part 1 – canine vestibular syndrome
*** i think i’ve avoided blogging because of this. i’d ignore it completely if i could, but it’s kinda impacted on everything every day since.
and i don’t want to understate How Distressing, but i’ve successfully blocked out most of my thoughts, feelings & emotions from that day, so do *brainskim* along with me, as we get it over with :) ***
way back in july, right after i last blogged, the anakin dog suddenly became very poorly.
we were heading up The North to visit my parents that day – my godparents were visiting from south africa and i was desperate to see them – the car was packed, electrical things had been ocd-checked & double checked, i was wearing clean dayclothes, we were ready to set off…
and then anakin staggered out.
she couldn’t walk, and when she tried to stand her legs kept collapsing under her. her head was tilted at a crazy angle, she was panting & drooling, and her eyes were flickering & rolling…
Husband had to carry her in to the vets and she wasn’t even arsed about the indignity of that.
i was expecting the worst.
fortunately, as soon as the vet saw her, “it’s not what you think. it’s not as bad as it looks”
like a stroke, but not a stroke (although maybe a little stroke). like the worst kind of vertigo. with nausea. inner ear somethingsomething. wordswordswords. she should make a full recovery. wordswordswords.
it was a really hot & humid day, so my sensible bit of brain knew the last thing we should do was put her in the car for a couple of hours. but rest of brain knew i couldn’t cope with sitting at home all weekend, just watching her and feeling helpless. so later on, we did go The North. anakin slept on my lap and i syringed water at her.
approx. 12 seconds after we arrived i burst into tears.
is it weird to say i had a lovely weekend?
anakin was happy to have all her people around her, we took turns lying on the floor feeding & watering her, and Husband slept downstairs so he could help her outside in a toilet emergency.
except, when i tiptoed down at 4am to check on her, they were both sleeping soundly. next to a little pile of sick. the funniest part, is that my parents only had the BRAND NEW CARPET fitted 17 days earlier. ahahahaha
^ it was the best i could do at 4am. sorry mom.
the next day, while the menfolk golfed, us ladies played at sewing. i made anakin these very smart carry handles…
once they existed, it became a lot easier to help her walk – we used the handles to take her weight, used her collar to steer – and she was awfully pleased that i no longer had to hold her bum up while she pooped.
on the sunday, we were lucky enough to catch an impressive display by the red arrows from the comfort of my parents patio. both mom & godmom are from RAF families so that was a bit special. i didn’t have my camera to hand, but it looked a bit like this
home again, we covered our slidey tile floors in a jumble of carpet scraps, rugs & duvets so anakin would have purchase when she tried to walk again, and resigned ourselves to the fact we’d be living in the lounge while she needed 24 hour care. Husband and i took it in turns to sleep on the couch (i did 2 nights, he did the other 42)
the first days were about tempting her to eat & drink – she couldn’t seem to work out where the end of her face was, so it was all by hand – everything saturated in drool, gravy & flakes of salmon. it smelt heavenly.
the weather was still being ridiculous hot, so i was cooling her down with ice packs. she was shedding great chunks of fur from the stress. it all ended up in the freezer but i didn’t even care.
improvements were gradual – her eyes stopped moving & she could lie down properly, after that she was able to sleep restfully. she could hold her head up a bit better, which meant she could drink. her appetite returned, and she was keen to get back on solid food (if i held it just right so she could bite down). she could stand up on her own, she could wobble-walk unaided. she still fell over if she tried to turn… so she realised walking backwards was sometimes safer, and that she could use her tail for balance.
she could chase cats. she could manipulate us.
but she still couldn’t go upstairs.
we fell into a new routine of no routine. getting up at 4am because she fancied a wander in the garden in the rain. getting up at 6am because she didn’t like Husband going off to work. 20 minute bursts of sewing time because she didn’t like being alone.
“excuse me, where are you and what are you doing? we have good games to play”
(i had a little video to add here, to show how mobile, active, playful and happy she is now, almost 2 months on. but i was accidently in it. in my pyjamas. so, sorry internet, you cannot see.)