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Alzheimer's Disease in Dogs and Cats

Alzheimer's Disease in Dogs and Cats 

Herbal treatments to nutritionally help address symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease in dogs and cats. 

The adrenal glands help the body adapt to stress through the release of natural steroids and hormones. With chronic stress, age, genetics and disease, your pet can experience adrenal fatigue and/or adrenal alarm. Since the endocrine system supports glandular health as well as hormone production to every cell and body system, including critical tissues and organs, providing nutritional support to the endocrine system is vital since it also nourishes the entire body, including performance and memory.

Some plants help function as a brain tonic, toning, strengthening and providing neurological (brain) protection against plaque build up in the brain and cognitive decline related to Alzheimer’s, dementia and Attention Deficit disorder. Some herbs also function as adaptogens, which are highly specialized natural plant chemicals that are able to read oxidative, metabolic, physiological and emotional distress in the body and then work nutritionally to help bring the body systems into balance, which may be beneficial in to support healthy brain ecology and function, and may help maintain healthy concentration, focus, memory and mental alertness.

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), also referred to as Alzheimer's and/or dementia, is a degenerative, neurological disorder that includes a variety of symptoms in dogs and cats, including memory loss, disorientation, confusion, behavior and personality changes, and may limit mobility. It is important to note the direct links between endocrine, neurological and immune health and function, and why supporting immune health over your pet's life is so critical. 

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome affects between 40-50% of dogs and cats over the age of 15, with most pets presenting at least one symptom around age 10. 

It can be difficult to distinguish between the normal signs of aging and the early signs of Alzheimer’s in our pets. Like humans, disorientation, lethargy and decreased interaction are commonly displayed. While Alzheimer’s is typically associated with an older animal, the onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome is now known to be linked to a buildup of a nerve-damaging protein called beta amyloid, which is found in the brain.

Beta amyloid protein causes plague build up, which inhibits cognitive signals to brain neurons. The onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome can also be related to brain lesions as well as changes in brain chemistry. 

Common symptoms of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome/Alzheimers:

Your pet does not respond to name

Your pet does not recognize familiar commands

Your pet does not recognize family members

Your pet is fearful of family members

Your pet is startled by lights, sounds or familiar objects

Your pet does not recognize toys or familar items such as a favorite blanket

Your pet appears to be lost in the house or in the yard

Your pet becomes trapped behind furniture or room corners

Your pet is unwilling to play, be engaged or is withdrawn 

Your pet is reluctant or unwilling to go for walks or go outside

Your pet has trouble finding and using doors and stairways

Your pet frequently trembles or shakes

Your pet paces in circles

Your pet wanders aimlessly throughout the house

Your pet has difficulty learning new tasks or commands

Your pet frequently soils in the house, regardless of frequent bathroom breaks

Sleeps more during the day and less during the night

Your pet seems to stare at walls or into space

Your pet seeks less and less of your love and interaction

Your pet is hesitant to take treats, drink fresh water, or eat fresh food

Helpful suggestions:

Feed your pet a holistic, premium food that is home cooked, raw or includes premium kibble that is free of corn, wheat, soy, inferior proteins and chemical additives. Some research suggests that feeding a diet high in Vitamin E and natural antioxidants may help delay or limit the progression of cognitive decline. 

Be patient and compassionate. What was once familiar to your pet is now unknown and often frightening. 

Keep familiar objects in each room as well as items your pet uses regularly to reinforce familiarity with surroundings.

As your pet ages, keep comfortable bedding, food and water in multiple places in your home and continue to praise and shower your pet with physical affection as often as he/she will allow.

While there is currently no known cure for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (dementia, Alzheimer’s), herbals and supplements may help slow down the progression of cognitive decline as well as improve the quality of life for your pet has. Natural supplements have been studied for their tonic ability to tone and strengthen cognitive function; may help provide neuro-protective (brain protecting) support for cognitive disorders such as cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and dementia; may help promote healthy brain ecology and function, and may help address and maintain healthy concentration, focus, memory and mental alertness in your dog and cat.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal nutrition may help bridge nutritional gaps related to cognitive dysfunction and may help reduce oxidative stress; has been studied for their tonic ability to tone and strengthen cognitive function; may help provide neuro-protective (brain protecting) support for cognitive disorders such as cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and dementia by preventing plague build up on the brain and increasing oxygen supply to the brain; may help soothe and limit distress for animals experiencing disorientation; may be useful as a holistic immune tonic and and supply critical antioxidants, important in the fight against cognitive decline, and may help address and maintain healthy concentration, focus, memory and mental alertness in your dog and cat.

