The dog who flops

My son returned from the beach with Tawny our then five year old red Golden Retreiver bitch in his arms. “She flopped down and can’t stand up” he said. 

My wife drove a Tawny 85 miles back to the Willamette Veterinary Hospital in Corvallis for examination. But they couldn’t find anything wrong with her as she had ceased losing motor function in her legs about 15 minutes after it started. They asked that we video her if she repeated the flopping.

One year to the day later, as she was running in the park near our house, she repeated the flopping. I called my wife on the cell phone and asked her to bring the video camera. She did and in time to get good video of the problem.

We returned to the vet hospital and this time with video evidence. The vet looked at the short movie and said that it wasn’t a seizure. She recommended that we take it to the OSU veterinary clinic. They had cardiologists there.

At the vet school the video and the dog were examined and the cardiologist said that it wasn’t heart related. They suggested we take her to Tigard near Portland, where they had a diagnostic center. They will have a neurologist there. Show them. So we drove to Tigard.

After examining the dog, the video, and walking her around the parking lot, the neurologist thought it was a growth in the backside if her brain that occasionally would swell and decrease motor function until the swelling went down. They could surgically remove it, but it would just grow back again.

So we did nothing. I reduced the length of time chasing the ball to five throws and only walked her with a leash (except at the beach where she could still run and play).

Now occasionally I will notice her front legs tremoring and I stop throwing the ball and bring her home to rest. She’s nine now and still doing well most of the time.

Lately I’ve noticed that she will lay down in the grass if she becomes tired. Also she will hold the ball in her mouth locked by all four canines when it’s time to quit.

I think she has me well trained now.

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