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Greetings everyone,

First post just wanted some second opinions on this episode our aussie had last night.

He was left at home during the day, and allowed out when my wife returned home. Likely did some running, romping, scarfing etc. general woods romp activities.

We fed him dinner which was standard fair except was added about a half cup of oatmeal from the previous morning. The oats were sweetened from molasses and cane sugar although not crazy sweet. Certainly more sugar than a dog should probably eat but he is pretty well acquainted with leftovers when deemed appropriate.

About an hour after dinner a friend came over, when Kekule' went to greet him he was acting very strange. legs were limp and un coordinated. was bowing his legs out ward to maintain stability and had a wonky gait. Was tripping over things like shoes and was generally uncoordinated.

He also seemed a little slower than usual mentally. I equated his condition to being drunk or stoned. his lack of coordination was not terrible but quite evident. He was not falling over or turning his head stangely, was just acting spacy and disconnected. Alert and responsive but much slower to respond to stimuli and less interested in moving around than usual.

I took him to emergency vet concerned for his well being. They ruled out anti freeze, alcohol, and verified his organ function with blood work and urinalysis. overall a clean bill of health. Liver function was on the high end of normal but normal.

the vet concluded that he probably ate some marijuana or perscription drug which was not possible unless there were drugs hiding in the woods somewhere... highly unlikely.

assured that he was not in immediate danger i brought him home and encouraged him to take fluids and rest. Symptoms were greatly lessoned by 4 hour post onset. and the next morning he seemed totally normal although perhaps a bit hung over.

In my research i was able to determine that these symptoms might be from a vestibular disease or stroke.

Being young and generally healthy i think stroke would be a hard sell. If it was a stroke would the blood work have indicated anything?

vestibular can come from ear infection or banging into something in my understanding both of which had not been ruled out by the vet. Will definitely be looking into his ears when i get home.

what do you guys think. I would like to subscribe to the "ate weird thing in the woods theory" but it seems a bit far fetched given the symptoms and environment. The dose of sugar could have perhaps precipated these symptoms but i have no idea as to a mechanism for such.

thanks for any responses!
 

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It is possible that he could have eaten a old cigarette that someone dropped in the woods. Nicotine is poisonus to dogs, though this doesn't exactly sound like that. Though im not that well versed in the symptoms so don't quote me on it. It does sound plausible that he might have eat something funny. I don't know much about vestibular desease but I think the symptoms (from the light skimming I did) would have been more severe and I don't think its very common in aussies.

Hopefully some one who knows more will be able to give you better information on this.
 

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I found a bag of pot in the woods before, likely dropped by the stoner who just blazed one then stumbled off not realizing he dropped it, not out of the realm of possibilities. Could have been some teenagers doing weird stuff out there, you never know.
 

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All the vestibular disease cases I have seen involved older aged dogs that present with circling and nystagmus.It usually takes about a week to resolve. What you are describing does sound more like Marijuana ingestion.
 

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Yea so he is still on the mend. Totally back to normal by day 2 and no signs of regression.

We did find a deer carcass that had recently been eviscerated its possible he ate a bunch of nasty deer guts.

Ive never heard of that causing dog drunkeness; but, Protein poisoning, Toxins and heavy metals i know are concentrated in organ meat; Not to mention, its filthy: bacteria, etc.

thats our new suspicion but unconfirmed of yet
 

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My dog got quite drunk off of mullberries when she was younger. She has a bad habit of eating everything and mullberries, as soon as they fall off the tree, are basically fermented. I had to carry the lovely 45lbs dog (at the time I wasn't even 120lbs myself) up 2 flights of winding stairs becuase she couldn't figure out how to climb them (this is a dog who would run the stairs for exercize) and then she wobbled a bit and settled in a corrner with her eyes closed, leaning against the wall.

I'd say that it's quite possible that the deer guts contained something fermented that turned to alcohol. Dogs are quite sensitive to it, and since my dad and uncles hunt, I know that butchers often talk of bloated fermented intestines.

Also, I'm not sure how oats react but soaking grains with sugar can ferment them. I know that raw rice, warm temp and even a bit of sugar can make the start of rice wine in only a few hours. I know that my dad soaks the hops (a type of grain) to make beer. Barley soaked with sugar also makes beer. I'm guessing that very wet oatmeal, with sugar, left in a warm room for several hours also could ferment, too.
 

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Update

So a week after this episode. We got up in the morning let him out and when he came back inside he was flapping his ears alot and holding his head to the side.

Symptoms he did not show in the first incident. He had all his coordination and was not acting drunk or anything.

We took him to the vet and they looked in his ear and he yelped pretty loud. They said they did not see any infection but were unable to look deep enough to confirm as he was in pain when they probed him.

They put him on a steroidal antibiotic ear treatment. and he has improved he does seem a bit testy or grumpy. i chock up his testyness either to that he is in pain/sick or the steroids.

Taking him to another vet today we'll see what they say
 

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Hello. I know it has been awhile, but what was the outcome? My aussie is exhibiting similar symptoms.
 

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Since this incident there have been no further episodes of the unexplained symptoms from the original episode, and his health maintains. My hypothesis that has the most potential was that he ate something that got him drunk. Not sure if deer guts frequently contain alcohol but that is my best guess as to what caused the origional episode.

As far as the floppy ear and tilted head symptoms he experienced a few days later, those went a way in short term. He sometimes has a recurrance of that, maybe 2-3 times in the last 4 years. We just keep him inside more and watch him along with cleaning his ears and he improves in 2-4 days. Not sure if its infection or just imbalance of the inner ear that causes the symptoms but keeping them clean definitely seems to help.
 
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