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Old dog, perhaps stroke ?

April 18th, 2008, 09:42 PM
I have a 12 year old german shephard mix male. In the last year he has really deteriorated. We keep up with Vet visits and are regular dog walkers as appropriate with his old age. In this last year, he has seemed to have lost some sensation or control of his bowels; he often has accidents in the house. However, he does not urinate in the house.

Lately he has been shakey, he kind of quivers. He drags his back feet when we walk as many old dogs do. Just last night he started whining before we went to bed for no apparent reason. Then this afternoon, as I was sitting in my living room with him, he was laying down and let out a high pitched yelp-scream, and then had a really hard time getting up. When he did get up he held his head down and his back was arched up, and he didn't respond to me for about 2-3 minutes. His head was tilted a little to one side.

I called my husband (who had the car) and told him what was happening. and he headed home right away. meanwhile, Cheech walked across the room (very shakey) and I sat down on the couch by him. He ended up leaning on my leg, really supporting himself with my leg, and eventually I sat down and held him. I could tell he really felt bad. Cheech is not a snuggeler usually, but he just layed in my lap basically and calmed down quite a bit.

My husband got home, and we both sat with Cheech. After about 20 minutes from the initial episode, he got up and got a drink and now seems a bit more "normal"...he is an old dog.

This was longer than I planned. My question is, does this sound like a stroke? I'm wondering if he had one some time back, which caused some of his current symptoms, and maybe I just witnessed another one? He seems pretty much okay right now, a little shakey on and off, but okay. he has eaten his dinner and even gone outside with my husband.

I wanted to take him to the Vet immediately, but now i'm not so sure what to do? I don't feel it's an emergency anymore, maybe we should take him in the morning? It's obvious he's feeling overall worse than normal.

Thanks for listening...any ideas would be appreciated?

Mandy (and Cheech :) )

April 18th, 2008, 09:56 PM
I really think you should take him to the vet in the morning. He sounds like he's in pain :sad:

April 18th, 2008, 09:58 PM
It doesn't sound like a stroke. Strokes are usually painless--this sounds like a painful episode...maybe a back problem?

A phone call to the vet might be your best bet--give them the symptoms and see if they think it warrants an immediate trip in.

Best of luck to you and Cheech! :goodvibes:

April 18th, 2008, 10:25 PM
I have nothing add. Just wanted to welcome you to the forum and send you a big :grouphug: . This must be difficult for all of you :sad: .

April 18th, 2008, 11:56 PM
well, Cheech had another episode...he really seemed to be in pain, so we took him to the 24hr emergency animal hospital here, and they gave us some Tramadol to try and relieve the pain some. We may take him to the regular Vet on Monday and see about getting some x-rays done.

The Vet at the emergency clinic also suggested accupuncture! He's a good candidate for a wheelchair, too, I think, but I don't know we can afford all that...

The Vet also said he was probably having siezures (the shanking/quaking action). It really sucks watching him get old. I'm just not ready for it.:cry:
Thank you for your quick responces...i'll let you know how he does with the Tremadol...

April 19th, 2008, 12:00 AM
:grouphug: Their lives are so fleeting... We never have enough time with them. :sad:

:fingerscr that the tramadol helps keep him comfortable. Please keep us posted!

April 19th, 2008, 07:36 AM
mandynor,welcome to our Forum,wish it was under better circumstances:sad:
Hopefully Cheech will get some relief from his pain:pray:

April 19th, 2008, 09:47 AM
thank you for the welcomes. i hope to post on happier topics in the future...we have another dog (rottweiller) and a cat (long hair black and white)...The dogs are very close and I can tell Duke is a little confused and concerned about Cheech.

It seems the Tramadol has relieved his pain a little. He was able to sleep a bit last night, but was still crying out every few hours. It wasn't as intense. He just seems so uncomfortable and scared. I'm just going to hang out with him today, give him the tramadol as directed, and try to keep him as comfortable as possible.
my poor buddy. :cry:


April 19th, 2008, 01:08 PM
Just wanted to send some :grouphug: :grouphug: for you and Cheech and welcome you to ...... I hope your vet can find some answers for you on Monday. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 19th, 2008, 07:41 PM
Thank you all so much for your warm welcome and encouragement!

