Dogs Can Suffer from Dementia, Too

April Livingston | December 27th, 2018

It’s not something that is talked about all that often when it comes to older dogs. However, it is more common that you might think for a dog to suffer from dementia, much like their human counterparts. The first sign of the ailment is something that is subtle and therefore might not alert a family that their beloved family member is suffering. It may start as them just seeming different or a change in behavior like not wanting to be around the family anymore. So, what does it mean? Well, experts say that dog could have a horrible human disease that can be difficult to watch. A dog named Dakota had began acting strange and his family took him to a veterinarian. That’s where the dog was officially diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction, also known as CCD.

A woman named Dr. Melissa Bain works at the University of California Davis as animal behavior expert. She says that CCD is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the same changes that humans encounter are the same that dogs have, caused by changes in the brain. That can then lead to changes in behavior that alert humans to the issue. For dogs, dementia can start around age 9 or 10. It is believed that around sixty percent of dogs between fifteen and 16 have one of the symptoms of CCD. Some of the most common symptoms include changes in sleep patterns, loss of house training, and even not recognizing their owners. They could even get lost in their home or show signs of aggression.

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While there is no known cure for CCD, the symptoms can be slowed down with a special diet that is high in antioxidants. The best thing to do if you believe your dog has CCD is to take them to a veterinarian for an examination.

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