6 August 2009

A Scare

I had a bit (and if by a bit, I mean that I thought my heart was going to stop) of a scare two evenings ago. I woke up around 4 am to find Simon having what appeared to be a seizure. His body was rigid, his eyes were moving quickly from side to side and he was obviously in great distress. He was unable to stand and kept keeling over onto his side. It was like he was having a stroke. After calming him down a bit, my husband and I brought Simon over to the 24 hour emergency vet. Thankfully, the husband of a friend was the vet on duty and he gave Simon a once over. The diagnosis : Vestibular Disease. Vestibular Disease is caused by inflammation of the nerves of the inner ear and causes the dogs (usually older dogs) to lose their sense of balance and get extremely dizzy and it can take anywhere from days to weeks for the dog to recover. He prescribed Benadryl and sent us home. After a few hours of sleep, Simon was much better. We even went for a very short walk later in the day.

However, yesterday he seemed so much better that I took him for a longer walk. Big mistake. When he saw other dogs at the park where we walk, he lost his mind, got all worked up and hurt his front paw (I think he stumbled awkwardly on it). I had to carry him home. Yep, I carried a 38 lb dog for half a mile. By the time we got home, I was ready to collapse. I gave him some pain meds and he slept most of the day.

Today he seems much better, but we will certainly be taking it easy for the next couple of days.

Has anyone else had a dog with Vestibular disease? Please tell me about your experiences.

26 comments:

Nancy K said...

Scary as hell isn't it? Nicky is 17 now and he had this about 2or 3 years ago. We rushed him to the vet too. I keep thinking of Nicky as being on borrowed time at his advanced age, but he's still here. Good luck with Simon.

Nancy K said...

The vet asked us if he'd had any vomiting issues and he had a few times before the worst part hit. He took a few days to get better if I remember the time line correctly.
The eyes going back and forth was unnerving, but he did recover. My friend had had it with an old dog too, so I guess it's relatively common.

Cindy said...

Hope Simon is better. I have not heard of this. Very scary.

Mardel said...

Oh how frightening for you and for poor Simon too. I hope he continues to get better.

wendy said...

Awww....poor pup! My parents sheltie actually has epilepsy, and it is very scary when he has a seizure (rare these days since he's on a medicine that controls it so well). I don't know if vestibular disease seizures are similar, but we have to be careful to keep Cameron out of excessive heat and make sure he drinks enough water every day or his meds are much less effective. I hope Simon gets better soon!!

gaylen said...

Oh how scary for you. I'm glad that Simon is feeling much better. I hope he continues to improve. g

Maggie said...

Poor Simon, hope he recovers. My dogs never had this, but I know what it's like to love a pet and be anxious about their health.

Chris said...

Hugs for Simon, hope he is better. I haven't heard of this. More than 20 yrs ago we had a small dog that had severe seizures when she got older. They never could pin it down, but luckily vet medicine like people medicine has advanced.

Sharon said...

That is scary! I'm glad Simon is doing better. None of our dogs have had that, but I remember how concerned we were with Sophia before she was diagnosed with White Shaker Dog Syndrom.

And I would gladly carry either of my dogs-including the 70 lb one-if I had to...just like you did for Simon.

Rose said...

Yes, Simon's episode is frightening! I so glad that he is better. My cat won't allow dogs so I'm not familiar with the disease. I am familiar with the feeling of panic with a beloved pet so I hope both of you can take it easy.

Carol said...

I'm not familiar with this disease, but my much missed 19 year old cat, Eric, had a stroke and lost the use of one side of his body, which meant he could not even walk. It was the most difficult horrible thing to experience. My dog, Molly, is part lemon beagle (she has Simon's eyes and ears) and I will ask the vet about vestibular disease next time, just in case it is something particular to beagles. Hope you're both OK today, I now how worrying it can be.

Summerset said...

Aww, poor guy! Hopes he's feeling better soon!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Poor fella'....hope he is doing much better.

Sher said...

Hope Simon is feeling better soon. My Dog as she got older had seizures. I've never heard of what Simon has.

Lisette M said...

Hope Simon is better soon. I had not heard of this disease. It is so scary when they get sick.

jacquiJB said...

How wretched for all of you. I'm glad the Benadryl seems to be working for Simon. I have inner ear trouble myself, so I can sympathize with him! You might ask your vet if meclizine (sold over the counter as Bonine [for motion sickness] or by prescription as Anti-Vert [for vertigo] for people) might be more useful for Simon than Benadryl; it's still an antihistamine, but seems to better target inner ear instability than other products.

Good luck with Simon.

Mary Beth said...

Poor Simon! but he's getting good care and will get better. Poor you even more! The scare doesn't go away that easily for us humans and the dog has probably forgotten all about it by now.

Vicki said...

Poor Simon and you! Hope he recovers quickly

Terri K said...

Shannon I had a Shih Tzu who developed congestive heart failure. She was a strong little dog but was old. She would wake up from a nap and I would pick her up to take her outside to go. She would walk a few steps and pass out. Frightening because she was limp; just like she was dead. The vet said that her heart wasn't pumping enough blood to her brain so after she woke up and tried to walk she passed out. After a few minutes she'd be OK. She also started coughing a lot because fluid was pooling in her lungs from the CHF. I'm glad Simon is oK and didn't have that problem because there isn't much you can do about it. CHF may be caused by ticks spreading Lyme Disease in dogs and humans. Everyone should be aware of Lyme Disease which is insidious and also causes a lot of other problems. My neighbor's dog had to be treated for it. She was a nurse and figured out what he had. I probably would not have.

porrothecat said...

Hi Shannon,

I have been sewing only for a few months so your projects are really fun for me to see. Maybe someday...

Although I don't have a dog of my own, I used to work at a veterinary hospital and have seen quite a few dogs with Vestibular Disease. Sometimes they recovered and you'd never know there was anything ever wrong with them. Sometimes they would end up with a permanent head tilt ranging from slightly cocked (like the Simon photo, actually) to severely tilted, almost sideways. Those dogs got Dramamine most days to combat nausea but were otherwise happy as they ever were. Simon is lucky to have you to take such good care of him!

austin said...

Poor Simon! I'm not familiar with this disease, but it sounds awful. I get vertigo and it sounds a lot like that. My boys, Pongo and Buddy are sending doggy zen to Simon and hopes he gets well soon.

austin
with Pongo and Buddy

Heather said...

Hope Simon is feeling better by now. That must have been scary for you and for him.

Tany said...

Hope Simon is full recovered by now... I've never heard of this desease before but it sounds awful and I understand your worries

Coco, not as in Chanel :) said...

I have a doxie who does have epilepsy, but thankfully not what your poor Simon has. Luckily, it sounds like he will recover.

angie.a said...

Oh no!! I hope he keeps doing better and better! Poor Simon! I had a tiny black pom well into her old age, and it was so hard to bear when she was sick and started having trouble. :(

~ Kimberlee B ~ said...

Ok...that would really freak me out too. So glad he's stable now.