I had a bit of a panic this week, Buddy had a stroke two days ago! He will be 14yrs old on Sunday. As an owner, of course I was worried and took him straight to the vet when the symptoms became obvious. The vet saw us straight away and very quickly confirmed my diagnosis! Buddy had some sort of 'incident' while climbing the stairs at home. He appeared disorientated and very wobbly on his feet soon afterwards, falling down occasionally. An interesting symptom, was eye twitching/movement from side to side (nystagmus), it really looked as if the room was spinning for him, and his head was tilted to one side. After some brief internet research on stroke in dogs, I discovered some reassuring articles. Strokes in dogs are not often as debilitating in animals as in humans. A dogs brain is highly capable of working round the problem (a small bleed in the brain) more capable than human brains in fact. Despite investigations an underlying cause is only found in 50% of cases of stroke in dogs. There is no specific treatment (unlike humans who are bombarded with clotbusters, statins and blood pressure tablets). Good nursing care should enable Buddy to recover from these symptoms in a week or so.
At present he is unwilling to eat or drink, but happily laps up weak chicken stock fed through a turkey baster! and small pieces of chicken hand fed! The vet has recommended strict rest, no stairs and no walkies! Hope his appetite returns soon, but if the room is still spinning, he might not manage too much yet!