The day after our last post Addie experienced a frightening episode. Friday evening right before bedtime, Addie was not able to stand up, her eyes were twitching back and forth horizontally, and her head was tilted in an odd fashion. Our first thought was a seizure possibly caused by a cancerous tumor that had spread to her brain.
We scrambled to get her to the emergency vet some 30-40 minutes away. Once we were there they examined her and told us there was a very good chance that she had experienced canine vestibular syndrome. The cause behind this syndrome is unknown. The only thing the emergency vet could tell us was that the symptoms were consistent with Addie’s symptoms and that there was a very good chance she would recover from this episode although maybe not fully.
Since Friday night the eye twitching symptom is almost gone and she is able to walk on her own although she is quite wobbly. Her appetite has not returned (we have read that many dogs refuse to eat because the extreme vertigo they experience makes them very nauseous). So far she has eaten about half of what she would normally eat in a given day. We had to administer water with a syringe the first day but she has begun to drink on her own again.
We are not out of the woods yet. There is still a possibility of a tumor or (even less likely) that she suffered from a stroke. If her recovery does not continue we will take her back for more examination.
She has not been able to sleep very peacefully for the past two nights but this could be because she has had stomach and diarrhea issues since Saturday afternoon. We have given her a small amount of bismuth subsalicylate (pepto bismol tablet) which has seemed to help and has hardened her stool somewhat. She is sleeping here in my office on her side which she has not been able to do since the episode.
One good thing to report: the emergency vet was briefed on the hemangiosarcoma and our holistic approach to her care. Typically, a chest x-ray would not have been considered but the vet recommended we do so due to the cancer history. The x-rays came back negative. Her internal organs look clear – especially her lungs. This means that cancer is even less likely the culprit.
More to come as things develop.