Evaluation of cognitive function in the Dog Aging Project: associations with baseline canine characteristics. Academic Article uri icon


  • Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is a neurodegenerative disease in aging dogs. It has been described previously in relatively small cohorts of dogs using multiple different rating scales. This study aimed to use a minimally modified CCD rating scale developed by previous researchers to describe the prevalence of CCD more thoroughly in a large, nationwide cohort of companion dogs participating in the Dog Aging Project (DAP) (n=15,019). Associations between various canine characteristics, predicted lifespan quartiles, and CCD were examined using univariable and multivariable logistic regression models and receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis. When controlling for all other characteristics, the odds of CCD increased 52% with each additional year of age. Among dogs of the same age, health status, breed type, and sterilization status, odds of CCD were 6.47 times higher in dogs who were not active compared to those who were very active. When controlling for age, breed type, activity level, and other comorbidities, dogs with a history of neurological, eye, or ear disorders had higher odds of CCD. Lifespan quartile analysis showed excellent discriminating ability between CCD positive and negative dogs. Weight-based lifespan quartile estimation could therefore serve as a tool to inform CCD screening by veterinarians.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Yarborough, S., Fitzpatrick, A., Schwartz, S. M., & Dog Aging Project Consortium.

complete list of authors

  • Yarborough, Sarah||Fitzpatrick, Annette||Schwartz, Stephen M

publication date

  • August 2022