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Cognitive changes

LilF

All Access Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
144
I am starting to see some cognitive changes in JJ, my 14 year old Shar Pei. Some staring and slow to follow direction. Has anyone had any success with anything out there? I see so many combination products but there are also individual ones like melatonin, phosphatidylserine. I don't know what to give him but he needs SOMEthing.
@Dr. Sue , you have talked about Herbsmith. I saw something mentioned online about Herbsmith---but I could not find the website. Do you know anything about their product and what is their site to purchase it. Thanks
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
HA! Faculty
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
235
Dear Lil,
Night time restlessness, behavioural changes, house training problems, and aimless vocalization are commonly seen as aspects of cognitive dysfunction of seniors. We should ensure that senior blood work is normal, ruling out any problem with the internal organs causing these signs, before treating it as cognitive dysfunction.

Supplements that have been shown to be effective in cognitive dysfunction are:
Melatonin, (total dose of 1-9 mg per dog, depending on size depending on size), on an empty stomach at least one hour before bedtime. Melatonin on its own is frequently useful for night time restlessness in dogs, and after a few weeks you may be able to give it intermittently.
Phosphatidylserine 100 - 500 mg total daily
Acetyl-L-carnitine 10 - 20 mg/lb twice daily
Antioxidants including SAM-e (5-10 mg/lb), natural vitamin E (10-20 IU/lb), apha lipoic acid, ginkgo

There are commercially available supplement combinations of these such as:
Vetri-Science Cell Advance, Vetri-Science NuCat Senior,
Ceva SeniLife
Herbsmith Senior Dog Wisdom
There is also a novel compound which has been shown to improve cognition in old dogs:
Quincy Neutricks (unfortunately, indefinitely back ordered)

Studies of canine cognitive dysfunction have found that many sensory stimulation techniques used in human dementia patients can be adapted to dogs. With any of these techniques we want to maintain a balance of stimulating the patient gently, and not exhausting them. For most elderly dogs somewhere between 5 and 15 minute sessions are optimal. These techniques can also be used when dogs are showing signs of confusion or aimless vocalization, as they help focus the mind

With dogs we find that the sense of smell is usually still quite acute in our seniors, and using this as way of encouraging leisulrely activity has the benefit of keeping muscles toned. It is helpful to go to a safe, somewhat familiar place daily or every other day. The backyard, unless it is quite large, is too familiar to stimulate a dog, but even a small neighbourhood park or a different walking area can have lots of interesting smells. We always think safety first with seniors, so be sure that they won’t be exposed to rowdy dogs or rough children.

Dogs with serious mobility issues may derive more benefit from nose games in the house. More mobile dogs like these also; all of my dogs, from the youngest to the oldest, get a chance to play nose games! A simple nose game is hiding a tiny treat in one hand and nothing in the other, and presenting both to the player. When they poke a hand, open it, and if it is the treat hand, they get the treat. You can expand this to the many dog toys available that have covered compartments for dogs to open in various ways, or you can make your own games by hiding treats in boxes or under cups.
Stay well,
Dr. Sara
 

Dr. Jeff

Administrator
Moderator
Veterinarian
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
3,217
Hi Lil-

You might see a big improvement just by doubling his sniffing and playing more of the hunt for treats game.

Also, Cholodin is useful for cognitive changes:


 

LilF

All Access Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
144
@Dr. Sara @Dr. Jeff I am having JJ's blood tested on friday. Last done in April and it was fine. I noticed the protein in his urine in May so will see if anything in the blood could account for some of the apparent cognitive issues. I don't know if protein in the urine would be a cause for cognitive issues. I don't know if that would cause a buildup of toxins. Not starting the Enalapril the conventional vet gave me. I want to see what his blood test is first. The holistic vet also said that his protein is not that high and she had some chinese herbs for him However he missed his thursday appointment because the vet has Covid :-( So JJ has to wait 3 more weeks for any integrative address of the protein. For the cognitive issues, he doesn't QUITE meet some of the behaviors like vocalization or restlessness at night. He does not have accidents in the house (except occasionally at night his bed is a little wet) or walk into walls (well one night he seemed to lose direction and walked under my desk and over my modem!. He seems to move sleep positions once at night. I take him outside and he does not want to be out there. He wants to go right back in the house. I make a point to take him to a place like the park or woods so he can sniff and he doesn't want to do it longer than about 5 minutes. If I put a treat under a cup, he used to know how to tip it over but now he doesn't. Sometimes he acts slow to find his treat or food in the bowl. I would walk him around the yard but he just wants to be in the house or in the car. If I DRAG him in the fence he seems to enjoy it once out there, getting up and reacting to dogs being walked on the street. He is kind of rigid. Mostly he is just a dud! My holistic vet said that another client used Prevagen. I went to the store to check it out but the ingredients were horrible so I did not buy it. Any opinion on Prevagen? Thank you for your comprehensive thoughts. I am digesting it piece by piece.I appreciate the convenience of the links as well. I will see what his blood work reveals on friday and report back and go from there on the cognitive stuff. I have been giving him Phosphatidyl serine just 100 mg. Again, I appreciate everything and the thread about the caution giving the two products at the same time. That is good info I had not considered.
 

Dr. Sara

Veterinarian
HA! Faculty
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
235
@Dr. Sara @Dr. Jeff I am having JJ's blood tested on friday. Last done in April and it was fine. I noticed the protein in his urine in May so will see if anything in the blood could account for some of the apparent cognitive issues. I don't know if protein in the urine would be a cause for cognitive issues. I don't know if that would cause a buildup of toxins. Not starting the Enalapril the conventional vet gave me. I want to see what his blood test is first. The holistic vet also said that his protein is not that high and she had some chinese herbs for him However he missed his thursday appointment because the vet has Covid :-( So JJ has to wait 3 more weeks for any integrative address of the protein. For the cognitive issues, he doesn't QUITE meet some of the behaviors like vocalization or restlessness at night. He does not have accidents in the house (except occasionally at night his bed is a little wet) or walk into walls (well one night he seemed to lose direction and walked under my desk and over my modem!. He seems to move sleep positions once at night. I take him outside and he does not want to be out there. He wants to go right back in the house. I make a point to take him to a place like the park or woods so he can sniff and he doesn't want to do it longer than about 5 minutes. If I put a treat under a cup, he used to know how to tip it over but now he doesn't. Sometimes he acts slow to find his treat or food in the bowl. I would walk him around the yard but he just wants to be in the house or in the car. If I DRAG him in the fence he seems to enjoy it once out there, getting up and reacting to dogs being walked on the street. He is kind of rigid. Mostly he is just a dud! My holistic vet said that another client used Prevagen. I went to the store to check it out but the ingredients were horrible so I did not buy it. Any opinion on Prevagen? Thank you for your comprehensive thoughts. I am digesting it piece by piece.I appreciate the convenience of the links as well. I will see what his blood work reveals on friday and report back and go from there on the cognitive stuff. I have been giving him Phosphatidyl serine just 100 mg. Again, I appreciate everything and the thread about the caution giving the two products at the same time. That is good info I had not considered.
Remember Lil, these cognitive changes are gradual. All animals don't get all of the changes, and they slowly worsen over time. Supporting brain function early slows down disease progression.
There are good dietary supplements shown to support brain function in animals. I would not use products developed specifically for humans. We aren't quite the same!
Dr. Sara
 

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