If you see your dog displays some changes in his behavior, then he may be affected by some conditions. You can check the 10 dog behavior problems you should know. One of them is dementia.
Dementia is a condition when the dog experiences disorder in his cognitive and it is associated with similar characteristics of Alzheimer’s in humans. Dementia can be experienced by dogs and cats. Dementia in dogs is considered as one of the symptoms of aging in dogs.
Dementia is related to the aging of a dog’s brain, and as a result it leads to changes in his behavior. Every dog’s owner, specifically the senior dog’s owner, should be aware of this condition. Do you know that aging in dogs can be recognized from the beginning?
Here you’ll find out the most frequently asked questions on dementia in dogs.
Signs of Dementia in Dogs
Dementia is commonly experienced by dogs over the age of 11. It is estimated that almost 68% of the dogs will suffer from dementia by the age of 15 years old. Dementia mostly affects the comprehension and memory of a dog.
The signs of dementia in dogs range from mild to severe depending as it progresses. The initial symptoms are mild, but they will be worsen over time.
Here are the common signs of dementia in dogs:
- confusion or disorientation – your dog appears lost and confused with the similar surroundings
- fail to remember routines or previously learned training or rules taught before
- extreme irritability
- no longer responding to name calling or familiar commands
- blank staring at walls
- wandering aimlessly
- no longer interested to play
- lack of self-grooming
- learning new task slowly
- loss of appetite
- changes in sleeping cycle, such as night walking or sleeping during the day
It might be difficult to notice the early signs. The signs may be interpreted wrongly as just signs of aging in dogs. However, if you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior as listed above, you should consult with your vet too to prevent worsen condition.
To make sure if your dog is getting dementia, your vet will track the medical history of your dog and conduct some additional tests, such as CT scan, X-rays, MRI, urinalysis or even blood test.
What Causes Dementia in Dogs?
The causes of dementia in dogs are unknown, however, it is commonly caused by the change of the brain function affected by the chemical and physical changes while the aging process. However, cognitive decline due to aging is not the only cause of dementia in dogs. There are some factors or other diseases like brain tumors or trauma that can develop into dementia.
Is There Any Prevention of Dementia in Dogs?
As the cause of dementia in dogs is not known yet, it is difficult to decide the ways to prevent dementia in dogs. However, there are some things you can do to keep your dogs both physically and mentally in order to prevent dementia. You can do the following things to keep their mind healthy:
- spend time playing games together
- make sure they eat balanced and whole food diet – check the essential nutrients your pets should have
- feed them brain-healthy supplements
- regular exercise is needed – you can see simple exercises for your dog to maintain its health
- avoid expose your dog to stressful situations
- allow them having new experience and socialization
- teach them new tricks
Moderate physical activity and mental stimulation by using interactive toys are recommended as they are beneficial to maintain your dog’s mental health. However, pay attention to these dog toys you have to avoid. They might give harmful effect to your dog!
Regarding to exercise, your dog might need some additional practices, include daily routine exercise, feeding and other activities as well. Ensure that your dogs get plenty of exercise, specifically out in the sun.
It will be beneficial for managing the level of anxiety, too. Besides, you can also include some soothing music and aromatherapy too.
For senior dogs, it is also recommended to have a regular health checkup for every 6 months.
Regarding to cure for dementia in dogs, unfortunately, there is no cure found yet. However, there are some treatment for dementia in dogs.
The treatments include prescription drugs, changes of diet, supplements and surgery as well. However, all of these treatments should be consulted with your vet first.
If you have senior dogs, you are supposed to pay more attention and care to them. They need extra care as most of their body functions decline gradually. They will also be exposed to some diseases easily, that’s why it is recommended to have a regular check up every 6 months.