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Could this Be A Stroke?

Late one evening close to two weeks ago my 15 year old Border Collie stood up and here legs were having trouble supporting her.  Her front legs regained strength after a couple of minutes, but her rear legs continued to be a problem.

Actually, it was not really the legs that were weak but it appeared to be more the muscles from her back, that held everything erect...her rear end was "blowing in the wind" until she finally couldn't balance any more and sat down.

She showed no signs of pain and was somewhat euphoric, and very alert and active...at this time of night she would normally be sleeping.  She gained more control over her legs during the next 2 - 3 hours but after I turned in for the night she sat staring into space for some time.

The next morning there was a marked improvement and I was able to take her for a short walk and the improvements continued over the next few days until she was almost back to normal.

However, the morning before last I found her laying on the floor, eyes open, but unable to move.  Her front legs felt ok but there was absolutely no muscle control in the hind legs.  I stroked her for a few minutes and she suddenly lifted her head and the "feel" of muscles returned to her hind legs.  When she stood up her rear end was very weak but improved during the day, and today I was able to take her for a short walk.

This time she didn't exhibit the euphoria.

I have two questions...do you think a stroke caused the problems...and if so, the night before the second "incident" I gave her an asprin (first time) for her arthritus...could this have precipitated this second "incident"?

I know I should take her to the vets, but at the moment this just isn't possible...so any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
2 Responses
234713 tn?1283526659
Older dogs can develop calcification's to the disks in their spine. Small pieces of  the calcified disk material can break off, travel around the circulatory system and cause blockages to the spinal nerves in the hind end, and can even travel to the brain and other locations as an embolis.  This is a type of stroke and it may have occurred in your dog.

Aspirin acts as a blood thinner and in some cases could help move the embolis.  The euphoria you describe could have occured as the embolis was moving.  The Aspirin may have helped, but it certainly did not hurt.

Geriatric vestibular disease is the name for the more common stroke in aging dogs.  Circling behavior, balance problems, falling down, nausea and vomiting may also occur with vestibular disease.  

Your dog could have either type.  Since you are unable to go to the vet you can treat symptoms with low dose aspirin 81 mg twice daily,  Dramamine if your dog has nausea and vomiting at 1/2 the human dose.

Unfortunately, there is also the possibility of a cancer in the brain or spinal cord in a dog of 15 years.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for your reply, it is very much appreciated.

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