It surprises many people to learn that dogs can suffer from dementia, just like humans. This is a devastating condition that will severely impact on your dog and almost everything about them will gradually change. Dementia is a term that is used to describe a gradual loss of brain function and it is usually associated with older dogs, but it can also affect younger dogs in rare cases. It is estimated that around 40% of dogs over 12 years will suffer from some form of canine cognitive dysfunction. Researchers are looking for ways to reduce the symptoms of dementia in dogs and are trying to find ways to prevent or cure this condition. Here is an overview of the symptoms of dementia, an update of the latest drugs research, and other ways you can support a dog with dementia.
What Are the Symptoms of Canine Dementia?
The symptoms of canine dementia can vary from one dog to the next and the severity of any symptoms displayed can also vary. One of the main symptoms is memory loss, and this is displayed by failing to recognize familiar commands. Your dog may also become confused and disorientated. This means they may get lost in familiar places or get stuck in a corner, not knowing how to get out. You may also notice many changes in their behavior. These changes can affect their vocalization, sleeping patterns, activity levels, appetite, social interactions, and toileting habits.
Can New Drugs Cure Dementia?
Finding drugs that can prevent or cure dementia has been a focus in veterinarian medical research for many years. Gradually, researchers have made progress taking steps towards success in this field with each new study. One group of scientists working on a cure is the team who work at GNT Pharma, a drugs manufacturer in South Korea. They have created a drug called Ropesalazine, which they are trialing as a drug to potentially treat humans who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The drug manufacturers have also researched the possibility of this drug being used as a treatment option for canine dementia. So far, the study has shown excellent results. After eight weeks of treatment, dogs suffering from dementia returned to their normal daily activities and their cognitive function also returned to normal. These results show that Ropesalazine has the potential to become an effective treatment option for dogs with canine dementia. However, these trials are in the early stages and further research is needed before they will become available for veterinarians to prescribe to their canine patients.
Are There Things You Can Do to Help Your Dog Cope with Dementia?
If you notice that your dog is suffering from any of the symptoms of canine dementia, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian. They can conduct an examination and tests to rule out any other possible causes of the symptoms and make a diagnosis based on their findings. They can then advise you on the best course of treatment for your dog, which may involve them taking medication to treat specific symptoms. They may also suggest alternative treatments and therapies.
Although drugs to reduce the symptoms is one option, there are some things you can do yourself at home to support your pet if it is suffering from dementia. One of the main steps you can take is to make sure your home is a familiar environment for your dog. This means you should leave things in the same place and not move your furniture and belongings around too often. These will act as environmental clues that will reduce confusion.
There is also evidence to suggest that cognitive stimulation is helpful to both humans and animals who suffer from dementia or other cognitive dysfunction syndromes. Ways that you can give your dog cognitive stimulation include spending time with your dog, playing games, and taking it for plenty of walks. The most important thing is that you continue to show your dog plenty of love and affection. It is also important that you monitor your dog’s behavior so that you can keep track of any further changes. This will help both you and your veterinarian to gain a better understanding of your dog’s condition and if they begin to deteriorate.