My dog Molly will be 14 in a week.
Last week, while I was out of town and had left her with some friends who consider her their adopted child, she suddenly developed the colly-wobbles. The blind staggers, if you will. Her eyes started to go spastic and her legs just collapsed. She couldn’t stand up because it was obvious she was completely dizzy.
In a panic they took her to the vet, afraid she’d had a stroke. Turns out it was a very common disorder in older dogs – an inner ear disturbance. Old dog vestibular syndrome is what it’s called. The vet gave her some anti-nausea medication in case she was queasy and told my friends she’d probably be better in a few days.
They called me right away but I was 2000 miles away and could only rely on their good judgment and special care. Molly has been such an amazingly healthy dog that I’ve really not considered what life would be like without her. Just having her constant company by my desk, by my bed, at my chair is a comfort I’ve taken for granted. No more.
By the time I got home Molly was significantly better, though she kept her head tipped to the left as if she were perpetually saying, “Wha??”
Now, about ten days later she seems pretty much back to normal. Still deaf, but clearly not blind because on our walk this morning she took off like a rocket after a rabbit in the bushes.
Phew. Disaster averted for now.