CogniFit's Science blog: Pet Dementia: Older Dogs And Cats Can Get Dementia Too

Pet Dementia: Older Dogs And Cats Can Get Dementia Too

It might be surprising but millions of older dogs and cats are affected by dementia. The signs of canine and cat dementia, according to Dr. Shawn Messonnier could be deafness, lethargy, excess sleep, house-training problems and string at the wall. Occasionally a pet could not even recognizing its owner and would in a general lack of awareness of its surroundings.

Dogs can begin showing signs around the age of 7 or 8 although it can start as early as 4 or 5. The bigger breeds start earlier but most pets start at about 8-10. Cats can begin as early as 7. It appears to be is no test for dementia or memory but owner should do blood and urine tests on their pets to rule out other things like heart disease or diabetes.

There are some natural therapies available and there seems to be also drugs that are approved for treating cognitive disorders in dogs. Once the diagnosis is made, dogs have to take the medicine every day for the rest of their lives. There are side effects for the dog, but a lot of owners must consider the price, which can be expensive (more than a $100 a month).
In CogniFit, we have obviously not yet started working on solutions to improve the cognitive skills of our beloved pet and understand their cognition, but it seems important to recognize that they can share the same difficulties as we do.