Dogs do get on in years. No matter how much we want them to stay young; we cannot deny the fact that like humans, they too grow old. Though the signs of aging might be subtler on them, still it does not excuse us from thinking that they grow old, and that they have special needs once they get onto this stage in their lives.
Just like the elderly people, there are a lot of changes that occurs within a dog’s body. Gray fur might be seen, though this is not a common sight for us. Or your pet might seem to move much slower than they normally do (unless your dog’s a slowpoke). Your pet might also have problems with regards to memory; with previously acquainted persons seeming like strangers in their eyes. Is it even possible for dogs (or even cats for that matter) to lose their memory?
Apparently, the answer is yes. For those studying veterinary medicine, this might not be a new piece of information to be intrigued about. However, for those who do not, or might have, some knowledge on the specifics of dog health, this might be a very vital piece of information that might help them in taking care of their pets. This disease, which also plagues humans, is known as Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (SDC), or much more commonly known as Alzheimer’s Disease.
This neurologic/cognitive disease is a rare disease that affects dogs. According to vets, this disease is caused by some chemical changes within the brain. More specifically, this chemical, known as dopamine, is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for making sure that the brain functions normally. To make things simpler, if dopamine levels go way too low than what normally is present in the brain, memory and cognition will be affected. Thus, cognitive and behavioral changes will manifest eventually.
Dogs Bone listed some of the signs that you might notice in your aging dog:
• Decreases interaction with the family
• Requests less caresses and attention
• Memory less
• Set his eyes on the walls or in a fixed point
• You sleep more during the day
• Sleeps less during the night
• Does your needs inside the House (before never made it)
• Difficulty to learn new commands
• Walk aimlessly fixed
• Frequent tremors
• Comes out the wrong door
• It ignore the most common orders
• Lost in family as the House or yard locations
• Hidden in known places, such as corners or behind furniture
• Not responds to its name
• Decreased activity
• Not recognize the members of the family or other known persons
Those are quite many, right? Well, the basic thing there is CHANGE in any of the usual behavior of your pet is a clear indicator that there is something wrong already. If you notice any of these signs, better bring your pet to the nearest veterinary office and have your pet checked. In this way, there could still be a chance that disease would be ruled out if it’s proven that there are other diseases that caused this behavior and cognitive changes.
Not much has been known about how to treat this disease yet, as research is still ongoing. However, there are already some medications available that would somehow slow down its progression. It has not been established yet whether this disease affects cats as well, however, research is still ongoing to unlock the mystery behind this disease.
Surely, a fading memory is one of the dreaded things any man, or dog, could imagine. It’s like a curse befallen on you for doing something wrong. However, what a dog with this condition needs is not a spanking for not being able to follow the usual commands. He simply needs your understanding and, of course, your unconditional love. In this way, your dog might have the will to combat this disease.
Do you know…or have…an animal with Alhzeimers? Share your experiences below and let your friends know.