Posts Tagged ‘Senior dogs and cats’
Yes, they can suffer from cognitive decline. Cognitive decline and “senior moments” are not uncommon among older animals. Animals with cognitive decline experience periods of disorientation, confusion, or mental dullness.
Cognitive function is difficult to measure in humans, and nearly impossible to measure in animals (they can’t take memory and cognitive function tests). However, very elderly animals often display symptoms of cognitive decline that manifest as the sorts of behaviors like staring at a wall, stopping and resting in space, howling at nothing, sitting in there kitty litter for an amount of time, etc. The behaviors may be exacerbated by sensory decline (and cataracts and loss of hearing) that occurs concurrently with cognitive impairment.
Your pet’s symptoms are likely to be progressive. The good news is that cats, unlike humans, generally don’t experience the humiliation and profound losses of dignity that make cognitive decline so difficult in our species. Be kind to the seniors…they can be eccentric. One day we will all be there and need someone to be patient with us too, learn this skill with your Pets.
1. My life is likely to last 11 to 18 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. It’s in my nature to be part of a pack and I hate being left alone. Please remember this before you bring me home. I am a LIFETIME commitment, not when it’s just convenient.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me—it is crucial for my well being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I have only you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even though I don’t understand your words, I understand the tone of voice when it’s speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will not forget.
7. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones on your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being “uncooperative” or “obstinate” or “lazy”, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I am not getting the right food or have been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting weak and old.
9. Take good care of me when I get old, you too will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bare to watch” or Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for me when you are there.
-original author unknown-
Sometimes I think this is what is happening with my 16 year old Golden retriever lab mix. She also has hearing and vision loss. But always ready “to go”. I have given her an awesome supplement and it is MAGIC! She is my sweetie pie.