Cognitive dysfunction syndrome in dogs is a condition seen usually in senior animals which is characterised by cognitive decline. It can be caused by aging changes in the brain from small bleeds to reduction of normal neurotransmitters (which are needed to relay messages throughout the brain), or the increase of free radicals which can cause damage to normal brain tissue.
Some behavioural changes you may see in your dog if they have cognitive dysfunction may include:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of learned behaviours such as appropriate toileting
- Change in interactions with known people or other pets
- Increased anxiety
There are a few ways to slow the progression of cognitive dysfunction syndrome by making sure your pet is both mentally and physically stimulated.
Environmental enrichment is very important so ensure they have access to toys and also stimulation from training, play and exercise.
There are also special nutritional factors and medication which can help slow the progression of the disease.
If you think your older friend may be showing some of these signs, contact the clinic and book an appointment with one of our friendly vets to ensure your pet is getting the best quality of life in their old age.