More and more, family dogs are living well into their late teens, thanks to advances in modern pet care and veterinary science.
Dogs can live long and happy lives, but, like people, are prone to developing cognitive dysfunction and decline.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) is becoming far more recognised as we see dogs living longer and longer. CCD is remarkably similar to the Alzheimer and Dementia, well documented conditions in the human literature.
CCD results in pathological changes in the brain which result in symptoms including:
- Disorientation and Confusion
- Loss of Motor Function
- Sleep-Wake Cycle Disturbance
- House Soiling
- and more.
Many medical conditions can mimic the symptoms of CCD, so the first step is performing blood and urine testing to rule out and underlying or contributing medical issue. From here, your veterinarian will work with you and your pet to decide if your dog may be suffering from CCD, and whether they may benefit from treatment.
Thankfully, there is more and more research being done on CCD, and as such, vets are always learning new ways to help manage this condition and allow affected dogs to live a comfortable life.
Treatment options include medication to improve neurotransmitter function and blood flow to the brain, supplementation with fatty acids, enrichment activities to stimulate and preserve brain activity, and dietary modification.