Sorry if this turns out to be a book... :^|
2 days ago, Emma, my 8 yr old German Shepherd, woke me to let me know she had the itchies again - she's shedding and it's a normal ritual by now. When the pet store opened, we jumped in the car and headed down to pick up some oatmeal shampoo which relieves that problem for her. At that time, she was active and doing her thing - bolting from window to window in the car, barking at dogs on the sidewalk, energetic as usual. Everything was just the way it always is. By the time I got around to giving her the bath, she seemed a little withdrawn. Downright mopey. Although a good bath, and the toweling off she gets afterward are normally stimulating for her, she came in and went to sleep. I just figured the night of constant scratching had caught up to her and let her snooze.
By the afternoon walk, she had difficulty gaining her feet and was extremely unwilling to go out. After some coaxing, she followed me across the street to do her thing. The key word here is "followed" - she ALWAYS takes the lead on the way to her spot. Emma had a hard time getting into position and stumbled a few times trying to maintain. It was even tougher for her to even stand up later on that night when I took her before going to bed - her back legs would cross or simply fail when she pushed herself up, and her front legs trembled from the effort.
When I got up the next morning - figuring we'd be going to see the vet - I rolled to see if she had made it under the bed as she normally does to find her waiting for me. She smiled, wagged her tail and rolled over - letting me know she felt a world better. She was still a little weak, but more active and alert than the day before. Today, she's chasing her tail on command and bringing me her favorite tug-toys. Back to normal again.
Emma has never had a problem like that before - we have been a pack since she was 8 weeks old. So, even though she's apparently back to her normal standard of excellence, should I still be concerned? I find myself wondering if this might be a symptom of something else and maybe not "just something that's going around". It would pain me greatly to have my best friend (other daughter?) suffer over something preventable.
I'd appreciate hearing some of your thoughts and wisdom.