Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome – How to Help Older Cats with Dementia*
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome – How to Help Older Cats with Dementia
Cognitive dysfunction is an Alzheimer’s-like dementia that can affect up to half of all elderly cats (Caney 2009). Clinical signs include disorientation; learning or memory defi cits; changes in sleep-wake cycles; changes in activity levels; inappropriate toileting and vocalising at night or for no apparent reason.
The clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome in cats can mimic the signs of other disease processes, be exacerbated by other disease processes or even be masked by them. A careful diagnosis of exclusion is necessary and each cat must be assessed on an individual basis. There are currently no licensed medicines for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction in cats and certainly, thus far, there is no cure nor reliable way to prevent onset. There are, however, some drug therapies that may ameliorate symptoms and some food supplements that may not only reduce symptoms but may even slow the degeneration in the brain that leads to symptoms being displayed. There are also management techniques and environmental enrichment options that may alleviate the anxiety that affected cats seem to suffer from.
All our Tutored Online CPD Courses are written and taught by an expert in the relevant field. The tutor for this course is:
Helen Bolter BVSc MRCVS