Could they have cognitive dysfuntion?
Cognitive dysfunction, also know as...
Our pets live longer these days due to improvements in lifestyle and health care. Just as with humans, age brings its own set of problems. One of these is cognitive dysfunction.
Symptoms are many and varied including:
Veterinary medication may help. Diagnosis depends on ruling out other medical conditions that may cause the same symptoms and obviously the pet’s age. Cats and dogs are generally considered senior after 7 years of age and geriatric around 12 years. Just as the body deteriorates with age, so does the mind.
Q. Hi Dr Joanne,
My cat Sharni is 17 years old & in great health. I have just had her to the vet for a check up, vaccination & dental descaling.
Approx 6 month's ago she started howling at night. I tried having her in with me but then she want's to wake me when she get's up to eat during the night. I tried putting her under the house (Queenslander) with a bed food, litter water etc & she howls out the side of the garage which is under my window. I also have tried leaving her outside but she bang's on the screen door & howls aswell.
She doesn't seem to be suffering with anxiety or anything similar & is in perfect health also with her sight & hearing. I can't ignore her as she wakes up the neighbourhood with her howling.
I've tried giving her attention before she goes to bed amongst other thing's but nothing works. As soon as she sees me she purr's away & is happy. So I sit with her or bring her in for 10 mins then she goes out again. She seems to just want attention but 2 times a night every night is taking it's toll on me! I'm exhausted. I am out of ideas & saw your website so thought I'd try asking. My vet said it's purely behavioural but everything he suggested hasn't changed anything with her. Is there anything you can suggest me doing to try & stop her?
Q. Dear Dr Jo,
My 15 year old Poodle cross Maxie sometimes has an unusual habit of staring at walls. He is fine one minute and then starts pacing around the edges of the room, usually in the evenings and eventually stops and stares at the wall. His eyesight is fine so I don’t understand this. Can you help?
A. Some of the following behavioural solutions may help:
Remember to get your pet checked out by your vet. Cognitive Dysfunction is not the only cause of these symptoms.