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My girl has vestibular disease. She has been 100% bedridden since last Friday.

Here are my biggest issues: she is determined to lay on her left side curled to theright becaude of her head tilt. Otherwise she feels like she is falling. The vet said to flip her but she fights me like crazy. Sometimes I can get her to dit straight up and get off that left hip for a minute but it isnt enough. I don't know what else to do about that.

She is just peeing the bed now. She is not clean. Last night it was bad enough we put her in the tub but she cannot stand at all so imagine trying to wash and dry a 65# shepherd who cannot stand or shake... it was a nightmare. This morning she was just slightly damp becauee I did a better job with pee pads and I am not trying to wash her but am concerned about her health laying on left side with urine dampness.

She hasnt even tried to poop since qll of this...heaven help us when she does. I carry her outside with a support harness and she will now try to stand on the grass. She can stand for a few seconds with help now outside. Inside ahe wont try because of slippery floors.

I am calling the clinic when they open but does anyone have any nursing advice... how to care for her better....keep her clean....to try to get her thru this
 

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A bit of good news...this morning I stretched her out, grabbed all 4 feet and flipped her like a pancake. She has been resting on her RIGHT side for an hour, this is the most full break from pressure her left side has had. I massaged her left side and I could tell she felt relieved...

Also her left side feels pretty dry to me so that's good. She may be damp inside her back legs but I'm leaving her be because if I mess with her she is going to start thrashing to try and get back on her left side.

I would never put her through this except the vets say chances are very good that she will recover, apparently they usually do, and she IS improving a slight bit each day. Not nearly as quickly as I had hoped though
 

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If she doesn't try to poop soon, you may try an anal suppository. You can get them from the drugstore - same ones they use on humans. Constipation can make an animal very very sick, so you need to get her to go.

Best wishes - sounds like you are doing a great job! My male had this twice, but he never lost the ability to stand up. We had to carry him up and down stairs so he could go out to pee and poop. His recovery took only about 5 or 6 days the first time, and was even faster the second time.
 

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Is she on Gabapentin? Was that one of the drugs they included in her regimen when you started thread about her constipation?
If so, taking her off it could help her improve faster.
Vestibular disease IS a side effect of Gaba.


While you have her outside, with help, try holding an ice cube on her rectum, this stimulates the sphincter to start moving
 

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I’ve had two dogs myself with vestibular disease (an IG and a GSD) and my best friend’s old pug had it too. The iggy and the pug recovered just fine, though the old iggy had a bit of a tilt to one side after that. My girl Sage had a bout with it when she was pretty sick with discospondilitis She was on gabapentin at the time too, so there you go.
 

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If she doesn't try to poop soon, you may try an anal suppository. You can get them from the drugstore - same ones they use on humans. Constipation can make an animal very very sick, so you need to get her to go.

Best wishes - sounds like you are doing a great job! My male had this twice, but he never lost the ability to stand up. We had to carry him up and down stairs so he could go out to pee and poop. His recovery took only about 5 or 6 days the first time, and was even faster the second time.
Yes at this point it's been since Thursday last week that she pooped. I do have a pediatric enema that I bought for her constipation in case we needed it but Miralax worked.

Fri and Sat she did not really have anything at all go in because she vomited everything, but we finally got the vomiting under control with cerenia and another motion sickness drug I can't remember the name of right this second.

I've just left a message for the vet about how long since she has pooped and do I need to do something. It crossed my mind to just carry her out in the yard and give her the enema and clean her up out there....I don't know what to do. Will wait for vet to call me back.
 

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Is she on Gabapentin? Was that one of the drugs they included in her regimen when you started thread about her constipation?
If so, taking her off it could help her improve faster.
Vestibular disease IS a side effect of Gaba.


While you have her outside, with help, try holding an ice cube on her rectum, this stimulates the sphincter to start moving
Yes we tried Gabapentin but it had no appreciable result and we stopped it in less than a week. I am not 100% sure how long ago that was now prior to the onset of this, but she was not currently taking it when this started.

She was taking Budesonide, Miralax, and Proin. I have stopped everything but the Budesonide since she became bedridden.

