Dealing with mental decline
Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in pets can put a strain on the human-animal bond. As pets age, behavioral signs such as disorientation/confusion, decreased social interaction, sleep-wake cycle alterations, housesoiling, and anxiety can be physically and emotionally taxing on both pets and their owners. If a middle-aged or older animal displays any of the classic signs, it could be an indicator that the animal needs to be evaluated and treated for CDS (after medical causes have been ruled out).
Realizing the benefits of SAMe
Although a definitive cause for CDS has not been identified in aging dogs or cats, research has shown that advancing age has been associated with decreased levels of the amino acid S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) in people and rats.1,2 SAMe is an endogenous compound that is naturally produced in the bodies of both animals and people and is a versatile molecule that plays a vital role in a myriad of biochemical reactions and cellular functions.
Treating CDS with Novifit®
Virbac Animal Health elected to introduce SAMe in the field of brain aging because of the extensive history the molecule has in human psychiatry and neurology. To that end, Virbac created Novifit®s, a SAMe nutraceutical product proven to alleviate the clinical signs of CDS in aging dogs.3 In a preliminary open field trial, 49 dogs over 7 years of age were administered Novifit over a four-month period. Clinical signs and blood sampling were recorded each month to evaluate results. After two months, significant improvement was seen in the level of activity and willingness to play. There was also a reduction of sleeping and housesoiling problems. Complete blood counts and serum chemistry profiles did not show abnormal variations when compared to basal values.
The Power of V
Endogenous SAMe is a highly reactive molecule and, therefore, has very poor intrinsic stability. SAMe also exists as two isomers that differ in level of metabolic activity; one is highly active while the other is relatively inactive. Novifit contains a pure, stable, and highly active form of tosylated SAMe, called NoviSAMe. Obtained from a unique manufacturing process, NoviSAMe is contained in an enteric coating to allow optimal absorption in the intestinal tract. Novifit has no known side effects, and its lack of toxicity makes it safe to use in most aging dogs and cats suffering from age-related behavior problems, including those with concomitant disease.
Behavior disorders found in elderly pets
Minimal side effects and sound evidence3 that Novifit is effective in treating CDS make for a safe and reliable way to make pets' latter years more enjoyable—for them and for their owners. It plays a role in strengthening the human-animal bond and revitalizing that symbiotic relationship between people and their pets.
1. Surtees R, Hyland K. Cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of S-adenosylmethionine, methionine, and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate in a reference population: cerebrospinal fluid S-adenosylmethionine declines with age in humans. Biochem Med Metab Biol 1990; 44:192-199.
2. Stramentinoli G, Gualano M, Catto E, et al. Tissue levels of S-adenosylmethionine in aging rats. J Gerontol 1977;32:392-394.
3. Réme CA, Dramard V, Kern L, et al. Effects of S-adenosylmethionine tablets on the reduction of age-related mental decline in dogs: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Vet Ther 2008,9:69-82.