Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Syndrome (CCDS) or canine dementia, is an age-related neurodegenerative disease
that impairs memory and learning.
resemble forms of dementia seen in human Alzheimer patients
is due to an age-related accumulation of beta amyloid deposits in the brain,
which are neurotoxic and impair neurological function by decreasing
There is no
breed or sex predisposition – any older dog can potentially get CCDS.
It is usually
seen in older dogs – in small breeds, it becomes more likely between 10 to 12
years of age; in large breeds between seven to nine years.
Signs your dog may have
he becomes unfamiliar with a familiar environment.
loss of interest in activities that the dog previously enjoyed.
Loss of house
training: previously house-trained dogs may urinate and defecate inside the
interaction. For example, a previously exuberant greeting behaviour is reduced,
or there may be poor response to commands.
sleep-wake cycles – for example, he sleeps mostly during the day and is active
Note that the changes observed will depend on the
progression of the condition. It’s possible that the above signs may indicate
several other conditions apart from canine dementia, so be sure to make an
appointment with your vet to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for CCDS
management – avoid changes to the home environment and routine, keep to a
strict regime, create a secure bed area, use lead control in unfamiliar areas,
– discuss the best diet for your dog with your vet. Foods that contain
antioxidant supplements, such as Hills D/D.
any underlying medical problems.
that have shown some promise in treating human neurodegenerative conditions ,
such as the drug seligilline, may be suggested by your vet. Nicergoline and propentofylline
are other drugs that may be prescribed for elderly dogs.
therapy is recommended by some vets.
This condition is progressive
but it can be slowed and some mental functions may well return to a certain
degree with effective treatment and management. Early intervention is the best
way to delay the progression.