Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2019 May;49(3):477-499. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2019.01.013. Epub 2019 Mar 5.


Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is the canine analog of human Alzheimer disease (AD). The pathophysiology of CCD/AD is multifaceted. CCD is common in aged (>8 years) dogs, affecting between 14% and 35% of the pet dog population. Apparent confusion, anxiety, disturbance of the sleep/wake cycle, and decreased interaction with owners are all common clinical signs of CCD. Although there is no cure for CCD, several proven effective therapeutic approaches are available for improving cognitive ability and maintaining a good quality of life; instituting such therapies early in the disease course is likely to have the greatest positive clinical effect.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Canine; Cognitive; Dementia; Dysfunction; Vascular; β-Amyloid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Dog Diseases / physiopathology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy
  • Dogs
  • Palliative Care*
  • Veterinary Medicine / trends