Much like dementia afflicts aging humans, canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) can wreak havoc on your dog, and subsequently his personality and behaviors, as he starts to get older. CCD is dementia in dogs, and it can be caused by your dog simply getting older, thyroid problems, tumors or diabetes. A dog suffering from CCD suffers from personality shifts, confusion, anxiety, and loss of skills. Watching your dog suffer from CCD can be overwhelming, scary and a sad experience. However, your dog doesn't have to suffer alone. There are a number of things that you can do for and with your dog to help him manage and cope with his CCD.
Maintain A Familiar Environment
You'll want to maintain a familiar environment in your home, since it can help make coping easier for you and your pet and help them rebuild some of their confidence. If you make sweeping changes to the layouts of your rooms, your dog will have to to re-learn its way around. Avoiding rearranging means your dog doesn't have to struggle to find their way around an unfamiliar environment, and they are less likely to get stressed out. Try to minimize changing, refurbishing or rearranging furniture layouts in any areas the dog spends frequent time. You may also want to consider restricting certain areas to your dog and only allow them access to areas that can be easily cleaned.
Maintain a Routine
Dogs with cognitive dysfunction require a lifetime of support and therapy. Develop a schedule for feeding and walking your dog, and maintain it. You should also consider creating a schedule for when lights are turned on and off and make a bedtime, as this helps in orienting your pet. Maintaining a routine will also help to avoid confusion for your dog and provide them with more structure while grounding them.
Keep Your House Clutter Free
Getting rid of any clutter around your home and anything that could be considered an obstacle for your dog will make it easier for them to navigate and minimize any confusion or anxiety, which will help them be able to maintain their mobility in your home. Try to create clear, wide pathways throughout your house so your dog will have space to navigate more easily, especially if you find your dog is unsteady on its feet. The less your dog needs to wander or find its way around obstacles, the more secure they will feel in their surroundings.
Unfortunately, cognitive dysfunction in dogs is not curable. While behavioral therapy is often advised, sometimes it just isn't enough. If your dog has a severe case of cognitive dysfunction, you might want to consider the potential benefits of medications specifically dealing with dementia.
Although it's expensive, some prescribed medications can make a significant improvement in your dog's life. Although there are many medications shown to reverse dementia symptoms somewhat and improve your dog's concentration along with improving energy levels, you should keep in mind that they will usually only make minor improvements for most patients and the results can be unpredictable.
Proper Vet Visits
Keep a vigilant eye on your dog and make note of any signs of cognitive dysfunction or changes, and make sure to inform your vet. It's highly advised that you should visit your vet on a regular basis at a clinic, such as 1st Pet Veterinary Centers. During visits to the vet clinic, letting your veterinarian know will ensure your dog is being monitored properly and getting the proper care and treatment it needs to deal with its cognitive dysfunction. This will help you and your pet cope with the situation properly and minimize any stresses.
CCD is not fun for any member of your family, especially your furry pal suffering from CCD. However, with these tips in mind you should be able to help your dog feel safer, more relaxed and just help him cope more easily with the trials of living with CCD.Share