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Oscar has a scary

Oscar, the best dog ever, had an unexpected and undesirable vet visit this morning. G. texted me just as I was getting out of the bus tunnel with “Oscar is sick we are at the vet.” I immediately started freaking out and he called a few seconds later to say Oscar had been curled up all small, and drooling, which is unlike him, and when he tried to walk he held his hips like an inbred German Shepherd and then started staggering like he was drunk and eventually gave up walking completely. I tried to think of all the things that he has been eating or may have eaten lately — cat poop from the cat box (so gross, we just got a new one with a lid to prevent it), soup that I spilled that had lots of various kinds of veggies in it, and, most alarmingly, the rat poison I have been putting out in the greenhouse (I know, it’s horrible, we’ll get the cat unleashed on the world soon) that has been only in the greenhouse but maybe he found a dead rat outside of the greenhouse and ate it?

Much churning of this sort went on over frantic texts and emails, with me starting my day at work all distracted, laying groundwork for having to leave and come straight home again right now to say goodbye, and G. running the gauntlet of the super-worried vet receptionist and the super-worried vet tech. G. discusses the fact that it seems like he’s having a stroke, or a seizure maybe. Eventually the doctor, who we really like, arrived, looked at Oscar, and said oh, it’s probably an ear infection.

WHAT. We thought it was a stroke or rat poison but it is probably an ear infection? OK, I’ll take it.

Ultimately not quite so simple, but also not the worst news. It is something called vestibular disease or disorder, which could have many causes. Ear infection is a common one — and Oscar is prone to them, especially during allergy season, which it is for him right now. But my second-hand info via Garth is that it is not a straight-up ear infection; they didn’t send them home with any antibiotics, so it seems like that’s the case. For now it is diagnosed as idiopathic, which means we don’t know why it is there, and it may resolve itself eventually. We hope.

In the meantime, poor Oscar is hugging the floor waiting for the world to stop spinning. He doesn’t want to lift his head up because he is so dizzy he can’t hold his head still when it’s not attached to the floor. The biggest risk at this point is of malnutrition/dehydration/pooping all over the floor because he hasn’t the balance to get up. There’s nothing wrong with his muscles or anything, it’s just his balance is all messed up. He hasn’t eaten or drank anything since I got home from work just over 3 hours ago, so I’m going to agitate for figuring out how to make sure he’s staying healthy while his ears recalibrate themselves.

Oscar dog

6 comments to Oscar has a scary

  • Melinda

    O noes! Poor Oscar. Keep us updated, please.

  • lauren

    Today much better. This AM was sketchy but mid-morning through mid-afternoon he went out four times, all but once under his own steam, and came back in on his feet too, mostly. When I got home from running errands he was around the other side of the house checking stuff out, and he came wobbling back around the corner to see me and even took his usual route onto the porch via the side of the 2nd step, which I thought was an ambitious move, but he made it. He’s still walking kind of diagonally, and running into stuff. I guess the cocked head can last for a while, possibly forever.

    But he’s also been eating hand-fed rice with nutritional yeast, and lamb-flavored treat tube stuff, and he’s had some water to drink and also licked some ice cubes. So, looking up. He’s been alert and waggy the whole time despite not being able to focus his eyes on us :( Poor Oscar. We love him.

  • Anna

    So glad he’s on the mend! I hope even better by now. Poor Oscar! Poor you!

  • Andi

    Poor Pup! Hope the recovery continued and he’s happy and healthy again.

  • lauren

    Hi Andi! Yes, he is doing much better. He has gone camping this weekend, in fact, with G. I am very jealous but they are having fun boy time and I’m having girl time at home … with the dog and the cat and the goats. Rooster is the man of the house, for now.

    Ha, now I have a funny story in my head of telemarketers calling and asking for the man of the house, and me handing the phone to the very loud rooster.

  • [...] mentioned that he had a scary episode that resolved itself. After that he started eating again mostly, but it was just a few — [...]

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