March 2017
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Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in Dogs Quiz

As dogs age, they may begin to exhibit behavior changes that are attributed to normal aging, including being slow to respond to typical daily stimuli. In reality, some of these dogs may be showing clinical signs of cognitive decline, also referred to as cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). At routine appointments, veterinarians can screen their aging canine patients for these changes, the signs of which typically start about halfway through the dog’s anticipated lifespan.

The following quiz highlights current understanding of CDS, along with its pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in Dogs Quiz

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Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in Dogs Quiz
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References and author information Show
  1. Fast R, Schutt T, Toft N, Moller A, Berendt M. An observational study with long-term follow-up of canine cognitive dysfunction: clinical characteristics, survival, and risk factors. J Vet Intern Med. 2013;27(4):822-829.
  2. Landsberg G, Hunthausen W, Ackerman L. The effects of aging on behavior in senior pets. In: Landsberg G, Hunthausen W, Ackerman L, eds. Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2013:217-229.
  3. Osella MC, Re G, Odore R, et al. Canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome: prevalence, clinical signs and treatment with a neuroprotective nutraceutical. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2007;105(4):297-310.
  4. Landsberg GM, Nichol J, Araujo JA. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome: a disease of canine and feline brain aging. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2012;42(4):749-768.
  5. Overall K. Abnormal canine behavior and behavioral pathologies not primarily involving pathological aggression: canine dysfunction (CD) and canine dysfunction syndrome (CDS). In: Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:264-273.

Elizabeth Stelow

DVM, DACVB University of California, Davis

Elizabeth Stelow, DVM, DACVB, is chief of behavior service at University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Her interests in behavior span most companion mammal and avian species, with a focus on anxiety, aggression, and the human-animal bond. Dr. Stelow received her veterinary degree from UC Davis and served as a relief veterinarian before entering the clinical veterinary behavior residency program. She joined the UC Davis faculty following completion of the residency and board certification in veterinary behavior. Prior to pursuing veterinary training, Dr. Stelow serviced the animal community as public relations director for a large animal shelter in the Los Angeles area. 

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