Well, your senior dog may forget the regular morning walk route, or may not enjoy things it once heavily enjoyed to do. Or lets say a sudden change in behavior, like not chasing after its favorite toy, or greeting you at the door. These before mentioned points may indicate that your canine friend is experiencing senior moments. More precisely speaking, the dog may be stepping into a condition called as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or CCD. We can call this, dog’s version of Alzheimer's.
1.Restlessness and anxiety
3.Loss of desire to play
4.Excess of licking
5.Showing less interest in the activities the dog once used to enjoy
6.Slow to learn new tricks
7.Forgetting the same routes while having a walk
8.Less interest in self-grooming
10.A sudden change in the sleep cycle
1.Staring and getting lost for a prolonged period.
2.Occasional peeing and pooping.
3.Barking randomly for no reasons.
4.Not responding to any commands.
The exact cause(s) is or are unknown, but experts most commonly accuse the genes for this condition.
The vet will need a thorough history of the pet, which includes the onset or origin, and nature of the symptoms. The vet will then conduct a complete physical examination of the pet to understand the health of the dog. Again he might suggest a test to understand the cognitive abilities of the dog at present. To overrule the possibility of other diseases, the vet might also conduct some tests like ultrasound, a routine blood test, or an X-ray examination.
Canines suffering from this condition need lifelong therapy sessions. However, the owner’s help may also do magic, in making the world a better place for the dog. It is indeed sad, but the dog cannot be cured of this disease. The owner instead will have to maintain a stimulating and healthy environment for the animal to slow down the progression of this condition. To execute this, the owner will have to impose a strict routine for the dog which will include things like an hour-long exercise session, along with a play session and a regular training activity.
In addition to these abovementioned ways, the vet may also suggest a special balanced diet comprising healthy nutrients to help increase the dog’s cognitive abilities to some extent. This particular diet will include things like antioxidants, vitamin A and C, flavonoids, selenium, carotenoids, carotene, carnitine and omega 3.
The owner will have to consult with the vet for this option. The ingredient Selegiline hydrochloride, more commonly known as Selgian, is shown to work in many dogs to prolong the activity of dopamine.
The vet will evaluate the dog’s condition frequently and will also monitor its response towards the therapies given, along with the progression level of the animal. However, if the owner notices any type of behavioral changes in the dog, he should immediately inform the vet about it. For dogs who are doing well with the treatments, they will only need yearly checkups.