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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Second opinion] - we think our 14 year old pom had a stoke -

Customer Question

Second opinion] - we think our 14 year old pom had a stoke - she can't stand up - looks perky and is eating her food - hand feeding her and she is drinking water -
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Bella
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Bella?
Customer: she has had issues with her tricea - not sure how to spell that and goes into coughing spells when she gets excited -
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You may be correct, Kathy, but strokes in dogs usually cause a profound change in mentation (mental status) such as obtundation and coma. I can't rule out a transient ischemic attack (TIA), however, although these shouldn't cause lasting effects. Please tell me more about her inability to stand. Most important, are all her legs affected? Are they paretic (weak) or paralyzed? Can she support her weight when you prompt her up? Has her vet checked Bella's conscious proprioception in her legs - knowing where her limbs are in space - and nociception (deep pain perception)?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
she is starting to support her weight better today - when I woke up this morning she had gotten out of her bed and was on the potty pad area a few feet away and was going potty - she is really attempting to move around this morning - she is eating well and drinking water - I am trying to keep her resting and will go see the vet tomorrow if things don't improve - but I feel like she is majorly improving since Friday - she is 14 and getting old so I am really thinking her days are numbered but it is so hard to give in to that - I don't think she is in pain - she looks perky and responds to us
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

What a good update! You're correct. Every day's a gift at her age. Perhaps she suffered a seizure or a vestibular (balance) disorder - the "old dog vestibular disorder" - an idiopathic (unknown cause) balance disorder which caretakers often mistake as a stroke but these dogs can progressively improve over a couple of weeks. Some completely normalize but some are left with head tilts. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
is there anything else I can do on my own - ?? I was wondering about a tiny bit of aspirin -
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

While safe, aspirin isn't expected to be of value. Dosing for Bella would be 10 mg/lb with food twice daily. In the great majority of these dogs, the tincture of time is the best therapy. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.