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A New Dog Experience - Alarming but OK
Old 01-22-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
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A New Dog Experience - Alarming but OK

On Monday morning I was awakened by my wife saying "Emily isn't acting right. Come downstairs right now."

Emily is our geriatric, 15 year old black Lab. She couldn't get up from lying flat on her side and her eyes were furiously darting back and forth from left to right and back again. Every time she'd raise her head 5 or 6 inches, she'd slam it back down again. We tried lifting her up to walk. (she's got the world's worst case of hip dysplasia and needs a rear end harness to walk to go outside to pee. We have to hold up her rear.) She'd instantly fall down and start the head thing again.

We thought she'd had a stroke and it was clearly the end of the road.

We went to the dog emergency room and were directed to a veterinary neurologist who diagnosed "Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome." "It'll go away by itself in less than 3 days." By the time we were done at the dog hospital (six hours) she was better but pulling slightly to the left when walked.

Today she is back to her old snack-eating self.

Total bill: $1,050.00. Worth it to have our dog still with us.

Mike D.

The harness:
Supportive, Easy, Comfortable Rear Pet Support Harness
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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Wow do I understand. My beloved cat had a bout of liver disease last year resulting in many tests and major surgery. DH and I thought he was a gonner. Total bill: you don't wanna know. I'm happy to know your dog, like my cat, is in the pink again. It's amazing how pets become part of the family.

Emily is lucky to have you and your wife looking after her. I can see from her picture on your avitar what a special girl she is.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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That's a new one to me, though similar stuff happens to humans - often lasting for days to weeks (e.g. Menieres disease, vestibular neuronitis).

Glad the pup is better. Sounds like she's hanging on despite some pretty rough issues.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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Ahhh, you sure love your pooch...I'm sure she loves you in return. No one knows her better than you. I'm glad she's doing better.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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Wow, pretty stiff bill. But I would do the same thing for my girl. 15 years is a long life so you are fortunate. Mine is almost 8 and I have noticed just in the last couple of weeks that she hobbles for a brief time after getting up from a nap. But she quickly works out of it. Getting more like her Daddy ever day.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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I have a friend with Meniere's and it is really tough on his quality of life, Rich.

The dog disease is interesting...we had a farm cat years ago that had a condition that would cause her to suddenly flop over on one side and appear to have a seizure, then get up a minute or so later. The diagnosis: October Cat Disease. Seriously. We never forgot it.

I am glad that your senior girl is doing better, though, and you are taking great care of her. I like the harness--I've used the simple towel under the belly for years when my dogs back end gives out, and I am getting ready to start it all over again with my Gracie, who is 14 in September. Thanks for the link.

Give Emily a biscuit from her Border collie friends in Charleston and be glad you have her for a while longer!
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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I have a friend with Meniere's and it is really tough on his quality of life, Rich.
Yes, it can be devastating and can last almost indefinitely, often ending in permanent hearing loss in the affected ear. Bad.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:51 PM   #8
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Mike - best of luck with your dog, and a favor please. Embarrassed to say i've always wondered why you have a caricature of a grey ape face as your avatar. Now i find it's your dog - but can't see it - could you post a larger pic?
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:40 AM   #9
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Hi Mike, glad to hear the ol' girl is on the mend. My 14 year old shih tzu suffered from the same thing, although the doctor just called it "vestibular syndrome" not "old dog vestibular syndrome"! He lived another 2 years after that with only minor balance issues, but steadily declining hearing (especially in the affected ear). Luckily for me it only cost a couple of hundred dollars.
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Me? Post Dog Pics? Well, if You Insist...
Old 01-23-2009, 12:08 PM   #10
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Me? Post Dog Pics? Well, if You Insist...

My favorite Emily Ann picture of her and some of our now deer eaten and destroyed Irises.

The avatar, taken when she was very young.

Mike D.
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File Type: jpg irisEmily4.jpg (73.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg dogbow.jpg (23.2 KB, 4 views)
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:11 PM   #11
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a cutie-pie!

virtual ear-rubs sent to her.

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Old 01-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #12
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You are good people. Give Emily a pat on the head from me, "good dog." Very nice looking girl.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear about Emily but I am glad she is better. That is a scary thing to happen when you don't know what it is and that it will go away.
The same thing happened to our dog, Ranger. He was a black lab mix and about 13 years old at the time. Vets in the late night urgent care clinic diagnosed it for us. Ouch on the vet bill.

I guess Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome must be common in old dogs because my friends dog got it last year. His vet didn't know what it was and wanted him to put the dog down. She recovered after a couple of days.

Glad Emily is OK. Thanks for posting the pics. What a nice dog!

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Old 01-23-2009, 06:58 PM   #14
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That happened to me, but it was just the vodka.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:36 PM   #15
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On a serious human note - I've had 2 attacks about 10 years apart. 24 hours of scary lurching about.

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Old 01-23-2009, 10:04 PM   #16
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I love those pics of Emily Ann. She has the same genteel look of my Grace. The wisdom of age. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
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My favorite Emily Ann picture of her and some of our now deer eaten and destroyed Irises.

The avatar, taken when she was very young.

Mike D.

Good looking doggy.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #18
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On a serious human note - I've had 2 attacks about 10 years apart. 24 hours of scary lurching about.

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That happened to me too (seriously), and from an Internet search, I found that the number one cause of doctor visits for people over 50 was these kinds of attacks. Guess we're old dogs.
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:44 AM   #19
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That happened to me too (seriously), and from an Internet search, I found that the number one cause of doctor visits for people over 50 was these kinds of attacks.


Huh! I didn't know that!
-------------------

Guess we're old dogs.



Well, the attacks happened when I was a younger pup. I shall shut up now, in case I tempt fate

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Old 01-24-2009, 10:45 PM   #20
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Vestibular Syndrome happened to our dog also. Scared us. She would try to get up and fall sideways, and very rapid eye movements side to side. I think it makes them dizzy and feel like they are seasick. 2 days later, good as new.
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