Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Benefits of early detection of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in pets.
Cognitive dysfunction syndrome may be incurable, but if caught early, you can stave off its effects and even show pet improvement.While cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is incurable, there are ways to stave it off and even get a pet to show improvement. Specialists say that too often cognitive dysfunction goes unnoticed by owners and therefore goes unreported to veterinarians. When obvious signs appear, treatment may start too late. A 14-year-old Lhasa Apso cross showed no signs of cognitive dysfunction until stress began to creep into his home. First, his owner was hospitalized for a period, so a dog sitter showed up. Then the other dog in the household died. By that time the Lhasa Apso was becoming needier and was experiencing sensory issues and apparent deafness. The absence of the owner was a stress for the dog, and that’s when it started showing its very clear indicators of cognitive decline. Dr. Nichol, who practices in Albuquerque, N.M., viewed the events that stressed the dog as fortuitous. Nichol started the dog on Novifit, fish oil, Senilife, gabapentin and Zylkene. “This dog has improved pretty significantly, and at this point it’s going on over a year now and he’s continuing to do better,” Nichol said. “[CDS] appears not to be advancing.” Supplements and diets are among the tools that specialists like Nichol use to treat CDS. That’s in addition to Anipryl (selegiline), a drug that many veterinarians prescribe for the disease. While Anipryl is widely accepted as a viable treatment, Nichol has heard from some practitioners who questioned the drug’s effectiveness. He believes that in many unsuccessful cases the pet was diagnosed in more advanced states of CDS. Dr Nichol's solution is for veterinarians to raise the subject as pet owners should receive a one-page questionnaire that has a simple scoring system using queries about disorientation, social relationships, sleep-wake cycles, memory and activity level. He