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Elderly dogs and cats can suffer from Alzheimer's

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Jasper started to behave in unpredictable ways as he aged

Jasper started to behave in unpredictable ways as he aged

Jasper started to behave in unpredictable ways as he aged

Jasper, the fifteen year old Labrador cross, knew that our consultation was finished. He went to the hinge side of the door (rather than the correct, opening side of the door) and he began to bark loudly. His owner commented on this: "He does that all the time now at home as well; it's as if he's forgotten which way doors open".

Jasper was suffering from Canine Cognitive Disorder; this is the elderly dog equivalent of human dementia, and it's very common in old dogs. Nearly 30% of 11-12 year old dogs show some signs, and this rises to nearly 70% of 15-16 year old dogs.

Cats are also affected by a similar condition, again with almost 30% of cats aged 11-14 years developing at least one behavioural problem caused by this, increasing to over 50% of cats over 15 years of age.