Veterinary geriatrics in Chamberi
It is a fact that cognitive function worsens in elderly animals. There is a physical and mental deterioration as the pet ages called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome; what owners usually notice is that their animal is less alert, slower or even indifferent to situations with which it previously reacted more.
We carry out periodic control programs with annual reviews that include: Cognitive dysfunction test, ophthalmological evaluation, general analysis (blood / urine), weight control, joint evaluation (osteoarthritis cases), cardiovascular studies, behavioural problems, etc.
Thus, we can detect early both pathologies that have treatment, as well as those that are inevitably related to age and to the deterioration of the central nervous system, trying to make them as bearable as possible and improving the quality of life of the pet and the owner as much as possible.
Make an appointment with our veterinary geriatric specialist in Chamberi
91 448 59 86
What does the cognitive deterioration of an animal in advanced stages entail?
It is directly related to the natural aging of the brain. This cognitive decline is reflected in both physical and mental deterioration that lead to a series of changes in affected animals called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. It is a pathology that affects the central nervous system and that appears in geriatric animals, mainly related to behavioural changes with no medical cause other than aging.
We may notice that our pet suffers from memory loss or has erratic and senseless behaviours (we take him for a walk and he seems disoriented, catching imaginary flies at home, looking at a fixed point for a long time, etc.). There are also some animals that suffer from learning deficits, it is very difficult to correct something or teach new things to a senior animal.
The most common and easily detectable by the owner is a decrease in alertness, usually also associated with a worsening of the animal’s senses (sight, hearing, smell, etc.). All animals as they age suffer loss of vision and hearing, and reduced response to odours.
Other symptoms that we can notice in our animals are disorientation or altered social relationships; they are more reluctant to interact with people or with other animals, they may lose the habit of playing, they are more irritable or nervous, etc.
There are a series of guidelines that will be recommended depending on the alterations suffered by the animal, to improve the quality of life of both the pet and the owner.
What other pathologies are related to animal aging?
As the brain ages, so do other organs. This leads to a number of changes in the body, some may be easily detectable by the owner and others may not.
Animals, like humans, lose sensory capacity and although their visual capacity is not very good, it worsens even more with age since, among other alterations, cataracts occur and they can cause blindness and disorientation. They can also suffer from deafness; Although they have very good hearing with age they lose hearing capacity and this can cause loss of interest in playing, fear or anxiety, distrust…
Another very common alteration is related to the musculoskeletal system; all aging animals suffer from some degree of osteoarthritis and muscular dystrophy. Responses to stimuli are decreased, they lose their ability to play, and there may be pain that results in lameness, vocalization, apathy, and even loss of proprioception due to nerve degeneration.
Some hormonal diseases can produce different types of symptoms, which vary greatly from each other. Polydipsia (drinking a lot), polyuria (urinating a lot), and / or polyphagia (eating a lot) are common; fatigue, skin problems such as alopecia and itching, irritability, stereotypes, etc.
We can also find symptoms related to kidney problems (urinary disorders such as urine leakage, infrequent urination, increased amount of urine, bleeding), digestive problems (vomiting, diarrhoea, neurological conditions related to liver problems), cardiopulmonary problems (fatigue, cough , exercise intolerance, fainting) and of course, aging-related problems on the central nervous system itself that can lead to all kinds of neurological symptoms, from behavioural alterations and stereotypes or irritability, to seizures and / or fainting.
We cannot forget that the mouth is also affected by aging. The enamel of the teeth is not the same, and there is a greater tendency to accumulate tartar and suffer infections. Many older animals lose teeth as their mouths are often neglected until they begin to suffer symptoms such as halitosis, anorexia, irritability, pain, etc.