Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Pet Talk

March 23, 2012

'Doggie dementia' is possible

(Continued)

CNHI News Service —

There are also no proven preventative measures that an owner can take. The best recommendations are to keep your dog healthy by giving it a balanced diet and continuing its exercise. Canine cognitive dysfunction is a function of the brain aging, and unfortunately most of the time it is inevitable.

It is important to remember that not all dogs will display all the signs of this dysfunction. That is why it is important to take your dog to your veterinarian if it displays any behavioral changes. Your veterinarian can look for common disorders that might explain what is going on with your pet.

“If your pet is starting to become confused, having accidents in the house, or displaying any behavioral changes, an appointment with your regular veterinarian would be indicated,” said Mankin. “There are several other disease processes that can start with similar clinical signs, so an exam and performing routine blood work is the first step in diagnosing the condition and ruling out other common causes.”

If initial test results do not explain the cause for your pet’s abnormal behavior, or if the results suggest additional information is required, the next step may be to see a specialist like Mankin. Your veterinarian can refer you to a veterinary neurologist whom can help determine what the problem is.

The natural aging process can be as painless as possible for your dog if you continue routine checkups with your veterinarian, and continue to be aware of your dog’s habits.

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Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.

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