It is important to remember that one of the most common problems in older dogs is cognitive dysfunction or dementia. You should know that it features similar symptoms as Alzheimer’s disease in people, which means that you can expect both memory loss and altered behavior.
Keep in mind that these changes will require you to act completely different from before, so you should learn about all aspects before the problem occurs.
The problem will affect your canine friend, but you can reduce adverse side effects by learning everything about this particular problem. We recommend you check out dogs and dementia to learn more about treating this specific problem.
Let us start from the beginning.
What is Dogs’ Dementia?
We have mentioned above that senior dementia in dogs features the same symptoms and effects as Alzheimer’s disease that affects humans. Of course, we can also call it CCD or canine cognitive dysfunction.
We cannot say that this particular problem is a disease per se since numerous symptoms affect your dog’s memory, behavior, and mood, among other things.
It is something that will gradually increase unless you do something to relieve the symptoms. The severity of symptoms depends on its age and other factors such as diet and lifestyle.
According to experts, at least thirty percent of dogs between eleven and twelve years old display signs of dementia. At the same time, this particular problem increases as they reach fifteen years old for seventy percent, something you should remember.
We can differentiate four essential types of canine dementia including:
- Confusional Syndrome – This particular problem leads to a severe decline in cognitive functions, which is similar to Alzheimer’s in people.
- Hyper-Aggressiveness – Since the levels of happy hormone or serotonin will decline as your canine friend ages, the problem can lead to severe aggressiveness, which is something you should treat as soon as possible.
- Dysthymia – Another problem includes loss of awareness, disorientation, and overall confusion that will happen to your dog.
- Involutive Depression – Finally, you should know that dementia could lead to significant anxiety and depression, which is similar to symptoms that people experience, such as loss of enthusiasm, lack of appetite, and other problems that come with it.
You should click here to learn more about canine cognitive dysfunction.
Signs That Your Dog Has Dementia
As soon as your dog gets older, you should be highly aware of different changes that may happen to it. Therefore, we recommend you to learn how to understand signs that your dog ages, which will help you treat the potential side effects and symptoms. If you want to buy the healthy puppies foufoupuppies provides you the cutest range of puppies.
Of course, changes will not happen overnight, which is why you should learn how to spot and notice them, which will help you reduce the potential problems that may occur.
Some symptoms are transparent, while others are hidden until they reach the threshold point. The most common dog dementia symptoms include:
- Lack of interaction with other pets and people
- Aggressive behavior
- Lack of appetite
- Changes in habits
- Soiling the household without a reason
- Repetitive behaviors
- Starring at walls
- Inability to sleep as before
As soon as your canine friend enters old age, you should know that it will start to lose house training, which is an essential indication that something is wrong. If you notice that your dog starts defecating or urinating in the house, it means that you should call a vet to check it out.
This particular problem may lead to significant frustration to the owner, especially if you get upset and start yelling at it, affecting the human-animal bond you nourished for years. Besides, it can affect your life quality, which is why you should determine the course of action.
Another problem that can happen includes disorientation within a household, going on the wrong side of a door, and staring at walls for no reason. Therefore, dementia can lead to serious problems in which your dog will start to get lost in corners of the house it knew well beforehand.
The common problems include crying, whining, and barking without reason, which is another indication that you should call a vet and determine all your options.
Generally, excessive vocalizations can happen due to anxiety, fear, stress, and confusion, leading to aggression.
Another common problem includes aggressive behavior, which is more common in dogs with dementia, especially since their patience and tolerance threshold is lower than before.
Willing and patient dogs will show signs of sudden aggressions such as biting and growling, which is why you should not keep children and other pets around them.
Besides, your canine friend will not sleep properly as beforehand and display repetitive behaviors such as pacing and licking.
You may notice symptoms such as running away from you or other pets in your household and decreased appetite.
Reasons and Causes of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD)
These symptoms and problems we have talked about in the last paragraph tend to happen due to numerous reasons, while the most common one is getting older, which causes changes in brain tissue.
Even though we cannot determine the exact causes of dementia, you should know that similarities between people and dogs are significant.
Brain neurons accumulate specific proteins that lead to neuron breakdown, which will change the way our brain transmits information. Therefore, the lack of knowledge and signals means that your dog will not be the same anymore, which is a fact you should remember.
It is vital to enter this guide: https://www.wikihow.com/Manage-Cognitive-Dysfunction-in-Senior-Dogs to learn how to manage canine cognitive dysfunction.
As soon as you notice symptoms, you should call a veterinarian to ensure that your canine friend does not have other potential problems apart from CCD. He/she will ask you specific questions about everyday issues and behavior changes, which will help the vet diagnose a problem.
Besides, a veterinarian will use a scale that can determine the quality of life. That way, he/she will diagnose potential dementia problems and determine whether behavior reached a point of no return.
This particular scale will check for Happiness, Hygiene, Hydration, Hunger, Hurt, Mobility, and More, which will help you assess dogs’ quality of life and level of dementia.