Cognitive Dysfunction

Pets’ Cognitive dysfunction, also known as dementia, is a pet health condition that can occur as your pet ages. While the exact cause of this condition is not known, it is related to changes in the brain that occur in your pet's senior years. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cognitive dysfunction; however, there are some things you can do to help your pet.

Cognitive Dysfunction

How it Affects your pet

Researchers have yet to understand everything that occurs in the brains of pets with cognitive dysfunction. However, studies have shown that proteins known as beta-amyloids are involved. These chemicals have a negative affect on brain functioning. It is thought that nearly half of pets between ll and 12 are affected by some degree of cognitive dysfunction. In mild cases of this condition, your pet may simply display a bit of confusion and forgetfulness at times. However, as cognitive dysfunction progresses, it worsens. In advanced stages of CD, your dog or cat may have difficulty recognizing you and other family members. It may also forget how to behave appropriately and have frequent housebreaking accidents.

Common symptoms

Since many of the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction are similar to those for other pet health problems; your veterinarian will need to examine your pet to make a proper diagnosis. It is essential to note that while your pet may only display a few of the following signs of CD, another animal may show several. Common Symptoms of Cognitive Dysfunction in Pets: Unable to Recognize Family Members/Other Pets, Confusion/Disorientation, Crying for no Apparent Reason, Sleeping Problems and/or Changes in Sleeping Schedule, Less Active Than Normal, Elimination Accidents, Short Attention Span, Pacing, Staring at Walls, Anxiety and Extreme Behavior Changes.

Treatments

While there are not cures for cognitive dysfunction, treatment can often slow down the progression of the condition. However, this depends on the severity of the symptoms. Special diets and nutritional supplements containing omega 3 and 6 can help sharpen your pet's cognitive functions. Regular exercise and mental stimulation can help slow the progression of the disease as well. Your veterinarian can help you choose exercises that are appropriate for senior pets. Finally, it is important for you to stick to a strict schedule while your pet ages, as it can help to relieve anxiety.

Breeds Affected

Cognitive dysfunction can occur in any breed of dog or cat. This is not a breed-specific condition. However, it typically does not develop until your pet is anywhere from 11 to 12 years old. This is a progressive disease, which worsens over time. In fact, almost 90 percent of animals in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 16 suffer from advanced cases of cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive dysfunction is a common pet health condition among older dogs and cats. While there are no cures for CD, there are some steps you can take to slow down the progression of this disease. Feeding your pet a special diet, giving it omega 3 or 6 supplements, and maintaining a regular exercise regime can all help to reduce the symptoms and progression of cognitive dysfunction.

Cognitive Dysfunction Affects

  • Researchers have yet to understand everything that occurs in the brains of pets with cognitive dysfunction. However, studies have shown that proteins known as beta-amyloids are involved. These chemicals have a negative affect on brain functioning. It is thought that nearly half of pets between ll and 12 are affected by some degree of cognitive dysfunction. In mild cases of this condition, your pet may simply display a bit of confusion and forgetfulness at times. However, as cognitive dysfunction progresses, it worsens. In advanced stages of CD, your dog or cat may have difficulty recognizing you and other family members. It may also forget how to behave appropriately and have frequent housebreaking accidents.

Similar conditions

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