Back

Get started

Customized by You

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds.

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Diet, medicine and other support help old dog with dementia

Q: We think Buddy, our 12-year-old beagle, may be senile. He wanders around, stares into space and occasionally doesn’t recognize us. Sometimes he even urinates and defecates in the house. He is restless at night and sleeps during the day. How can we help him?

A: Buddy may very well have senile cognitive dysfunction, but first, ask your veterinarian to rule out other diseases that can cause similar clinical signs.

Cognitive dysfunction is common in senior dogs, its prevalence ranging from 22 percent at seven years of age to 73 percent in elderly dogs. There is no gender or breed predilection.
When senile dogs’ brains are examined at autopsy, they display the same abnormalities seen in human Alzheimer patients’ brains, including beta-amyloid plaques. In dogs, the severity of the plaques correlates with errors on cognitive tests.

If your veterinarian agrees that Buddy has cognitive dysfunction, you can improve his brain health by feeding him Hill’s b/d, a prescription diet shown to increase cognitive function within eight weeks. Research has proven that some medications, including selegiline (Anipryl) and SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine), help improve clinical signs.

You also can support Buddy by structuring a predictable routine, exercising him daily, providing a variety of toys and other environmental stimulation, and offering him opportunities to play with other dogs.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com.
 

Q: Victor, our 8-year-...

Q: My friend’s cat,...

When we think about our own dental...

Q: My 8-year-old, 25-...

More From Figo Blog
Pet Professionals: Interview With Kristen Levine Pet Blogger | Figo Pet Insurance

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Summer is here! Which means vacations,...

It can seem overwhelming, but there are a...

It takes hard work and a diverse skill set...

Sometimes, we think of cats as needing less...

Each year, heartworm affects millions of...

Scarf’d: Mother Cluckin’ Good Chicken And Waffles For Pets

Mother’s Day is for the moms (fur, human,...

Woman with dog looking for pet friendly activities on mobile phone

There’s an app for everything these days—from...

HELP