Prior to the onset of this she had ahd a week where she was actually pooping on her own with no meds. Then she had begun to slow down so I had just begun to add a bit of Miralax to keep her going and then this happened.

Thursday morning she had one episode where she completely lost her equilibrium and vomited profusely. But she recovered in about an hour. I thought she had had a seizure. The next morning (Friday morning) it started over again. Same thing, tilting to left, falling, vomiting etc. She has not been back up since Friday morning.

But the eye movements have improved/lessened. Saturday she was completely unable to find her feet in space at all, and yesterday afternoon and today since I bought this better sling, she will try to stand on the grass if i support her and she can stand for a second while leaning on my legs which sadly is better than the day prior.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is she on Gabapentin? Was that one of the drugs they included in her regimen when you started thread about her constipation?
If so, taking her off it could help her improve faster.
Vestibular disease IS a side effect of Gaba.


While you have her outside, with help, try holding an ice cube on her rectum, this stimulates the sphincter to start moving
I could maybe try this tonight with my husband. Doesn't sound possible by myself, takes all I've got to keep her on her feet for a second...
 

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Sorry you're going thru this but glad the vet is positive about her recovery.
About the pooping I had posted a few years ago about I helped clipper in his last days. I read about it on a site for paralyzed pets. He was on adiquin but had gotten where he couldn't squat to poop.
I would lay him on his side, put newspaper under him and have paper towels ready.
I knelt beside him with his legs facing me.
Wet an ice cube, hold the tail out of the way, and hold the ice cube against the anus.
It won't take but a few seconds and it will cause them to start pooping. Clipper never had diarrhea during this. As he pooped, I'd just move the paper or use the paper towels as needed. It was very clean, not getting anywhere. He would actually push his back feet against me to help push. it gave him immediate relief. I did it in the mornings and again later in the evening. You might try this, it helped clipper a lot.
You might try propping her head with a small pillow when you turn her on her side to help the head tilt. And clipper developed a pressure sore also, so have to watch out for that.
 

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From the posts above and others, it is much easier if you lay them on their side, standing would be pretty rough! I did it by myself the whole time. Clipper was very trusting of me, let me do just about anything, he was a great dog!
 

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Sorry you're going thru this but glad the vet is positive about her recovery.
About the pooping I had posted a few years ago about I helped clipper in his last days. I read about it on a site for paralyzed pets. He was on adiquin but had gotten where he couldn't squat to poop.
I would lay him on his side, put newspaper under him and have paper towels ready.
I knelt beside him with his legs facing me.
Wet an ice cube, hold the tail out of the way, and hold the ice cube against the anus.
It won't take but a few seconds and it will cause them to start pooping. Clipper never had diarrhea during this. As he pooped, I'd just move the paper or use the paper towels as needed. It was very clean, not getting anywhere. He would actually push his back feet against me to help push. it gave him immediate relief. I did it in the mornings and again later in the evening. You might try this, it helped clipper a lot.
You might try propping her head with a small pillow when you turn her on her side to help the head tilt. And clipper developed a pressure sore also, so have to watch out for that.
I don't honestly know if this would work for her because she has a separate issue where she is not able to push her poop out.

I'll try anything at this point, esp. to try and hep her poop outside and not in my kitchen

Here's a great update though, guys!! Vet said start her back on the Miralax so I gave her the "gentle" dose....that I think I had figure out previous to help get things moving without moving too much if you know what I mean.

AND she actually managed to get herself into the poop position and try, all she was able to get out was a teeny thing but she did pass something. I could actually see more that then did not come out. But I am ecstatic that she could even manage "the position" (with me holding her front half up in the harness) because that's way more than she could do yesterday.

Her appetite is great. Good thing she was so active prior to this I bet...she may have more strength to try to fight her way back than some dogs her age. She did her first ever dock diving competition last month!! She jumped 9 feet 8 inches!!! I was so conflicted about taking her and both my vet and my good friend who is a tech were like just do it...you gonna tell her she can't live her life when she still wants to do it? It was the happiest day, I can't even tell you.
 

