Dog Cognitive Disorder

Dogs can be affected by a degenerative disease like Alzheimer's disease in humans. This is formally called canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer disease in humans, dog cognitive dysfunction syndrome causes behavioral changes that are not normal in the canine aging process. This condition affects mostly dogs aged 11 years and above. There are similar studies about this dog health issue that revealed that 48% of dogs with ages 8 years and older, 62% of dogs 11 to 16 years of age and 100% of dogs 16 years of age and older exhibited at least one of the changes that occurs in dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS).

The symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in dogs can be abbreviated with the following acronym: D.I.S.H.

D - Disorientation
I - Interaction changes
S - Sleep changes
H - House soiling

Dogs who have CDS or cognitive dysfunction syndrome have been seen to be disoriented with familiar surroundings. Your dog with CDS can have a hard time locating his favorite area where he naps or sleeps. In some cases, your dog will have a harder time of locating your doors. Regarding interaction changes, he may not remember to do as he is commanded; even simple commands like “Stay” and “Sit” can elicit strange responses from your dog. Dog with this kind of problem may not even recognize your family members, familiar people or your friends; he may even act hostile to them. Sleep habits of your dog may change with this condition, he may sleep more during daytime than at night; depression can also be seen wherein your dog seems lethargic and lack energy or enthusiasm with favorite activities.

About the house soiling category of symptoms, house-trained dogs may have accidents in your house. Your dog may even forget where he is and have a hard time making his way around your house. He will usually urinates and defecates anywhere or even inside the house.

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome in itself is not fatal to your dogs, but complications arising from this disease can seriously harm your dog. The symptoms like disorientation and interaction changes can lead to situations that can seriously physically and emotionally harm your beloved dog.

If your dog is exhibiting the above-mentioned behavior or symptoms for no apparent reason, it's wise and best to consult your veterinarian for proper recommendation to alleviate and control this dog health problem.

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