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Q: Can Dogs and cats Get?

January 31, 2012 | By Ches21 | 2 answers | Expired: 795 days ago

Ches21

Can Dogs and Cats get Altimers cause I have noticed some dogs and cats in their senior years will reavert back to bad habits that they had as puppies and kittens that they have learned better and know that they aren't spouse to do such as eating out of the litter box or the garbage can, Skitters has also started showing signs that she has forgotten some stuff such as she has revearted back to eating messes out of the littler box which she did as a puppy but we taught her not to and she just began doing it again recently so can they?

Readers' Answers (2)
Kelly
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Jan 31, 2012

It's not called Alzheimer's in dogs and cats, but they can get a form of dementia that leaves plaques in the brain, similar to Alzheimer's.

Signs of canine dementia are barking for no reason, loss of housetraining skills, loss of appetite, not responding to commands anymore, not greeting family or seeking out human companionship like they normally do, sleeping more than usual or getting days and nights confused, not responding to commands like they used to, getting stuck or lost in corners, behind doors, and other barriers that they are familiar with, pacing and anxious behavior.

Signs of feline dementia are excessive and loud vocalization, appearing lost or confused while vocalizing (especially at night), suddenly not using the litter box even though all medical reasons have been ruled out, sleeping more than usual, increased agitation especially at night, lack of grooming, decreased appetite, becoming stressed or agitated under normal conditions.

Animals with dementia are more prone to injuring themselves so they should be supervised outside and their indoor environment should stay consistent and unchanged.

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Jillian
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Jan 31, 2012

The first signs of dementia in dogs tends to be scratching at the floor as though they're digging, and circling spots or pacing. My dogs who have gotten dementia have always started digging in corners and on beds, as Tosca has recently begun doing although she's still very sharp. Another habit is staring at walls, which in my experience is further down on the list. It seems to give them security and lets them regroup. Their face will literally be only a few inches from the wall while they calmly stare for a few minutes.

Cats more so seem to wander aimlessly, as though they went one way and forgot what they were doing by the time they get there so they wander back. I've only dealt with a couple of cats who had dementia, but they eventually started howling randomly. This is often done b/c they forget where they are. It sucks when you're trying to sleep, but you just need to find them and gentle remind them where they are.

There are ways to delay dementia or to at least slow the progression. In people you can take B vitamins, though I don't know if this works the same in animals. Mental stimulation, exercise, and healthy diet are the keys to keeping a healthy mind. Try playing games with Skitters, using dog puzzles and interactive toys, or even just hiding treats she has to find. It can be tricky to encourage older animals to play or take on new games, so you really have to simplify them and keep them within their range of interest.

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