Changes in behaviour in elderly cats and dogs, part 1: causes and diagnosis
Monday, November 2, 2015
Changes in behaviour in elderly cats and dogs can occur as a result of a number of different medical conditions as well as age-related cognitive dysfunction. They may include problem behaviours such as aggression, house soiling, increasing fearfulness and waking owners at night. Early recognition of behaviour changes in elderly animals can lead to faster diagnosis and treatment of the underlying medical and/or behavioural conditions. However, owners of elderly pets do not always mention changes in their pets' behaviour during veterinary visits so veterinary nurses need to routinely ask owners of elderly pets about their pets' behaviour and to be aware of the significance of any changes reported. Targeted questionnaires or screening tests can make it easier to identify behaviour changes suggestive of cognitive dysfunction.
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