Senile Dementia in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatments
When we decide to welcome a dog in our house we know that this relationship will give us as fruits many positive moments that derive in the beautiful bond between a person and his pet, however, we also accept the great responsibility of giving our animal a good state of health and well-being.
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Dogs are likely to contract numerous diseases, and as with us, some of them are directly linked to the aging process as is the case with older dogs, and although it is very pleasant to have our pet at our side for a long time, this also requires more attention from us.
In this article from YourCatCareguide we talk about the symptoms and treatment of senile dementia in dogs .
What is senile dementia?
Older dogs begin their aging process between the ages of 6 and 10, although it is true that large-breed dogs age first than smaller dogs. The aging process in the dog is associated with a progressive loss of some functions , such as those associated with the sense of sight and hearing, and the sense of smell is the last one that decreases its capacity.
Senile dementia is a disorder that affects older dogs with some frequency and normality and is a disease that we can also observe in humans as they age. Senile dementia is a cognitive dysfunction , which can be translated as follows: the dog begins to lose his ability to reason .
Symptoms of senile dementia in dogs
Symptoms of senile dementia in dogs can also be observed in other pathologies of various kinds, so if you observe any of these manifestations in your pet you should urgently call the veterinarian. The behaviors of the senile dog are as follows:
- The dog does not orient well in space, is lost in places that are familiar to him, can not overcome obstacles and walks to the wrong side of the door (tries to leave the side of the hinge)
- It diminishes the response to various stimuli, one observes loss of interest and does not like human contact, although on the contrary it can develop a behavior of great attachment.
- It presents a lost look and walks with no concrete purpose.
- He is restless and agitated, sleeps during the day and wanders at night.
- It takes time to respond or not respond to commands, it takes time to recognize family members.
- Shows changes in appetite.
- Begins to make your needs indoors.
The owners suffer greatly from the senile dementia of their dog, as they see progressively diminish their powers , but far from isolating in the sadness that this can cause us, we must do everything possible so that our pet passes this stage with the greatest quality of life .
Treatment of senile dementia in dogs
Veterinary attention is imperative , the physician will perform a complete behavioral and physical exploration that allows to verify the diagnosis of senile dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
In the case of confirming the diagnosis we should clarify that senile dementia has no cure, but it is possible to alleviate its symptomatology to improve the quality of life of the elderly dog.
As we will see later, the owner has much to say about the treatment of senile dementia, since the use of drugs is reserved for those cases where degeneration is not severe, otherwise the response to pharmacological treatment may be practically null.
If the veterinarian decides to prescribe a pharmacological treatment, he usually uses the following drugs:
- IMAO (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) : This group of drugs, by inhibiting this enzyme, reduces the action of free radicals, which exerts a neuroprotective function.
- Ginko Biloba : It is the most natural treatment since it is a plant extract that improves the blood supply to the brain and with them the functions of cognition.
- Nicergoline : This active principle increases blood flow to the brain and decreases the release of free radicals, which also exerts a neuroprotective effect.
Accompany the dog with senile dementia
If you are the owner of an elderly dog who suffers from senile dementia, far from getting frustrated, you should know that you can do a lot to improve the quality of your pet’s life :
- Stimulating the sense of touch is of vital importance, caress your dog whenever you can, as long as you do not interrupt your rest.
- Taste stimulation is also important, there is nothing better to feed a dog with senile dementia than the home-cooked, tasty and fragrant food.
- The senile dog perceives his environment as something threatening and generates anxiety before obstacles that he can not overcome. Make sure your environment does not have a barrier that hinders your mobility.
- Respect your dog’s sleep cycle. If you wander around at night, try to provide a safe environment for you to do safely.
- Love him as he never did, and above all, never recriminate his behavior.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles that may be more useful to you, please visit our Mental Problems section .