Neurological Disorders in Dogs

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(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:46am PST 
What causes neurological disorders in dogs?
Here's some information on the causes, symptoms and treatment of neurological disorders that can affect dogs.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:48am PST 
Do you see a change in your dog's gait?
Is your dog behaving in an awkward manner?
Strange dog behavior surely makes all dog owners apprehensive.
Well, sometimes dog behavior problems could be attributed to certain neurological disorders in dogs.
If your dear pet seems to have become slow in responding or there is a decline in your dog's cognitive functions, it might be caused due to canine neurological disorders.
Wondering what are the signs of neurological disorders in dogs?
There are different types of canine neurological disorders that can affect a dog's central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
These neurological disorders could be congenital or might develop with age.
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to take note of any unusual or uncontrolled dog behavior.
If your dog seems to be disoriented, consult a veterinarian soon. Here's some information on common neurological disorders in dogs.

Canine Neurological Disorders

Wondering what causes neurological disorders in dogs?
Since there are several neurological disorders, it is difficult to pinpoint a few causes of neurological disorders in dogs.
The causes and signs of neurological disorders in dogs will vary depending on the medical condition.
Some of these dog illnesses might be caused due to genetic reasons while some might be age-related.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:52am PST 
Dog Behavior Problems

Pets are as much of a responsibility as they are a joy.
A problematic pet does not serve anyone's purpose.
Here is information about dog behavioral problems.

Having a pet is as much of a responsibility as it is a joy.
Pets are animals that are dependent for everything on their owners. Some pets have greater needs whereas some have higher needs.
Man's best friend, the dog, is also one such creature.
If the owners do not look after the dog properly, and do not cater to the dog's needs, the dog may show what are known as dog behavior problems

Dog behavior problems occur due to many reasons.
The most common of these dog behavior problems are whining, picking up fights with other dogs, excessive barking and in extreme cases, biting. There are a number of reasons behind these dog behavior problems, depending on the breed and needs of the dog.

One of the most common reasons of dog behavior problems is separation from their family at a ver small age.
The mother is the best teacher for her child, and the dog loses this training if he's taken away from the family.

Aggressive behavior is also a serious dog behavior problem.
Dogs with a behavior problem sometime have a aggressive behavior. These dogs can either have fear aggression, domination aggression, or territorial or overprotective aggression.
Dogs with fear aggression will be easily frightened and be nervous at all times of the day.
Dogs with fear aggression respond to anything with a paranoia.
For example, a ringing doorbell will be a sure sign of impending doom for them.

Dogs with domination aggression will be unpredictable and very dangerous.
These dogs will either bully any one, one particular person or even other dogs.
Other dogs also have a territorial aggression and are overprotective of their areas.
These dogs pose a risk to anyone entering their territory.

Other symptoms of dog behavior problem show are whining, excessive barking, picking up fights, biting and relieving themselves indoors. There are a number of reasons behind these dog behavior problems.
Most of them are simple reasons and can be solved simply if the owner spends some time with the dogs.

A dog with a behaviorial problem may simply be treated inhumanely by the owner.
The dog may be experiencing hours of being locked up in the home all alone, or may not be taken out by its owner at all.

Dog behavior is a serious issue and may cause serious repercussions to the owner as well as the pet.
Though dog behavior problems may just seem to minor irritants for a while, truth is that extreme cases of dog actions due to dog behavior problems have also resulted in death.

Dog behavior problems should not be ignored.
Dog owners should reprimand dogs whenever they display symptoms of dog behavior problems.
One can also go through disciplinary training, so that the dog is trained properly.

Dogs are known to be man's best friend.
Therefore, needless to say, dogs need companionship.
Boredom is another big cause of behavior problems in dogs.
If a dog is bored, he may commit actions that are destructive in the eyes of others, like digging up a garden or even barking incessantly at people they recognize.

One another solution to dog behavior problems is exercise.
Exercise is the mainstay in any pet's life.
A good brisk walk with their owner in the evenings does a lot to buoy a dog's spirits.
Along with exercise, the owners should also take the dogs out for a jog or play a zestful game like fetch with their pets.
This is a good way of making the dog use up all their pent up energy.

