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Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in Dogs and Cats

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) in Dogs and Cats / Memory Loss in Dogs and Cats

Herbal treatments to nutritionally help address symptoms related to Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in dogs and cats. 

The endocrine system interacts with many organs and bodily systems, and the adrenal and thyroid glands play a major role in supporting hormonal balance throughout the body and providing critical trace nutrient support to all glands and tissues. The adrenal glands help the body adapt to stress through the release of natural steroids and hormones, and hormonal balance is crucial to all animal body systems. Just as in humans, the animal body systems are all interconnected.

With chronic stress, age and disease, the adrenals can become fatigued, opening your pet up to disease susceptibility, negatively impacting overall cognitive (brain) health, cognitive performance and memory as well as negatively impacting the liver, kidneys, digestion and excretory function in dogs and cats.  

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) 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 limits to mobility. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome is also referred to dog and cat dementia or dog and cat Alzheimer’s. 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 critical 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:

Your pet does not respond to name

Your pet does not recognize familiar commands

Your pet does not recognize family members or is fearful of family members

Your pet is startled by lights, sounds or familiar objects

Your pet does not recognize toys or common 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. Some research suggests that feeding a diet high in Vitamin E and natural antioxidants may help delay or limit the progression of cognitive decline. 

Remember to remain patient. 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 remedies may also help bridge nutritional gaps related to cognitive dysfunction and may help reduce oxidative stress; may help prevent or work against plaque buildup in the brain; may help address age-related symptoms and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia; may help increase oxygen 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.

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

Herbal remedies may help bridge nutritional gaps related to cognitive dysfunction and may help reduce oxidative stress; may help prevent or work against plaque buildup in the brain; may help address age-related symptoms and cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia by improving memory, mental alertness, concentration and energy; may function as a brain tonic; may help increase oxygen to the brain; may help soothe and limit distress for animals experiencing disorientation; may be useful as a holistic immune tonic and neuro-protector for Alzheimer’s & dementia.

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, 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.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy); for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobilityreduces all types of inflammation, particularly from the heart to brain; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants of the whole world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

Soothed & Serene  – (learn more) is used to relax and calm all bodily systems, to 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 and nervine effects that can bridge nutritional deficiencies and relieve irregularity in bodily systems, restore emotional balance, promote comfort, relaxation, balanced mood and feelings of security; and as a stroke preventative. 

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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