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Old 01-14-2010, 08:29 AM
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Exclamation Canine Strokes--Behaviors and Symptoms??

If any of you have had a dog suffer a stroke before, please let me know what odd behaviors or symptoms you noticed before and during the episode. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:59 AM
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I dont know anything about this, but I am interested to see some answers.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:32 AM
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Anne... our Apache had what I thought was a stroke and turned out to be vestibular disease. She fell down, lost bowel control and eyes were darting about rapidly. Also had a pronounced head tilt. Needed help getting her to the car. The vet kept her for a day and sent her home on meds ( I think pred.... not at all sure on that. It was a long time ago). She was very unsteady on her feet and needed a sling underneath her to help her get out to potty. Over a couple of weeks she improved and had several good years following.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:57 AM
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Actual strokes in dogs are relatively rare. Common symptoms are a tilted head, only eats out of one side of its food bowl, falls, no bladder control or bowel movement control, or is blind. It happens when the blood flow to the brain is either stopped or increased. Canine Strokes that occur due to a sudden stop of blood flow to the brain are called Ischaemic strokes. Canine strokes that occur due to bleeding in the brain are called Hemorrhagic strokes.

Most of the time, what people think of as a stroke is actually canine vestibular syndrome. This seems to happen more with senior dogs, but it can happen with younger dogs. It is important to get a veterinarian's diagnosis so that you know whether it is a true stroke or vestibular syndrome. Vestibular syndrome is very treatable and most dogs will recover from it with no or few lasting symptoms.

I have had at least 5 senior Goldens with vestibular syndrome, and one had it 3 times but she lived to be 17 years old with only a slight head tilt after the last time. All of my dogs presented with head tilt, nausea, "whirl-a-gig" eyes and an inability to walk (due to the extreme dizziness.) They also seemed to like to face into corners, as I think there was less to look at and they could feel comfortable closing their eyes. All recovered within a few days, although severe cases can take longer to resolve.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:27 AM
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Thanks everyone. Barkley had stroke symptoms, vestibular syndrome symptoms and arthritic symptoms this morning. It culminated when he stopped on a walk, got dazed and confused, then just fell into the middle of the street and wouldn't move, totally unresponsive. We got him into the vet and had an exam, blood work and fecal exam (no urination--VERY unusual). His gums are pale, despite water intake and he is cool to touch though his temperature is normal, as is his blood pressure. This is the first accurate bp reading they've gotten on him since he is usually a nervous wreck in the exam rooms. Not today--totally lethargic. The bloodwork came back and is suggestive of a bleed somewhere. We are waiting for x-ray and sonogram results but we discussed the possibility of hemangiosarcoma, anal cancer (a right nodule is hard), dementia, heart issues (a new mass near his heart), severe arthritis (it's been very cold in recent weeks and he is limpy and gimpy at times), and some other things. Given the tenor of our conversation with the vet I believe we are most likely dealing with hemangiosarcoma. We will know more later after the radiographs/sonography. Unfortunately we've experienced the hemangiosarcoma diagnosis with our first golden and the agonizing decisions on what to do to minimize his pain but keep him with us.

Please keep our sweet boy in your prayers.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:40 AM
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Anne, I'm as close as the phone (or computer) if I can do anything.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:14 AM
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Anne,
We are praying for Barkley that he is going to be ok. It does sound very serious, hopefully you will get some answers soon.
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:40 PM
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Oh, I am so sorry. I will be keeping you and Barkley in my thoughts!
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:49 PM
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Thoughts and prayers coming to you and Barkley from CT
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:59 PM
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Sending good thoughts and prayes to BArkley.
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