Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is a degenerative condition caused by a decline in the brain’s ability to function as your dog gets older. Amyloid plaques develop on the brain and can affect memory, spatial awareness, learning and the processing of sensory information, along with lots of other things. CCD is often described as canine Alzheimer’s disease and although the conditions have similarities, they are also some important differences.
Dogs with CCD will often show behavioural changes such as:
• Disorientation – struggling to recognise familiar people, pets and places, getting lost in familiar locations
• Interaction Changes – decreased interest in interaction or play, barking or crying for no reason
• Sleep Pattern Alterations – sleeping more during the day and spending more time awake during the night
• House Training – passing urine or faeces indoors, not signalling that they need to go to the toilet
• Activity – increased wandering, restlessness and pacing, depression.
There are various supplements, diets and medications which have been proven to improve the quality of life (and clinical signs) of pets with CCD, but it is important they are started as early as possible in the disease process so book an appointment with your vet to discuss any concerns you may have.