Does your pet have changes in the behavior that you associate with age? Is it true that to the pets also “fails” the head for old age? What changes can we expect about our pet in a few years? … Certainly, 50% of pets also present a cognitive deterioration from the age of 11 with varied symptoms (Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome). To know them, an early diagnosis and possible treatments are of vital importance.
It is important to know that this pathology is associated with age and is is known as CDS (cognitive dysfunction syndrome) and that it does not discriminate breeds or sex of the animal. Its characteristic macro and microscopic lesions are: neuronal loss, deposits of B-amyloid protein and ventricular increase.
In the clinic, the diagnosis is usually made based on a set of symptoms that accompany the syndrome. This are the symptoms:
- Social interactions diminished.
- Altered sleep with nocturnal vocalizations.
- Hygienic habits modified.
- General activity diminished or increased and repetitive.
- Slowness to learn new things.
On the other hand, it is also important to know that there are neuropsychological tests (attention, memory, learning) that can help in the diagnosis and that in the experimental phase it is the detection of B-amyloid substance in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma that would correlate the existence of certain levels with the CDS.
The treatment, always under the supervision of the veterinarian, consists on:
- Drugs at different doses in dogs and cats: Seleginin, propentofylline and nicergoline.
- Use of specific feed and nutritional supplements (Phosphatidylserine, S-Adenosil-L-meteonine …)
- Ethological treatment:
- Regular exercise with increased street outings.
- Environmental enrichment with more interactions with people or inanimate objects (toys, food).
- Create a specific elimination zone within the house.
- Reinforce the behaviors that calm the animal.
- Specific treatments according to present behavioral problems.
Whatever you think, we remind you to always visit your veterinarian.
MANEL MORCILLO GINER