Cheech is doing pretty good today. he hasn't been crying at all, so I assume the pain medication is doing it's job. I was so scared yesterday, and really thought the worst was coming, but it seems maybe there's still some more time with him left.

I'm anxious for Monday to get to our regular Vet. and see what she thinks.

This forum is great, thank you! (i just wish I could post pictures!?)

Mandy :goodvibes:

April 20th, 2008, 05:42 AM
Mandy,I think most of us have been through living with ailing,aging loved pets,good days and bad days.
It's heartbreaking one day,the next you are full of hope.
All we can do is take it one day at a time and love them,until the day comes we have to let them go in peace.
I am hoping Cheech will have many more good days:pray:

It's not difficult to post pictures,when you reply to a post,scroll down to Manage attachment and choose a pic from your photoalbum,you might have to resize since the pic can be no bigger than 100kb.

April 21st, 2008, 06:53 PM
So we got to the Vet today...We got some x-rays and it looks like a herniated (spelling?) disk...not yet ruptured. It is higher up on his spine which I guess account for some of his other symptoms (shaking, bouncing, foot dragging, etc)

We are switching from rimadyl and tramadol to prednisone and tramadol. I'm not very excited to put him on the steroids, but he's an old dog and at this point, I just want him to be out of pain and more comfortable.

We have to wait two days (if we can) to take him off the rimadyl before putting him on the prednisone as they can cause ulcers together.
I sure hope this helps him out some.

1. Here's Cheech "smiling"...
2. Cheech today...
3. Cheech and Duke...


April 21st, 2008, 07:40 PM
Try to just keep him calm. If you can actually keep him still enough it may heal. painkillers might actually make him worse due to his moving around more. . Although will make him more comfortable. So it is a trade off.

April 21st, 2008, 07:43 PM
He's adorable ! I love older dogs :lovestruck: I hope the meds will give him some comfort :fingerscr

April 21st, 2008, 08:44 PM
He does have a lovely smile. :flirt: I hope the meds work and he heals :fingerscr

April 21st, 2008, 09:26 PM
THank you all!!!

Hazmat...yes, we're not to walk him for 2 or 3 weeks...just lots of trips outside as he will be needing to urinate more often...

Frenchy...Even though it's been really hard watching him get older and slower, he is such a sweet, gentle old dog...I love him more than ever now! I never thought I'd enjoy the company of old dogs so much!

thanks for all the encouragement! my husband and i don't have children at this point, and I think this is a safe place to say it...the dogs are like our children at this point.
I'm so glad to have found! :)


April 22nd, 2008, 06:24 AM
Mandy,what a wonderful sweet face Cheech has:lovestruck:and Duke is one very handsome pup,looks like he is comforting Cheech.

April 22nd, 2008, 09:51 AM
Yes, Duke and CHeech are VERY brothers. I think it might be hardest on Duke when the time comes for Cheech. They have spent pretty much every day together for the last 8 years. :lovestruck:

April 22nd, 2008, 04:04 PM
Oh Mandy,that is going to be difficult,both for you and Duke...but hopefully Cheech will be ok for a long while yet:pray:

April 22nd, 2008, 04:45 PM
I am glad Cheech has Duke for a friend.
I hope the meds help him.
Thanks for sharing pics of your kids they are awsome!

April 23rd, 2008, 04:07 PM
my husband and i don't have children at this point, and I think this is a safe place to say it...the dogs are like our children at this point.
I'm so glad to have found! :)


I hope your dog gets better. I totally understand about pets being your kids. I don't have any children either, but my pets are my kids. I would do anything for them :)

April 23rd, 2008, 04:16 PM
Thank you Snowflake!!

shane 123
April 23rd, 2008, 07:15 PM
Hi Mandy, welcome.

I sort of figured it was a disk in his back, I had a shepherd who went through the same symptoms as you described. I don't think your dog is having seizures, the shaking and quaking goes with the disk problem. I wish you the best of luck with the new meds and hope your friend is with you for a while yet.