Dogs should also be given a number of toys to keep them busy.
Dogs are generally busybodies and keeping them bored will cause them to have dog behavioral problems.

(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:54am PST 

Is your dog suffering from recurring seizures?
Are you aware of the symptoms and causes of seizures in dogs?
These seizures might be caused due to one of the common neurological disorders called epilepsy.
Canine epilepsy is a common brain disorder associated with abnormal electrical impulses that inhibit coordinated use of the muscles.
This condition can be classified into idiopathic epilepsy and secondary epilepsy in dogs.
This could be an inherited disorder or might be caused due to head trauma or infection.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:57am PST 
Epilepsy in dogs is a serious problem and it is observed rarely among dogs.
When, the neurons do not function properly, then epileptic seizures take place.
In a few cases what causes epilepsy in dogs cannot be found out.
Dogs in between the age of 1 to 3 years are mostly affected by this disease.
According to a survey, 4% of the dogs suffer from epilepsy. Epilepsy in dogs is a serious problem and hence should be cured immediately.

You cannot stop the dog being attacked by epilepsy, but, a few measures like feeding him proper food, making him exercise regularly might help and feeding the dog with different vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K and other nutritions will help to some extent.
Avoid feeding your dog with plant proteins and grains.
The dog's stomach cannot break and digest plant protein, hence it should be avoided.
Also, avoid feeding the dog with cheap dog food.
Cheap dog foods contain preservatives which can be harmful to the dog and hence, it should be avoided.
Taking proper dog care might just help in keeping epilepsy away.

Symptoms of Epilepsy in Dogs

Seizure is the most commonly observed symptom of epilepsy.
Along with seizure, the other symptoms are sudden change in the dog behavior.
The dog will also suffer from mood swings.
The dog will appear to be restless and uncomfortable.
You will also find him often whining and pacing.
At times, you will also find that he is trying to hide himself. Drooling and vomiting are also some commonly observed symptoms of epilepsy in dogs.
At times, the dog will lose control over the bladder.
In severe cases, the dog will lose consciousness.
The dogs will also experience violent muscle contractions.
Thrashing of legs and head, stiffening, teeth gnashing and vocalizations are also a few commonly observed epilepsy in dogs symptoms.
The dogs will appear thirsty, disoriented and also sleepy.
In some cases, the dogs will temporarily lose vision and sense of hearing.
These, symptoms will disappear after a few days of seizure.

Epilepsy in Dogs Treatment

If you want to avoid seizures, then you can add a teaspoon of honey to the dog's food.
In most cases, epilepsy in dogs cannot be cured completely.
If, epilepsy is in very initial stage, then with certain drugs, the growth of the disease can be curbed and will help in treating epilepsy in dogs.
With medication, the severity of epilepsy can be reduced.
Take the dog to the veterinarian regularly and opt for the measures told by the veterinarian and he will also help you to know epilepsy in dogs causes.
Not much can be done for treating epilepsy except following the veterinarian's advice.
Keep a track of the seizure.
Note down the time at which the seizure occurs and also note down for how much time it remains.
Read on dog health problems and dog illnesses.

If the dog suffers from seizure for more than 20 minutes, then the condition is supposed to be critical and hence he should be taken to the clinic immediately.
This was in brief about causes, symptoms and treatment for epilepsy in dogs.
Closely monitor the disorder in dogs, if any.
If the symptoms of the disorder match with that of epilepsy, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
If left untreated serious, complications might arise.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:58am PST 
Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative neurological disorders in dogs can also inhibit coordinated use of muscles.
One such disorder is degenerative myelopathy.
This condition is associated with the deterioration of the nerves in the spinal cord.
This generally affects older dogs.
A dog suffering from this condition will experience problems while walking, running and climbing.
This condition affects the dog's ability to use his rear legs.
As the disease progresses, the hind legs might even get paralyzed.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 11:59am PST 
Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

