Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Old Dog Vestibular Disease

Shawnee's mom here because Shawnee is not herself right now.  We had a very scary episode yesterday. Shawnee was fine in the morning, ate breakfast, a normal start to a normal day.  Then around noon she started to lose her balance.  Over the next couple of hours everything went downhill rapidly to the point where she was running into walls, panting excessively, drooling and her eyes were darting back and forth nonstop.  I made it to the emergency clinic 30 miles away in record time, in a panic, thinking this was the end.  How could this be?  She just hiked 10 miles last Sunday and was perfectly fine.

They rushed us right in at the emergency clinic.  After a thorough examination, the vet felt Shawnee might have Old Dog Vestibular Disease.  It could be because of ear infections (per the vet, her ears are "pristine" so not the cause in her case) or thyroid (tests still out on that but only to rule it out since the vet says she does not look like she has thyroid issues) or, as is most often the case, it just happens for no known reason.  Fortunately, the prognosis is good assuming she improves over the next 72 hours.  If she does not improve, then it could be something more serious.  So for now it is wait and see.
Head tilting to the right because her world is spinning.
She can barely walk right now and has her hiking harness on so I can help her if she needs to get up.  She will not eat or drink so she gets some canned food blended with water in a syringe every few hours.  When I am able to get her outside, she won't do anything and just wants to come back in and fall into her bed.

Here is a video of her eye movement, which is actually a little better today than it was yesterday but her head tilt is worse today.

Now that I am no longer so concerned that her life is over, I can start obsessing about whether or not she will ever hike again.  I posted that question to a Facebook dog hiking group and the experiences of others is very encouraging - all have said their dogs did recover and were able to hike again. 

I wanted to throw this out there because it is darned scary.  It affects both dogs and cats and you think they are having a stroke.  In something I read a neurologist wrote that the worse the symptoms, the better the outcome.  It's with less severe symptoms that the problem tends to be more serious. 

Later last night, once I started to come down out of panic mode, I recalled having heard about this before.  Then it started to come to me where it was I heard it - Blogville, of course!  So I dug back and found the post - it was Anna's Duncan that it happened to and reading how what happened to him was EXACTLY how this went down with Shawnee and then reading how well he recovered made me feel so much better!  So paying it forward in case it ever happens to your beloved best friend and maybe you will remember having heard about it in Blogville.

Daniela (with a LOT more gray hairs)

25 comments:

  1. Oh, Shawnee, I'm so very sorry you are having these rotten sickies! I bet it feels horrible to have your world all spinning and wonky. I'm sending you bunches of my healing vibes and all kinds of warm thoughts to your Mom too because she's so worried for you. I know you'll be fine with all of the love coming from Blogville. Get well soon, my very good furiend.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Pol Comm

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  2. Oh, Shawnee, I'm so very sorry you are having these rotten sickies! I bet it feels horrible to have your world all spinning and wonky. I'm sending you bunches of my healing vibes and all kinds of warm thoughts to your Mom too because she's so worried for you. I know you'll be fine with all of the love coming from Blogville. Get well soon, my very good furiend.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Pol Comm

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  3. Dear Ones.... We are SO very VERY much sorry to have heard this. BUTT you KNOW that Shawnee is in SUPER physical condition... We are sure that she will overcome this obstacle as easily as she jumps over Branches that are across HER Hiking Trails..
    We have our PAWS Tightly Crossed for Shawnee and are sending POTP fur her..
    You KNOW Blogville is the BESTEST place in the World... Fur EVERYTHINGY.
    We are all in Shawnee's Corner... Rooting fur her SPEEDY and FULL RECOVERY.

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  4. Crap, plays I has read dis and I will be back layers to comment but right bows I is on da paw held and can't type
    Puddles

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  5. OH THAT PUDDLES..... we know the real reason she can't type... RIGHT???

    BUTT bless her.... hers HEART ♥ is in the RIGHT PLACE.

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  6. THIS do be a little UPDATE fur everybuddy...
    Miss Daniela is busy taking good care of Shawnee butt she took a second to email Us... saying that she just Helped Shawnee to go to her favorite Pee place in the whole entire yard... and SUCCESS... Shawnee was able to PEE... the furst time since Yesterday... and her was FULL of it... and is NOW very much relieved and back inside RESTING again.
    THAT do be SUPER news... and it was a true PRIVILEGE fur us to "PASS" it along to Shawnee's other furends.

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  7. Thanks for the update Frankie! Dear Shawnee- please rest well and know all of us are thinking of woo,

    Nuk & Isis

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  8. How sad we are to read this about Shawnee, the super hiker. Phantom would agree that it is tough to get old as he now fights two bad ear infections. We hope that Shawnee can be helped and have many more hiking days ahead. Hugs to you.

