My Dog is a Stroke Survivor

Deanne Stein Health Guide
  • I can't take another incident like this, but Friday night after work I found myself involved in more Rocky drama. My 4-year-old poodle, Rocky, was having another seizure. I had just walked through the backyard and was unlocking the back door when Casey, my 5-year-old Lab mix walked in. Then, I turned around and saw the horror. There was Rocky, falling and crawling his way to the door trying to get to me.

    I grabbed him immediately and held him close to me, rubbing his tummy and talking to him softly. This usually calms him down and allows the seizure to pass within 2 or 3 minutes. But, just as it seemed like he was about to come out of it, he started thrashing about again. After about 10 minutes of this I started to panic because I was home alone, except for my 11-month-old daughter, Annabelle. She was still in her infant car seat sitting next to us just watching silently, thank goodness.

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    Since so much time had passed, I called my husband on my cell, not even realizing what time it was and that he was about to go on television to do his sportscast. He told me he had to be on the air in a few minutes, but he'd send a co-worker to our house right away. At this point, it's been 15 minutes of me crying and being emotional because I feel helpless (and, well, thinking my dog is going to die!). No matter how hard I tried to think it through, I just couldn't get to the hospital without some help (why didn't I put my neighbors' phone numbers in my phonebook?!). I thought to myself, "Well, I'll run Annabelle to the car first, then come back for Rocky." But as soon as I laid him down on the rug, his head started banging on the hard tile. Then I thought, "Maybe I can put Rocky in the car, then come back for the baby...but then what if he hurts himself in the car?" He's thrashing around and so out of control, I couldn't let go of him. And, I couldn't carry him and my daughter at the same time. I was utterly helpless and my dog was surely going to die in my arms.

    Luckily, my co-worker arrived and watched the dog, while I removed the base for the infant carseat from my car. Minutes later, my husband arrived. So, I grabbed Rocky and jumped in the van with my co-worker, as my husband and daughter and followed behind us. The Animal ER is way across town, of course, so by the time we arrived, it had been at lease 30 minutes of my poor Rocky seizing. As soon as we arrived, the doctors took him back right away; they were waiting for him because my co-worker called ahead and told them the situation. Luckily, they already had his medicine and IV's ready.

    The hospital kept him overnight and gave him fluids through an IV along with an anti-seizure medication. This was his worst seizure to date. He had his first seizure two years ago and hadn't had another one for a long while, And both had been mild compared to this. Over the last couple weeks the seizures had occured more frequently, so we did as the doctor told us and documented each one. All were minor and didn't last long. But since he was having them more often, we had plans to take him to the vet next week, anyway. Rocky beat us to the punch, though, having had his worst episode before his appointment. At lease he survived, is running around normally and doesn't seem to have any lasting effects. Despite his full recovery, though, the vet is going to put him on an anti-seizure medication twice a day, probably for the rest of his life.

  • Rocky is my little fighter, a survivor like me. Now, we both will have to take our daily medications to survive. Me, my Coumadin and him, his Phenobarbital. I guess we'll always have this little survivor bond. And now that he is on his medicine, he will have an even better shot of living a full and healthy life. But, I still plan to stay by his side in case he ever has a relapse. He's my boy!

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    Related posts:

    Coumadin Diet

    Dogs and Strokes

    Rocky's Seizure

Published On: August 18, 2008