Sunday, August 15, 2010

Concern for Tanner

Today I'm finding myself once again concerned about Tanner. Some of you know that he's a 13+ year old Golden that we've had for just over 2 years. He had treatment for glaucoma, and at the end of May had a bout of canine vestibular syndrome. While I think that he's about 98% back to where he was, I have my concerns about him since this occurred. Sometimes Tanner doesn't seem like he knows where he is--This has just started happening since he was hit with that. When I got home from church, I left the backdoor open so the dogs could go in and out. A little later when I went to shut the door I found Tanner laying in the grass in the pouring rain--When I called him he seemed a bit startled, but got up and came back inside, tail wagging like nothing was wrong. It was like all the sudden he clicked back into reality. This isn't the first time this has happened. We watch him very closely outside because he will sometimes wander off or just seem to walk aimlessly and end up in the bushes. While I know that he has limited eye-site because he's blind in his right eye, he still has vision in his left. I find it all a bit unsettling and a bit sad too...Is it maybe just old age or could it be as a result of the vestibular syndrome--Any thoughts?


  1. My Nelli has vestibular dz too....she also has episodes where she wiil end up in a corner, disoriented ...she sits in her bed and looks like she doesn't know what's going on....I really think she has some dementia, is mostly blind and deaf...(which doesn't help)
    95% of the time she seems ok.....I know her days are numbered....I will keep her as happy as I can and when the day comes, I will know, and let her pass peacefully on....
    one thing I know for sure is that I won't do anything heroic for her...
    This is a difficult time to be is painful for us to watch our old dogs fail......we just have to do right by them.
    Give the old guy a big hug from his #1 fan in WI.....He has been very blessed to live out his golden years with you!

  2. Poor old boy, I know how he feels! Our old jack Russel went exactly like that....the vet found he had a brain

  3. Hi Kim,
    Sigh.... I don't know anything about that sort of thing, he sounds like me some days, maybe is just his age. I tend to forget what I'm about, once in a while and I tire easily. He's such a sweet dear. I'm sure a trip to the vet would be a good idea, he could be having a sugar problem or maybe dogs get senile? Maybe needs a location beacon? :-)


  4. I'd say a little of both. Poor baby. As I told you before, my dog never recovered from vestibular syndrome - on the meds he had one good week, and then crashed and died. I think maybe Tanner had a small stroke with the syndrome and now is just an old man!!

    Keep an extra eye on him and help him make choices. Otherwise, he seems happy and in no pain, right?

    Lots of prayers your way...


  5. This is very upsetting and sad. I would worry too. I had a dobe who would end up standing in corners until you moved her back or turned her around. It turned out she had some kind of kidney problem. I hope Tanner is just exhibiting a bit of old age forgetfulness.

  6. Kim from what I know of my years with dogs they can become senile, although there are probably other causes, because he "snapped out of it" and came to you that seems to just point to old age.
    Thank God he has someone as sweet and loving as you to comfort and nurture him in his "golden" years Kim. Can any of us wish for more as we age?
    You have such a huge wonderful heart and those dogs are well aware of just how lucky they are to have you!
    Tina xo

  7. P.S.
    I had to add that looking at that picture of Tanner, has there ever been a sweeter, softer face? I just want to sit and hug him all day...
    Tina xo

  8. Kim, I know nothing about dogs, so I'm not going to be much help. I'm just wondering if the stress of the canine vestibular syndrome might have caused a small stroke? And if what you are seeing could be the results of this stroke?

    All my best wishes go out to you and Tanner.

  9. Oh, that photo pulls at my heartstrings! He is so precious! He reminds me of our dear Prince. Prince was a cocker-golden retriever (?) mix who showed up at our house when my son was 5 yrs. old. Chris was afraid of dogs, even though we had a benign, but grumpy half Basset Hound. Prince won his heart and he was in our family for over 15 yrs. He was probably 6 mos. to 1 yr. old when he showed up. Prince considered himself Chris' dog and slept with him and even went camping with us. The last couple of years of his life he exhibited signs of dementia- walking into corners, seeming to be unaware of where he was, blind and mostly deaf. We cared for him until it became apparent he was suffering pain. There is nothing like the devotion between dog and human. I hope that Tanner is comfortable--he is lucky to be cared for.

