Diagnostic Evaluation of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome

F.D.M. Krug M.T. Tillmann M.B.C. Piñeiro C.B.M. Mendes S.O. Capella F.R.P. Bruhn M.O. Nobre About the authors

ABSTRACT

The objective was to evaluate the observational questionnaire and the reactivity tests as a way of screening and diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction in elderly dogs. Ten dogs over seven years of age, with behavioral complaints, were studied. A questionnaire was used that addressed behavioral issues such as disorientation, activity, socioenvironmental interaction, changes in sleep pattern, and house-dirtiness. Responses were converted into scores, which summed the dog with canine cognitive dysfunction (DCC), or Borderline (BL) or without behavioral changes (SAC). Soon after, the following cognitive tests were performed on all dogs: open field, curiosity, interaction with human and with mirror. Through questionnaire evaluation, two dogs had CHD, three were BL, and five were SAC. The dogs classified with DCC were older than the others and presented alterations in all reactivity tests, while the BL dogs presented changes in two reactivity tests and CAD showed no alterations. With the increase in canine life expectancy, the observational questionnaire was a screening instrument for the identification of dogs classified with DCC, BL and SAC and the reactivity tests as an innovative method to identify the true cognitive status of the dogs elderly patients.

Keywords:
senility; cognitive impairment; open field; curiosity; interaction with human

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