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Sending good thoughts!
Yeah clipper would hold it as long as possible, then if he fell it'd just come out! That could be a mess! But it seemed to me the action pretty much started on its own, after a couple times he then began to push against me to help! You could do it outside, I'd still put the newspaper down! I was going to add if you haven't already,to use doggie diapers or even adult diapers with maybe some extra padding when she is laying on her pillow inside between potty breaks? If she'd tolerate it!
Clipper would pee outside with us holding him up in his last week.
 

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If she doesn't try to poop soon, you may try an anal suppository. You can get them from the drugstore - same ones they use on humans. Constipation can make an animal very very sick, so you need to get her to go.

Best wishes - sounds like you are doing a great job! My male had this twice, but he never lost the ability to stand up. We had to carry him up and down stairs so he could go out to pee and poop. His recovery took only about 5 or 6 days the first time, and was even faster the second time.



Sounds like our female Casey she was around 10....her first episode lasted over a week....second about 6 months later was 3-4 days maybe ??-symptoms weren't as bad....second time her eyes weren't darting around but still wobbly and off balance...she could still walk but no slick floors-steps or stairs....went off her food for 2- 3 days initially because of the nausea....didn't poop during those 3 days....she did poop once she was able to eat again but I helped hold her in position because of her balance....once it was gone she was pretty much back to normal...until she came down with the second episode later...
 

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Sending good thoughts to her and her ability to launch herself and fly over and through the water just as she did before all of this.
 

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Well guys, I really can't see any improvement between yesterday and today. I was coping but my vet just called to check on her and he is also concerned that she really isn't able to walk still at this point.

He wants me to start her on NSAIDS because he thinks her other issues are being aggravated by this which I agree...she had issues with her hind end before this. Regardless I can tell she is having pain, I think from being in this twisted up position she keeps reverting to. I've managed to flip her and get her stretched out on her right side for the past hour this morning so get her some relief. I also moved her onto a different bed that I think will be more comfortable for her. The donut bed made her feel safe when she was super dizzy but she is not quite so dizzy now so I am trying her on a regular rectangular mattress that has memory foam.

And....her OTHER issue still is a problem, she woke me up at midnight and I geared her up in her sling and took her out and she tried and tried to poop and couldn't. I guess I should have given her a bigger dose of the Miralax to start. She did pass some yesterday but I don't think it was nearly what she needs to pass. If she does not succeed today I'll give her a bigger dose tomorrow morning. I'm also going to give her fluids again today...I felt I had her sufficiently hydrated yesterday but today I don't.

I'm not sure what else I can do for her. She loves being massaged, especially her neck which must be so sore from having her head crooked for so long. She just feels like skin and bones though and it's hard to find soft spots that would feel good to massage.

She is super hungry and eating well...I'm hoping and praying she makes some improvement. I hate that she is having to go through this. She still thumps her tail when I come to her though.
 

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Sending good thoughts!
Yeah clipper would hold it as long as possible, then if he fell it'd just come out! That could be a mess! But it seemed to me the action pretty much started on its own, after a couple times he then began to push against me to help! You could do it outside, I'd still put the newspaper down! I was going to add if you haven't already,to use doggie diapers or even adult diapers with maybe some extra padding when she is laying on her pillow inside between potty breaks? If she'd tolerate it!
Clipper would pee outside with us holding him up in his last week.
Yes, she will wear diapers. I used them on her when she had urinary incontinence on high prednisone dose.

I know we have some Depends somewhere that I used on her before, I just cut a tail hole and then kept it on with the little bitch panties. But I don't know where they are....have been just putting a bunch of pee pads under her in her bed. Last night she did her potty whine and I took her out and she managed to pee in the yard for the first time in a few days. She had to do it laying down but at least it wasn't in her bed!
 

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Is there any chance at all that this is due to a tick illness? Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can show symptoms of severe vestibular disease if the infection goes to the brain- it is more common for this to happen in the GSD breed. RMSF has found it's way north, unfortunately.

I think you are giving her excellent care- it is hard to care for a non-mobile dog. I really hope she begins to improve. She is beautiful.

Mushers have told me a match stick inserted in the anus helps stimulate a dog to poop, but I've never tried it... I think it is the sulfur in the match supposedly? If you go to a sled race, you'll see this used often... a bit gross, I'm sorry, but might be worth a try.
 
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