Poor Willow...

Willow and Baby G, Best Friends Forever I had one of the more frightening moments of my life occ...

Willow and Baby G, Best Friends Forever
I had one of the more frightening moments of my life occur on Thursday. My 2 year old Australian Shepherd, BFF to Baby G and one of the sweetest dogs I know, had a seizure.

I was videotaping Baby G in the hall because he was being funny, just talking to his "angels" and reaching up towards the ceiling, doing the milk/hello/goodbye sign. Willow was on the other side of the gate and had paced by a few times, but nothing abnormal. She likes to always be in Baby G's face so sometimes I close her on the other side of the gate, plus her water bowl is Baby G's favorite toy so it's nice to contain HIM as well!

I was happily watching Baby G rattle the gate when suddenly Willow flew backwards like someone was dragging her. I was --->this<--- close to believing in ghosts, but the vet said this is normal for dogs when they're having a seizure. I stopped videoing right after it started, although apparently having the brief clip was helpful for the vet for diagnosis so I'm supposed to video for future seizures as well. In case she eventually has to see a neurologist. Let's hope that doesn't happen because we really can't afford to spend our savings on our dogs... we've actually been trying to save up to buy a house FOR Willow (we want one too, but a big yard for her to enjoy is a major motivating influence) because she needs a place to run. Sigh.

When she had her episode, I came pretty close to freaking out because I was kneeling next to her and petting her when she went unconscious... I think... because she stopped moving as much and was just frothing at the mouth. That lasted for a moment and then she started up again. Then she was up, acting like nothing had happened, but HYPER. She was also disoriented, trying to jump on me (like normal) and falling over (not normal). Poor confused girl.

The good news from the vet was that seizures are pretty common with Australian Shepherds, as well as other purebred breeds, and that it's something she can live with. I know someone whose mini poodle had seizures and she lived to the ripe old age of 17! There's medication that may or may not work which is not too terribly expensive, although the blood tests to make sure there's enough in her system are kinda of expensive... but if it's only an occasional test, it's not too bad. The problem with the medicine is that we have to be really careful not to touch it ourselves or we could come up positive on drug tests! Neither Daddy B or I have careers where we want positive drug test results so we've gotten some gloves that will hopefully do the trick. Medicine didn't work for our friend's dog who ended up not taking any medication in the long run and was fine (besides having seizures) so the worst case scenario seems to be that she will not be on medication and we'll have to figure out how to deal with the seizures at home to keep her and Baby G safe. She's not going to harm him on purpose, but she thrashed around so much that we'd need to be really careful. I'm hoping that car trips with her in the very back of my Toyota Prius with our cocker spaniel will be okay in case she has a seizure. So many things to think about now.

I think the hard thing was watching her and seeing how scared she was, and not being able to do anything to help her besides pet her. Ugh, it makes me tear up just thinking about it. She's a really sweet dog, even when she's naughty... it's like she doesn't even realize that she shouldn't be chewing the remote control, the computer AV cables, etc. She just gives you this look like, "I LOVE YOU! LOOK WHAT I DID FOR YOU!"

She had her second seizure after we got home from the vet. It was easier because I knew what it was and that it would be okay, but it's the worst, feeling powerless. I really feel for people who have to watch their children go through this too.

This is the video of the beginning of her seizure (with some cute video of Baby G prior)... this is what a dog seizure can look like... don't watch if you're disturbed easily:

I think the next time we get a dog, way in the distant future, I want to adopt a mutt just to avoid some of these genetic issues. The application process for adopting a dog just seemed too intense before, but next time we may need to try because my heart can't handle all of the genetic issues purebreds seems to have. Our cocker spaniel is pretty healthy, relatively, but I feel like their breeding cuts their lives short and I love my dogs so I'd like them to live full, long lives. And not have to explain to my son why his BFF isn't here to hang out anymore. Hopefully this is the extent of their problems and that my son will be moving away to college before we have to deal with that. But for a moment the other day, I really thought this was it.



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DIY Danielle: Poor Willow...
Poor Willow...
DIY Danielle
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