Is your dog suffering from dementia?
Dementia symptoms in dogs include disorientation, memory loss, confusion and personality changes.
If you find your dog staring at walls, walking in circles or not responding when you give familiar commands, it might be attributed to senile dementia or canine cognitive dysfunction.
Brain tumors in dogs could also cause such behavioral changes. Parkinson's disease is another neurological condition that can affect dogs.
The symptoms are jerking movements, tremors, stiff muscles and difficulty in balancing and walking.
It is a hereditary disease that might affect young dogs.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 12:03pm PST 
Dementia Symptoms in Dogs

Dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome is a serious health problem afflicting aging dogs.
Here are some common dementia symptoms in dogs which can help you track down the disease in time and provide adequate medical care.

Have you recently seen your dog look all bored and sleepy as if it has just lost the zest for life?
It not only has stopped greeting you joyfully at the door, but has also forgotten the old tricks you taught it!
Well, this might be the result of dementia or cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which usually affects aging pet dogs.
Although most of us disregard the apparent dementia symptoms in dogs as the part of the normal aging process, it is important to remember that the symptoms of the condition are not a part of the dogs growing old.

Canine dementia or senile dementia in dogs is sometimes compared to Alzheimer's disease in humans.
It is usually caused as a result of old age when the brain begins to naturally accumulate beta amyloid, a protein found that damages nerves. As this buildup increases, the starch like protein causes plaque in the brain which inhibits the transmission of neurological signals.
This leads to progressively a more severe cognitive dysfunction or dementia in your dog.
The disease is also referred to as old dog syndrome", "brain aging", "doggie dementia" or "senility". Here are some common symptoms of dementia in dogs.

Identifying Dog Dementia Symptoms


One of the most common signs of canine dementia is a feeling of disorientation or the "lost look" in your dog.

They may display a wide variety of unusual behavioral attributes including:

No longer responding to his name or familiar commands.

Getting stuck behind furniture or in corners.

Appearing lost or confused in familiar surroundings.

Walking in circles compulsively.

Staring blankly at walls or at nothing.

The dogs afflicted with dementia tend to repeat certain actions over and over again and also forget boundaries such as backyards, then wander past them and become lost.

Irritability and Unresponsiveness:

As the dementia progresses you may observe changes in the dog behavior. Your pet may appear to have become more and more "anti-social" as it no longer greets friends and family or seeks petting, praise and affection.
You may find your dog simply walking away when being petted.
All the attempts of showing affection may just fall flat as the dog tends to isolate itself.
It will also be increasingly irritable and annoyed, especially near children.

Changes in Sleeping Habits:

Canine dementia will also affect a dog's sleeping habits as dogs display insomnia-like symptoms.
Most times, instead of sleeping they just wander around, or on the other hand, are nearly constantly asleep.
Sometimes they have the day and night reversed, so they end up sleeping in the morning and are awake all night.

Training Slip Ups:

If your dog is afflicted with dementia then watch out for the "accidents" in the house.
Many a time, this is due to a physical loss of bladder and bowel movement control.
The dogs will also stop asking to be let out or when outside, they often forget the reason for being there and return home and soil the carpet underneath or behind furniture.

It is observed that the large dog breeds are more prone to dementia than the small dogs.
However, by 11 years of age, it is observed that one in every three dogs are affected by the disease.
If you believe that your dog has dementia then it is best to consult a veterinarian as fast as possible.
Once diagnostic tests are performed the doctor may be able to distinguish it from other dog related health problems with similar symptoms such as hydrocephalus, encephalitis, renal or heart failure and urinary tract infections.
Based on the this the doctor may recommend treatment options like behavior modification exercises or a specific drug therapy.
For more information on dogs and their illness and how to go about identifying and treating the problems, you can also
Having said thus, that dementia in canines is a confusing and alarming disease for which there is no cure.
However, identifying the dementia symptoms in dogs and watching out for it may allow a chance for the disease to be controlled and the cognitive ability improved in your aging dog.
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 12:08pm PST 
Brain Tumors in Dogs

Brain tumor in dogs is a common medical condition that occurs mostly in middle aged and older canines.
However, it may also affect the younger animals.
An overview of brain tumors in dogs has been presented in this article...

