Over 25% Of Pet Owners Don’t Recognize Dementia in Pets

Over 25% Of Pet Owners Don’t Recognize Dementia in Pets

Did you know that the changes in behavior that we usually attribute to our cat or dog being old can actually be signs of dementia?

A study done by Vets4Pets, an animal hospital, has found that a surprising number of pet owners don’t know that their pet can develop dementia and would dismiss the signs. 

In fact, up to 85% of all dementia cases in cats or dogs don’t get diagnosed because of this. 

Over one-quarter of the interviewed 2,000 owners didn’t even know that their pets could develop dementia. Additionally, 62% of pet owners admitted that they would attribute any changes in their pet’s behavior to old age.

Some of the most common changes the owners of elderly dogs reported were low appetite and no desire to play. Owners have also reported changes in their pets’ sleep cycle, which could all be early signs of dementia.

More than half of the interviewed owners said they would support their pets if they were diagnosed with dementia, since they are a part of their family. If you have an older dog and this sounds intriguing to you, the signs you should look for are:

  • Confusion
  • Anxious behavior
  • Restlessness
  • No more desire to play

Although it’s impossible to cure dementia, there are some things you can do if you suspect that your pet has it. First, you can consult with your vet. They’ll check your dog and tell you if the symptoms they’re experiencing are due to old age or are early onsets of dementia. 

Another great choice is checking with one of the great online vet services to get some tips and an early diagnosis.

If the condition is confirmed, your pet will need some changes in diet and more mental stimulation. They’ll also take some supplements and medications that will help ease the condition.

To get an idea of how common the condition is, more than one-third of the respondents of this survey had at least one pet that was diagnosed with dementia. 

The pets were mainly diagnosed because the owners took them to the vet to get tested for something else, as one-fifth of these owners didn’t even suspect dementia.

So, if you have an elderly pet, don’t forget to take them to the vet at least once a year, and look for the signs of dementia.

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