Through the years and with age, our pets can become some of the most loyal companions out there. As much as we care for our four-legged friends, signs of impaired mental function can show up unexpectedly. It’s important to spot early signs to provide them with the proper support as soon as possible. Here’s how to.
- Sleep-wake cycles — One of the most common complaints of cognitive dysfunction is an off-balance sleep-wake cycle. These pets are typically restless, will pace or continually wake up, and may excessively vocalize throughout the night.
- House-soiling, learning, and memory — Your pet may be less likely to respond to previously learned commands or their name and suffer from decreased focus and increased distraction. You may also notice inappropriate elimination issues if your pet forgets their previous house training.
- Disorientation — Your pet may get stuck behind furniture or doors, have difficulty getting around objects, fail to recognize familiar people or pets, or get lost in your home or yard.
- Interaction — Your pet may display a decreased interest in socializing and interacting with your family and become irritable or aggressive with visitors, other animals, or familiar family members.
- Anxiety — Pets with cognitive dysfunction may exhibit increased anxiety when separated from their owners and be more fearful of visual or auditory stimuli.
- Activity — One change in pets that is commonly confused as an old-age problem is a decreased desire to play or exercise. Pets may also display repetitive behaviors, such as circling, chewing, licking, or pacing.
Commonly referred to as DISHAA, this acronym of cognitive dysfunction signs will help you spot changes in your pet sooner, allowing for more effective treatment.
Find your furry companion’s behavior out of character? If you’re unsure about your pet’s health, contact our team to schedule a wellness exam and consultation.