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More Older Dogs Are Showing Signs of Dementia

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The number of older dogs diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is increasing within the canine population, ABC 13 News reports. According to the outlet, the increase in CCD diagnoses can be partially attributed to improvements in veterinary medicine, which are allowing dogs to live longer.

Canine cognitive dysfunction usually starts when a dog is 9-10 years old. Estimations provided by studies suggest that more than 60 percent of dogs between ages 15-16 can show at least one symptom of CCD.

The outlet reports that some experts estimate that around 80 percent of cases of CCD may still be undiagnosed.

Symptoms of canine cognitive dysfunction include disorientation, a change in sleep patterns and indoor soiling. 

"Some of the signs that we do see in dogs that have CCD are dogs that have a loss of house-training, dogs that have a change in their sleep wake cycles such as they're up all night and sleep all day, and we also see sometimes where they don't recognize their owners," Dr. Melissa Bain, DVM, MS, professor of Clinical Animal Behavior at UC Davis, tells the outlet.

Dr. Bain tells ABC 13 News that what your dog eats may be able to help slow the progression of CCD in dogs. She explains that there are two different prescription dog food diets available that are licensed to slow down the progression of the disease in dogs.

If you think your pet has CCD, see your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and a recommendation on a course of treatment.

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