    Hugs and Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning and Mom Kathie

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  9. Thank you everyone for your nice thoughts because they are helping! (And thank you Frankie Furter and Ernie for your comic relief PASSING update, LOL!) A few more improvements this afternoon - she lapped water out of the bowl on her own and when I returned from running a quick errand, she stood up to greet me as I walked in the door, first time she has gotten out of bed on her own all day. Then she wagged her tail so hard she lost her balance and fell over. But at least things are moving in the right direction now!

    Daniela

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  10. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK SHAWNEE... We are ROOTING YOU ON.

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  11. okays, i is back and i is on a real 'puter nows. Now i has nevers heard of dis but you skeered me to death when i was readin' dis. i am glad to sees da update cuz i do feel a tad bit betters...even though you DID almost gives your mom a heart attack. Girlfuriend, you knows i is sending you and your mom tons of love and support and we is always here fur ya'll! oh, and make sures you go poop cuz da hoomans say dat is da best dat you is gettin' betters.
    Daniela, remember Shawnee is strong and she is a fighter...she will pull through this...as she always does.

    Puddles and mum

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  12. I was so upset reading this post but feeling better since reading the updates. Daniela, you are such a great Mom! Shawnee, we are here sending healing thoughts your way!!

    Mom and Cupcake

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  13. Oh my gosh! What a terrible scare! I can't even imagine how scared and worried you've been because I feel scared and worried. Thank you, Frankie Furtur & Ernie for the pee update! That's great news. Also, the update that she drank and got up. I so hope she makes a full recovery like so many others apparently have. Please continue to keep us updated.

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  14. Oh nooooooo! Not Shawnee! We are so sorry to hear this sweetie. What a scare you gave your staff. We hope the vet can get you fixed up again and you'll be out on the hiking trail again in no time. I'm purring for you sweetie!

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  15. We have lots of faith in you, Shawnee. I know you'll recover quickly so you can get back out on the trails. We know you's gonna be OK...butt we still sendin' POTP to your Mommy. Her needs it right now...

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  16. Hi Shawnee - Although we were sad to hear what happened we got glad when we read the all the updates! It sure is tough getting old but you are a strong, healthy girl with a Mom that loves you and gives you great care. I remember seeing on a blog that I read about Old Dog Vestibular Disease; it was a few years ago and Miss Scout recovered and s still going strong (as if you haven't read enough about it). Anyway, here is a link to the blog post. sending good thoughts and wishes for a quick, back to hiking mode recovery!
    Regards, Susan and Lexi (da Shih Tzu)


    http://mockingbirdhillcottage.com/?s=dog+vestibular

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  17. My ol' pal! I'm so sorry you aren't feeling like yourself. I will say a prayer for you. I'm sure you'll be feeling like yourself in no time with all the love and care you're getting at home

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  18. Shawnee, our paws are crossed and we're thinkin' about you, girlfriend.

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

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  19. Darling Shawnee, we have paws crossed and double crossed here in Oz that you will overcome this obstacle and be back hiking again real soon. We wonder if because of your spinning head and the dizziness are you taking anything for nausea cause that might be why you cannot eat etc. Take care gorgeous girl. We love you to bits and pieces.
    No worries, and LOVE, Stella and Rory

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  20. Oh Shawnee we've only just heard about your very scary experience. She Who Thinks She Must Be Obeyed has gone all wet eyed and I am keeping my paws crossed for you. Lots of loving licks and tail wags.
    Finn

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  21. Oh Shawnee we've only just heard about your very scary experience. She Who Thinks She Must Be Obeyed has gone all wet eyed and I am keeping my paws crossed for you. Lots of loving licks and tail wags.
    Finn

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  22. My sweet pal, my fursibs and I are purring like crazy for you to get better fast. Sending you lots and lots of love, too.

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  23. Poor girl - we are sending you GOLDEN healing vibes.

    Monty and Harlow

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  24. Oh poor thing! Merlin's mom here. I'm just catching up on my favorite blogs and am sorry to hear Shawnee has tilt. My boy before Merlin, Boo, got tilt. He walked in circles and crashed into walls for about 3 days, then he stumbled for about a week after that, then he was fine. Your hiking days shouldn't be over, but you'll have to do some easier ones for awhile. Feel better soon, Shawnee!

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  25. OMD my deer pal....sorree to be reedin bowt yore trubbles....anyhoo, i haz lok da Bridge...just sayin....we iz full....get bak to hikin iffen yoo pleez

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Sorry fur hasing to turn on the word verification thingy but I has been getting spammed big time here lately.