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Posts Tagged ‘senior dog book

Pain is a huge stimulus that will cause your pet to change their behavior. They may become more irritable or even aggression may rear its ugly head. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction will not cause pain, but your pet could be more prone to hurt themselves. If they are going deaf or blind, most dogs can compensate for the change, but if Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is involved, then they may not be able to compensate for their loss. If your dog is not losing their hearing or their sight and they are bumping into things or getting lost, then Canine Cognitive Dysfunction may be in the picture.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is a diagnosis of exclusion which means that it cannot be confirmed in your dog to after death. That means you need to look for other causes that might be linked to your best friend’s issues. Other medical conditions can manifest symptoms that are similar to Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. A tumor or other central neurological disease can be the cause or any disease that affects the entire nervous system such as kidney or liver disease. Diabetes is another issue that can cause such symptoms. If your dog is suffering from a disorder that limits oxygen to the brain the same occurrence can happen.

When you are looking at your dog’s health problems you need to look at both behavioral and medical issues. This would lead you to look at the behavior problems as the primary issue and then the medical problems that might cause the behavior. These medical problems might look like Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, but they can mimic them quite well. It will take your vet to rule out medical condition and both a neurological and physical examination is required. Your vet will see the changes in the neurological exam and will be able to tell you if the behaviors are caused by neurological damage or disorders.

Hearing loss is a natural occurrence of old age. As with humans we loose a little more hearing each year as we get older. This happens to our best friend also. As their hearing slowly goes, the dog will compensate for the loss and adapt behaviors accordingly. With Canine Cognitive Dysfunction the hearing loss can put out signals of confusion and the dog will react differently to the stimuli. For example, if you whistle for your dog and the normal behavior is to come to you, the disorder might confuse your dog and your dog will react in a different way than you would expect. These reactions will vary depending on the amount of hearing loss, the amount degree of the onslaught of the disorder, and the behaviors the dog was demonstrating before when they were younger.

 

House training may go out the window and is a unpleasant symptom of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. No matter how well your dog is house trained; there will be accidents if your dog has the disorder. Your dog may simply go outside and forget what they are outside for and come in and suddenly just go. An older dog has even been known to relieve themselves right in front of their owners. This can be very distressing for the older dog because they know it is wrong but they just can’t help themselves. This is also disturbing for the owners because this is one symptom that cannot be ignored. Retraining is out of the question. If they can’t remember training they have adhered to all their life, they won’t remember the training you administer now.

Canine cognitive dysfunction has many symptoms that can appear all at once or can appear independently. Sometimes these symptoms can just be a manifestation of just old age, but as the symptoms get worse, you can tell that your senior dog needs help. Disorientation is one of the tell-tale signs that your dog could be suffering from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. They will act confused and may wander aimlessly throughout the yard or house. Sometimes they will get stuck and try to come in on the wrong side of the door. In severe cases your dog could be stuck in corners or behind furniture and not know how to get out. They will whine or just give up and stay where they are even though you are calling them.

If you think your dog suffers from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, you need to take some notes before you visit the veterinarian. Your dog is excitable or nervous at the vet’s office so you or the vet will not see the signs of the disorder. You need to inform the vet about what the problem actually is, when it started, how often it occurs, and any other problems that you think is associated with your dog’s behavior and how it is affecting your dog’s quality of life. It is imperative that you detail all the situations and observations that point toward the disorder. Most people have had old pets and some behaviors that are considered normal for an old dog could be the onset of Canine Cognitive Disorder. Just like an elderly human with Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms come on slow and sometimes the disorder is advanced before it is diagnosed. The quality of life can go down for your pet unless you and your vet come to an agreement and start treating the disorder. Once diagnosed, there are things both you and your vet can do to help them cope with their golden years and advancing age.