It is well known that ageing takes a toll on our entire body including our brain and the same goes for our pets. So if you think your pet may be acting a little senile don't worry, you are not losing your mind.
Research confirms that our pets suffer from dementia too and the disease that affects dogs (known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) has many similarities to Alzheimer's disease in humans.
The signs of canine dementia can be classified by the acronym DISHA:
D: Disorientation: dogs often end up stuck in a corner or go to the hinge side of the door to be let out
I: Interaction: lack or decreased levels of interaction with family members or other pets
S: Sleep pattern is disturbed
H: House training is lost
A: Activity levels decreased
While canine dementia has been recognised for some time, there is now increasing evidence that cats may suffer from senility too.
Signs commonly include:
- vocalising more or in an odd manner
- failure to groom themselves
- forgetting how to use a litter tray
- appearing agitated particularly when they should be sleeping
The most important point to remember is that there are many other diseases that can lead to any of the signs of dementia so diagnosis involves assessment of your pet and elimination of other diseases.
Thankfully we have a few treatment options up our sleeve so ask us about the prescription diets we have available as well as a medication that may help improve brain function.