My dog had a stroke...

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My dog had a stroke...

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Old 07-09-2016, 10:54 PM
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My dog had a stroke...

Hi all! I have a 15 year old cockapoo named Pepper. She is a diabetic and just had a stroke on Thursday. Just wondering if anyone has had a dog who has had a stroke. If so, what can I expect? What was the recovery period? Any tips and suggestions?

The stroke came out of no where. She is moving extremely slow, but improving slightly each day. She was extremely wobbly and off balance now her back legs just seem to be giving out. She is drinking which is a great sign. She is being very picky with eating but we are trying all sorts of things to help her eat. Not only is she on insulin, but now a motion sickness pill, and blood pressure. She sometimes seems confused. My heart is breaking for her. Its like we have to relearn all of her needs. Just looking for some support and what anyone's experience was/is if they have had a dog with a stroke.

With all this happening I wrote a blog about all the different life lessons Pepper has taught me over the past 15 years. She means the world to me. Here's the link if any of you dog lovers are interested.
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:02 AM
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Your post hits home on a number of levels with me. I'm sorry you and your dog are going through this.

I wish there was an accurate answer to give to you about stroke recovery, but each stroke is unique for each dog. I can tell you a little about some of the dogs I had that had stokes.

Also, as far as diabetes, the dog in my avatar, Harper, was a rough collie x Great Pyrenees mix... I lost her to diabetes. After reading that many dogs ended up with strokes and pancreatic cancer and had issues in trying to get insulin shots adjusted to their needs, I made the decision to put her to sleep when the vet confirmed she was diabetic.

This also happened at a time when I was trying to learn how to walk again after being in a wheelchair for 5 month..and I didn't have the strength, time, or money, to help Harper out on a daily basis in giving her multiple insulin shots a day and figuring out her food requirements. But mostly I wasn't comfortable about whether or not Harper was really going to feel ok for very long even with insulin shots - so I put her to sleep.

She was pretty sick by then, she was such a huge dog, I hadn't realized she had dropped so much weight until I was petting her one day and knew she felt different. Then in talking with people who had helped me out, when I was in the wheelchair, I found out they had been filling up the water bowl a lot more than I had been doing before I got hurt. And I immediately suspected Harper was probably diabetic as she had been drinking so much water and had quit eating, and the vet confirmed it. She was still a fairly young dog only 8 years old and on of the best dogs I ever had...she had a 'bubbly' personality and just loved everyone.

As far as the strokes. I have had 3 dogs that had strokes in their old age. Two of them even had several strokes.

With my dog Hey You, who was 15, the stroke happened during the night, and the result was it made her stagger for several steps every time she stood up. When she stood up and she also started to 'dribble' urine. I gave her about 2 months to improve but she never did, and I ended up putting her to sleep because the leaking was making a mess of the flooring, but also the urine was harsh on her legs too.

My little dog Shilo the first one when she was about 13 and the second one when she was about 14. The first one took what eye sight she had left and the second one left her with over all weakness, again, I gave her some time to see if there was recovery - about a month, but she just got weaker and kind of gave up, and I had to have the vet come over and put her to sleep.

Lacey, was 11 when she had her first stroke. It was a bad one, and I almost had the vet put her to sleep when I took her in. She collapsed, and then got up and acted like she didn't know where she was or who I was or what was going on. But amazingly within 5 days she was almost back to normal. She had a very slight hitch in one of her back legs, but it was barely noticeable.

About 6 months later she had another stroke, again, a bad one. That one took her almost 2 weeks to recover from but she seemed mentally the same dog...but she developed a weird 'tick' in that when she got up, she couldn't just head out in the direction she wanted to do..she had to turn a left handed circle at least once and sometime two or three times before going in the direction she wanted to go.
She lived until she was 14 when I put her to sleep due to some combined issues of old age...but she was also a larger dog, so 14 was a ripe old age for her.

I'm sorry your dog has health issues, it's one of the things we has their caretakers have to deal with as they do our best to see that their quality of life remains good, and sometimes make that final decision when we see that the dog's bad days are outnumbering their good days.

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Old 07-10-2016, 02:07 AM
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I am so sorry that your dog had a stroke. I know how heartbreaking it is to see them go through it and be limited in what you can do to help them.

My boy Shadow had 2 strokes around a month before his 16th birthday. Before the stroke he was in great health, and acted like a much younger dog. I had him in the yard when it happened, I had my back turned to him and when I looked back I saw him running in a tight circle like he was chasing his tail. I got him to the vet who said it was a stroke, he gave me some medicine for him, anti nausea and I forget what the other pill was, and told me to keep him as quiet as possible for a couple weeks. He slowly improved for a week then a second stroke set him back. He had vertigo for awhile, and had general weakness. I had to steady him when he pottied or he'd fall over. He lost what little eyesight he still had left, and he developed a head tilt.

The vet had told me to give him a month to recuperate, and that what he regained whithin that month was likely as good as he'd get. The vertigo went away, as did the weakness, and the head tilt went away. He never regained his eyesight and he was a lot less confident then he was before the stroke. Honestly he was never the same dog as he was before the stroke.
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