alpha lipoic acid (200mg/400mg)

5. Many dogs will benfefit from Melatonin which can help them relax and to sleep better at night; it's also a potent anti-oxidant. The dose would be 6 mg which I'd probably give to Sid around 4 pm. Nature's Bounty is a good manufacturer.

6. Diets such as B/D (which is a prescription diet from your vet) or the Purina senior diet with MCT oil may improve cognition and reduce anxiety for many dogs.


I also encourage owners to actively engage and play with their dogs to help with mental stimulation. Regular exercise is also a good thing to keep the blood flowing to the brain.


I hope this helps and that you see improvement with his behavior. Again, my apologies for the delayed response. Deb