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Dementia in dogs: how it manifests itself

Dementia in dogs: how it manifests itself


Dogs are getting older, as the medical care and dog nutrition of the four-legged friends is constantly making progress. Unfortunately, dogs, like people, can develop dementia. This side effect of increasing life expectancy is also called cognitive dysfunction syndrome and manifests itself through various symptoms. Dogs can also develop dementia in old age - Shutterstock / Alex Mladek

The symptoms of dementia in dogs are very similar to the signs of dementia or Alzheimer's in humans. The memory and mental abilities of affected dogs continue to decrease and as a result their behavior also changes.

When old dogs lose their memory

Over the years, your loyal friend has always followed all basic commands, welcomed you happily, loved to play and had a healthy appetite - and now that he is old, you hardly recognize him? This may be due to the fact that your dog is gradually becoming demented and his mental abilities are weakening. He loses his memory.

Dogs with dementia often lose their bearings or forget things that used to be taken for granted. He may be wandering aimlessly around the apartment or simply stopping with his head on the wall. Or he waits for hours inside the front door to be let in because he no longer knows that he is already in the house. Little by little, he no longer understands simple, everyday commands, although everything is in order with his ears. He may remain confused outside as soon as you let him out or he is standing in front of his food bowl and no longer knows how to eat.

When is a dog considered old?

While one dog is still in top shape and alert at the age of twelve, another looks the same age ...

Symptoms in dementia: changed behavior

In addition, other symptoms can appear, which are expressed in a changed behavior. Your dog, who used to be so happy, may suddenly seem drawn to you and no longer greet you. This may be because he has forgotten who you are because of his dementia. In addition to apparent loss of appetite, it can happen that dogs with dementia are no longer house-trained. Either they no longer know that they can only do their business outside, or they realize too late that they have to. In addition, it can happen that a demented dog starts barking or whimpering for no reason, sometimes in the middle of the night, since his sleep rhythm has changed. This is a sign that he is confused and unsettled and is calling for help.

Determine that your dog has some of these dementia symptoms if you go to the vet with him. Because some signs can also indicate other physical illnesses. The doctor must rule this out before diagnosing dementia and starting therapy that slows the course of the disease.