Friday, August 31, 2007

Dementia In Old Dogs

With better nutrition, top medical care and comfortable living, pampered pets are living up to 10 per cent longer than they would have a few decades ago, a study has found. That means they are experiencing the same kind of cognitive failures as the human population which pays their vet bills. Telltale signs include pets having restless nights, forgetting their owners, inappropriate toileting and banal barking in dogs. Unusual behaviours do start creeping in with advanced age, he said... Like bewildered dogs getting "stuck" in a corner of the house, not knowing how to free themselves from the two walls. "Animals getting unsettled and wandering is probably the most common symptom"

It is worth investigating the ingredients in the so-called "B/D" (brain diet) veterinary food formula for dogs. The main ingredients are two powerful anti-oxidants: alpha lipoic acid and acetyl l-carnitine. Studies indicate that these supplements can sometimes reverse the signs of dementia in older dogs. Might be worth supplementing these with all older pets before the signs of dementia appear. And you don't need to buy expensive prescription dog foods to obtain these supplements. You can get them at your local health food store. Talk to your vet about whether this might be worth trying on your dog.

And here's one of the studies that show that these supplements help older dogs: "Acetyl-L-carnitine and {alpha}-lipoic acid supplementation of aged beagle dogs improves learning in two landmark discrimination tests."

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