Health Alert: When Dogs Have “Senior Moments” – Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

September 8th, 2010 by Dan

If you’ve noticed behavioral changes in your aging dog, it could just be due to the passing of years, but it also may be a condition called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. CDS is a behavior disorder that is related to the aging process. It’s also been nicknamed “Canine Alzheimer’s Syndrome.”

Photo by Mollissima!

Symptoms of CDS include:

* Disorientation in familiar places (including the house, yard or even orienting around furniture)
* Disrupted sleep patterns (the dog often sleeps during the day, but wanders or paces at night)
* Failure to recognize commands or name (medical issues must be ruled out)

It is believed that CDS is caused by specific physical and chemical changes that take place in the brain during the aging process.

Photo by woofslc

Research shows that 62% of dogs between the ages of 11-16 exhibit at least one symptom of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. A full veterinary workup should be done if your senior dog is experiencing any behavioral changes. Currently the medication Anipryl (used by humans to treat Parkinson’s disease) has been found to successfully improve symptoms of dogs suffering with CDS.

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2 Responses to “Health Alert: When Dogs Have “Senior Moments” – Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome”

  1. DogLover Says:

    When it comes to my dog, I will do anything and everything to make him comfortable especially in his old age. I do tend to avoid the vet, however, because I find that they try really hard to “sell” you. I couldn’t bear to see my dog go through something like this, however, so if I needed the Pet Medications I’d get them online.

  2. Babs Says:

    @DogLover–Right on! Have hammer, everything is a nail. Too dogmatic, not trained to listen. Expensive frustrating experiences.

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