I was so excited about starting Princess on vitamin supplements to help with her dementia. The Melatonin definitely has helped her to sleep better at night and I'm very happy about that for my own sanity. But when I came home from work Tuesday, something was very wrong with her. She could barely walk and couldn't keep her balance at all. Her head was tilted to the left and down. I had to carry her outside and back in. It was heart breaking to watch her stumble around and fall. She also didn't want to eat. I was afraid this was the beginning of the end.
I immediately stopped giving her the Ginko Biloba and Fish Oil, but did continue with the Melatonin. I purchased her a new orthopedic bed and put a little night light above it to hopefully ease some of her confusion at night. I bought chicken breasts and cooked dinner for her every night to get her to eat something. I held myself together at work - few people there would understand how much I love this dog and what the big deal was anyway. There are other big worries bearing down on me now but I tried really hard to focus on work and zoom home every evening to be with my girl.
By Friday, Princess seemed to be doing a little better. Her balance was better but her head was still tilted to the left and down, and it didn't take much to lose her balance. But it wasn't as bad as it was earlier in the week. Saturday morning I took Princess to the vet. I thought maybe she had something neurological wrong.
It didn't take long for the vet to make a diagnosis - vestibular disease, aka, vertigo. She said it comes on suddenly and they don't know the cause. It can last up to three weeks per episode and Princess may have more episodes in the future. She prescribed an anti-nauseous medication to help improve Princess' appetite. She told me to continue the Melatonin and Fish Oil, and to also give her Vitamin D. Her appetite still isn't that great but as long as she's eating something, it's a good sign.
So...it's one day at a time with my girl. I was so relieved that she still has time left to spend with me on this earth. This dog of mine looks like a frail wimp of a dog, but she has survived skin cancer surgery, thyroid cancer surgery and multiple wounds that needed to be stitched up - not to mention a severe case of doggie flu last March that I was sure would do her in, and after that a poisonous spider bite. No, not this little girl. She keeps getting right back up each day and greets me with a happy face and a wagging tail.
My girl two winters ago.
Update - my vet called me to see how Princess is doing. She's still quite tipsy and isn't eating well, so in addition to the anti-nausea medicine, she is now taking Dramamine to help with her dizziness. We will both be glad when this passes!