Thursday, July 30, 2015

More on the Reality of Aging Huskies

Autumn and Linden have recently begun to show their age (they just turned 16!!). Both of them now have this weird thing where their back legs will suddenly go paralyzed for maybe 10 or so minutes. They'll be running around, happy as can be, and suddenly they'll drop down where they are and lie there until their hind legs work again. My vet said there is nothing he can do, and that their bloodwork and hearts both looked fine to him at their last checkups, which were recent. The good thing is that these episodes, whatever they are, don't seem to bother them much. They are alert during, their eyes are calm and bright, their gums don't turn blue, they don't pee or crap themselves... they just lie there like, "Whelp, I'm just gonna lie here for a bit."

Autumn's latest episode was last night. I had just gotten home, and all three dogs were doing the Dance of Joy in the yard, running and jumping around, when Autumn collapsed. Starbuck ran over and laid down right next to her. So sweet and touching! I didn't want to wait it out this time, since it was starting to rain pretty hard, so I picked Autumn up (which she tolerated, although it normally pisses her off to be carried), brought her inside, and laid her on the couch. Starbuck crammed herself in behind her and snuggled close until it passed.

Roo sez, "Are you okay?"

Roo sez, "Dis my sister."

Autumn hates to have her paws touched, so it's easy to assess when she has recovered. When I touch a back paw and she jerks it away and gives me a dirty look, we're in the clear. It took about fifteen minutes last night. Then Starbuckeroo got up and moved to the other end of the couch like, "Whelp, I guess my work here is done."


Allmycke said...

Loki just had a similar event last week. Suddenly, he lost control over his hind legs. I was able to calm him - but he does seem subdued, two days later.
He's only 6 years old - he must be my companion for Another 10-12 years

Arvay said...

Allmycke, do you have any idea what causes it? Apparently it's common, because google offers all kinds of autofills for combinations of the words "dog hind leg sudden temporary paralysis", but when I click through the links, none of them seem to match our situation.

The only culprit I can think of is the Frontline that they used at the kennel. They'd both had Frontline before, multiple times, but it is a drug that acts on the nervous system, and the effects could accumulate with each dosage. However, when I google "Frontline side effects" paralysis is not a common one. And when I google "frontline paralysis" I get way more hits recommending Frontline to protect against tick-borne illnesses that can cause paralysis!

My vet says it's only age-related, and if it's temporary and doesn't stop the flow of blood, not to worry. I called him last night during Autumn's episode, and he said, "Here's what you need to do. Go to the fridge, get a beer, and drink it. By the time you're finished, she'll be fine." It worked!

Rena said...

Yikes, that's pretty scary. I'm glad that it passes, but I think it's very suspicious that both of them have the same condition. It's not like they're related genetically, so that points to an environmental influence. Now you've got me worried about Frontline. Or could they be eating something funny? Is something sprouting in your yard that's tempting but toxic?

Arvay said...

@Rena, I believe you misunderstood; it's the biological sisters Autumn and Linden that both get it, not Starbuck. They both had the onset of other old lady symptoms (leg tremors, urinary incontinence) within a few weeks of each other, so the simultaneous onset of this paralysis thing is not a huge surprise.

Starbuck has not shown signs of this. If it's Frontline-related, there could definitely be a component of genetic or age-related susceptibility.

Rena said...

Ahhhhh, somehow I got confused. I understand now. , old age affects us humans as well as the dawgs, I guess.