Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

It is difficult to watch your loyal companion begin to fail with age, especially if your old friend starts to lose interest in the family and requires more care. Some signs previously dismissed, as “old age” may be signs of a medical condition known as canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). (Senility for short). Below is a list of signs associated with this condition, but be aware that researchers have found that over 50% of dogs over 8 years of age show at least one sign associated with CDS.
The following are signs of CDS:
DISORIENTATION: Wanders aimlessly
Appears lost or confused in the house or yard
Gets “stuck” in corners or under/behind furniture
Stares into space or at walls
Has difficulty finding the door; stands at the hinge
side of the door.
Does not recognize familiar people
Does not respond to verbal cues or name
Appears to forget reason for going outdoors.
Seeks attention less often
Less likely to stand for petting; walks away while
being petted.
Less enthusiasm upon greeting
No longer greets family members
Sleeps more during the day
Sleeps less during the night
Decrease in purposeful activity
Increase in wandering or pacing
Barks at night for no reason
Urinates indoors
Has accidents indoors soon after being outside
Does not ask to go outside

A dog with CDS will show a collection of several of the signs listed above and no two dogs will show the same signs. While this syndrome doesn’t cause the dog any pain, it greatly decreases the bond between an owner and their dog. Treatment is now available with a drug called Anipryl, a once a day medication that helps improve an older dog’s mental awareness and help return him or her to a more normal life. To get more information on CDS and on Anapryl, go to