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Canine Cognitive Disorder

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Sammi will be 13 in April. Her overall health is really good, she gets Proin for incontinence, she's a little stiff when she gets up, (so am I these days). Her spinal arthritis, dx 3 yrs ago, doesn't seem to have progressed much.


However, she's hard of hearing now, and the last few weeks, we've noticed a couple other things. She's got to be reminded a few times what she's out in the yard for. When I woke her to take her out at bedtime a couple nights ago, she looked very confused for a moment, and anxious. When she figured out where she was, her face relaxed and she wagged her tail.


Yesterday, I took the BC3 to run some errands with me. I went back to the car, approaching on the passenger side, where Sam sits. As I walked up, Buzz and Shonie got a little excited, so that alerted Sam. She faced the driver's door, I spoke to her from the passenger side, her tail wagged, but she still faced the driver's door. I opened the passenger door behind her, spoke again, she still faced the driver side. I finally had to put my hand on her rump to let her know I was behind her, then she turned and saw me and was fine with it.


I did a search on CCD, and got the basic rundown. Unfortunately, the only drug mentioned, Anipryl, is not recommended to be taked with PPA, which she takes for her incontinence.


I don't think we're needing medication yet, but I'm concerned because her confusion seems to be increasing. Is there anything else out there anyone has heard of?




Ruth n the BC3

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Okay, I found a blurb I had saved on a paper that was published about Cognitive Disorders in dogs. Although this relates to a prescription diet with these additions, I know people that add these supplements to the food they are already giving their dogs.




The brain may be particularly susceptible to the effects

of free radicals because it has a high rate of oxidative

metabolism, high lipid content, and limited ability for

regeneration (Cotman et al., 2002; Ikeda-Douglas et al.,

2004). Widespread oxidative damages, extensive production

of free radicals, and lowered vitamin E levels have all

been identified in the brains of dogs with dementia

(Skoumalova et al., 2003; Shigenaga et al., 1994; Head

et al., 2002).

The diet is supplemented with vitamins E and C, and

other antioxidants including beta carotene, selenium, dlalpha-

lipoic acid and a number of flavonoids and

carotenoids from fruits and vegetables such as spinach

flakes, tomato pomace, grape pomace, carrot granules, and

citrus pulp. The addition of l-carnitine and dl-alpha-lipoic

was also intended to enhance mitochondrial function

(McGahon et al., 1999; Hagen et al., 1998, 2002; Hager

et al., 2001; Packer et al., 1997). The level of omega-3

fatty acids has also been increased to promote cell

membrane health as well as a possible anti-inflammatory

effect (Youdim, 2000; Lands et al., 1990). Vitamins E and

C help to neutralize free radicals and prevent damage to

cells and cell membranes (Fryer, 1998; Mayes, 2000;

Packer, 1994; Kamal-Eldin and Applqvist, 1996; Joseph et

al., 1998). A variety of studies in other species have shown

that high intakes of fruits and vegetables might also

decrease the risk for age related cognitive decline through

their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Joseph

et al., 1999; Youdim et al., 2000; Martin et al., 2000;

Halliwell, 1994).

The supplemented diet was found to improve performance

on a number of cognitive tasks. When compared to a

474 G. Landsberg / Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 29 (2005) 471–479

non-supplemented diet, improved performance was seen

beginning as early as to 2 to 8 weeks after the onset of

therapy on a landmark discrimination test (Milgram et al.,

2002a), and continuing through 6 months on an oddity

discrimination learning task. The oddity discrimination task

is a paradigm in which the dogs are required to find the

location of the food reward under sets of three objects of

increasingly greater similarity (Milgram et al., 2002b;

Cotman et al., 2002). In a 60 day double blind clinical trial

of 142 dogs, there was a significantly greater improvement

in cognitive signs in the group on the fortified diet

(Prescription dietR Canine b/dR) than in the control group

(Dodd et al., 2003). Another recent study also found that

cognitive performance on the landmark task could be

improved by the antioxidant diet in aged beagles, and that

blood concentration of vitamin E was positively correlated

with improved performance (Ikeda-Douglas et al., 2004).

