Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) also known as Doggy Dementia. With both CCD and Alzheimer’s, neurotoxic proteins accumulate in the brain and these plaques, along with compromise of the brain vasculature, contributes to the brain impairment that is a hallmark of both Alzheimer’s and canine cognitive dysfunction.
Fortunately, dogs with CCD seldom show the severity of cognitive dysfunction or dementia typically seen in humans with Alzheimer’s disease. However, even mild or moderate changes can make living with affected dogs difficult. Some indications that a dog may be experiencing CCD are:
- Sleep Disturbances: affected dogs often develop irregular sleep patterns such as being active and vocal at night, but sleeping during the day). In my experience, disturbances in a pet’s sleep/wake cycle are the most bothersome clinical sign that dog owners report as decreasing their and their pet’s quality of life.
- Urinating and/or Defecating in the House: Other signs noted in dogs with CCD may include urinating and/or defecating in the house because they do not remember how to get outside, or they forget where the appropriate place to urinate or defecate is.
- Anxiety: They may exhibit anxiety and they may become less interactive with their owners.