Dementia in Senior Dogs: Understanding Sudden Behavioral Changes
Like all living beings, we all succumb to old age and time. Our bodies won’t be able to hold off against aging. Ailments, diseases, and illnesses will surely come. As we age our bodies and its immune system will become weak. Making us prone to any inevitable age-related illnesses such as Dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and other terminal diseases that come with old age. This is due to the fact that our organs are old and not what it used to be when we are younger. Thus making us reminiscing the past and try to recreate it, however, due to old age, we cannot do much anymore and we get frustrated, irritable and disoriented.
This is relatively similar to dogs, they cannot withstand the process of aging and the passing of time. They will eventually succumb to old age and get afflicted by such sickness. Their bodies will eventually fail them and during this time, most dogs become depressed and lose their energy for they want to do the things that they were capable in the past. This causes sudden behavioral changes, aggression, and disorientation.
An Ailment Similar To Us
Old age and time bring the same effect to all living beings, our bodies weaken as we age. Making us prone to diseases and illnesses. There are ailments that come inevitably with old age. These ailments are Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other cognitive diseases, affecting dogs as much as it affects humans. There are signs that could tell whether our dogs are sick when reaching senior age.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of cognitive dysfunctions:
- Whining or barking excessively
- Pacing or repetitive behavior
- Staring at the walls
- Behavioral Changes
- Sleep cycle disturbances
Can Dementia Cause Aggressiveness?
As a cognitive dysfunction not only does dementia cause aggressiveness, but it can also change a dog’s perspective, behavior, and social abilities. Senior dogs lose their sense of self when they are in pain or disoriented. Some dogs forget their demeanor or manners when they get old. Older dogs are aggressive and jealous towards younger dogs, especially lively ones. They would feel inferior due to the fact that they cannot move around like they used to and resort to aggression to show they are still capable of being an alpha.
Some dogs with dementia or Alzheimer’s even forget the people or dogs who they were once close to. As they suffer a decline in their functions, their nature to bark and bite commonly comes out and older dogs with ailments are hard to handle. Especially when you have other younger dogs.
Dealing Dogs with Dementia
Just like old and senior people, we have to take care of our senior dogs. They need more care than ever since they are suffering themselves. Dogs do not want their owners to see them suffering, most dogs love their owners more than they do love themselves. They get anxious whenever they cannot follow the commands or calls of their owners and it makes them depressed.
To take care of dogs with dementia. Every owner should pay attention to changes in their behavior and bodily functions. Changes in hearing and vision may affect their well-being. Dogs with lowered functions often get anxious. Helping dogs cope with impaired hearing and vision is critical to sustaining their health. Simply being patient and determined to help your dog is a good way to keep them healthy and live through every day. Creating a schedule for them is a great way to remember their routine, eating and sleeping cycles.
Time and old age are inevitable. Eventually, all life becomes old and prone to sickness. Dogs are no exception to this. Dogs are prone to illnesses that come with old age, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. These ailments are mostly cognitive dysfunctions. Senior dogs with these ailments often have social anxiety, aggression, disorientation, and behavioral changes. Owners of senior dogs with such ailments and diseases should be patient in dealing with them. Dog owners should be determined to take care of their senior dogs since they need our love and attention most during these times. Understand that you have a responsibility of keeping their health and well-being in check.