Strange dog incident

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vulpini
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Strange dog incident

Postby vulpini » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:26 pm

A week or so ago, one of my family's dogs went through one of the strangest dog-related things I've seen firsthand.

She's a 'black lab' who is rather old for the breed (12 I think). We think she came from a puppy mill, because there were loads of other puppies when we got her and both parents were on-site, so we're pretty sure she's a mix. She is really short for a black lab, but still has the personality.

Anyways, I took her outside to go to the bathroom, and was going to take her on a short walk. She's not the fastest, especially at her age, but she'll usually still trot along with me, at least for a little while. She was sort of lagging behind, and I hadn't gone far at all (maybe just a few steps). She sort of stood there, and her eyes looked really strange. It looked like she couldn't keep them forward in her head. But I was outside so it was hard to tell. I took her inside, and she was sort of moving odd I guess...like she was hesitating because she was having trouble seeing or something. Then we looked at her eyes, and they got even weirder. They were pushed up in her skull and kept moving around, but not rolling or anything. It was like she was trying to bring them forward but they kept going to the side. She seemed disoriented, but I don't think she was having trouble standing. We thought she had gone blind because she kept looking up sort of dazedly after she was laying down, and it seemed like she couldn't see us. If you've ever seen how a blind dog looks around, that was probably what she looked like. This went on for maybe a few hours, and we really weren't sure what was going on. After a few hours, though, she was getting better, and later that day she was perfectly fine. Her eyes weren't struggling to stay open, she didn't seem blind or anything, and she had returned to her normal self.

Needless to say, we were all totally freaked out, mostly because of how odd her eyes looked and how sudden everything was. I looked up the symptoms and came across something called "Old Dog" or Vestibular Disease. A website said, "Dogs with idiopathic vestibular disease have some combination of the following symptoms:


A head tilt
They are unsteady on their feet and may fall over
They circle in one direction or even roll across the floor
Their eyes flick back and forth, up and down, or rotate in a circle (this is called nystagmus)
An unwillingness to eat due to nausea
Vomiting

But she wasn't circling, wasn't vomiting, wasn't overly unsteady on her feet, and her eyes just seemed to be moving involuntarily. We still don't know what was wrong, as she has since returned to normal and I don't think it's happened since. It was all very strange, and I'm wondering if anyone else has had this happen to their dog? If it would have lasted or gotten worse we would have taken her to a vet, but it was pretty fleeting and she's totally fine now.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Strange dog incident

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:02 pm

Sounds like either a seizure or a small stoke to me, stroke being most likely.

Normally when I'm totally freaked out about an animals health I take it to a vet.
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Re: Strange dog incident

Postby vulpini » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:27 am

Yes, that's what we were wondering about. But since the incident she hasn't been impaired in any way, has been eating normally (well as normal as a lab's appetite can be :lol: ) and being her usual self.

Don't worry, we would have totally taken her to a vet, but it didn't last very long and we did think that since she was so old it could just be sudden onset blindness :shrug: . Our dogs are all up to date on shots/vet visits and such, and if she seemed to be in any pain or if it progressed we would have taken her to a vet immediately. She was just looking around like she didn't know what just happened (adding to our theory about the blindness). Wasn't displaying symptoms of pain and was otherwise normal.
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Re: Strange dog incident

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:49 pm

I still think small stroke. It's not uncommon really.

Hyzzie gets partial seizures of just her eyes and head but they are also absence seizures, she doesn't respond to sight or sound though I can pull her out of it by touch for some reason. She's only had two full seizures in her life, now those are scary and just have to wait them out. She also sometimes has mini partial seizures where it's just the absence, she just stands there not reacting till you touch her or it passes. She started out with fly snapping syndrome when younger then they stopped and she developed this. She actually just had her first fly snapping incident in like 9 years last night. Old age sucks. The fact your girl was still walking around makes it sound more small stroke.

Stroke was probably what happened to my other old dog Goldie. She was standing in the back yard and then just fell over "Dead" peed herself and limp. I couldn't find heart or breathing sounds. I sat and cried with her for a long time then just when I was thinking about burying her she woke up smiling and wanted to go for a walk, lol. Called the vet and they were like well all we can do is monitor her so you may as well keep her home, in hind sight that vet sucked, but she was fine. I forced her to nap before taking a walk though.

Both strokes and seizures can be kind of individualized.
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Re: Strange dog incident

Postby pat » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:48 am

vulpini

sorry to hear of your dogs illness. I know how frustrating it is, especially not knowing what is wrong.
but, glad she is doing OK.

I agree with TG, it sounds like a seizure or possibly a mini stroke.
I use to have a dog that took seizures,but,not often. the vet gave her a prescription of it an it seemed to help.
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Re: Strange dog incident

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:45 pm

Vestibular syndrome just happened to my dog today but mild. She had three short bouts of head tilted down and almost like she was trying to root for something and turn in a circle then she was fine but she did it 3 times in quick succession then was perfectly fine after.

It is very common in old dogs. Episodes can be short like this or last a couple weeks, sometimes they get stuck with permanent head tilt. After I saw it in her I then thought of you. I didn't even notice the eye thing in Hyzzie but it was very mild and quick but still scary to see.

In Hyzzie's case it may actually have been something with her inner ears because she suddenly seems to be hearing better tonight.
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