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Paralysis upon Awakening - What's going on?

Vet has no idea.

Dog has the run of the house when I am at work; in the summer the back door is locked open just far enough for him to squeeze his narrow hips through, so he has access to my securely-fenced 2/3 acre as well.  Usually he's bouncing up and down woo-wooing when I get home from work.  Or staring through the front window with his ears as far up as he can get them.

The other day when I came home from work, he was sleeping in his (doorless) kennel, but he couldn't get up.  He struggled briefly, then gave me that worried "I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up" look.

I put the kennel door on & my neighbour and I carried the kennel, dog and all, out to the van and we went to Emergency.  By the time we got there, he seemed to be fine.

Later I remembered that this is not the first time this has happened.  The first time, I just had time to say, "Dwyn, you're scaring me" and he pulled himself together.

Epilepsy?  Sleep paralysis?  Heart?  Next time I will check his gums for perfusion (shock), but I didn't think of it at the time.

Any other ideas?

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When I would find my dog down, I'd know that he'd had a seizure because he would have soiled himself. You never noticed any poo or pee around him? How you can get to the bottom of this soon! : (  My thoughts are with you. Kim

Good point!  No, he didn't lose control of his bladder or bowels.

hmmm....curiouser and curiouser....ps I meant to say "hope" you get to the bottom of this soon : )

Hi Cynthia, so sorry for the worry you have.My oldest dog has epilepsy and when I started reading that is what came to my mind. If you read what happens to her maybe something else could the same, that you had not taken much notice of." Abbie`s storys " is in blogs, type in the search box. My thoughts are with you and your red, hope all turns out fine, take care.

How old is your setter and male or female

He's 9, intact male.

We used to have an old neighbour's dog over from time to time. When he got to be about 11/12 he started having 'episodes' where he'd just stand and stare as if he was confused and he wouldn't respond to his name. He wouldn't move at all and he'd come out of it after a few minutes. He didn't lose control of his bladder at all. His owner wouldn't take him to the vet because he had no money to pay for any medicine/operation, so we could only guess he was having seizures. He was a healthy dog up until that age so it's possible that your dog could be experiencing the same thing. Has he lost any weight recently or seemed weaker at all? 

Yes, he has lost weight.  I'm thinking it's whatever you're describing.

When I ask for a test, one thing my own doctor always asks, is "What are you going to do with this information?"  In other words, if this is something we absolutely can't fix, why ask?

I thought Dwyn had had a stroke and we had gone for our last walk.  So I am really, really happy that we did NOT run out of time on Tuesday after work.  I can't bear to think that it's coming up...

One vet told me during a checkup that my 10.5-year-old Setter had a heart like a Mac truck and would last forever.  Ten days later, Keegan was put down due to the sudden onset of cardiomyopathy.  (He was suffocating due to heart failure.)  Not once in 50 years of Setter ownership has a vet picked up anything serious during a checkup.  So I'm wary of vets, who will let me spend money fruitlessly until I am living in my van.  I spent $600 last year on exams & tests for mystery whining, and eventually in the total absence of medical results told the dog to shut up, and he did shut up.  Never whined again.  I think Dwyn was bored.

I'm going to do my best to live in the moment and enjoy every one of them that is left to us.

If he starts struggling, we'll go straight to Emergency.  

I think that's the best thing, if not to go to a specialist because, as with GPs I have found that you can almost work some thing out better yourself than a vet can. Obviously with matters of injury/disease a trip to the vet is best, but for other things I prefer to do LOTS of internet searching and researching and then I can say to the vet "is it this or this or this?" and they can rule things out. 

If he has lost weight though, there is the possibility for some underlying problem that may be causing him to lose muscle mass. A lot of older dogs just lose muscle anyway obviously, but he's not that old. 

Whatever the issue is, I hope you can get it sorted if possible so he can recover. I'm sure he'll be fine if he's doing well in other respects. Some dogs just start to get a bit weaker when they age and then it's just about working out how to make things more comfortable for them. 

Just out of interest, could it be related to hips or other joints? There are quite a few things to consider and look for if it ever happens again (let's hope not!)

Good luck!

Nice to have your reassurance on the vet thing.  I am a firm believer in veterinary care, but the "country vet" version is gone, replaced by those advocating laser surgery for ornamental Koi fish and that kind of thing.

Not thinking it's hips.  He doesn't shuffle or drag his feet, he can step over obstacles properly, run like the wind, and he can rear up and do Irish Setter ballet with the best of them.  He doesn't lick his joints.  He doesn't show signs of pain (e.g. panting, guarding, restlessness, insomnia...we totally, absolutely, utterly ruled out the whining thing as pain, including a long stint on painkillers of various types which didn't make any difference at all to the whining). 

this is interesting.. but, gaby, how long were these "absences" going for? and how long, cynthia, was your episode? i guess that seizures can only last few minutes at most.. while, if the dog is scared /confused for a pain/hip problem or something similar it may last longer (and be more a frequent behaviour..)

First episode of paralysis (lying down and unable to get up, looking worried but "all there"), maybe 15 seconds, second one, maybe 3 minutes.)

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