Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
I didn’t meet Frances and her dog, Juno, in an exam room. It was on the shores of a city lake, where she cradled her
Border Collie on a park bench.
Something about the way Frances held her dog wasn’t right. When I asked if her dog was tired, she shook her head, and I could see the tears pool in her eyes. “Juno is 14,” Frances whispered, “and I think she had a stroke last night because she can’t stand. I have an appointment to put her down in 15 minutes, but I wanted her to see her favorite place one last time.”
The tears came hot to my eyes, too. I explained that I was a veterinarian and asked if I could take a closer look at Juno. If there was any comfort I could offer Frances, then I had to try.
Juno struggled to stand and then collapsed on the ground. With a closer look, I realized she had all the telltale signs of Old Dog Vestibular Disease: the head tilt; the dizzying loss of balance; the rapid, uncontrolled eye movement from side to side.
With this condition, an older dog can seem perfectly normal one night but lose all sense of coordination by morning. While the signs can mirror the devastating effects of a human stroke, the cause of the disease remains unknown. But with care, most dogs recover some, if not all, of their function in a few days.
I rubbed Juno’s head and said, “I don’t think you’ll need to say goodbye today. Keep your veterinary appointment to make sure there’s not something else going on, but I’ll bet she’s feeling better in a few days.” I wished Frances and Juno well and went on my way.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Whale-watching crews spotted the fourth
baby killer whale of the season in the
waters off Washington State.
It’s a scary thing to think about, but here’s
what you can do to prepare for choking,
seizures or other common…
You're not a bad pet owner if your dog
doesn't know sit, down or come. But
these commands can be really helpful.
Being overweight raises your feline’s risk
of serious problems like joint injuries,
diabetes and surgical…
Before you buy chicks or ducklings for
your kids' Easter baskets, make sure you
know what you're getting yourself…
Want to find out how well your cat or dog is digesting his food? Well, our vet says the proof is in your pet's poop.
The active and playful Devon Rex’s high cheekbones and slender build make her look like a top feline model.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.