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Life In The Old Dog Yet- an article about senility
A few years ago the Hills food company brought out a new product called ‘b/d’. The boss that I worked for had very close connections with Hills and was a big advocate of their products, as I am now. When the man came to tell us about b/d I have to say I thought to myself, ‘I’m never going to manage to sell a single bag of that’ and I thought it was all a bit of a gimmick. I was wrong.
I idea behind b/d is to help in the treatment of senility and other neurological problems in dogs. I just couldn’t see how a food could help with such things but because it was in my head I started looking for potential cases. Hills had produced a list of signs that older dogs tend to show when they are becoming senile. One of the things that made me interested was that my old dog Penny had showed several of these signs in the last few years of her life. We just put it down to her age and the fact that she was going a ‘bit doolally’. It never occurred to me that there might one day be something that could help.
Senility is recognised more and more in our dogs now as scientific advances have meant that they are living for longer and longer periods of time. There are several behavioural changes that occur as the brain ages and deteriorates. Commonly these are things such as;
1. lack of responsiveness to the owners
I’m sure many of you reading this may see an element of these things in your own elderly companion (and maybe in your dog too!).
Senility is a sign of aging in the brain and wear and tear on the cells. Neurons are one of the few types of cell in the body that can never be replaced so as they die they are lost for ever. This is quite a scary thought, especially when you learn that the average human loses thousands every day from about the age of twenty. I know there are days when I feel like I’ve only a couple functioning!
The idea behind b/d is that it has very high levels of antioxidants in it. Hills worked with a top human senility expert when they developed b/d and it is thought that this could also be a big breakthrough in helping human senility. Many of you are probably aware of antioxidants as they are talked about a lot these days. They help to mop up things in the blood called ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are like little thugs that merrily go round the body beating up cells and causing a lot of trouble. Antioxidants are the radical police and are they always get their man. Vitamins A, C and E are good examples, as is selenium.
A few weeks after we had been told about this new wonder food I saw a very nice client of mine with her elderly spaniel Benson. I used to see Benson quite regularly because, as with many old dogs, he had a few ailments such as arthritis and so on. During our check up his mum mentioned that he had started getting them up in the night because he was pacing around. They’d thought he might be struggling to go all night without a wee but when he was let out he just wandered about and came back in.
I showed her the list of signs and asked if any of the others looked familiar and sure enough he seemed to be a bit of a textbook case. I had a very good relationship with Benson’s mum and told her about the new food but was also quite up front about my reservations. We both felt that it was certainly worth a try and he had nothing to lose.
I asked her to give me a ring in a few weeks time and let me know if there had been any change. I told her that it could take 4-6 weeks for a difference to be seen. After only a couple of weeks she called and was over the moon. The difference in Benson was remarkable. Many of the signs of senility had completely gone. She reported that he was much more alert and like he used to be when he was much younger.
I was really pleased. With many of these things we rely so much on you as clients to tell us what works and what doesn’t. It’s amazing how many times people just don’t bother to come back but it makes a massive difference. If something works well then we are in a position to use your testimonials to help others. Since then I have sold many a bag of b/d and can feel happy in the knowledge that I am selling it based on results I have seen for myself and the comments from owners who are, frankly, astounded by the difference it can make in some cases.
If you recognise any of these signs it’s well worth asking your vet to order you a bag. It’s a good natural way to help and you could be amazed. I have to admit that since I’ve seen the results I’ve had the odd vitamin E tablet when the crossword seems to be getting the better of me!