January 10, 2010 had been a great one. We took the poodles to the beach; both Luke and Tilley ran and played on the beach like young dogs. In the blink of an eye it all changed, the morning of January 11, 2010.
So here we are a year later; and I have to tell you that she is doing amazingly. The residuals of the disease have given her a permanent head tilt, but she can run and even catch a ball now. She must be very careful when she lowers her head to pick it up her ball as this motion causes her to tumble over often. And I believe she is off balance in general. She seems to tip over if she is not looking forward. She has a very hard time going downstairs but she does it, again the lowering of her head is a difficult behavior. She has a slight right eye droop that most would not notice and because of her head tilt she has a natural tendency to turn left. Turning right takes some work but she manages with some effort.
This female wolf is behind a double fence for her protection from the younger wolves. 15 years of age is a very old Wolf.
As I said in my blog yesterday, there was a wolf at the California Wolf Center with Vestibular disease. I was fascinated by this and reminded that wolves and dogs share 99.98% genetic make-up. What dogs get; wolves can get. I just never considered a wolf getting vestibular disease. But Bonnie told me while we were discussing the crooked wolf that it is rare because a wolf's life expectancy in the wild is only around 5-7 years. This girl that had struct with Vestibular at the center was 15, she had far out lived her wild relatives.
Vestibular disease is awful in the beginning but it is not a death sentence. A dog stricken with this disease will need around the clock care in the first few days. Then things start to change and as everyday passes you see a tiny improvement. Some days may be worse than others but you get through it and so do they. Each dog is different and each case different. Some dogs are hit hard with the disease, I feel that Tilley was lucky as were we.
I think that it is very important to share this information, it could someday save a life. Since Tilley has been hit with Vestibular I have heard of several dogs being euthanized at the onset. It is a horrible thing to watch but the worst of it over in a couple of days. I wrote this blog at the end of the fifth day after the onset.
These two videos show what Tilley looked like in the beginning.
But look at her now!!!!!!!!!