  10. Oh sweetie pie Tanner! Keep that spark going my friend :)

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose

  11. Dear Kim
    I know your heart gets torn to shreds when you watch these changes happen to you blessed little fur babies.
    It must have been so shocking to see Tanner sitting in the rain.
    It seems that our hopes can rise so high , and then come crashing down..... like a roller coaster.
    I know how much you love them all.
    It hurts your heart so bad.
    I don't know about that particular condition that Tanner has,,,, but I had a sled dog once, who sorta got Alzheimers and would become confused as to where she was.
    I hope you find the answer, and that this eppisode leaves as quickly as it came,
    We cross our paws and of course keep all of you in our thoughts.

  12. Older pets can be such a concern can't they? Our dog is eleven now and still fit and well luckily, maybe yours has a bit of age related confusion, a bit like we all get in old age, sort of "senior moments"

  13. Poor baby :( I can understand you being worried about him. If they could only talk and tell us what's wrong.... I hope you can find some answers and help soon.

  14. Probably a little of both, but he is soldiering on, living off the love and support of his pack and his rescuers. We've only had one Golden live that long. We watched what we affectionately called "grandma dumb dog" set in as her 14th birthday came and went. This was Cosmo; the brightest girl we ever had. Can't imagine what it would have been like with Tanner's conditions. Cosmo lived to be 15. We hope Tanner gets to spend much more quality time on this earth....paws crossed.

  15. deficets make animals hunker down !!!
    hugs... awful worrying isntit

  16. So sorry to read this. It is always a huge worry to pet owners, when illness and disease are a concern.
    If I'm correct the PVS is an inner ear problem, and most dogs recover almost completely.
    With the limited sight that Tanner has, do you think it may well be, he gets confused, and just lays down, where he is, knowing he is not far from home, and help.
    Sadly part of the aging pet condition, it's wise to keep a close check on him, especially in the heat.
    I hope he improves soon.

  17. Hi Kim,

    My neighbor has an old golden, Gus, who exhibits behavior very similar to your Tanner.

    Gus started wandering the neighborhood earlier this year. When I would spot him, I'd go out and call to him so I could walk him home. It was like the lights were on but no one was home. Gus would bark at me, then suddenly something would click, and he'd come over and greet me warmly.

    His owners think it's "Doggie Dementia", if there is such a thing.

    I guess I don't have any answers for you, just a similar experience. If it helps to know, Gus is in fine shape, his owners just have to keep a close eye on him nowadays.

    Hope things are going well!



  18. Kim,
    Sorry I can't help you with Tanner because I really don't know much about Labs and the condition he had.
    He is such a sweet looking dog and I wish I could give him a big hug and kiss.
    Please do that for me!

  19. I want to cry - his sweet, beautiful, innocent face melts my heart :(

  20. Sending sweet Tanner all our love and warm wishes!
    xo Catherine & Banjo

  21. Oh dear Tanner - that picture shows such a sweetheart. I read your link and it says to me that dogs go in and out of these phases if they have it - which is sort of positive? Still, am so sad to hear that he's having his days again. I scrolled back to the picture of him in your post yesterday and he looks so content with his frisbee/squirrel. I wish I knew more about this. Sending you love and prayers for him getting somewhat better - and kisses and belly rubs too. You are such a gem to care for these wonderful goldens, Kim.
    Big Hugs and xoxoxoxo from us all,
    Sammie and Ma and crew

  22. I think the others have covered most of the possible causes of Tanners problems. I hope he finds his way to some good days.

    Agnes who was a foster with our pack had so much pain from advancing bone cancer that she would sit in the rain and snow because it hurt too much to move. She finaly had to move on over the bridge, we hope that is not the reason Tanner does not move at times.

    Thanks for the care and concern.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  23. Sweet Tanner looks happy in that photo- :(

    Elizabeth & Luna

  24. Hi Kim;
    We know several people that have Goldens and have been diagnose with Canine Dementia. If you Google it you will get a ton of information. This link will briefly tell you about it and the symptoms.

    Sheila & Bob

  25. Hi Kim
    We have several friends that have senior Goldens with what has been diagnosed with Canine Dementia.
    You can get a lot of info by searching under Canine Dementia.
    Here is a link that will give you some information;
    Please give Tanner a Hug from us.
    Sheila & Bob,
    Mom & Dad to Hamish & Rescue Sophie

  26. Poor Tanner. He was looking so at peace in the photos on your earlier posts. He's in the right place.

  27. As you know, Sam had glaucoma & at 15 had started to stand & peer at nothing - a door or a bush. I think he was disorientated but still happy as retrievers always are. Poor Tanner.

