As my mother says, it's tough to get old

Everyone in the family seems to be under the weather this weekend. Rich's mom got sick and canceled our brunch so as to not give our unborn child swine flu or whatever she has. Both of my parents are recovering from bronchitis and Rich popped his back on Saturday. I'm the most able bodied of all of us and I'm almost 18 weeks pregnant! Our beloved elder stateshound Sarah has fallen ill again as well. Back in February she scared me to death by developing a head tilt that suddenly turned into her falling all over the backyard and being unable to walk or stand. I wondered if she had had a stroke but packed her in the car to take her to the emergency vet. Thankfully, as soon as I carried her inside they asked how old she was and when I said she was 12, the nurse said "I'm pretty sure what's wrong with her and she'll be fine."

Apparently older dogs can get a vestibular disease that gives them a horrible case of the dizzies. It runs its course in a few days or weeks but all you can do is give them dramamine for the nausea and benadryl to knock them out and prevent them from hurting themselves around the house.

She got better then and just kept a bit of a head tilt as well as a fair amount of high end hearing loss (she can hear you clap your hands, but if you whistle or call her name she has no idea). Last night she took a nasty spill on the hardwood floors and it spooked her enough she wasn't inspired to leave the living room rug. We figured she would be okay, but this morning she couldn't walk in a straight line (she would have totally failed a sobriety test, never mind that she can't say her alphabet backwards). Since Rich's back was out, I've been on dog duty carrying her outside to potty and corralling her from wandering in the street (she has no idea where she is). I'm so grateful I'm still able to lift a 65 pound dog without my belly getting in the way.

This episode seems to be worse than the last one in that she can't feed herself very well. So I'm having to spoon feed her and put her water over her left shoulder since her head tilts that way.

Hopefully she'll get better in a few days on her own, but I'll still call the vet to see if they want to run tests. Last time they said as long as her eyes darted back and forth and not up and down that usually meant vestibular disease and not a brain tumor. Googling dog diseases is just as bad as surfing WebMD, so the Internet is convinced my dog is at death's door. But she seems fine if a bit sick to her stomach from all the dizziness.

In the meantime, we just call her Lucille Two.

Here's a video of feeding her, if you're interested.