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Can Your Dog Suffer From Alzheimer's Disease?

18 May 2016 | by muskan aggarwal | Posted in: Wag News

We all know about Alzheimer’s Disease but only a few dog owners are aware of the fact that their pets can also suffer from a similar condition known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS).

A well informed pet owner may be able to help his dog better, so read below for more information on CCDS.

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What Is Cognitive Dysfunction?

It is a degenerative brain disease commonly found in elder dogs. A shrinkage appears in those areas of the brain where memories are made and behaviours are shaped.

This condition ultimately leads to changes in awareness, deficits in learning and memory, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli.

Although a complete cure has not yet been discovered, but a few changes in the lifestyle can help your dog cope with the difficult situation.

CAUSES

There is a specific protein (B-amyloid) that forms plaques inside the brain. These plaques likely contribute to the cell death and shrinkage of the brain.

Many of the substances that transmit messages within the brain appear to be altered.

SYMPTOMS

  • Their sleep cycle may be abnormal, often sleeping more during the day but less as night
  • They may lose interest in interacting with the people
  •  A house-trained dog may suddenly start having “accidents” in the home
  • They may develop obsessive licking, barking, separation anxiety or drooling and panting
  • These pets also find it harder to deal with new situations
  • They often wander aimlessly or in circles 
  • You might find them staring at walls or at corners for unusual periods of time
  • The pet may have also become more timid or aggressive

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

1. Antioxidant-Rich Diet

Vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin E, and fatty acids may prove good for the affected pet.

You should also include fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkin, and spinach to his daily meals.

2. Behavioural Enrichment

The idea is to keep your pet’s brain active and engage him in anything that encourages activity, curiosity, and thinking.

You should simply spend more time petting and interacting with him. Playing with and walking your pet regularly is also quite useful.

The early signs are subtle and pet owners may find them difficult to spot, so its always best to consult a veteran if your dog starts showing suspicious behaviour.

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