What is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome?

Researchers believe Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is caused by physical and chemical changes that affect the brain function in older dogs. Dogs with CDS may show signs of confusion and/or various other behavioral changes that are not a normal part of aging.

This confusion can lead to a life of loneliness, separated from family members who have come to cherish their older dog’s companionship. This can be as hard on family members as it is on the dog. Pet owners often describe their dogs as less responsive, forgetful or confused.

In a pet owner survey, nearly half of dogs age 8 and older showed at least one sign associated with CDS.

Could your dog have CDS?

You’ll probably be the first to notice signs of CDS, since you’re the one losest to your dog. If you notice changes in your older dog’s habits or behavior, be sure to talk with your veterinarian. Above all, resist the urge to tell yourself that your dog is “just getting old.” With your help, your  veterinarian can determine if the changes in your dog are associated with canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.

How can you help?

Recapturing the good times between you and your senior dog is now an exciting possibility. A drug—Anipryl— has been approved by the FDA for the control of clinical signs associated with canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. It can be prescribed by your veterinarian after a diagnosis of CDS has been determined.

Consult your veterinarian before using Anipryl with other medications or with tick collars. As dogs grow older, they are likely to experience more health problems. Senior dogs should be observed more closely, because changes in normal appearance, activity and behavior all can be signs that veterinary attention may be needed. Always contact your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual in your dog’s appearance or behavior.

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