Concerned About Your Senior Dog's Nighttime Behavior? Dementia And Sundown Syndrome In Dogs

As a dog owner, one of the hardest challenges to face is to deal with the fact that your dog will likely become a senior seemingly all of a sudden. It can be difficult to accept that your dog is getting older and that their care needs may be changing with every passing day. And, if your beloved canine suddenly begins to act strangely, particularly in the evening and at night, you likely find yourself panicking and ready to rush them off to the veterinarian to find out what is wrong. Before you do so though, get to know some of the important facts about dementia and sundown syndrome in dogs so that you can better understand your dog's behavior and what you can do to help them.

Dogs Can Develop Dementia and Sundown Syndrome Just Like Humans

Just like in humans, as dogs age they can develop certain age-related health conditions like dementia and sundown syndrome. In dogs, this is known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome and can cause numerous symptoms in your senior dog. It is important to know that if your dog begins to act confused and disoriented and becomes particularly anxious at night that it is not all in your imagination and that they are likely suffering from cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome Develops Slowly

Part of the problem for dog owners whose senior dog is suffering from cognitive dysfunction syndrome is that they do not notice the issue until it has progressed quite a bit. This is because the cognitive decline and the changes in behavior occur slowly and subtly. You may just think that your dog is getting older and that their behaviors are common "senior moments." However, pacing and anxiousness at night, seeming to forget where they are and being unable to find familiar things like the door to go inside or outside, their food dish, and the like, are not necessarily normal behaviors, even for a dog that is aging.

There Is No Cure, But There Are Treatments

There is no cure for cognitive dysfunction syndrome in dogs. However, there are treatments available to help with the symptoms and to potentially slow the cognitive decline process. Changing your dog's diet and putting them on very specific supplements like vitamins C and E and omega-3s can help to improve their overall behavior and cognitive function.

You also want to be sure that your dog continues to be mentally stimulated through play with toys, going on walks, and being asked to perform commands (i.e. sit, shake, etc...). Your dog's veterinarian will help to assess your dog's behavior and health to continuously update treatments and keep them as healthy and happy as possible in spite of their cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

Now that you know a bit more about dementia and sundown syndrome issues in your dog and how this form of cognitive dysfunction syndrome can be managed, you can be sure that your dog is receiving all of the care and support they need when dealing with this condition. Contact a vet at a location like Northside Emergency Pet Clinic for more information.

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