I AM A ROCK STAR - (learn more) helps to support and nourish the endocrine system; helps support adrenal gland health and response to stress and metabolic demand, supports glandular ability to rebuild and regenerate, promotes hormonal balance, regulates stress on liver, kidney and digestive functions by reducing thirst and excessive elimination, promotes cognitive function and memory performance, balances blood sugar levels, may lend support to the pancreas in cases of dysfunction; for natural energy in young and geriatric pets, increases muscle use, ability and stamina, provides anti-inflammatory and immune support, helps maintain healthy adrenal, central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Dog & Cat Kryptonite– (learn more) supports hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) function, enables the body to respond normally to stress and metabolic demands while supporting the glands' ability to rebuild and regenerate, supports healthy energy levels and vitality, promotes cognitive function and memory performance, for lethargic, aging or convalescing animals, regulates the organs which secrete hormones, including the pituitary, parotid, thyroid and adrenal glands, the pancreas, and the testes; stimulates the hypothalamus, supports endocrine function, the central nervous, digestive, immune and reproductive systems.

Soothed & Serene  – (learn more) is used to relax and calm all bodily systems of an anxious animal, particularly the Central, Autonomic, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems, as well as for its positive effects to relax the endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory & respiratory systems; used holistically to help soothe animals exhibiting all types of  destructive behavior due to anxiety, fear, grief, separation, pain, illness, allergies, aggression, socialization issues, electrical and thunder storms due to its calming, mildly sedative, nervine effects and alternative to benzodiazepine drugs; as a nutritive to help bridge nutritional deficiencies and relieve irregularity in bodily systems;  helps restore emotional balance, promotes comfort, relaxation, balanced mood and feelings of security; helps protect the blood brain barrier, important in preventing plaque buildup in the brain related to cognitive decline and as a stroke preventative. 

Serenity Zen Dog & Cat - (learn more) is used for its multi-level nutritional and plant botanical support that works on all animal body systems to help soothe, relax, calm, balance and provide pain relief to nerves and muscles (Adrenal, Cardiovascular, Digestive, Excretory, Respiratory, Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems); may be useful for stress, anxiety and behavioral disorders; may be helpful in reducing the effects of allergies, digestive colic, storms, fireworks, travel, boarding, vet visits, separation, restlessness, irritability, depression, hyper-excitability, aggression, sadness and fear; to help address and reduce pain; to help maintain normal electrical balance in the brain, to reduce neuro inflammation,  and to modulate inflammatory response throughout the animal body.

Serenity Zen Meal Topper – (learn more) is used holistically for its nutritional content to help carry out a read/repair and restore function for imbalance in the body systems; may help relax and calm an anxious, stressed dog or cat due to its calming, mildly sedative and nervine effects which may help relax the Central Nervous, autonomic, sympathetic ("fight or flight"), somatic and parasympathetic ("rest and digest") nervous systems; may help relieve stress triggers in the animal body and its natural plant based tonic actions may help bring all body systems into balance by helping promote feelings of comfort, security and relaxation by soothing the brain, relaxing muscles, and normalizing heart rate and blood pressure; may help reduce general stress and anxiety as well as behavioral responses related to introduction to a new home or family; adaptogen and nutritional content may help reduce restlessness, separation anxiety, stress, panting, whimpering, pacing, panic attacks and depression by cooling stress related protein and excess cortisol production in the body and may help reduce anxiety and fear related to vet, grooming and boarding visits, thunder and lightning storms and fireworks and loud noises; nutritional content may help reduce motion and car sickness commonly experienced by dogs and cats; may help diminish destructive behaviors such as aggression or urine marking; adaptogen content may help relax and soothe the adrenal, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory & respiratory systems, helping to nutritionally and adaptogen content helps support balance in all bodily systems when your pet is anxious or stressed; suitable for all life stages of dogs and cats.

Conventional Remedies: 

Your vet will need a detailed description of the symptoms and may run tests to rule out any other conditions that may be causing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Standard testing includes blood tests, urinalysis, a neurological exam, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, or CAT scan.

Your vet may prescribe a drug called Selegiline hydrochloride (Anipryl) which works by increasing the dopamine levels in your pet’s brain. The drug has successful in reversing partial damage and improving the behaviors of many pets with Alzheimer’s. Associated side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, itchy skin, and loss of appetite.







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