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Also, I've had excellent results supplementing with the B-complex vitamins (thank you Lenajo for that tip long ago!). both my older dogs were getting "drifty" - Ben to a severe extreme, where he'd completely forgotten how to work sheep. Maggie had continence problems.


I put Ben on both Cholodin and anipryl, and Maggie on Proin. We reached a point a few months later where I couldn't afford the Proin, so I put Maggie on the Cholodin, just on a whim, and just had Ben on the Cholodin. There was no change in either one - in fact, Maggie's leaky problems went away completely, where before it was just reduced quite a bit.


I also put Maggie on completely grain free (NV raw, at the time, and now she's on Wellness Core and raw meaty bones). Ben's been for years, of course, but the Cholodin alone has made a huge difference.


Ben also has thyroid problems, and when that's acting up it causes big behavioral issues (I call it Brain Fog), so be sure to check that if you haven't already.


The only place I've found Cholodin readily is at KV Vet. But it's super inexpensive - only $12-$15 for a month's supply.


Guaranteed Analysis Per Tablet:



Zinc 7.2mg, Selenium 0.02mg


Vitamins and other:


DL-Methionine 55 mg Riboflavin 1.5 mg

Choline 40 mg Thiamine 1.5 mg

Inositol 40 mg Panthothenic Acid 1 mg

Niacinamide 5 mg Vitamin B6 1 mg

Vitamin E 5 IU Vitamin B12 2.0 mcg


They also take the normal antioxidant formula that the other dogs do, plus a joint formula and double the fish oil. It's been four years since I made the switch and they've been remarkably uneventful, especially for Miss Maggie: "Vet? What Vet? That's where I go and get cookies once a year!"

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Ruth, just thought I'd mention that Minnie is on anipryl (actually selegiline-generic) for treatment of canine cushings disease so when she became incontinent she was prescribed DES because PPA is contraindicated, and it was very effective.


Fortunately since she's responding to the anipryl the symptoms of her cushings has abated to the point where she is no longer incontinent and doesn't need the DES anymore. Also, thought I'd mention that anipryl is expensive so I get the generic (selegiline) compounded at a vet clinic in the appropriate dose for about 1/4 the price.

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Wow, thanks for all the info. Becca, I'd never even heard of Cholodin, will be checking it out. With Shoshone on Proin as well, we spend about 50 a month just for that. I'll talk with my vet and see what he says about that.


Vit C in any amount gives Sami dire rear. I'll have to see what I can round up with the items mentioned in Northof49's post. Will keep you all posted.


DH has been very worried. He just came in, I gave him a summary of what you all posted, and he feels a lot better!


Thanks again from ALL of us.


Ruth, DH, (who loves the dogs but hates to admit it) and the BC3

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I just had to put a dog on Proin, and my vet called in a script to Omaha vaccine for me. I got 180 tabs of 50 mg (she gets a half 2x/day) for 25.79. That is a half a year. You guys should be able to significantly cut your costs. I personally have never had a vet complain about calling in a script. She understands I want to do the best for my six dogs, and is willing to help me try and cut costs to do it.

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I agree with Marilyn. I've never had a vet complain about calling in a prescription or providing me with a written version to use elsewhere. I may be facing this issue soon enough with Boy, who turns 13 in March. There are a lot of little odd things going on with him that have me wondering a little about the whole cognitive disorder thing, but for now I still think it's mostly loss of hearing and diminished eyesight that's causing him problems....


He already gets antioxidants, but I will certainly try adding the B Complex vitamins and see if that helps.


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Way back when, must have been 2002 or so, I put Mac on the science diet with the ccd meds in it. I thought it made a huge difference in him. It was surprising how much like the old guy I remembered he came back to. I had not noticed how big his decline was at the time, since it had been gradual. I had my old dog back with that diet, for about another year or year and a half. At 13 that is huge! He stayed on the diet until I had to put him down. I thought it really made a difference. Good luck.

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