Helping cats and dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome feel better and act younger
Pets are living longer. As a consequence, the population of dogs and cats developing signs of senility is growing. Cognitive
dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is a disease of age-related degenerative changes in the brain similar to that seen in people experiencing
The clinical signs of CDS involve age-related development of behavioral changes unrelated to other medical or behavioral conditions.
The most common signs associated with CDS in cats are disorientation, changes in sleep patterns, housesoiling, and changes
in activity. In dogs, the changes in behavior may be more overt (Table 1).
Table 1: DISHA—Behavioral Signs of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
CDS is a diagnosis of exclusion. Once systemic illnesses, organic brain disease, and true behavioral problems have been ruled
out, cognitive dysfunction should be considered in older dogs and cats exhibiting signs of decreased mental acuity or dementia.
Interventions for CDS include environmental management, dietary modification, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) supplementation,
and occasionally drug therapy* (Table 2). As with any behavioral condition, appropriate behavior modification and environmental enrichment can play important roles
in optimal response. In some senior pets, even limiting their environmental scope or stimuli can improve their abilities to
cope on a daily basis.
Table 2: Management Strategies for Pets with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome
NOVIFIT® (NoviSAMe®) Tablets are an S-adenosylmethionine tosylate supplement for cognitive health of older dogs and cats. SAMe is an endogenous
molecule that stimulates cell metabolism in all tissues and has been found to be deficient in patients with Alzheimer's disease.
This supplement can be more cost-effective than psychotropic drugs and has few known side effects or contraindications, making
it an excellent choice for senior patients. Moreover, once-daily oral administration, with or without food, helps ensure client
compliance. It is the only supplement for CDS in cats backed by scientific research.1
When your client describes one or more of the behavior changes commonly associated with CDS, it is time to have a conversation
about the possible causes and long-term management strategies. The latest research confirms that, with early intervention,
SAMe supplementation may delay the worsening or improve the mental acuity of affected cats and dogs.
1. Araujo JA, Faubert ML, Brooks ML, et al. NOVIFIT® (NoviSAMe®) Tablets improve executive function in aged dogs and cats: Implications for treatment of cognitive dysfunction syndrome.
Intern J Appl Res Vet Med 2012;10(1):90-98.
*No drugs are currently approved for treating CDS in cats.