My sister's little dog (about 14) seems to have become a little less sharp lately - gets lost in familiar places, doesn't always alert that he needs to go out, doesn't always make it outside, can be very clingy (neurotically so, to the point of nonstop wailing when she's not around when he's in this state) and sometimes a little out of it generally. It isn't constant; sometimes he's very bright and alert and bouncy. Their regular vet previously suggested owner take him to a vet specializing in older dogs, so I suspect another trip to the regular vet would be unproductive. Owner is reluctant to try specialist for various reasons, basically boiling down to her concern that it'd be a lot of money for a vague "He's older, and mentally less there" conclusion that she already knows. She's not cheap, but she's feeling upset and hopeless about the situation and does not have the money to spend on just fishing. Any suggestions?
He's in good health otherwise; a larger Yorkie with his normal appetite and weight, maybe slight arthritis. He's had health problems in the past, but bounced back.