Ulrika Jonsson has revealed her devastation at watching her dog suffer with dementia.

The 53-year-old TV presenter adopted Fella the bulldog last year and admits she was heartbroken to find that the animal suffered from the syndrome, which causes a deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Writing in Best magazine, Ulrika explained: ''Over time, I've learnt that he has dementia. He looks at me without recognition sometimes. Sits and stares at doors or barks at walls unprovoked.

''On walks, he can forget what is happening, and just stops, or turns around and insists on going in the opposite direction. He doesn't always respond to my name - but still knows what a T-R-E-A-T is.''

Ulrika added that she did not know that dogs could suffer from dementia.

She said: ''It had never occurred to me that dogs could have dementia, until I spoke to a fellow dog owner. It's such a cruel disease.''

Ulrika was only supposed to look after nine-year-old Fella for just two weeks, but found herself unable to let the animal go and eventually adopted him full time.

The former 'Gladiators' host wrote: ''When the two weeks were up, there was no way I could let this old fella go.

''I didn't want him to have to get used to a new family at his age. He could barely walk when he came to me; hardly slept and when he did it was never on anything soft; he didn't ask for affection because he didn't know what it was. My heart just ached for him.''

Jonsson also feels that it easy to be affectionate towards a dog.

She said: ''I learnt very quickly that love, affection, patience and good food is all you need to give.''