Antioxidant Vitamins. Has your dog experienced a loss of house training, stopped greeting you at the door, gets lost in the house? These are the classic signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) or what’s referred to as Alzheimer’s disease in dogs. CDS or canine dementia is not uncommon in senior dog’s age 11 years and over and is also a leading cause of euthanasia.
Several studies have compared the Alzheimer’s disease process in pets and people and found that the process of amyloid beta plaques forming neuro-fibrillatory tangles in the brains of man and dogs appears to be quite similar. Forgetfulness, disorientation and mental decline appear to be the primary signs in both species. The primary difference seems to be how these signs are manifested.
New research has been published indicating that patients suffering with these symptoms have lower levels of antioxidants specifically Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Consequently dietary manipulation and proper supplementation of antioxidant Vitamins A and C may be of value to influence the progression of this disease in pets and people.
Currently Anipryl made by Pfizer and available through veterinarians or Deprinyl the over the counter equivalent, is recommended for long term therapy in dogs.
This study suggests that supplementing your canine’s diet with certain whole foods may be part of the solution. Citrus fruits including oranges are rich in Vitamin C and they make tasty canine treats. Carrots and spinach represent dietary sources of Vitamin A that are healthy and enjoyed by many dogs. Providing dogs with antioxidant supplements rich in Vitamins A and C may also prove to be valuable steps in reversing and/or retarding the disease progression as well as restoring mental ability and normal brain function.
The next time you go grocery shopping bring consider bringing home some fresh vegetables and fruit for your cherished 4-legged companion. In addition to protecting the brain from oxidative stress these whole foods may also help reverse the signs of mental decline. They make great, safe healthy snacks and can also be added to your best friend’s daily diet.