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01 Jun 2011

I have a 15 year old wirehaired daxie who seems to be losing his marbles a little. He spends a lot of time standing and seemingly staring into the distance. He spends a lot of time obsessing about food, and will cry incessantly if he is not fed. I feed him his usual two meals a day, and snacks in between when appears to be distressed. I have tried to ignore him when he cries for food but it seems to do little in terms of him stopping. how do i deal with this?
he also seems to struggle to settle at night, he looks restless, but if i put him onto my bed with his blanket he seems to realise its bed time and settles down
Answer 683 views

01 Jan 0001

Hello Steph,

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
( Canine Dementia)

• Age related neurodegenerative disease that impairs memory and learning.
• Resembles forms of dementia seen in Alzheimer patients
• Due to an age accumulation of beta amyloid deposits which are neurotoxic and impair neurological function by decreasing neurotransmitter concentration.
• No breed or sex predisposition.
• Seen in older dogs – small breeds 10-12 yrs, large breeds 7-9 yrs.
• Progressive.

Clinical signs

o Disorientation - becomes unfamiliar with a familiar environment.
o Depression – looses interest in activities that the dog previously enjoyed.
o Loss of house training – house trained dogs will urinate and defecate inside the house.
o Changes in interaction – greeting is reduced and poor response to commands.
o Changes in sleeping/wake cycles – sleeps mostly during the day and is active at night.

Note that the changes observed will depend on the progression of the condition.

The clinical sign’s of CCDS can also be duplicated by other disease processes. It is important to visit you local veterinary surgeon to get a confirmed diagnosis.


o Environmental management – avoid changes, keep to a strict regime, create a secure bed area, use lead control in unfamiliar areas, encourage interaction, continue based training.
o Nutrition – Diets that contain antioxidant supplements - Hills D/D.
o Pheromonotherapy – Dog Appeasing Hormone (DAP, CEVA)), Calming Collar (Sentry HC Good Behaviour Pheromone Collar).
o Treatment of any underlying medical problems.
o Drugs – Seligilline, Nicergoline and Propentofylline.


This condition is progressive but it can be slowed with some mental functions returning with effective treatment and management. Early intervention is the best way to delay the progression.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.