on a serious note: vestibular disease (or "the scariest thing EVER")

ok, so picture this. it's 7:30 am, last sunday, and i have the covers thrown off me as "GET UP!!" is yelled in my ear.

i groggily stumble out of bed into the hallway, where my oldest dog, reb (13 year old lab) is having a serious seizure. he's had them many times before (tensing of the muscles, dilated eyes, etc.)-but this one he just couldn't seem to snap out of. he couldn't walk & his neck was off to the side...(horrific already) and THEN came the constant puking. and when i say constant, i mean WITHOUT STOPPING. exorcist-style.

i sat with him for 2+ hours, thinking (hoping) it would all work itself out...but it really seemed like he had suffered a stroke. he was unable to walk & his neck was permanently tilted & he was completely out of it.

i am hysterical-pretty much "that woman" at the ER vet (and i know i will be when that day does come for real...hey, i've had my 3 pigs for 10+ years! they really are my kids!) the vet calls me in (shaking, trembling, swollen-faced me) & tells me it's probably vestibular disease.

in short (apologies, this gets a little science-tastic right here), there are two kinds-one that means something is up with the brain (not good) or peripheral (inner ear). needless to say, if your dog has peripheral, it almost always GOES AWAY. the head tilt, puking & drunken walking are because your dog's balance is all jacked up. (ok, that part wasn't scientific...)

scary fact? MANY dog owners euthanize their dogs thinking it has had a stroke when really they are just in a temporary freak out because of an inner ear imbalance.

i walked into the vet's office thinking it was "that day" and it totally wasn't! don't get me wrong, it has been an all around TERRIBLE WEEK (watching your dog stumble, run into walls, not eat, and look like he's been partying a little too frequently is nothing to balk at.) but it does improve, so don't despair!
follow-up: one week later he does still have kind of a tilted head-which may or may not go away. but on a lighter note, it really does make him look very inquisitive, which is pretty adorable.

(here is a link to a video that was really helpful)