Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
Bronwyn Riggs, VMD
Canine cognitive dysfunction can be described as a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, typically affecting older dogs, that is characterized by a gradual decline in cognitive function. In this 50 minute lecture, we will discuss the sometimes subtle, other times overt, clinical signs that involve canine cognitive dysfunction as well as several of the pathophysiologic changes that may occur leading to signs of mental decline.
To complement this topic, some parallels between diseases involving human cognitive dysfunction, including leukoaraiosis, Binswanger encephalopathy, and Lafora’s disease, and our canine counterparts will also be discussed.
Currently, there are no definitive treatments for reversing or “curing” a decline in cognitive function. Rather, management of this condition is reliant on behavioral modification techniques and medications that may slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life of the pet and family. Such therapeutic options will also be discussed at length.