Canine Cognitive Dysfunction


Clinical Signs


The following checklist is intended to document the dog's behavior problems before consulting a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis:

CHANGES IN ACTIVITY
Pacing, wandering aimlessly
Vocalizing aimlessly
Staring, fixating on or snapping at air or objects
Decreased exploration and activity, apathy
Decreased self care/grooming
Excessive licking of owners or household objects
APPETITE
Decreased
Increased
Change in eating behavior: consumption of non-food items
SLEEP
Sleep more overall in a 24 hour period
Restless sleep at night, waking at night
Vocalizing at night without need to go outside
Increased daytime sleep
SOCIAL INTERACTION
Decreased interest in greeting owners
Decreased interest in petting (walks away)
Decreased interest in playing with owners or toys
Solicits attention less
Problem with social hierarchy
Need for constant contact = overdependence, dog becomes "needier"
Decreased recognition of familiar people
Does not respond to verbal cures or name
Increased aggressiveness toward other dogs
DISORIENTATION
Getting lost in familiar locations outdoors and indoors
Getting stuck in corners or in front of obstacles; cannot navigate around obstacles
Has difficulty finding the doors: stands at the wrong door to go outside or stands at hinge side of the door
Wanders aimlessly, appears lost or confused
Stares at wall
LOSS OF PREVIOUS TRAINING
Urination indoors
Defecates indoors
Signals less to go outdoors
Goes outdoors, eliminates indoors on return
Eliminates in sleeping areas
Decreased response to known commands and tricks
Inability to learn or slow in learning new tasks