Images of Dementia in Dogs

These videos and photos of my dog with canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) have prompted thanks from hundreds of dog owners who thought something was little “off” with their dog but didn’t know about the disease.

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should take him or her to the vet right away. CCD is treatable, but there are also other diseases that can cause similar symptoms. You need to know what you and your dog are dealing with.

Video: What Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Can Look Like

This video shows different behaviors that are typical of canine cognitive dysfunction. They include the dog getting stuck behind things; forgetting what she is doing and (poignantly) repeatedly greeting her human after she forgets where she was; getting confused about the door; and circling.

Video: Dog Turning Circles

A video that shows both subtle and more obvious circling behaviors.

Photos: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Gallery

My little Cricket lived for a long time with dog dementia. Besides the classic standing in corners and staring at walls, she often just stopped in strange positions and zoned out. She especially couldn’t get in dog beds correctly and would stop and rest in very strange positions sometimes.

186 Comments

  1. Maria says:

    My 16yo chihuahua mix has had CCD for about a year. He takes Anipryl daily along with nutritional supplements. For about the last month he has become VERY aggressive with us. He snarls and snaps whenever we get near hm. Just in the last two days he has bit me three times and my husband four times. I am worried that he will bite someone else. I’m wondering whether it is now time to put him down even though he’s still doing ok by all other standards.

    • Eileen Anderson says:

      Hi Maria,
      Every dog seems to take a different journey, and this one must be so distressing for you. Can you talk to your vet or a vet behaviorist about any other meds? It’s a long shot I guess, and they would have to fit with the Anipryl, but it would be worth asking. It’s really really hard emotionally to euthanize a dog because of behavior, but it can be a valid choice. I’m just so sorry you are faced with it. If it is all possible to consult with a veterinary behaviorist (it’s a medical specialty among vets)? They specialize in cases like yours. Sometimes they will consult with your own vet for free, or you can pay for a consult with a referral. Hugs and good luck.

  2. Darlene Godwin says:

    Our dog Gizmo will be 16 years old. He has severe arthritis and bad joints. He will be walking and his back legs give out on him. He is blind in one eye and almost blind in his other eye. About six months ago we started noticing he seemed lost at times. He got stuck in places like under the table or behind chairs and would start going around in circles. His sleeping is getting less and less. He will just whine. His joints are so bad we have to take him up and down the stairs to take him outside. He has a lot of accidents. We just put one of our dogs down last June because of a bad heart. We know the time will come when we have to say good bye but it is so hard. Also he has a breathing problem. I guess what I am asking is it time to let him go?

    • Eileen Anderson says:

      Dear Darlene,
      I’m sorry Gizmo is starting to have so many problems. Have you looked at the Quality of Life Scale? It’s linked on the “When to Say Goodbye?” page. It organizes the different issues in a helpful way. I think.

      It’s a terrible decision to have to make for our best friends. I hope for good days for Gizmo, and a clear decision for you when it’s time.

      There are people discussing their decisions on my blog post, “The Dreaded Choice.” You might want to check out the discussion there. Take care.

      Eileen

  3. Linda Briden Spies says:

    My 18 year old chihuahua mix has SUDDENLY become VERY anxious after being in bed at night for about 3 hours. He has slept in bed with us for his entire life, but now wakes, jumps down, cries to be picked back up, and as soon as I have him back in bed, he jumps right back down and paces around the room. His blood work results were 100% perfect, as was a urinalysis. Vet prescribed trazadone morning and evening, but that doesn’t get him more than a few hours. Xanax gets him about 6-7 hours of sleep. Just started Selegilene yesterday and understand this can take a while to have an effect. Everything else is perfectly normal-loves his walks, no accidents indoors, eats normally,not aggressive, and will be fine most of the day. It’s the nights that get to him.

    • Eileen Anderson says:

      Hi Linda,
      I’m sorry about those hard nights; that sounds hard on everybody. I’m glad your vet has prescribed Selegiline and I hope it helps. Crossing fingers that the meds can help your chi mix not have agitation at night.

      Eileen

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