CCD: 5 Ways To Treat Dementia In Dogs
It’s a sensitive subject amongst us and a topic that many don’t like to talk about. Brain health in dogs is the core to their personality, behaviour, motor skills and more.Statistics show that over the past 4 years, CCD has increased and is only continuing to do so.
It’s about time we addressed it quite literally head on and educated more about how we can stop the statistics from rising.
What is CCD?
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (Dementia in dogs) is a behavioural alteration that is mostly present in older dogs. In fact, it currently affects 18% of dogs over 14.
It is an age-related neurobehavioral syndrome that leads to a decline in cognitive function.
CCD is caused by neurofibrillary tangles, (the accumulation of sticky proteins called beta-amyloid). This occurrence causes an interruption in nerve impulse transmissions, therefore causing a physical and chemical change in the brain.
Sound complicated? To put it into simpler terms, pathways to the brain can become disturbed and the brain may become starved of what it needs, causing it to decline in its health.
Problems such as untreated anxieties and/or depression is a large contributor to brain health in dogs as they age – which isn’t too dissimilar to us humans! Emotions strongly affect our ability to function, mentally AND physically. This is no different to our four-legged friends.
This heartbreaking disease can leave you feeling helpless and stuck with what is best for your dog. It is important to know what to look out for and how you can help as early as possible.
Signs and symptoms of dog dementia vary in each dog, mostly depending on the severity of their decline.
Look out for the following symptoms in your dog:
- House Soiling
- Disturbed sleep/wake pattern
- Decreased learning
Behaviours may also include:
- Pacing back and forth
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Staring into space or walls
- Walking into things
- Appearing lost or confused
- Failing to remember routines
Dogs with dementia often “get stuck”, this is referred to as a dysthymic state where they don’t know where they are or how to get out of position.
If you suspect any of these symptoms in your dog, contact your vet right away. The sooner you can address the problem, the better! Of course, this doesn’t mean that we can put a halt to it developing any further but we can certainly learn how to cope with CCD earlier.
Can CCD be treated?
Unfortunately, brain diseases such as dementia in dogs are not curable.
They can most certainly be made better for your dog and there are coping mechanisms to ensure they can still live as comfortably as possible. Some studies show a 58% increase of learning ability after making simple changes.
- Structuring your day and having as little change as possible to your dog’s day can create a sense of security for them.
- Mentally stimulating them and ensuring that they stay physically active is also important.
- Keeping exercise included in their day will also expose them to sunlight – this will have positive effects on their sleep-wake cycle and regulate their sleeping pattern.
- Depending on their mood, social interaction is a great way to comfort your dog whether it’s with you or with their doggie friends.
- Dog nutraceuticals are a great and easy way to make sure your dog gets all they need into their diet.
Ingredients that make all the difference and maximise your dog’s brain health can be supplemented early on to prolong diseases such as canine cognitive dysfunction.
Here at Petz Park, we decided to create a formula that ensures your dog’s mind can stay young for as long as possible. Remember, you’re only as old as you feel.
Take back control with Cognitive Support and always be one step ahead.
If you or anyone you know has a dog suffering with CCD or other related diseases, know that we are here to help. If you have any questions or experiences that you would like to add, get in touch.