How To Tell If A Dog Has Dementia; Veterinarian Dr. Mike Hutchinson Explains

Larry Richert and John Shumway
January 10, 2019 - 11:09 am
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Related: Dr. Mike Tells KDKA Radio How Mold Can Kill Your Dog

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Dr. Mike Hutchinson, veterinarian and owner of the Animal General in Cranberry, joined the KDKA Radio Morning News on Friday to answer some animal questions.

These are the questions that he was asked:

Our Labrador dog loves to swim in the muddy pond, but hates to get a bath.  Do you have any suggestions to change this about him? 

“Start small, let them get comfortable with the water. You don’t have to fill it up. Make sure the water is warm and get there feet covered. Bring some toys and bring that positive attitude,” Dr. Mike said.

“If you’re going like ‘uh oh, I hate doing this,’ they sense it. They feel our vibrations, so we want to make sure we’re in a positive mood.”

Our dog has never been aggressive his whole life (9years).  Recently, he seems to be very irritable for no reason.  Could this be a sign of cancer?

“I can’t take cancer off that list. I start thinking that something is up, like an ear infection or maybe arthritis is setting in. If they are sore and they get pushed the wrong way, it hurts and they won’t like it,” Dr. Mike tells KDKA Radio.

“It could be something more serious, like a metabolic disease. They could be developing something that they are sensing and it is changing their mood and affecting their mind. I would have your dog checked.”

How do you know if a dog has dementia?

“Behavioral change. They will start forgetting where their food bowl is, they’ll start staring at a corner, they’ll have accidents in the house and they won’t come for attention wagging their tail,” Dr. Mike explains.  

“An owner will know it immediately that something is up. It’s usually slowly progressive and it comes with age.”

Is fish oil safe for a dog with a chronic pancreatitis condition?

“Fish oils are extremely safe for dogs and they are also very healthy. You can get a concentrated capsule, that’s what I give my dogs every day of their life and it contains omega 3 fatty acids. Those can help a pancreatitis case get better,” Dr. Mike added.

“I would be wary of coconut oil. A lot of people ask me about giving coconut oil, and I would only use that advice if it was from a veterinarian.”

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