I had beer for lunch yesterday.
That’s a rare occurrence around here, thankfully. Our tale begins with Tango.
Tango has a weak hind-end.
He’s 13 years old, he has lots of joint issues, and it’s to be expected.
Yesterday morning, however, it was weaker than usual.
I thought he had gotten into the liquor cabinet. Not that we have one, (beer stays in the refrigerator) but if we did, he had definitely gotten into it. He was stumbling, looked like he didn’t really know where he was, and couldn’t focus on me very well. I tried to get him to move around a bit, thinking he was just stiff.
Yeah, no. He was definitely off. I got my iPhone out, started recording, and then watched it back. It wasn’t my imagination, things were woozy and wobbly.
Things improved almost instantly and I then doubted myself — I was making a mountain out of a molehill.
I snuck him a Kong (he’s the favorite dog, he gets extra special treats) and went about eating my breakfast. Five minutes later, I hear his feet scrabbling on the hardwood floors. I find him splay-legged, disoriented, and unsteady.
Definite problems are happening so I decide to run him to the veterinarian. My fatalist mind is spinning: “brain tumor, stroke, spinal lesion…”
After a neurological exam, we settled on the most likely cause as geriatric vestibular disease.
(I’m not a veterinarian, I don’t play one on tv, so dear lord don’t take what I say here to be either accurate or what the veterinarians actually said — I was an emotional dog owner, I probably comprehended 1/5 of what we talked about, lol.)
This is great news! If it is indeed vestibular disease, it’ll fix itself in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I have to keep him safe: block off access to stairs, make sure he doesn’t rest too long on one side, doesn’t soil himself, etc. TOTALLY DOABLE! He’ll get lots of Kongs on his bed, be the recipient of even more attention, and will be watched like a hawk for any sign of improvement.
So, this is why I drank my lunch yesterday.
Well, that and the fact that I cleaned up two piles of poo (Thanks Lily, thanks Schooner) and a puddle of pee (I did leave in a hurry and didn’t let the dogs out before I spirited Tango away to the veterinarian, so I deserved that one). Old dogs — not for the faint of heart, man.