The older your dog, the more susceptible they are to developing diseases and illnesses. Dogs suffer cognitive decline over the years, which can end up with them getting stuck behind the furniture or having frequent ‘accidents’ around the house.
All these signs are actually pointing toward a serious condition known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or dementia in dogs.
What is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction?
This is a condition due to which a dog becomes senile. Dementia causes brain cells to wither away. As a result, the dog experiences memory loss, confusion, and disorientation.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction can manifest itself in a number of ways in dogs. Here are some signs that can help you spot dementia in your dog:
Just like one of the first signs of dementia in humans is memory loss, it’s the same for dogs too. Dogs tend to forget familiar aspects of their lives like the daily route they take for their walk, what the house looks like, and even where their owner is in the house. In the advanced stage of dementia in pets, they may also forget their owners.
Confusion is another common symptom of dementia among humans. While doing something, you suddenly find yourself lost, wondering what it was you had to do next. The same is experienced by dogs, too. If you find your dog looking lost or staying absolutely still in the middle of their favorite park, you should know something is wrong.
Dogs are known to have personalities; some are super friendly and will enjoy the company of strangers; others might be very possessive of their owner. The more years you spend with a dog, the more you realize what their personality is like.
If your friendly dog gets irritated around new people at the park or gets aggressive, it’s a sign of dementia. Dogs who would otherwise love interacting with other animals and humans might withdraw themselves from social interactions when they’re experiencing dementia.
Dogs that are trained well don’t bark much; in fact, one command yelled by their owner is enough for them to stop. Persistent barking, as well as whining and growling for no reason, can be a sign that something is wrong; they could either be in pain or it could be a sign of dementia.
Treatment for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
There’s no cure as yet for dementia in dogs. However, your vet can prescribe medication, behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes and supplements that can help slow down the progression of the condition.
A popular supplement used for dogs is CBD oil. This oil can target the endocannabinoid system of your dog to improve their symptoms of dementia. The consumption of this oil can reduce neurotoxicity and inflammation in the brain. Cannabinoid receptors are found in key parts of the brain, including the part that’s affected most by dementia.
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