Elderly humans are prone to suffering from dementia with the risk of Alzheimer’s, but did you know that dogs can suffer from this disease, too?
When a dog reaches a certain age, one of the worst things you can imagine them having is cancer. But, contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer’s disease in dogs is quite common, especially since they age faster than humans do. AtlantaPetHospice.com has more on this.
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
Also referred to as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, this causes the brain to undergo physical and chemical changes. This results in deterioration in the way a dog learns, remembers, and thinks, which can be a problem because this may trigger behavioral changes that can affect you and your dog.
One of the symptoms that may manifest in your dog when they have an onset of the disease is that they may become lost or wander aimlessly in familiar places like your house or backyard. They may even find it difficult to move around familiar furniture and corners.
Another symptom is that when they become withdrawn and unwilling to interact – go outside for walks or even play. Others include unfamiliarity with family members and toys; difficulty in learning new commands or routes; are hesitant to drink or eat; and experience frequent shakes and tremors whether they are sitting, standing, or lying down.
If you think your dog has CDS, then it may be part of the large percentage of dogs 10 years and older that exhibit the symptoms of the disease.
Once their cognition starts to deteriorate, they start to lose the ability to compensate for discomfort, adding anxiety to their suffering. The combination between their physical health problems and cognitive dysfunction is a crippling duo.
There is no cure for this disease yet, but some of the treatments include nutritional supplements, particularly DHA, and various antioxidants to slow the development of mental decline. Others methods include maintaining a healthy diet, staying mentally active, and getting lots of exercise.
For owners that cannot handle seeing their pets suffering, some may even consider euthanasia, which is widely offered now.
When your pet faces this disease, it is not just them that suffers, but you, too. In the end, it is still your decision on how they spend the remainder of their lives.