Well, it has been a very rocky road around here since Thursday. This is going to be a bit of a drive-by post (excuse any typos), but I wanted to update everyone and ask for the continued crossed paws please... we really need them!
Zeus was diagnosed with Vestibular Disease of Old Dogs on Thursday. It literally came on over night. He was perfectly fine Wednesday when we went to bed, and when I got up with Lola in the middle of the night (more about my night owl some other time). Thursday morning he was obviously having a problem with his hind legs and it appeared he had fallen and scared himself (he had peed and pooped where he was lying down). Fortunately I had Thursday off from work and was at home. I watched him deteriorate more and more over the day and won't even begin to tell you the thoughts going through my mind or the amount of tears I shed. It became obvious pretty quickly that he hadn't fallen and sprained an ankle or something - his front legs were no longer working and he was just lying in one spot, unable to control his bowel movements.
As soon as we got him into the vet's office (a project in and of itself to move my big guy), she immediately recognized the signs of Vestibular Disease - and I calmed down considerably. His eyes were twitching back and forth, non-stop ... a big sign of what was going on. If you click through the link above you'll be able to read more about this disease, but basically it's really bad vertigo, dizziness, etc. No wonder why my baby couldn't stand up!
They gave him an injection for the motion sickness, loaded him up with fluids and sent us home. There's nothing to do to "cure" Vestibular Disease, you just have to ride it out. Dr. C said we should see improvement in 48-72 hours and Zeus should come out of it altogether in about 5-10 days (though he may continue to have a head tilt -- the least of my worries!).
Things were progressing as best they could, I got him to eat a few very small meals on Friday and to drink some water. He even tried to come upstairs at one point Friday evening, but quickly realized he didn't have his balance and laid back down.
Saturday things seemed more off and he refused to eat, and drank only a small amount of water.... and then the worst, he started coughing. I was hopeful it wasn't anything major, but when I woke up Sunday to find him very out of sorts and coughing a lot, I knew we had to get to the vet. My worst fear since he was diagnosed with Mega-esophagus was realized - my baby ended up with aspiration pneumonia after being so immobile.
After his chest x-rays, they gave him another injection for the motion sickness and more fluids and sent us home with 140 antibiotic capsules. Yes, I said 140 - and that's just 2 weeks worth (he needs 5 per dosage). We also took home some stinky prescription canned food in hopes of enticing him to eat... especially because the antibiotic is supposed to be given on a full stomach.
Zeus ate a few times yesterday and was drinking well. We got a couple of doses of the antibiotic in him and are just hopeful he's keeping enough of it down. Please... cross those paws in hopes that this antibiotic kicks in fast and does the trick.