All Things Dog

Common diseases in older dogs: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

If your senior dog wanders aimlessly, gets "lost" behind furniture, or walks away while you're petting him, he may have Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). Similar to Alzheimer's Disease in humans, CDS affects the brain of older dogs, causing confusion, disorientation and other behavioral changes that are not a normal part of aging.

For family members who cherish their older dog's companionship, this confusion and uncharacteristic behavior can be as hard on them as it is on their beloved pet. Fortunately, if your dog is diagnosed with CDS, there are treatments available that can help ease the symptoms.

Causes and Symptoms
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction is caused by the chemical and physiological changes that occur in an older dog's brain. Not all vets recognize the condition, and attribute the symptoms of CDS to "old age." However, "old age" is not treatable and CDS can be. If you suspect your dog might have CDS, bring him to your vet for a thorough checkup.

Treatment
If your pet is diagnosed with CDS, your veterinarian can prescribe medication which can help alleviate the symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms
In the initial stages of the disease, a dog will have good days and bad days. As the disease progresses, dogs may exhibit certain behaviors, including:

  • Pacing, crying or barking for no reason
  • Loss of appetite, forgetting to eat, or drink
  • Sudden fascination with mirrors
  • Repeated attempts to get into small spaces, getting stuck in small spaces
  • Confusion about a previously familiar place (i.e., gets lost in the house, yard)
  • Loss of house training
  • Turning away from "favorite" people
  • Drastic change in sleeping patterns
  • No longer seeks attention, or wanders away when being pet
  • Forgets or stops responding to his name
  • If your pet is diagnosed with CDS, your veterinarian can prescribe medication which can help slow the process of the disease and alleviate the symptoms.

    Recommended For You

    Not on Facebook? You can register by clicking below.

    Sign up on this site
    We just need a little information.
    All fields required.
    FIRST NAME
    PassedFailed
    LAST NAME
    PassedFailed
    EMAIL
    PassedFailed
    A confirmation e-mail will be sent to
    the address you provide here.
    PASSWORD
    PassedFailed
    password must contain between 6 - 10
    characters, no spaces.
    ZIP CODE
    PassedFailed
    This will help us provide you with information
    that's specific to your area.
    Yes, I'd like to receive updates and special offers from PEDIGREE® Brand. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
    Check if you'd like to give permission for future special offers and additional useful information from Mars, Incorporated. (We will collect the information you've entered here, store and process it in the U.S.) You can withdraw this consent at any time.
    Go to last step >
    Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
    Thanks for the information. This is the final step.
    To get personlized special offers and alerts, enter your
    information below:
    EMAIL
    PassedFailed
    STREET ADDRESS
    PassedFailed
    CITY
    PassedFailed
    STATE
    PassedFailed
    ZIP CODE
    PassedFailed
    Get Special Offers and Updates on Your Mobile Phone
    This is the convenient way to get the latest info when you're on the go.
    -
    -
    PassedFailed
    Providing your mobile phone number is optional. Msg & Data Rates May Apply
    Submit >
    Privacy Policy. We will never share your information.
    All information will be sent to the mobile phone number you provided:
    MOBILE PHONE #
    -
    -
    PassedFailed
    You can also sign up by sending a text: PEDIGREE to 97979

    Msg & data rates may apply. You will receive up to 4 text messages per month. For HELP, please text HELP to 97979. You must be the account holder or have the authorization of the account holder to request this text service.

    This text service works on on Alltel, Appalachian Wireless, AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Boost, Cellcom, Cellular One, Cellular One of East Central Illinois, Cellular South, Centennial Wireless, Cincinnati Bell, Immix Wireless, Nextel, Revol Wireless, Sprint, Unicel, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile, and West Central Wireless. This is a subscription service. You can cancel your subscription at any time by texting a STOP to 97979. Terms & Conditions apply. For support, call 1-888-782-2180.
    PLEASE ENTER THE CODE DISPLAYED TO VERIFY YOUR REQUEST:
    Terms: I have read & agree to the Terms & Conditions.Failed
    Submit >
    View our Privacy Policy.
    Now that you're registered, you can subscribe to our free e-newsletters. There's one for every stage of your dogs life.
    Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter > The Feed E-Newsletter >
    Close x Subscribe Now
    Look to receive your coupon by mail within the next 10 - 15 days. We hope you enjoy our best Dry Food ever.
    Puppy Planning E-Newsletter > Puppy Scoops E-Newsletter >
    Dog Knows E-Newsletter > Healthy Living E-Newsletter >
    Close x Subscribe Now
    Or log in to the PEDIGREEĀ® website using the fields below
    EMAIL
    PASSWORD
    Having trouble with your password?
    Click Here
    Forgot your password?
    No problem. If you originally registered on our website, just enter your information below and we'll e-mail your password.
    EMAIL
    Password sent
    Your password has been sent to the e-mail address you provided.
    We're always happy to be of assistance.
    Close x