Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Dog Dementia isn’t a condition I’ve seen much of, or really considered.

Truly had been worrying me with some strange new behaviours. To be honest in the first few days I thought perhaps she was deteriorating due to her existing mobility issues. I contacted James (our fantastic Vet), and arranged to take Truly to see him.

In terms of some of the new behaviours, I’d been used to Truly having an accident now and then, but this time it was different. She’d go and lay in the garden and be wandering around, then walk in the house and poo. Totally unaware of what was happening. She didn’t even notice me cleaning up.

Truly also seemed to be more jumpy than usual. She didn’t like being approached not even by people she knew, and wouldn’t take treats if they offered one (unheard of previously).

Perhaps the most gruelling aspect, was her pacing around at night into the early hours. As she’s not steady on her feet I couldn’t let her wander the house, especially not near the stairs.

She still loved her food, and followed Jake around on our walks. At home she seemed to be confused about where she was. I’d find her stood in the downstairs cloakroom looking at the wall, or upstairs she’d stand outside the bathroom door to go to bed. She’d also stand on the fixed side of the patio door waiting to go out.

James confirmed it was likely to be Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (or Dog Dementia). Whilst incurable, there are some medications, supplements and activities to help improve her quality of life.

I did some research in the internet to read about it for myself, as I always do. I found a website with information on the condition in dogs, to support their humans. I’ve increased enrichment activity… search games involving toys and food rewards in the garden and around the house. I’ve also restarted puppy training, and celebrate/reward Truly for toileting outside.

Since starting her medication, in the last week I’ve seen a real difference. Truly is settled at night, and (fingers crossed) hasn’t had an accident in the house. She’s been making eye contact more often, and on morning walks she bounces home for breakfast. She just seems to be more present now.

I’m taking things day by day. With the great support of James our Vet, I will continue to do my utmost to ensure Truly and Jake both maintain a good quality of life.

If you recognise any of the symptoms outlined in your dog, I strongly recommend an early conversation with your Vet.

Until next time



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