We were watching Street Outlaws and Shadow was laying on the futon with me. Anyone familiar with them knows they slope towards the back creating a sort of hole. Shadow has struggled with this recently.
I realize that she is sort of wobbling toward the back of it, so I think she is stuck again and I try to straighten her out. But it just gets worse, almost like she is trying to reach out and rest her head against the back of it. She is now panting heavily so I think she has twisted a leg underneath herself maybe. I scoop her up and get all her legs sorted out but she is still trying to lean on the back of it, and now her head is sort of wobbling around. Then she tries to stand up and it becomes very evident that she is having some sort of episode.
Her head is wobbling around and her legs just aren't working. She is swaying and leaning on me and I am trying to just keep her from falling. I support her while she sits there for a few seconds and then she stands herself up, takes a step or two and just goes down. I manage to stop her head hitting the floor.
I stretch her out on her side and sit with her, rubbing her back. After a few minutes she stops panting and seems to relax a bit. I tickle her back feet and get the kick I am hoping for. I touch her front feet and she moves them away. I tickle her tail and she flicks it. There is no heat in her back anywhere.
She is laying on the floor now but will not get up. She is taking treats and randomly lifting her head to watch races, but otherwise not moving.
I will likely sleep out here because I'm not sure the bed is a good plan and put pee pads down by the door because I don't know that stairs are a good idea right now and she has not been out in a few hours.
I lifted her into a blanket, and covered her for a bit because she feels very cool to the touch.
I will sleep near her either here or I will carry her into the bedroom.
I will call her vet in the morning.
I'm more concerned that she has not used the bathroom since 5pm or so. That's 9 hours. I know she does 12 with ease and by choice often, but still.
She did not even complain when I lifted her. My poor girl.
I am speaking to her vet. She does not seem to be in pain. He is thinking vestibular disease. I was just watching a video of a dog with near identical symptoms. We had a muffin and I am going to grab a nap. I put a pee pad under her in case. Clearly she isn't making it down stairs. I am going to see how she is in a day or two. Vet says it may be 4 or 5 days before she improves. And he said if anything changes or gets worse to bring her in. For now I will wait it out, have someone stay with her while I am at work and see if she gets any better. I know she is old, and she has held on so long for me against the odds.
If she can't do this I will do right by her, but I don't want to rob us of time we could have if I just be patient.
I am trying frantically to get a few winks in before work and in the last hour I have changed pee pads three times, wiped the dog down three times and cleaned up a big puddle of blueberry muffin puke! Then I watched her get up and fall down twice.
My heart is aching.
Two of my dogs have suffered from vestibular disease in their old age. Ranger had two bouts of it, Star had one, but hers was more severe. The main danger is, due to the inner ear being affected, the dog will often suffer severe nausea and vomiting. It's like a bad case of motion sickness. Star went 72 hours without eating or drinking. In severe cases, the dog may need IV hydration, and anti-nausea drugs.
Both my dogs did recover, though it took Star nearly a month before her appetite was back to normal.
The most obvious symptoms are a head tilt, loss of balance, and nystagmus - rapid, uncontrolled movement or twitching of the eyes. The dog will likely refuse to eat or drink.
This is what it looks like. Woke up on the 24th of December a few years ago to THIS (Ranger's first episode.) Not fun having to get a dog his size up and down the stairs so he could do his business. Luckily, I had tenants who could help.
Poor Shadow. Someone I know has an old Belgian Shepherd who just went through a bout of vestibular disease. It was rough going for several days, but he’s back to normal now. I hope Shadow recovers quickly!
We're dealing with our second vestibular episode in 11 weeks right now, it's tough to see them struggling. Nikki is an old girl too and the second episode was much worse than the first but she is doing better every day. We're waiting for a call so I can get her into see the Neurologist. I hope Shadow bounces back from it soon, hang in there 💕
I had a bout with vertigo many many moons ago. It's a horrible feeling. I remember that, although I was sitting down in a chair, I eventually pitched forward and fell out of it. Ugh. Hope you get better soon, sweet Shadow.