Dog Dementia A sad story

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Anupama Nair

Dogs are considered as “man’s best friend” and I definitely agree, for I cannot imagine a life without my furry friend Rocky. He is the best stress-buster in the world. A wet nose and a wagging tail is a bundle of joy and comfort. I always think, how can some people not like dogs. I have always loved dogs and they are a pleasure to be with. The most saddening fact is our furry babies have short lives maybe up to 20 years and it never is enough for us.

Today I am going to write about a sad but serious condition in dogs called dog dementia. What is dog dementia? How does it affect our furry friends? And what can we do to prevent, treat, and care for dogs with dementia? Dog dementia, also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), is a “cognitive disorder in dogs associated with effects similar to Alzheimer’s in humans”. It’s a condition related to the ageing of a dog’s brain, which leads to changes in behavior and primarily affects memory, learning, and comprehension.

The symptoms of dog dementia are extensive, ranging from mild to severe as the disease progresses. 

Some common symptoms of dog dementia are:

  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Failing to remember routines and previously learned training or house rules
  • No longer responding to their name or familiar commands
  • Extreme irritability
  • Decreased desire to play
  • Aimless wandering
  • Staring blankly at walls or at nothing
  • Slow to learn new tasks
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in sleep cycle like night waking or sleeping during the day

What you need to realize is these symptoms might not necessarily mean, your dog is suffering from dog dementia, but could indicate other illness too, or may normal old age symptoms. The exact cause of dementia in dogs is unknown. Research done on dogs suggest it could be due to the fact that the brain function is affected by the physical and chemical changes that occur due to the ageing process in dogs. The sad part is there is no cure for dog dementia.

Hope no dog ever go through this condition.

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