Saturday, August 11, 2012

Coping with senility in dogs

Coping with senility in dogs

Don't Confuse Your Dog Getting Older With Dog Senility

Don't Confuse Your Dog Getting Older With Dog Senility

By Ian Nicholson

In all the best dog breeds and in old dogs there are several causes. However the particular type of senility in most older dogs is a slowly developing one, which is caused by general wear and tear. Parts affected are the brain cells, damaged by free radicals brought about by excessive toxins. Feeding extra anti-oxidants in the diet can sometimes help reduce the damage caused.

Sometimes an aging dogs behavior is confused with the dog being classed as becoming senile. Here are a number of points to take note of when assessing if your dog may be suffering from the dog form of senile dementia.

� Is there any aimless behavior or what you would class as not being normal for your dog?

� Does your dog star-gaze?

� Does it do any circular walking movements?

� Does it still have contact with you or your family?

� Does it collide with furniture?

� Does it appear to be dis-orientated?

� Does it recognize everyone around it?

� Is it aggressive towards you or anyone who it knows well?

� Does it try to do things it normally would not do before?

� Has your dog suddenly began to urinate in the house?

� Has your dog become aggressive to other pets or dogs?

� Does your dog squeeze through too narrow a space?

Other causes that can affect a dog developing the disease:

Neutering a dog can affect the risk of any breed of dog developing senile dementia. In a study in Spain evidence showed that dogs that were neutered or spayed developed senile dementia earlier on in their lives.

Liver disease: affects the dogs metabolism, like the expulsion of waste products from proteins. This process can cause the ammonia levels to rise and eventually they reach the brain. These act as neurotransmitters and cause the brain to malfunction leading to senility.

Infections: Certain infections, which damage the brain, can cause loss of normal behavioral functions in a dog.

Toxins: Many foods or products classed as toxins which cause liver damage, can also bring about direct or secondary brain damage.

Tumors: Brain and tumors of the spinal cord often cause the first signs of dementia in all dog breeds progressing to more devastating neurological functions.

For all dog breeds and whatever you do, always consult your veterinary surgeon and they will be able to do tests to see if your dog has a type of dog senility. There is a treatment for senility in Dogs and the symptoms caused by our aging pets brains can be reduced. There is something that can be done to help alleviate the effects of senility and give your dog a reason to live and make you feel more comfortable with the unfortunate symptoms of your dogs aging.

Hi, I'm Ian Nicholson, I live in the UK and I am married with three grown up children.
I left school at eighteen after studying engineering and science then entered the RAF, eventually leaving to help my Father in his agricultural business.
I've been self employed for most all my adult life and have run many businesses ranging from Farming, Haulage, Agricultural, and Building.
I love reading and learning about everything under the sun and now I write information products besides studying dog diseases and nutrition.
I love everything about writing and of course dogs which I have kept and been involved with for over fifty years. They are special.

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more on coping with senility in dogs

Senility in Dogs and Cats

Senility in Dogs and Cats

By Elyse Grau

It is sad to see our beloved dogs and cats grow old. While physical changes in aging pets may be obvious, mental changes may be misunderstood. This article will help you understand your older dog or cat.

Some dogs as they reach old age may exhibit a number of behavioral changes linked to senility. This condition is now commonly called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. While this syndrome is recognized in dogs, it has not been scientifically established in cats.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction shows signs in four distinct ways. They are disorientation, interaction with people, activity level and sleep, and house-training. Any combination of symptoms may be apparent.

Disorientation can be seen as an animal that wanders aimlessly, gets stuck in corners, stands at the wrong side of a door or appears not to recognize people or familiar commands and words. Changes in interaction with people include seeking more or less attention than normal, not wanting to be petted, and not responding to his or her name. Activity level and sleep changes show in such behaviors as sleeping more during the day and less at night, barking for no reason, forgetting meal times, and wandering aimlessly.

House training changes are obvious - things as urinating in the house, not asking to go outside or forgetting why they are there when they do go out. This is not the same as incontinence, which is usually a physical problem.

Cats may show some of these same signs, though they are often more subtle. There are also a number of other reasons for behavior changes in both dogs and cats. No syndrome has yet been recognized in cats.

Chronic pain can cause be another cause of changes in behavior, in particular activities such as pacing or not sleeping at night. Cats may show a marked decrease in activity. Hyperthyroidism and other hormonal disorders in cats can also cause changes, especially those involving eating patterns or aggression. Medications can cause changes in behavior as well, as can many other diseases and medical conditions. Cats are also prone to small strokes, which can cause changes such as walking into walls, or appearing disorientated. A thorough medical exam with blood work will be necessary in order to determine if your pet has a cognitive disorder due to aging.

There is also a syndrome called societal dissociative disorder, which is similar to CDS and is caused by loss of senses such as hearing and sight. Loss of one sense can often be compensated for by using another. Animals will do this instinctively, but we can also use this knowledge in our interaction with them. For example, when training your dogs they can be taught hand signals as well as verbal commands. As long as they are reinforced throughout the dogs life, the hand signals will be in place should an older dog lose its hearing.

For a dog or cat that has lost some or all of its sight, you can help him cope by not moving furniture or making any major changes in his environment. If the animal has lost both hearing and sight, you may still be able to communicate with it by using vibrations, such as stomping on the floor near the pet.

You can also help your pet through these times by being aware of the causes of its behavior, and by not taking it personally or punishing the animal for inappropriate acts. You can offer extra attention and reassurance. Try to keep a consistent schedule, and to not make a lot of physical changes in the dog or cat's environment.

Medications are available to deal with some symptoms, but there are natural options you can use. The use of flower essences, aromatherapy, herbs and touch therapy can all be helpful in keeping your dog or cat free of anxiety.

Elyse is the founder of The Original Dog Biscuit Company. She has extensive knowledge of pet nutrition and feeding, as well as practical experience in the raising of cats, dogs and other animals. She is also a herbalist, specializing in animals.

For more information on your pet's health and behavior, check out all of her articles at:

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