If your dog is over 7-years-old, he may be at risk for age-related cognitive decline.
Studies have shown 28 percent of dogs ages 11-12-years-old and 68 percent of dogs ages 15-16-years-old have one or more signs of mental issues.
The symptoms of dementia in dogs are very similar to the disease in humans.
Canine Dementia or Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) is caused by physical changes to an aging dog's brain and can lead to changes in a dog's awareness, memory, and ability to learn, all of which can lead to changes in behavior.
Most closely resembling dementia or Alzheimers in humans, initial symptoms of CCD are often mild, but "cognitive decline" will gradually become worse.
· Pacing back and forth or in circles
· Staring into space or walls
· Appearing lost or confused
· Failing to get out of the way
· Barking for no apparent reason and/or for long periods
· Forgetting trained behavior
· Startling easily
· Trembling for seemingly no reason
· Falling off things
· Growing withdrawn, fearful, and anxious
· Disinterest in food and incontinence
There is no cure for CCD, but oral medication such as Deprenyl can treat some symptoms by increasing dopamine in a dog's brain. A special diet loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, flavonoids, Omega 3 fatty acids are considered appropriate for boosting brainpower.
Also, physical activity, play, and mental stimulation may help. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and implementing a treatment program can slow the decline of CCD and extend your dog's life. Senior wellness exams play a significant role in diagnosing CCD and ways to help your senior live a quality life.
At Living Grace Canine Ranch, every resident has a WellCare plan encompassing annual medical/dental exams, nutrition/supplements, enrichment activities, and therapeutic massage.
Caregiving cognitively impaired seniors such as residents Cora Claus, Grandma Bell, Mama & Precious is our honor and privilege.
It's also a treasured opportunity to experience a moment of shared tranquility as we both stare at the wall in deep mindful meditation, feeling surrounded by the golden light of LOVE.