Helping your pooch deal with doggy dementia

The proper term for ‘doggy dementia’ is canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), and it’s the equivalent of Alzheimer’s or dementia in humans. It can be scary for pets and pet owners alike, but as there’s currently no cure for CCD, it’s worth understanding and learning how to manage it.

Like osteoarthritis, CCD is another ageing related condition that our furry friends are susceptible to. By the time your pooch reaches the age of 14, they have a 40 per cent chance of developing CCD. Sadly, our cat companions can suffer from it too.

What our in-house veterinarian says about doggy dementia

According to our in-house veterinarian, Jen, just as in humans, pets’ brains remain very active as they age. As the cells in their bodies produce energy, they also produce a waste byproduct.

“The cells in younger bodies produce energy quite efficiently, with very little waste byproduct. But as bodies and cells start to age, they become less efficient. The waste byproduct increases and is usually in the form of free radicals that can damage cells, including brain cells,” explains Jen. 

“Some of the signs of dementia in pets are behavioural changes. They might start to do strange things, like getting stuck behind furniture or barking at themselves in the mirror. They might stop sleeping as well as they used to – think dogs howling at nothing in the night, or cats vocalising and pacing the hallways. 

“They may also experience and show signs of anxiety like going to the toilet in the house when they had been previously perfectly house trained, pacing, or being destructive. Their activity levels might begin to decline, and you might feel like you’re losing sight of your once happy-go-lucky pet.”  

How medicinal cannabis can help treat doggy dementia 

That damage by free radicals that we mentioned earlier? Well, antioxidants can help to scavenge those free radicals and prevent cell damage. And CBD is scientifically proven to be a very effective, strong antioxidant. Some research even suggests it’s stronger than vitamins A, C and E, which tend to be our go to antioxidants for fighting free radicals. 

Jen says it’s possible that a prescription of safe CBD medicine for pets will help with other conditions too. When a medical condition exists at the same time as another condition (or conditions), it’s called a ‘comorbidity’. In the case of doggy dementia, osteoarthritis, and anxiety – other common, ageing related conditions – the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for pets are effectively multiplied, as these are all conditions CBD might be able to improve. How cool is that? 

Your pet’s veterinarian can help you work out if a prescription of medicinal cannabis, like CBD oil for pets, is right for your furry friend. Woof!  

Interested in exploring CBD for pets?

Speak with a vet for free.

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