Your Dog Can Get Alzheimer’s Too

As your dog reaches old age, you might expect to contend with veterinary complaints like hip dysplasia or even cancer. But here’s one you aren’t as likely to expect: Alzheimer’s disease.

According to veterinarian Lee Harris, the condition is surprisingly common. At his veterinary practice in Southern California, he’s seen an increase in chronic conditions such as obesity, arthritis and dementia.

“Really, our brains are not that different from dogs’,” Harris wrote in The Washington Post. “The cellular changes of canine cognitive dysfunction would be recognizable under the microscope to any human brain pathologist: Plaques of beta amyloid — protein fragments believed to be the result of ‘oxidative stress’ — lead to distinctive ‘neurofibrillary tangles’ within the damaged nerve cells, and shrinkage of the brain appears in areas where memories are made and behaviors are shaped.”

The technical term for the condition, Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, has only more recently become recognized as a disease in dogs. Now, it is estimated that more than 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 will exhibit symptoms of cognitive decline.

Of course, the symptoms will present themselves somewhat differently than they do in humans. Dementia may cause trained dog —> Read More Here


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