Signs of dementia in old dogs

January 9, 2013 10:09 pm  Anna    1 Comment

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Just like humans, dogs can get dementia also. But the veterinary term for it is “canine cognitive dysfunction” aka CCD. Its when the brain slowly declines with memory, recognition, thinking and learned behavior. Unfortunately, its untreatable but just like Alzheimer’s for humans, you can slow the process down. If you know the signs you can help your dog with CCD.  Below are some of the signs to help you recognize CCD in your dog.

Via Thais Olivo


1. Separation Anxiety

It can either make some dogs less interested in human contact or make them clingy to their human all day. Some Dogs when left alone will urinate and defecate all over the house. Other Dogs may become frustrated and start chewing at doors and scratching at windows. When Dogs senses start to fail they get nervous and don’t know how to cope alone.

2. Getting lost in the house

When the eyes start to go and they aren’t familiar with where they are, dogs start getting stuck behind furniture or walk into things. I recommend not moving furniture around too much because that can confuse a dog even more. Some dogs just stare aimlessly at walls and objects.

3. Pacing at night

Dogs affected by Alzheimer’s can get their sleeping schedule all turned around. If they sleep too much during the day they end up pacing around the house at night.

4. Non responsive to commands

Not only is this caused by dog dementia it is also a sign of loss of hearing. Since that is common in many older dogs. Its important to keep commands fresh in your dogs head so practice them often so your dog doesn’t forget them too fast.

5. Reduced drinking and eating

Senior dogs can forget to eat or drink since their brain isn’t functioning like it use to. So, it is important to remind by either talking to them or putting a bowl in front of them. But if their is a lack of interest in food it is important to take your dog to the vet to rule out any other health issue he may have. Remember, lack of water can cause a dog to dehydrate so try to make sure your dog drink some water once in awhile.

What can you do to help your dog with dementia?

Like I said above, sadly there is no treatment but there are some helpful solutions to slow down the process of CCD. There are certain senior dog foods and herbs that can help dogs if they have CCD. The best thing to do is ask your vet for advice. Always remember, the closest thing to a cure for dog dementia is unconditional love.

This article is posted and shared with the permission of Sara Hansen of Dog’s Best Life


As always. PGAA strongly recommends an exam by your vet to determine if your dog is suffering from dementia or some other illness.