February 2023: Mick has had two episodes of vestibular disease leaving him a bit wobbly with a head tilt. He has gained his strength and focus back almost to normal, thankfully, but we are carefully monitoring him moving forward. Anti-nausea medications and appetite stimulants have greatly helped him. Most Border Collies we’ve seen with vestibular recover really well.
Vestibular disease is any abnormal function of the middle or inner ear (vestibular system) that causes sudden loss of balance and coordination, among other symptoms. Since the inner ear is part of the middle ear, any disease that affects the middle ear—or specifically targets the inner ear—may cause vestibular disease.
Vestibular disease in dogs is also known as geriatric or “old dog” vestibular disease or canine idiopathic vestibular disease. Its onset is very sudden, and symptoms traditionally do not progress or worsen over time. Dogs show the worst symptoms of the disease within the first 48 hours and will typically improve over two to three weeks.
MICK is a very special Border Collie and to be honest, a lucky one, too, with safe refuge for the rest of his life as a RESIDENT. He came to us in the summer of 2021 from a VA shelter, at age 10, so skinny with medical issues that had not been addressed in the shelter and clearly not in the previous home either (his guardian died). Diagnostic results pointed to Mick’s liver. He went on a liver supplement that helped and it seemed he might be able to be adopted within a few months.
Then, months later he was VERY sick and gall bladder issues arose which required a very expensive emergency operation - many of you helped us with these extraordinary costs. Mick began to eat so much better and gained weight and seemed to be on the road to adoption. He was a much happier boy.
Then, kidney issues emerged even though he was looking and acting so much better. Seemingly reasonable to address, another issue had been building.
Mick grew tired of being handled for vet work or frankly, pretty much anything except affection time. He grumbles and growls and will defend himself if pushed so while his vet needs must continue to be addressed, we can see he is not a safe candidate for a normal home. In our setting, we can design everything around him and also know his triggers. He may bite when stimulated improperly or when he is too fatigued and sometimes, unpredictably for no reason except he is agitated.
While we regret Mick can’t be the shining star in someone’s life, we are certainly in love with him and give him 100% of our care, time and attention. He was adored by the specialist who oversaw his care but even she could not chance having him in her home. Thankfully, Mick has his BC pals and gets car rides and hikes on the property acreage so seems very content!
Diane Bolten, In memory of Nash & Colleen
Tracy Blevins, in memory of GH alums Grace & Tucker
Gregg, Jodi, Rave and GH Alum Dexter – In celebration of Dexter’s new life, a big thanks to those who got Dexter to safety, making it possible for us to bring this incredible border collie home to join our family!
Vicki Buono & GH alum Cookie
Debra Moe, in memory of my beloved senior, Elvis