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Human Drug Now Helping Dogs With Dementia
The Kansas City Channel August 24, 2006 -- HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- A drug commonly prescribed for humans with Parkinson's or Alzheimer's diseases is now showing success in pets with signs of dementia.

The drug is called Eldepryl for humans, but Anipryl for dogs. It's a relatively new treatment for older canines.Human drug now helping dogs with dementia

The Community Animal Hospital in Hazelwood is prescribing the drug and is seeing remarkable results.

Lucky, a mixed-border collie, is 16 years old and one of the patients showing a dramatic improvement by taking the drug. A few months ago, Lucky showed signs of confusion and forgetfulness and was falling over.

"She was going in circles in the house and outside the house," veterinarian Barbara Eichler said.

The veterinarian diagnosed Lucky with Cushing's disease and cognitive dysfunctional syndrome, and she prescribed Anipryl.

"It is very much like Alzheimer's in humans. The pets give back so much to their owners, and they are so attached. This disease robs them of that relationship," Eichler said.

Dogs like Lucky will likely be taking the drug for the rest of their lives.

"About three days after we started it, she was herself again. It was like a miracle," dog owner Elaine Stern said. "It was like my dog was given back to me again. I was afraid I would have to put her to sleep otherwise."

"Owners are never to assume there's nothing that can be done because nowadays, it's amazing. Veterinary medicine is changing," Eichler said.

The drug is currently not approved for animals other than dogs.

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