A natural treatment for dog dementia may
sound a bit overreaching to some people, and that’s understandable. We may not
think about dementia in relationship to dogs, but it can and does happen to
many older animals.
The condition of diminished brain function
in dogs is clinically known as "canine cognitive dysfunction," and it
can affect behavior, habits, and even personality. If you have an older dog
that is not behaving the way he once did, it may be time to consider the
problem and, where properly diagnosed, the conventional or natural treatment
for dog dementia.
Canine cognitive dysfunction usually
affects dogs over the age of 11. It may be present in as many as 50 percent of
older dogs, but the symptoms are not always clear enough to receive a
diagnosis. Vision and hearing problems often affect older dogs and can be
confused with cognitive problems.
Symptoms of dog dementia include:
Dogs' brains age much like human brains
do. As dog dementia sets in, the cellular processes slow down. Scientists
believe the elderly dog brain may be more subject to oxidative stress than
other parts of the body, causing the production of more free radicals that
change cell activity.
Researchers have found the brains of dogs experiencing
cognitive dysfunction have the same type of amyloid protein plaques found in
human brains. Aging itself may cause some of this decline in normal structure
and function. However, some dogs may be genetically predisposed to producing
these abnormal brain deposits.
Treatment can help to reduce symptoms of
canine cognitive dysfunction, but it will not return the animal to his younger
days. A number of treatment options are available:
You can help your elderly dog cope with
the mental changes by keeping a regular schedule and a stable physical
environment that reduces confusion and anxiety. Providing the right diet and medications
he needs can help slow the progress of the disease. Stimulating the animal with
regular play sessions and outings will help keep him alert and interested in
things going on around him. Going for rides and visits to the park can also be
Because dogs receive better care and live longer than ever before, canine cognitive dysfunction is becoming a bigger problem within the pet population. Medication, whether conventional or natural treatment for dog dementia, combined with proper care can help these animals maintain function and quality of life for a longer period of time.