Canine (or Feline) Dementia is becoming more recognized. With average of small dogs now easily pushing 14 to 16 years old; large dogs pushing 13 to 15 years old – their brain function may not be able to catch up to their own aging!
Canine (or Feline) Dementia is known as Canine Cognitive Disorder (CCD). The study on this disease is insufficient and early recognition is difficult – both for the owner and the veterinarian.
Common Signs related to Canine Dementia
You may be the owner of an aging cat or dog and you may in fact already see some of these signs. It is useful to recognize these signs for what it is, because then you can approach this issue with your family and the veterinarian more efficiently. Your pet may not need painkillers just because it was howling in the middle of the night~!
You may notice your pet doing the following:
- Playing less (不再活躍)
- Barking or howling for no reason, especially at night (晚上吼叫)
- Sleep mostly throughout the day (日間多睡覺)
- Aimlessly walking or pacing at night (無意識走來走去)
- Unexplained urination and defecation accidents (urinary and/or fecal incontinence) (如厠小意外)
- Different eating pattern (可能食無定時)
- Appearing confused or disoriented (不知身在何處, 似迷惑)
- Becoming stuck under furnitures or in corners (Dysthymia) (走至角落不懂轉身)
Can you treat Dementia?
Dementia is a type of brain degeneration (腦退化) which means you are unlikely to completely reverse the degeneration and the signs.
However, with the help of supplements or medications and exercises to stimulate your pet, you may be able to slow down the speed of degeneration.
Recognizing the signs of dementia is very useful because it helps to prepare you mentally and physically in handling your senior pet. You may need to make modifications to your home, the pet’s feeding pattern and toileting pattern.
Preparing yourself and your pet as it ages is equally (if not even more) crucial to your relationship with your pet. Understanding the importance of food, lifestyle, judicious use of supplements or medicines and exercises will help delay, or possibly even avoid the irreversible damages of brain degeneration.
So start early, be better informed – both for yourself and your pet! Check in with us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with information about pet food, pet science and pet health!
Click below links to read more relevant information in humans and in pets. The science is relatable though not identical.
- This post by Dementia Today outlines early signs seen in humans that suffer from the cognitive dysfunction ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (阿茲海默症). The signs described in this article are very similar to those described in dogs.
- This new research article describes the link between dogs suffering from idiopathic (unexplained) epilepsy (癲癇)