Canine Dementia Essay

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Many of the population today believe animals of the canine genus, dogs, to be “man’s best friend.” This philosophy appears to be especially pertinent when dealing with the comparison between Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the two species. The amount, progression and deterioration of the brain of the two are strikingly similar. Canine Dementia is a rising concern for elderly dogs, as the damage appears to localize on the areas of the brain that affect spatial determination. For example, a dog may stand for hours staring at the hinges of a door, knowing it to be open, but unable to remember where the door opens; another scenario is if one’s dog got out of the yard and wandered for hours, unable to remember where their own…show more content…
An earlier study also confirmed that though quite rare, canines also suffered from neurological diseases parallel to human Alzheimer’s and provided and accurate portrayal of their human counterparts in terms of cellular degeneration and areas affected by the disease. (Barsoum, Callahan, Robinson & Chang 2000). This study also notes that the common body sizes and physiology between canines and humans is significant enough to use canines in an attempt to stand in for a human subject. They also list some of the diseases that present in Canines and mimick human forms such as Genetic Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (compared to human seizures), Hereditary Canine Spinal Muscular Atrophy (similar to Human muscle atrophy), Mucopolysaccharidosis and MPS 1 (similar to the human presentation of the same disease). In 2006 Rofina and their research group sought to establish a measurement through a questionnaire that could be used along with Veterinary examinations to diagnose Alzheimer’s in dogs. This questionnaire, paired with a necropsy—which was performed to rule out any other sort of reason for the subject’s behavior change, helped to evaluate the change in the subject’s behavior due to the canine counterpart of Alzheimer’s. The subject’s score of dementia on the questionnaire correlated significantly with all the brain lesions studied. With such evidence linking

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