As your Brittany ages, you might expect them to have decreased energy and diminished ability to run and jump. But finding out your Brittany can also have “senior moments” comes as a surprise to many.
An estimated 14% of pet dogs over the age of 8 show some symptoms of age-related cognitive dysfunction – and a whopping 68% of dogs aged 15 to 16 years have symptoms of cognitive impairment. Some pet owners might joke about “doggie Alzheimer’s,” but this degenerative brain disease is a real thing.
Signs of Dog Dementia
- Wanders aimlessly
- Becomes stuck on the wrong side of the door or behind furniture
- Seems lost in the yard or forgets the purpose of going outside
- Fails to recognize familiar people or dogs
- Reduced responsiveness to name or verbal commands
Interaction with Family Members
- Seeks less attention (petting, belly rubs, play)
- Less enthusiastic to greet people
- No longer greets family upon arriving home
Sleep and Activity
- Sleeps more hours per day, especially during the daytime
- Sleeps less throughout the night
- Reduced daily activity
- Lack of interest in his surroundings
- Restlessness, pacing or circling at sunset (sundowning)
- Vocalization at night (barking or howling)
- Urinates or defecates indoors
- Urinates or defecates indoors soon after having been outside
- Failure to indicate need to go outside
- Accidents occur in front of his pet parents
These and other behavioral changes may indicate that your Brittany is developing canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), a disease akin to Alzheimer’s.
It’s sad to watch our beloved Brittanys age and grow increasingly confused – but there are things you can do to help. The book, Remember Me? gives you tips to help recognize the signs of CCD. It includes questions to ask the vet, how to care for a dog with dementia, and the latest in prevention and reducing the symptoms of canine cognitive dysfunction. The book also discusses the hard topic of whether and when to euthanize a pet who is failing cognitively.
You’ll learn about the symptoms of CCD, and the medications typically used to treat it, as well as other interventions that have shown promise in peer-reviewed studies. You’ll learn how to arrange your home and adjust your habits to keep your dog safe, including what specific products may be helpful. You’ll learn how to keep yourself physically and emotionally healthy while caring for your dog. And there’s deep, thoughtful advice here for when it’s time to make the hardest decision of all about your dog’s quality of life.