Signs of cognitive disorder (doggie and kitty Alzheimer's) include altered sleep-wake cycles, barking/meowing aimlessly, staring into space, getting stuck in corners, not recognizing owners, not hearing owners, acting unaware of surroundings, altered appetite and acting confused.
There is no specific test for cognitive disorder; this is a rule-out following an exam and blood and urine tests. Other diseases can present similar signs, including age-related vision/hearing loss, thyroid disease and adrenal disease. These other conditions must be excluded, as they are easily treated/cured with different treatment than cognitive disorder. Pets with cognitive disorder tend to be middle-age and older (10 years and up; for some larger dogs, 5 years and up)
Natural therapies include phosphatidyl choline/serine, fatty acids, antioxidants and ginkgo biloba. Approximately 75 percent of affected dogs and cats showed improvement with these above therapies and closer to 98 percent improve due to earlier diagnosis.
There is probably not a cure possible for true cognitive disorder, but if pets stay on treatment, they act normal. These treatments are natural and safe when properly prescribed at the correct doses by a holistic vet.
Prevention includes early supplementation with specific supplements, depending upon the patient, and reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation damages the brain; it is easily detected with blood testing and can be reduced with proper diet and reduced dependency on chemicals/drugs/vaccines.
Authored by Shawn Messonnier DVM, owner of Paws & Claws Holistic Animal Hospital, in Plano. He practices functional medicine, Chinese and Western herbology, homeopathy, homotoxicology, nutritional therapies and acupuncture.
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