The Library - Dog Education
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
As we age our systems start to lose some of their former abilities. Our senses (hearing, sight, smell and taste) become less sensitive. Bone and muscle masses decline. Internal organs are not as efficient. We become more likely to develop heart and/or circulatory problems, cancer, kidney and liver disorders. Our brains undergo changes resulting in cognitive (perception, memory, reasoning) decline. These things are true for our dogs as well. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS or CDS) is similar to, but not exactly the same as, Alzheimer's disease in humans. It is the age-related deterioration of cognitive abilities characterized by behavioral changes in dogs that cannot be attributed wholly to general medical conditions such as neoplasia, infection or organ failure. It is caused by physical and chemical changes that affect the brain function in older dogs. There is no specific test that will diagnose CDS. It is a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that the diagnosis can only be reached after other medical conditions with behavioral components have been ruled out. Thorough history, physical and neurological examinations, and laboratory tests are necessary to make a diagnosis of CDS.
Crate Training Your Dog
Crate training is neither cruel nor unfair. On the contrary, leaving the dog unsupervised to wander, investigate, destroy, and perhaps injure itself is far more inhumane than confinement. Insure that the crate is large enough for your dog to stand, turn and play with its toys. Proper timing and scheduling can help your dog to adapt.
Getting Started with Your Puppy
When you bring a new puppy into your home there will be a period of adjustment. Your goals are to help your puppy to quickly bond to its new family, and to minimize the stress associated with leaving its mother, littermates, and former home. If there are already dogs in the new home the transition may be a little easier as the puppy is able to identify with its own kind. Obtaining two puppies would be another option. However, most puppies, especially those obtained before 12 weeks of age, will form attachments almost immediately to the people and any other pets in the new home, provided that there are no unpleasant consequences associated with each new person and experience.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by spiral shaped bacteria called spirochetes. It occurs world-wide and affects many wild and domestic animals as well as humans. It can cause serious kidney and/or liver damage.