Saturday, June 7, 2014


 I like to use this blog to help educate others about what I am learning in rescue.    Most of what I learn is from my foster dogs and those that have been adopted.   (And yes, I learn a lot from my own Pekingese.)
 This is Gracie.   She came into rescue six years ago when she was 6 years old.   Her owner had suddenly died and she needed our help.    I knew the family, and they were "big dog" people.  I understand-- I'm a small dog person. :-)    Pekingese size.
 Gracie was adopted by my friend, Jane.   Gracie loves play days with Ditka, who is a very shy boy, but he loves Gracie.   Gracie began to exhibit odd things-- like getting her days and nights mixed up, not knowing where her water bowl was, not knowing what to do in normal situations.     She spent time at the vet who diagnosed her with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.    It's like dimentia or Alzheimer's in  people.   (That's the best comparison I can give to help you understand.)   Gracie is only 12 now, and I think that's very early to have this, but 50% of dogs over 10 start showing signs of it.   I was shocked by that.
 Little Lacy, who was adopted by my friend, Chris, has begun to show signs of Cognitive Dysfunction also.    We thought she was 3 when she was adopted 4 years ago, but maybe she is older.   She is young to have this, but when we get dogs from shelters, we have to estimate their age (our vets do this), and it's hard to tell sometimes.  
 She began staring into space, being more lethargic, sleeping more.   She also began bobbing her head at times, as if she didn't understand something.
Gracie is not as active either, but her mom said she is not in pain and she will keep her as comfortable as she can.   There is no cure for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.
Lacy loves her buddy, Mr. Winks and she hangs out with him.  She loves for her mommy and daddy to hold her also.     She had bloodwork done and it was normal, so cognitive issues won't necessarily show on a blood panel.    I wish there was a definitive test for it, but there isn't.
  There are several medications that can be used-- Alenza is primarily an anti-oxidant, which is good for dogs.  The other is an anti-senility drug called Anipryl that helps some dogs.There is a new product  called Resviritol that our Roanoke vet, Dr. Hodges, is excited about.   She also said that Hill's B/D food is good-- it is a food for seniors and has extra nutrients in it to help senior dogs.    If your dog is experiencing any symptoms of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, the best thing to do is take them to your vet.    And then love them all you can.  


lady jicky said...

Very interesting .... never heard of this.

Barbara Mares said...

I work primarily with our senior Forever Fosters so this is very interesting to me. Thanks!

Jackie said...

Can you tell me Dr Hodges first name or if he's from Philadelphia. Is it Ron? Perhaps email me at we had a very I'll bichon about 10 years ago. A vet specialist helped keep her alive for two extra years. Probably coincidence but ya never know.

Linda said...

Jackie, I tried to send you an email, but it came back to me-- Dr. Hodges is Dr. Lucinda Hodges who is in Roanoke, not Philadelphia.