vIf you saw my last post, you know that Tucker wasn’t doing well on Friday. We even ended up taking him to the local emergency clinic Friday afternoon because we were so worried. It turns out that he didn’t have a stroke, he had Vestibular Disease!
The symptoms that Tucker had were:
*rapid eye movement (horizontal)
*unable to hold urine
We were having to carry Tucker down the stairs until yesterday & we’ve been using a homemade sling to help steady him. All weekend we kept him confined to the living room/kitchen area & I slept on the couch to be with him. We are giving him motion sickness medicine every day, that is the only medication he seems to be on/need.
He’s showing great improvement & is getting back to normal. According to his vet, the head tilt is usually the last symptom to go, & some dogs have it forever.
We don’t know why Tucker got Vestibular Disease, but it is apparently quite common in older dogs. It may happen again in six months, or it may never happen again.
I just know that despite the ups and downs of this past few days, I am grateful for some extra time with my best friend!
For more information on Vestibular Disease, I found both of these two articles helpful.
Some days, I feel like ALL I do is clean up dog hair. Neither Tucker or Emmit actually enjoys being brushed, so I have a small window of time to brush them before I run out of bribery or they they run out of patience with me. It is depressing to think of the number of vacuum cleaners we’ve been through over the years. We’ve managed to kill countless $100 vacuums & we’re now on our second Dyson. I Swiffer, I sweep, but it never goes away. This is glamorous life of a stay-at-home dog mom.
When you have two really old dogs (and it’s 90 degrees outside), long walks are out of the question. It is my responsibility to find other ways to entertain these guys. We spend lots of time outside in early morning and late evening smelling things, and hanging on our deck watching the wildlife (we live along a river).
When we are stuck inside because of the heat, it’s a good time to practice our obedience. We use dog food or treats (sometimes they have hidden pills) to perfect manners & even learn new tricks. I sometimes pull out food-dispensing toys to keep old brains active & working out a puzzle to find dinner. By the evening time, these old pups are always worn out!
We may no longer be going for jogs around the park, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t having any fun!
My dogs may see me as “Mom”, but I actually have an extensive dog-related resume going back over fifteen years. I have worked at one of the largest animal shelters in the country; been an APDT-certified dog-trainer; managed/worked at Veterinary clinics; and even worked in research to help get a pain reliever for dogs to clinical trials. I have fostered over 50 dogs, and I hope to be able to foster again someday. Basically, I know enough to be dangerous.
Over a year ago, I made the difficult decision to leave my job. My husband works crazy hours & our lives were falling apart. We realized that life is short & sometimes time is more valuable than income. Now I have the time to enjoy these small moments with my boys (both human and canine).
In addition to hanging out with my little family, I love to travel. It is important for me to explore my city, my country, and even the world. I’m always ready for an adventure!
All spelling and grammar mistakes are my own.
a running commentary of life with my senior dog(s)