Re: Article on dementia

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#11404

Pam
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I am so happy to have found this thread and to hear about all the other people struggling with their own sleeplessness as well as their dogs‘ dementia! I have a Welsh Terrier, Hutch, who will be 19 next month. He was creaky but doing relatively well until mid-October, when he had what we assume was a stroke. After that he was virtually paralyzed on his right side for about 4 weeks, then with physiotherapy, magnet therapy, acupuncture, homeopathics, chiropractic treatments and much patience he started being able to stand and walk again, if slowly and not very far. He still has ataxia to the right. For actual walks I take him in a dog buggy and then let him walk when he wants to. He has been eating and drinking well the entire time and generally lets me know when he needs to go out to relieve himself, even if we don’t always make it in time (I live in an apartment and have to carry him down 2 flights of stairs). He still sniffs when he is outside, and shows interest in his surroundings, although he is now blind in one eye and can’t hear very well. I feed him a home-cooked diet most of the time.

So much for the general background. Right after the stroke he started barking in the middle of the night, which he had never done before. It usually starts between 3 and 5 am. In the past week it has gotten much worse. Before that, if I took him out to pee and gave him something to eat he would fall asleep again. Now he just barks and barks, up to 4 hours. When he barks in the daytime it is always because he needs to go out immediately, and it stops when he gets what he wants. Since I hadn’t had a truly decent night’s sleep since October I spoke with my vet and we decided to try him on 1/2 a valium tablet for a couple of nights so I can get some sleep. I gave him one last night and he slept 6 hours straight (until 4 am). After that he started barking and eventually fell asleep around 7:30. As of today I am also giving him a homeopathic mixture of Cerebrum and Circulo plus some Bach flowers my vet mixed especially for him.

My vet whose specialty is chiropractic and physiotherapy but also does acupuncture and homeopathic medicine wanted me to ask you if you have any specific acupuncture tips for her (she doesn’t speak English, so I have to translate for her) to help with his sleeplessness in the night, and also what you think of Moxa for his situation. She has used it a few times before to boost his energy, but not yet for the sleep problem. We would greatly appreciate any insights you might have as a practitioner of TCM.

Thanks so much in advance. Naturally, I am also happy to hear what anybody else has to say about the sleep problem. Obviously I don’t want to give him valium permanently (whatever that means in a dog as old as he is), but I also need to catch up on a bit of sleep before I get sick myself. I am discussing with both my vets (the allopathic and the alternative) the possibility of putting Hutch on Anipryl (here in Germany it is sold as Selgian). He is on amliodipine for high blood pressure and I saw that combining it with Selgian might be a problem. Any thoughts?