Dementia in animals: When dogs or cats become sad and restless

Cats with nervous disorders have the same beta-amyloids as people with Alzheimer's. These substances disturb the information transfer in the brain.

Pets also suffer from dementia. Pets also suffer from dementia. Image: bodza2 - fotolia

The animals find no peace, they are no longer interested in their toys, cats moan constantly without external cause, dogs bark. The animals "forget" to eat, they leave their feces and urine in the apartment.

Dementia, or, in the language of veterinary medicine, cognitive dysfunction, is not easy to diagnose. Each symptom, taken in isolation, can refer to other diseases, and every second cat gets sick in old age: for example, kidney failure is a typical symptom of aging in( almost) all cats;the lack of control of the sphincter also means that the animals do not remain housebroken;Constant moaning and barking can also be due to pain that the animal suffers from. Blindness eventually leads to disorientation.

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Many owners think their animal shows the wear of old age, much like relativesoften regard the first stages of dementia as normal senility.

The vet detects with a magnetic resonance tomography and the blood count, if there is a dementia. However, this is pioneering work, because although dementia among animals has been known for half a century, it has only been a topic for about 10 years.

Pets Are Getting Older
The reason is that the disease is spreading to a greater extent since dogs and cats in the developed world are getting older and older. A cat on the farm of our grandparents was rarely older than seven years, today cats at the age of 18 or 19 are not uncommon. In addition, there was a lack of sensitivity in traditional animal husbandry to deal with psychological confusions of old animals.


Symptoms Affected dogs are disoriented. They walk around aimlessly, staring into the void, "stuck" behind furniture, waiting at the wrong door, sitting down next to the street when a car comes, looking around perplexed when they go out, as if forgetting whatthey want there. They no longer listen to their names or commands like seat-space-foot. They are no longer resilient, can no longer overcome obstacles that were previously easy for them, for example, retrievers no longer remember retrieving. Above all,

dogs lose the attention to "their humans".Often, they stop responding when the family comes together and sit around uninvolved while the kids play.

Creeping course of
A dementia is as insidious in animals as in humans: Initially, the cat may sit in the garden and find her cat's door no longer, or the dog gives false alarm. In addition, the animals are always normal during the first phase. But the dementia progresses progressively, so overall it goes downhill.

Dementia Cats
Typical signs of dementia in a cat are messiness, the cat does not clean itself anymore and leaves its feces, confusion and disorientation everywhere, aimless wandering, loss of space and time( when the cat wakes up, she does not know where she isis) - but also apathy.

These symptoms are particularly clear because they are different from the normal behavior of a cat: cats maw, because they want to be petted and fed because they want out of the apartment or in the apartment purely;they walk purposefully to their sleeping and viewing areas, and adult cats are looking for a place to drop off their feces.


For dogs, there are preparations that are targeted to curb the cognitive dysfunction, namely Aktivetit of Vetplus and Senilife of Innovet Italia. Both products are combination preparations that contain antioxidants and substances that enhance memory, such as phosphatidylserine, coenzyme Q10 or gingko biloba. They can be added to the feed. Although medications can not stop dementia, they do slow it down. Propentopfyllin, for example, increases blood flow in the brain

Brain jogging and treatment
Lack of mental challenges are believed to increase the timing and course of animal dementia.
As with human dementia, trust and inspiration are important for animal owners to keep their brains active and thus stop dementia: Demented animals need lots of attention and new challenges, such as unknown smells and new walks for dogs, new toys for cats.

At the vet
If your pet shows symptoms of dementia, you should definitely go to the vet. Dementia in cats and dogs is almost always associated with physical ailments that affect mental well-being - and vice versa.

The vet checks thyroid levels, blood pressure, kidneys and liver. Sometimes it's not dementia, it's the joint pain that afflicts old cats.

Right to Laziness
More than ever, a fixed daily structure is important to the demented cat. Give her food at the same time at the same times. Set up shallow bowls as cat litter boxes and provide "age appropriate" resting places. The previously beloved hiding places in the darkest corner of the cupboard are no longer for the confused Methuselahs. Make sure that the children do not encourage the cat to play if they want to rest. The demented cat enjoys lying in a place in the sun and sleeping.

misdiagnosis
In dogs, dementia is called cognitive dysfunction syndrome. But do not interpret normal age processes over. The old dog changes his sleep-wake rhythm. He sleeps more and he rages less. Old dogs are less able to learn and remember worse than young ones. That too is not a disease.

Neglect is not dementia
First of all, a dog is not demented because it is neglected. A fat Labrador male lethargically lying around because his owner finds him sweet, but does not give this hard worker a job, has no cognitive dysfunctions. Diet and retrieval training bring him back into shape.(Dr. Utz Anhalt)

It's not just people who get old when they get old, they do not remember their children and spouses - even animals suffer from dementia. Dogs and cats can no longer cope in their territory, they no longer recognize "their" people.

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