Over time, you may notice your pup slowing down, acting different, and even forgetting how to pull off a signature trick. That’s probably because your dog has canine cognitive dysfunction or dementia.
Canine cognitive dysfunction
Like humans, the cognitive function of humans declines with age. Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) may even be compared to Alzheimer’s in humans. It sucks, but it happens. One study revealed that 6 out of 10 dogs over the age of 11 will exhibit signs and symptoms of CCD.
Signs and symptoms of CCD
Some of the most common signs of CCD include:
- Longer, more frequent naps
- Forgetting tricks
- Wandering without purpose
- Urinating inside and on furniture and carpet
- Not responding to name calls
- Getting stuck in odd places
The only way to diagnose a dog with CCD is to visit your regular vet. A physical exam will be conducted, and tests like CT scans, MRIs, and blood work may be carried out to rule out other conditions.
Treating CCD/doggie dementia
Currently, there is no cure for CCD. This may be depressing news as the condition will get worse over time. However, that has not stopped many dogs from living full, comfortable lives.
Popular treatment options include medication and supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids that help support cognitive function. It may also include a change in diet.
You can also make your dog’s life a little easier by creating a daily routine, and by keeping the house as it is so that your dog doesn’t get confused. Look into additional pet-proofing to avoid accidents, and provide additional designated urinating areas to prevent unintentional messes.