Parkinson’s disease in Dogs Symptoms and Treatment: Tips & Suggestions

August 4, 2011 | Dog Diseases | Leave a Comment |

Parkinson’s disease in Dogs

  • Recently, researchers have determined the cause of such disease. Parkinson’s disease happens when there is a mutation in the Parkin protein, which does not tag bad cells which begin to accumulate and affect the cell’s capacity to carry out its function. Like in humans, the Parkinson’s disease in dogs can be hereditary.
  • Scientists are continuously studying the conditions in dogs.
    Specifically, they focus on determining which genes are likely to develop such neurological conditions.
  • Parkinson’s disease can also affect younger dogs, which spells the huge difference between the Parkinson’s disease in humans.

Parkinson’s Disease in Dogs Symptoms

Because the muscles play a crucial role in mobility, a dog’s ability to move around is generally affected by Parkinson’s disease because the muscles are the target of this illness. Hence, there will be great changes in the dog’s behavior. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Tremors in muscles. The tremors will worsen as the diseases progresses.
  • Stiffness in muscles or stiffness in movement
  • Difficulty in balancing and in walking
  • Changes in mental alertness
  • Lethargy

There will also be odd changes in all movements and muscle functions of dogs including their ability to produce sounds like howl or bark.

The movement disorders are characterized by slowing down of physical movement, loss of physical movement or akinesia, and muscle rigidity. In akinesia, it is almost always the feet which are affected.

Parkinson’s disease in Dogs Treatment

  • It is often hard to diagnose Parkinson’s disease in dogs and much harder to treat because by the time the neurological disorder is diagnosed, it is already at a later stage. In most cases, it will be too late to try to run diagnostic tests.
  • Upon clear diagnosis of the illness, pet owners must understand that there is a limitation to what veterinarians can offer as treatment.
  • Unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease in dogs is also incurable. Its damages to the motor skills are irreversible.
  • The following are what the pet owners can best offer to their dogs:
    • Restrictive diet
    • A boost in its exercise
    • Use of medications to help control the tremors
  • During the time when dogs are affected with the condition, most pet owners seek out the advice of veterinarians for continuous treatment to mitigate the chances of developing complications, and thus, prolong the life of dogs.
  • In general, dogs affected with such condition, often diagnosed at a later stage, do not have a longer life. They usually pass away while they are sleeping.

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