Feline & Canine Dementia Advice

What Can You Do About Cats and Dogs Dementia

The terms feline and canine dementia are often used to describe cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in our pets. The symptoms of CDS are similar to Alzheimer symptoms in humans but it is not pets Alzheimer as such. Still like Alzheimer, cognitive dysfunction in pets is the result of physical and chemical changes that affect the brain function in our pets.MaxxiSAMe liver brain

Canine and feline dementia is unfortunately not curable. However, with the right management it is possible to improve the quality of life for pets with dementia.

The pet owner plays a critical role here. First by being vigilant for any symptoms of CDS in their pets. Early diagnosis and intervention can really help to delay the progression of the disease.

The pet owner is then responsible for following the Vet's advice about managing the disease. It is important that the pet owner is committed to the treatment required.

Treatments For Pets With Dementia

Treatments for cognitive dysfunction (CDS) in pets normally include prescribed medication and SAM-e supplementation. In addition, it can help to provide adequate physical and mental stimulation and make some dietary and environmental changes.

Environmental Changes

Think hard if and then how you can make changes your pets' environment to make his life easier as he gets older, and more confused.

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For example, keep all your pets essentials in one place and easily accessible. Consider lower sides for easier access (beds, litter box) and / or ramps to help your aging pet to get where he has to go. You may also want to add extra water bowls around the house and leave stimulating toys and treats out for your pet.

Dogs also rely heavily on smell so you can try to use that to help your older dog to finds his way around the house. Take your pet regularly outside to relieve himself. This will minimize the risk of accidents indoors.

When you have to leave your pet alone, provide secure confined space, e.g. crate or leave him in one room only. Most dogs find den like spaces comforting and confined spaces should prevent your pet from feeling lost.

Strict routine will also help and being consistent with commands and rules has never been more important. And remember, our behavior can affect our dogs. It is therefore important that you stay calm and avoid causing your senior pet any unnecessary stress.

Exercise

It is important to continue to keep your pet as active as possible, i.e. as appropriate for its age and physical condition. Physical exercise is not enough, mental stimulation is as important.

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It is in many ways easier to make sure that your dog gets regular appropriate exercise as you can take him out for a walk on a lead. This can be more of a challenge with a cat. Some cat owners do take their senior cats out for a walk on a lead.

Most games include both physical and mental stimulation so continue to play with your pet. There are some great toys and puzzles available that provide excellent mental stimulation for your pet.

As your pet's condition deteriorates, you will need to be more creative in how to provide necessary stimulation.

Socialization

Socializing with other pets and people is also mentally stimulating. However, for cats and dogs with dementia socialization can become stressful.

So carefully supervise the social interaction of pets with dementia. Feline and canine dementia affects your pet social ability. Previously friendly pet may become tense, anxious, and even plain aggressive.

This may therefore not be a good time to introduce new pet to the household as it can add more stress to your old pet.

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Regular Health Checks

As your pet gets older you need to take it more often to the Vet for regular health checks. Why is this important? Because it is easier to treat any health problem when they are detected early on.

Pets with dementia have lot to deal with so keeping them as physically healthy as possible will help ease their stress and discomfort.

Good tip is to keep a diary of the signs your pet is showing and rate them (1-10) on daily basis. This will help you, and your Vet, to follow the progression of your pets dementia.

Diet

Nutritionally balanced diet is vital for your pets overall health, no matter what age your pet is. Like they say, we are what we eat and the same applies to our pets.dog-herringshutterstock_263290850.jpg

With age, your pet is likely to suffer from some other health problems. Some, e.g. diabetes and liver disease, may require changes to your pet normal diet. It is recommended to liaise with your Vet before making any changes to your senior pets' diet.

Under all circumstances, it is important to make sure your pets' diet contains enough fatty acids and antioxidants (like vitamins A, C, and E), as both are very important for cognitive health. If needed, consider adding quality fatty acid supplement like MaxxiOmega to your pets' diet.

Feline & Canine Dementia Medication

There are some prescribed medications available for feline and canine dementia. Medication will not cure your cats and dogs dementia but they can help to manage the signs and slow down the degeneration of the disease.

The best know prescribed medication for feline and canine dementia is Selegiline hydrochloride (a.k.a. L-deprenyl hydrochloride).

Selegiline was originally developed for human Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease but is now also used for Feline & Canine Cognitive Dysfunction and Cushing’s Disease. The best known veterinary brand names are Anipryl in the US and Selgian in UK.

Selegiline enhances the amount of chemicals within the brain that act as messengers between individual nerve cells and prolongs the activity of your pet's remaining dopamine.

In studies, pet owners reported that 69% to 75% of dogs improved in at least one clinical sign after one month of Anipryl therapy (CDS In Dogs).

The same studies showed that the most common side effects were vomiting, diarrhea, and changes in behavior, such as hyperactivity and restlessness. Most of the side effects were mild to moderate.

Propentofylline is another commonly prescribed medication for feline & canine cognitive dysfunction. Propentofylline increases the blood flow to the brain and is used to manage signs of dementia. It has been shown to improve the pet's energy levels and concentration.

Supplements

Studies have shown that the concentration of SAM-e in the body (including the brain) declines with age. There is no food source of SAM-e so supplementation is required to increase the level of SAM-e in the body.

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SAM-e supplement is a safe and effective way to stall or improve mental decline in our pets. SAM-e helps increase dopamine function in the brain, stimulates the brain function and works as an antioxidant.

What's more, it is generally accepted in the psychiatric field that SAM-e is effective for depression.

Veterinary medicine does not use the term depression as such but many of the symptoms in pets with dementia are similar to depression in Alzheimer patients. Agitation and lack of responsiveness to their loved ones are common among human Alzheimer patients as well as among cats & dogs with dementia (A Roundtable Discussion).

MaxxiSAMe is an advanced SAM-e formula for pets that can benefit cats and dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction, or dementia.

Next: MaxxiSAMe Liver Supplement for Pets

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