Monday, August 30, 2010

Walter travels...

Oldtimer Walter has problems with his anal glands on occasion. One morning I saw him scooting around on his behind and my suspicions were confirmed upon closer inspection of his rear end: Everything underneath the tail was swollen and inflamed and it looked as if a trip to the vet was in order. Now mind you - traveling with Walter-dearest is no fun. He hates riding in the car and no matter how much Mr. Budelheimer a.k.a. Rodney is trying to convince him of the opposite: Walter despises it ! ! ! It messes with his schedule and inconveniences his sleep patterns. Therefore Mr. Magoo gets to only ride in the car when it is
a b s o l u t e l y necessary. We already tried different approaches to ensure his travel comfort and every single one has been rejected so far. First trip with Walter happened with his royalty confined in his crate. He whimpered and complained the entire time throughout the trip. Second outing I secured him in well upholstered laundry basket and strapped it next to me on the passenger seat. Even worse ! He did not want to be restricted in a basket and he did not want to sit still. He also lost total control of his bladder and rear, which found me standing on the shoulder of Rt. 66 during rush hour to clean up the mess. So that was a no-no too. Third time I thought I could outsmart the old rascal and I put him in front of the passenger seat on top of some soft and fluffy blankets. Wroooooooooooong ! The result was a Walter concert from start to finish, making me wonder how such loud noises can resonate from such a small body. Amazing !
Having told you our history of Walter travels, you probably now wonder how I got him to the vet's office without suffering a nervous break down. Since I liked the basic principle of the last trip, I did a repeat performance of the basic set-up:Walter was put atop a few blankets and secured with some rolled up towels to keep him snug in place. He's contemplating as you can see......
Next to me on the seat I put a couple of charlee bears. Available at almost every pet store, they are a nice low cal treat for dogs whose happiness depends on their supply of food. Walter is one of those. He loves to eat and since one charlee bear only has about 3 calories, it doesn't hurt him to have a handful during the duration of a car trip.Recognize this slightly distressed look ? You are right. Walter is fine tuning his vocal cords to start his "Walter does not like to travel" song with a soft crescendo, which soon will turn into a fiery aria of dachsie distress if not fed by at least five charlee bears. Owning - pardon me - being owned by a virtuoso like Walter Magoo let's one shift in to overdrive in a minute flat and multi tasking becomes a breeze.Don't let those innocent looking, big brown eyes fool you. He's a manipulator and he knows how to extract charlee bears out of my hand. It is quite an experience to deal with a demented dog and requires a lot of patience, persistence, and yes - love. Dementia is a disease that progresses in stages and like humans, dogs can be affected too. There are phases of panic, disorientation, neurological problems and many more. Walter can sometimes not differentiate between night and day and there was a time, when he demanded to get up at 4 a.m. After a few weeks we were looking like zombies from lack of sleep. A few days ago I started giving him Melatonin, thinking what helps me overcome jet-lag, may help Walter find a better sleep rhythm. It did ! ! He lets us sleep now until about 5:30/6 a.m. We can live with that. :-) To help him deal with his dementia a bit better, he also gets a medication called Selegiline. We just started giving it to him a week or two ago and it may take up to two months to find out if it is effective.
More info about CDS here:
Of course every drug has it's downsides and one must consider the side effects a drug may have. I personally have to take medication and upon reading about possible side effects one wonders if taking that particular pill really is all that beneficiary. If it improves my quality of life - I guess I have no choice.
To get back to Walter's bum: The treatment was successful and he's feeling much better again, thank-you-very-much !


  1. Nice try by Pfizer to sell their product! Check out the studies and see how unimpressive the numbers between medicated and placebo dogs are, so basically if one of the "symptoms" seems improved it justifies medicating an older dog with chemicals that can have side effects that could be very dangerous for them.
    Color me "not convinced"!

  2. P. S.: Here's a little paragraph or two from

    This is still a relatively new drug, and results of treatment for both canine conditions, while encouraging, will still need to prove the test of time. For cognitive dysfunction, some owners have reported near-miraculous changes in their geriatric dog's behavior after starting Anipryl®, others have not seen such dramatic changes.

    Possible side effects of this drug include (but aren't limited to): vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactive/restless, anorexia, staggering, seizure, lethargy. For complete product information from the manufacturer (Pfizer Animal Health)

  3. Link has been changed. I don't want to be accused of being a PR person of Pfizer. Far from it.

    @ all: Walter is doing great. He is more alert, enjoys roaming around in the yard, has stopped running in circles constantly and even shows signs of recognition, happily wagging his tail when he sees us. We take our little Walter strolls every morning up and down the sidewalk in front of the house and the fact, that he's sleeping again makes us cheer ! :-)

    And btw: No side effects have been seen ! ;-)