  28. He looks like such a sweet guy - it's so hard to see them go "downhill".


  29. again I will say all your doggies are so lucky to have such caring parents. Here's hoping it's nothing more than old age.

    Gill in Canada

  30. Hey Kim

    I'm so sorry about your distress.
    I don't have answers unfortunately.
    From what you say, Tanner himself doesn't sound "Distressed".

    Aging isn't fun, but this is the 'circle of life'

    I know YOU will do what you think is the right thing....and that will be the best for Tanner. Being a guardian to these old dogs is one of the most lonely places to be....that's why I am here - simply to encourage you! Tanner is in your hands and the decisions you make for him will be the RIGHT ones!

    Sending lotsaluv

  31. Woof! Woof! Most likely both. Sending Tanner my Golden Sweet Thoughts. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  32. Dear Kim

    Here's hoping that it's related to the vestibular syndrome & old age, but brain tumor is always in the background. Tanner is so sweet looking - what a lovely image of him - wet outdoors. My thoughts & prayers are with him and you... Old age and illness are not a combination - just ask my rescue Apples (15 1/2 years old + and suffering from mammary cancer).

    Extra hugs & licks to Tanner from Apples & golden Neeli

    Nadine, Apples & Neeli

  33. Kim,
    We lost our 15+ year old Aussie a couple of years ago, but two years prior she had a stroke whilst climbing a set of stairs. With some therapy and meds she made an amazing recovery living a good active senior life for three more wonderful years. Our vet also recommended anti-oxidant tablets; I suppose to help with her thought process? I don't recall exactly but they seemed to help, you might ask your vet.

  34. oh, the way he looks reminds me so of our dear MoJo! Both her eyes were blind, and she did have senior moments like the ones you are describing.I am thinking this is old age...MoJo had heart failure in the last 2 months of her life, and brain seizures in the last days....I will never know if any of it was related...
    Big hugs for this sweet old boy from a human who is tearfully missing her old girl..

  35. I really can't add anything that hasn't already been suggested. However, please know that my thoughts are with you! There probably isn't a dog lover among us that hasn't been down this road before. It's a hard path...

  36. Hi,

    I had a golden retriever that got vestibular syndrome when he was 12 - but he was with us for 2 1/2 more good years despite other health issues. In his last years I found myself watching him ever so closely, not knowing if it was a brain issue, just old age or something else that caused new symptoms, and not knowing when his "time" would be. It was hard not to worry about every small change.

    Just a thought - have you got him on any new medications as human pills can sometimes do strange things to our personalities - perhaps being disorientated and not his normal self might be a side effect of something he is taking (or mixing with existing pills) that is making him feel off color.

    Sending Tanner love and woofs,
    Riley and Riley's mum

  37. Kim,
    We lost our 15+ year old Aussie a couple of years ago, but two years prior she had a stroke whilst climbing a set of stairs. With some therapy and meds she made an amazing recovery living a good active senior life for three more wonderful years. Our vet also recommended anti-oxidant tablets; I suppose to help with her thought process? I don't recall exactly but they seemed to help, you might ask your vet.

  38. Heartbreaking, isn't it? Whether man or beast, it's hard to watch the decline. Hugs to Tanner from Liz.


  39. Hi there,
    Thanks for your vist!!
    My rescue dog is going to be 13 in less then 2 months. Two years ago she was getting these lumps the vet called them lypoma's and he said it was hereditary. I asked if it could have anything to do with allergies. He said no. She had surgery to have 5 removed. They all came back!! This year I knew it was allergies. I took her off all things made for a dog!! With in 2 days I could see a difference. A month the lumps started to go down. 2 months most were gone. She still has the one that she had surgery for (THE BIGGEST ONE)is now mostly just skin hanging. She gets to eat so much more food and she has lost weight and looks beautiful!!!
    Your Tanner looks happy. Maybe a little senile!! Happy is very important!!!
    XXOO, Bambi & Fern

  40. Paws khrossed here -

    That smile says SO much -

    My eldest Sibe is 14 and she has her days -

    Here's to Tanner and you!

  41. They can become entirely senile, and can wander and get lost in what used to be a familiar (and close!) place.

    As you say -- thank goodness they don't know how to turn on the stove, and thank goodness they can't let themselves out to wander when we are not home.....

    Been there, done that. Sending you sympathy and a pat for him.....


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