What is Dementia in Dogs?
As your adorable pooch ages, they experience some form of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction regardless of what breed they belong to. According to a study conducted at a Behavior Clinic of the University of California, it has been found that about 28 % of dogs in the age group of 11-12 years and 68 % of dogs in the age group of 15-16 years are subjected to visible symptoms of canine dementia. Tough dementia in dogs can be caused by a number of reasons, but dementia in senior dogs is due to abnormal beta-amyloid protein accumulation in the brain. This protein accumulation creates a plaque buildup in the dog brain which gradually damages the nerves. The result is the dog’s brain ceases to function well, decorating his memory and forgetting learned behaviors.
What Are the Visible Symptoms of Canine Dementia?
It is quite hard to diagnose canine cognitive dysfunction as the visible symptoms of canine dementia can be similar to other aging diseases in dogs. Let’s say your dog is not interested in going for walks, you can’t be sure if your dog is suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction or if he is affected by arthritis. If your dog shows loose bladder dementia might not only be the reason, it might be because of kidney disease, diabetes or might be simply he has drunk more water. Some visible symptoms of canine dementia
- Sleep-wake cycle disturbances
- Generalized anxiety
- Lower threshold for aggression
- Decreased activity levels
- Inappropriate vocalization (howling, barking or whining)
- Repetitive behaviors (pacing)
- Elimination disorders
- Staring at walls
- Fewer social interactions
- Disorientation (getting “lost” in the house)
However, if you are looking for visible symptoms of canine dementia it might be confusing sometimes so it is better to consult a vet before you decide that your dog have Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.
Treating Dementia in Dog (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction)
Though there are a wide variety of options available for treating dementia in a dog. Some of them are listed below consult your vet as to which will be more effective for your dog’s condition.
- Cannabidiol a natural constituent of cannabis is one of the effective medications for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction which not only cures anxiety but also cures epilepsy.
- Melatonin supplements are also of great medication source.
- Essential oils and Omega-3 fatty acids are also often used to help dogs suffering from Canine Cognitive
- Treatment with herbs like lemon balm, gingko, bacopa, and Gotu cola also helps a lot.
- Selgian/Anipryl has been shown to be effective for dementia in dogs by prolonging the activity of your dog’s remaining dopamine.
Preventing Dementia in Senior Dogs
As your dog gets older he should be having twice yearly check-ups. Read here to know about dog aging signs. That way they can help differentiate between normal aging and what's pathological or wrong. Engage your dog in interactive activities as much as you can. Teach him new tricks, play with puzzle toys, and try a low-impact dog sport like nose work or canine freestyle also known as dancing with dogs with our funky, cool and classy looking leggings for dog-lovers. When it comes to the brain, the old adage “use it or lose it” applies as much to pets as it does to people. Help your dog use his brain and he will reap the benefits.
You can read more about dogs in the blog section of Pup N Paws.