Dogs suffering from cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) generally fall into the geriatric group. Alongside their organs, the canines’ central nervous system is undergoing subtle deterioration. In humans, the process of becoming senile is comparable.
Symptoms of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
Dr. Nicholas Dodman separates dogs into “successful agers” and “unsuccessful agers.” The latter may exhibit symptoms of CDS. They include a marked decrease of activity and increase in times spent sleeping. Other CDS symptoms are disorientation and difficulty to recognize caretakers, panting, thirst and challenges with respect to gait. In some cases the animals may bark for no apparent reason.
Dr. Dodman compares the changes that take place in the brain of an affected dog to those that are evident in a human’s suffering form Alzheimer’s disease. It is unclear if CDS causes the changes in the animals’ brains or if it is a natural deterioration of the brain that causes the canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
Treating Dogs with CDS
Dog lovers used to fear the onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in dogs because it was frequently synonymous with putting the beloved pet down. This is no longer the case. The now ready availability of Anipryl has shown to counteract some of the CDS symptoms by directly affecting the quantities of dopamine in the brain.
The trick for a successful course of treatment is to search out professional help at the onset of signs associated with canine senility. Do not wait until the bodily or behavioral dysfunction has been permitted to run its course for a prolonged period of time.
A Closer Look at a Treatment with Anipryl
Dr. Dawn Ruben explains that a common starting dose of Anipryl is “0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound” once a day. An increase in the dose may be indicated after eight weeks of continuous treatment but only with veterinary approval. It is crucial to not discontinue the use of the drug when the pet seems to be getting better. A relapse is always possible.
That being said, Pfizer – the makers of Anipryl – suggest that “69% to 75% of dogs improved in at least one clinical sign after one month of Anipryl therapy.” Keep in mind that effectiveness varies from dog to dog and is further impacted by the amount of time that lapses from the presentation with initial symptoms associated with canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome and the beginning of drug therapy.
What Can You Do?
Accept that a dog – once it reaches 10 years of age – is considered to be a senior. Be vigilant and look out for telltale signs of geriatric deterioration. Pfizer has created a CDS checklist that acts as much as a dog lover’s reality check as it functions as a reminder of a dog’s condition when discussing concerns with the vet. Do not try to tough things out but buy your canine companion more quality of life in the form of a readily available treatment.