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Alzheimer’s Disease in Dogs?

Older dogs can commonly develop a condition that is similar to senility or Alzheimer’s disease in humans called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). CCD is unusual in dogs under 8 years of age but the incidence increases thereafter with a recent study suggesting about 10% of dogs aged 11-12 years were affected by severe CCD. This figure increase to 35% affected with severe CCD for 15-16 year old dogs.

Behaviour changes include either decreased activity or an increase in meaningless activity (eg aimless wandering around), less play and interaction with owners, interrupted sleep patterns and sometimes house soiling in previously toilet trained pets.

There is an excellent article on CCD here: http://petsci.co.uk/health-care/is-your-dog-suffering-from-canine-cognitive-dysfunction/

The article includes a questionnaire that has been developed for owners. The questionnaire has a very high diagnostic accuracy for CCD.

The good news is that steps can be taken to slow down the progress of CCD and to treat the signs associated with CCD. If your pet scores highly in the questionnaire please make an appointment to talk to one of our vets about managing CCD.

 

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