Dog breeds which have been studied to be more susceptible to developing brain tumors are, golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Scottish terriers, boxers, Boston terriers and old English sheepdogs.
Commonly diagnosed brain tumors in dogs include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and meningiomas.
Some tumors tend to develop directly from the tissues of the brain, while there are some which spread to the brain through the bloodstream. Factors which go behind causing brain tumors in dogs have not been identified yet.
However, diet, environment, and chemical, genetic, viral, immunologic conditions and trauma do fall in the list of assumptions.
Tumors may develop in any part of the brain and the occurrence of the symptoms may be gradual or abrupt by nature.
The symptoms of brain tumor in dogs may be mild or extreme and involve physical and psychological changes in the animal.
As you keep reading, you would come to know about all possible symptoms of this medical condition and the viable treatment options available, as well.

Brain Tumors in Dogs Symptoms

Talking about the physical changes or symptoms of brain tumor in dogs; they include reduced appetite, difficulty in swallowing, excessive thirst, gradual loss of trained habits and reduced level of activity. You might also notice that your pet has developed abnormal changes in gait and constantly falls due to loss of balance.
Difficulty in jumping and climbing, developing hypersensitivity, difficulty in moving the eyes, facial paralysis, tilting of head, vomiting, seizures and tremors, all account as signs of brain tumors in dogs.
Pressing the face against a hard surface and weakness on one side of the body are some of the other symptoms which may also be evident.

This was regarding the physical changes which crop up when a dog suffers form a brain tumor.
As mentioned, the symptoms are also related to certain psychological changes too.
These are behavioral changes, irritability, compulsions in eating and barking, depression, confusion and disorientation.
In some cases, it has also been found that aggressive dogs become docile, while docile dogs turn aggressive.
This is one of the symptoms of brain tumors in dogs and it is regarded as a personality reversal in animals.

Brain Tumors In Dogs Treatment

The treatment generally involves methods for getting rid of the tumor for good or slowing down the growth of the tumor.
Surgery becomes an option depending upon the nature of the tumor; its extent, location, size and severity.
However, for certain locations in the brain like that of the brainstem (the part of the brain continuous with the spinal cord and comprising the medulla oblongata, pons, midbrain and parts of the hypothalamus), surgery is not considered as it harbors the risk of causing death to the animal.

Radiotherapy is the most widely used and preferred treatment method for brain tumors in dogs.
It may be used as a lone treatment or in combination with other treatment methods.
The benefit of this method comes from the fact that the tumors will be eliminated without causing much harm to the normal tissues of the brain.

Chemotherapy is also available as a treatment for this condition in dogs.
However, the method yields successful results, only when the administered drugs have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Only high doses of medications are generally effective for treating the tumors, but again, such doses may be toxic for the normal brain tissues.
However, with medical advancement, many drugs have been evolved which can cross the blood brain barrier and help in getting rid of the tumor.

To conclude this piece on brain tumors in dogs, it is to be understood by all pet owners that their affected pets might not show any such signs or symptoms as mentioned above, until a few years.
This is due to the fact that the tumors have a slow growth rate and hence do not manifest themselves easily through any such signs.
So, it is obvious that by the time the symptoms start revealing themselves, the tumors might have already crossed their first stage. So, it becomes extremely important for people to take their pets to a vet, as soon as they notice any of the above mentioned signs or symptoms.
A hasty treatment is what is required to add more years to your pets' life!
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Tue Aug 2, '11 12:09pm PST 
Canine Vestibular Syndrome

Sudden loss of balance, disorientation, nystagmus, facial nerve problems and head tilt are some of the symptoms associated with peripheral vestibular syndrome.
This neurological disorder is caused due to an inflammation in the nerves that connect the inner ear and the cerebellum.
This condition generally affects middle-aged or older dogs.
It can be caused due to canine diseases such as Lyme's disease, Mountain spotted fever or liver disease.
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