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Olivia, Veterinary Assistant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience:  10 yr rescuer, 5 years experience in busy clinic, assisted in diverse surgeries, has many pets.
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My old dog appeared to lose her motor skills, stumbling and ...

Customer Question

My old dog appeared to lose her motor skills, stumbling and falling down. She''s sitting in repose with my wife at the bottom of the stairs in my living room appearing comfortable. Her weight isn''t what it once was, and her hindquarters are light, if not atrophied. Did she have a stroke? What do you think. And what do I do?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Olivia replied 9 years ago.

Did this just happen, the stumbling and falling?

Does she seem disorientated now? Drooling, or shaking?

Has she been losing weight gradually?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Olivia's Post: She appears okay now. No drooling or shaking, but she's old & I'm worried that if this repeats I won't know how to react. She can no longer jump up on the bed. She dislikes the groomer. We are fearful of upsetting her and consequently use the cleaning wipes exclusively to clean her. Her nails are long,because even though I purchased clippers to do it myself, when she bled from her nails after I cut them (even a little) I just could not continue. She has very poor tooth health (barely any left) and we feed her chicken and rice daily, because she could no longer digest the dog food she ate for years without throwing up.
Expert:  Olivia replied 9 years ago.
Sudden stumbling and disoriented behavior is a sign of a possible seizure. There really isn't anything you can do for your dog if she gets seizures. They happen so sporadic you can't tell when they'll have one. If you ever do see it happening, just try to keep her from hitting nearby ojects. Keep her warm and comfort her when it's over as she will feel very scared.
If you have hard wood floors, this can also be due to the nails being too long, causing your dog to slip and slide. Older dogs don't have strong muscles to hold up and balance themselves. I doubt this is the case if this suddenly happened.

The best thing to do is get a blood test done. This will shed more light on the cause and possible prevention of seizures. Being that she's 12 years old, it's best to do this anyway to check up what's going on inside.
*That is of course if you want to pursue this.*

Older dogs do get upset easily because they feel weaker and they get scared. You can try giving her a natural herbal calmative, they're available at petstores on online. Here's an example of one:|1031187663&gclid=CKDKgoDG25ACFQUllgodIXM5WQ

This may help take the edge off your dogs anxiety. Give her the remedy only when you need to groom her or take her to the vet as some dogs build a tolerance after constant use.

As for the nails, the veins grow out on the nails over long periods of time if you don't trim frequently. Even if you cut a little bit, it can bleed. What you can do is try using a large nail file to file the nail down instead.

I'm glad you're taking al these precautions to make her life less stressful. You may also want to try giving her joint supplements. Omega Fatty 3 aicds are excellent for skin, coat and eyes as well as stopping the degeneration of joints. Since she has a sensitive stomach you'll want to give her the supplements crushed and mixed into the food.

I hope this information was helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns, I'll be happy the help.

Best Wishes,