Dementia can occur in many different species besides humans but some of the symptoms can be quite different and often quite subtle to start with.
For this reason, it is thought that dementia is enormously under-diagnosed which can result in many pets being untreated and this can hasten it’s progression.
Causes of Dementia
Like humans, older dogs and cats are susceptible to developing age-related illnesses like dementia.
This week, we are discussing the CAUSES of dementia in cats and dogs:
The brain is a very busy organ which requires a lot of Oxygen. As the cells in the brain use the oxygen to burn nutrients for energy, chemicals are released. Overtime this can damage the nerves in the brain in a process called oxidative damage.
Additionally, reduced blood flow through the brain due to age related changes to the blood vessels is also thought to play a role.
The bodies antioxidants play a vital role in mopping up the harmful oxidants that are released as the brain burns nutrients for energy. Normally the antioxidants balance out the oxidants, but with age, stress and a number of different diseases this balance is upset.
The end result is loss of functioning nerves in the brain and this process can even lead to the brain shrinking in size. The symptoms of this shrinkage manifest themselves as dementia.