Inside the brains of aging dogs

Doug Collins

Neurological changes

Aging dogs experience various structural and functional changes in their brains. These changes can include the shrinkage of brain tissue, especially in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, which are responsible for memory and learning.

Cognitive decline

Dogs, like humans, can experience cognitive decline with age, impacting their memory and problem-solving abilities. This condition, known as canine cognitive dysfunction, shares similarities with Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Reduced sensory perception

Aging in dogs can result in reduced sensory perception, affecting their hearing, vision, and sense of smell. This decline can impact their ability to navigate and engage with their surroundings.

Changes in sleep patterns

Older dogs may exhibit altered sleep patterns, sleeping more during the day and experiencing disrupted sleep at night, likely due to changes in brain chemistry and hormones.

Behavioral changes

As decreased activity, reduced interest in play or exercise, and increased irritability or anxiety. These changes can be linked to the natural aging of the brain and the potential development of age-related conditions.

Neurodegenerative risk

Dogs face an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases like canine cognitive dysfunction, Parkinson's-like conditions, and dementia. These conditions can worsen cognitive decline and present other neurological symptoms.

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