Is Canine Dementia a Real Thing?
Cognitive dysfunction syndrome, often known as senile dementia, is a condition that causes a combination of symptoms in older dogs as the central nervous system ages.
It can show as early as seven years old. However, it is most typical after 10 or 11 years.
A reduction in the number of neurons and neurotransmitters that carry information between them, as well as degeneration of specific central nervous system components, experts say cause it.
Canine dementia is a chronic condition with a progressive course. Although vitamins and specific activities can help postpone the onset of symptoms or their development, it is an incurable disease.
Similarities between human and dog brains.
Like humans, the central nervous system of the dog's brain burns down with time, causing moments of bewilderment, loss of memory, sleep difficulties, and behavioral changes such as improper urination and feces.
If your dog has recently displayed some of these signs, you should be aware that, though the disease has no cure, there is a therapy that can help to postpone the sickness.
Living with an aging dog necessitates certain adjustments to one's everyday routine.
It's important to remember that your pet is no longer a puppy and may not be as eager to play as it once was. Both the dog and the owner must adjust to this disease and make certain modifications in the environment to adapt to his surroundings more easily.
Senile dementia in dogs frequently results in depression in animals.
When this happens, the dog loses interest in activities he formerly enjoyed, like going on a walk, playing with a ball, or eating his favorite food.
The owner must be aware of these behaviors and recognize them as soon as possible to begin treatment.
Dogs and senile dementia.
The first thing to keep in mind is that large breeds age faster than small breeds, so it is more likely that senile dementia will appear earlier in large breeds. The age of seven years is approximate because there are cases that appear earlier.
It is one of the symptoms that appear when dogs are already very old and indicate that we should prepare for the death of our dog at some point in the future.
These are some of the symptoms that a dog with this syndrome present:
● Problems when urinating or defecating. He does not remember the places where he used to do it, he is incontinent and does it in the most unexpected places.
● Avoidance of social behaviors typical of a dog such as petting.
● Reversed sleep cycle and problems at night: wandering around the house and restless sleep.
● Altered appetite.
● Anxiety and increased irritability.
● Lost or fixed gaze.
● Spatial confusion: getting lost in familiar places and becoming disoriented.
There are several guidelines of our habits that we can change so that both the owner and the dog can cope with the disease as well as possible.
Treatment for dogs with senile dementia
● Your dog's favorite food may become unappealing. Instead, serve him rice dishes topped with raw olive oil-seasoned chicken and veggies (without onions).
● Take your pet on walks, adjusting the amount of exercise to its physical condition. This will improve your dog's sociability while also strengthening your relationship with him.
● If your dog is irritable, your veterinarian may recommend tranquilizers for a short period of time.
● Play interactive fetch activities with your dog to improve his or her sense of smell.
● Add auditory, tactile, oral, and olfactory environmental cues to the dog's surroundings. When the dog is angry, for example, some forms of music might be sedative.
● Promote your pet's positive actions by rewarding him for them. This will make him feel better.
● Finally, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Consult your veterinarian about your dog's symptoms.
A pet sitter can become your greatest ally
Many working people employ the services of dog sitters or dog boarding kennels, despite the fact that it may be tough at first to leave your trusty companion with a stranger.
Pet sitting is offered in practically every city and works similarly to kid daycare in that you leave them off in the morning and pick them up at a specific time. Pick-up services are even available from dog sitters.
Explain the dog's unique requirements to the pet sitter.
A qualified pet sitter would always inquire as to whether the dog has any unique requirements. If this is the case, it is vital to tell the caregiver and have the assurance that he or she will be able to follow the routine in that regard.
It is a mistake to put the dog's training therapy on hold for a few days because the owner has to travel.
That is why it is essential to instruct the caregiver on how to interact with him in specific situations or to seek for a caregiver who has received canine education training.
If the dog is on medication or needs daily injections, be sure the pet sitter can keep up with the treatment or search for someone who has had veterinary training. And, of course, don't forget to mention if the animal has any allergies.