As dogs age, they may experience brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia in people. Other medical conditions can often mimic cognitive dysfunction or occur concurrently with the syndrome.
Cognitive dysfunction is often underdiagnosed because pet owners assume behaviour changes are a result of normal ageing.
A combination of diet, medication and supplements can be effective in improving signs and slowing the progression of cognitive dysfunction. Mental stimulation, such as training, play, exercise, and puzzle toys, are also essential for maintaining brain health.
Discussing a personalised management plan with your veterinarian or veterinary behaviourist is important for the best outcome for your dog.
Cognitive dysfunction is a progressive disease that will eventually lead to a decreased quality of life for your dog. The prognosis depends on early detection and intervention to slow further decline and your dog’s response to a multi-modal treatment plan.
Immediately contact your vet if your dog suddenly collapses, loses consciousness, has seizures or difficulty breathing, behaves aggressively, or vocalises in pain.
It is vital to begin end-of-life care discussions before your dog‘s condition becomes unmanageable, or they begin losing their quality of life.
The team at Goodbye Good Boy offers individualised support to help you and your family navigate this difficult time by providing quality-of-life checks, in-home euthanasia, cremation and aftercare services, and personalised memorialisation options. Our services can even be paid in installments to help ease the financial burden at the time of your pet’s passing.
To learn more about our pet end-of-life services, give us a call on 1800 953 619 or visit our website goodbyegoodboy.com.au.
This article was reproduced with permission from Goodbye Good Boy advisor Dr Dani McVety, of Lap Of Love.