The answer to this week’s question is indeed a yes. A lot of older pets exhibit unusual behaviour that can be related to a form of dementia that we call “cognitive dysfunction.” Brains in dogs and cats age just like ours and in later years we may see evidence of this. Here are some of the clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction:
- Change in attitude or responsiveness
- Change in sleep patterns
- Confusion or disorientation
- Urinary or fecal incontinence
- Excessive barking or meowing
Veterinarians consider both dogs and cats over the age of 7 to be seniors. This is surprising to some clients, but after this age we see aging occur at an exponential rate. For this reason we encourage twice yearly visits for our senior pets. Staying current on these senior visits often keeps us a step ahead of health problems particular to our older animals.
Once again, if you are seeing the symptoms listed above or any other unusual behavior we would like to hear from you.