If you notice that your older dog is exhibiting behavior problems, it may be senility or cognitive dysfunction that accounts for the behavior. Senility and cognitive dysfunction affects dogs in the same way that Alzheimer’s disease affects humans. Recent medical studies have shown that many senior dogs with senility and cognitive dysfunction problems have lesions in their brains that are very similar to what is seen in Alzheimer’s patients.
Studies undertaken by major companies in the pet industry have revealed that 62% of all dogs ten years of age and older will experience at least some of the following symptoms, which usually indicate canine cognitive dysfunction:
* Confusion or disorientation that causes a dog to get lost in its own yard, or to wander aimlessly around the house, and become trapped in a corner or behind furniture.
* An obvious decreased level of activity.
* Constant pacing during the night, or being unable to sleep at night.
* Anxiety and increased irritability.
* An increase in barking, whining, or howling.
* A decreased ability to perform common tasks or to respond to its owners’ commands.
* Long periods of inattentiveness, appearing to just stare into space.
* A continuing inability to recognize family members or old friends.
To make the correct diagnosis of senility or cognitive dysfunction, a veterinarian first has to rule out other possible causes of the dog’s behavior problems. A marked decrease in activity may not be caused by senility or cognitive dysfunction, but might be due to advancing arthritis or hip dysplasia that could be successfully treated with Winston’s Joint System. Dogs who suffer from severe joint diseases such as arthritis, bursitis, osteochondrosis (OCD), hip dysplasia or other degenerative problems with the shoulders, elbows and hocks are able to experience immediate and long-term relief without dangerous drugs when given a daily regimen of Winston’s Joint System. Winston’s is a combination of three, totally-natural whole food supplements developed by a Naturopathic Doctor for his own dog. There are no side-effects and there are no dosage problems because your dog’s body uses only what it needs.
If it is determined that your dog does not have physical problems and is suffering from senility or cognitive dysfunction, a vet will probably prescribe one of the major drugs, Selegiline or Anipry. These drugs are not a cure for senility or cognitive dysfunction but can alleviate some of the symptoms. If a dog responds well to either of these drugs, it will need to be given the medication every day for the rest of its life. There are some unpleasant side effects with these two drugs so it’s important to ask your vet what these side effects are and how dangerous they might be to your pet before you decide on administering these drugs to your dog.
An excellent supplement that can help aging dogs is Winston’s Senior Complete Multi vitamin and mineral supplement. This is a powerful and complete once-daily multi vitamin for dogs that are five years and older. This complete multi vitamin contains almost 50 active ingredients from the healthiest sources available.
It’s vitally important that dogs who are diagnosed with senility or cognitive dysfunction continue to be exercised and played with on a regular basis. If your senior dog is experiencing behavior problems, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have your dog tested and evaluated to determine if senility or cognitive dysfunction is accounting for the drastic change in behavior.
Early intervention and proper, loving care can help your dog have a more happy and healthy life in its senior years.