Dog with stroke?

My 12 year old beagle has had some weakness in her back legs over the last month or so. We thought natural aging and slightly arthritic joints were the reason but over the past week has become weaker, stumbling quite a bit and has rapidly begun losing weight. Vet check-up 2 weeks ago didn't reveal any problems other than typical aging issues (the protein in her urine is being addressed through a change to senior low-protein food); however, late this evening while seemingly asleep, she vomited and her bowels released. She is unable to move (couldn't move out of her vomit), can't seem to lift her head, her neck is fully stretched up and out, her breathing is only slightly labored but worsens when I come close - as if distressed.

She is able to focus on me if I am directly in her eye line and get her attention. She has not moved at all for the past hour.

Could this be a stroke? If so, is there anything I can do to make her comfortable until morning when I can get her to her vet? If not a stroke, any suggestions or comments?


It sounds like the dog could have either a seizure or a disc problem. But it is hard to say from the description. I would take him to the vet right away, and be careful when moving the dog. You can make her most comfortable by moving her gently and see if you can get someone to help you move the dog.

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May 10, 2008
owner's final response
by: originator

Thanks for your suggestion; however, before I could get her to the vet, she stopped breathing then her heart stopped. Appeared to be a relatively painless death. Based on all the symptoms and events, our vet also thought it may have been a stroke. Our beloved pet was donated to our local animal hospital with the hope that a young vet can learn from her.

We encourage, whenever possible, for owners to consider donating their pets to provide learning opportunities.

thank you.

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