The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is a disease similar to Alzheimer’s in humans. This progressive neurodegenerative disease affects senior dogs, causes many behavioral changes and decreases welfare in both the dog and owner. Even with its high impact, many studies have shown CDS is underdiagnosed. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of CDS in Thailand and to identify its risk factors. In this study, 622 senior dogs (seven years old and older) were randomly recruited. After an initial interview, 389 dogs were excluded from the study due to clinical and/or sensory impairment. Owners of the remaining dogs (233 dogs) completed a questionnaire that listed behavior related to CDS. Behavior was grouped by category: disorientation, interaction, sleep-wake cycle and activity and house soiling. Consequently, 122 dogs ( 5 2 . 4 %) showed signs consistent with CDS. The percentage of dogs with CDS signs significantly increased with age and neutered dogs had a 2.3 fold higher odds of developing CDS than intact dogs. Sex and body weight/size did not significantly correlate with cognitive decline. The study also revealed sleepwake cycle and activity was the most impaired behavior category. Only 30 % of the owners of dogs in the study were aware of CDS. Our study concluded that advanced age and reproductive status were the most obvious risk factors. The prevalence of CDS reported here was similar to that in previously reported findings. The questionnaire can be useful in screening for CDS. However, definitive CDS diagnosis requires observation and detailed owner feedback.

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