Bruno's Blog

Bruno Stumbles and Tumbles through June

German Shepherd Aging Issues

June arrived and the weather had turned hot. I hoped that warmer weather eased joint aches but overall Bruno’s condition had not improved; he was starting to struggle with his balance when going in and out of the dog door. Dr. Yamate had faithfully administered Bruno’s acupuncture session early in the month. Stimulation was increased, new herbs administered and we modified Bruno’s diet a little. Dr. Yamate remained optimistic and aggressive.

Bruno and I were spending a lot of time outdoors and I was cautiously monitoring his activity level. He was occasionally and unexpectedly beginning to stumble on occasion. It was as if he was tripping over his rear right leg and then catching himself. This did not go unnoticed but there was nothing I could do.

German Shepherd Aging Issues

Sunday, June 27th, 2010 is the day Bruno fell and everything changed. The day started off routinely for a weekend. We got up, both had breakfast and went outside for some fresh air and to just hang out and enjoy the morning. I did some odds and ends and around noon the big guy was itching to get out and take a walk. I decided to take Bruno out before the day got any warmer.

We headed out and went a short distance to a grassy shady area that was our destination point. Once there the day was like any other normal outing. Bruno sniffed around, marked the area (the best he could), chewed on his beloved bumper, monitored any and all people or traffic with a watchful eye and rested in the shade.

It was time to head back and Bruno was in front of me leading the way when “it” happened. Bruno fell. His back end completely collapsed and he went all the way down. He immediately rose up on his front end but his back end did not respond. I was quickly at his side telling him to stay “down”. I saw panic in Bruno’s eyes and I quickly began to reassure him that he was okay. I knelt down next to him and spoke to him softly while gently stroking him. I felt around on his backend and rear legs but got no indication from Bruno that he was in any pain.

I lifted his backend and supported him as we forged ahead. We quickly made it to a grassy shady area and Bruno chose to take a break. We were more than halfway home and our front door was in view. We rested for a few minutes before making a beeline into the house. Once inside, Bruno collapsed in the entryway.

I brought Bruno some water but he was not interested in drinking any. I helped him up and guided him to the living room where I got him onto his favorite rug. I brought out my Young Living therapeutic oils. I placed a calming and relaxation oil on the inside of his ears and on the pads of his feet. I then used a mixture of oils for pain and rubbed down his backend and rear legs. I lightly massaged and stroked him while telling him how much I loved him and that he was okay. The oils began to take effect and Bruno finally started to relax. He stretched out on his rug and quickly fell into a deep sleep.

I turned on the television and positioned myself to keep an eye on my baby boy. Bruno slept soundly for a couple of hours. During this time I quieted my thoughts. I am not sure if I was in denial or fear but I did not allow my mind to go to all of the “what if” scenarios that I had played out so many times before. When he awoke he sat up and then, to my amazement, stood under his own power. He wobbly walked over to his feeding station, had some water and then returned to his rug.

The big guy looked at me inquisitively as if asking what I had planned for the rest of the afternoon for entertainment. I do not know what he had in mind but we were definitely going to keep things indoors and low key. Dinner time rolled around and he was eager to eat. I took him outside to relieve himself and he had a firm bowel movement. It was starting to appear that the day’s events may have been more stressful for me than him.

Come evening Bruno was moving a little slow but his backend was becoming more stable as the hours passed. I took him out for another potty break before retiring for the evening. Our day had started out normal and had ended fairly normal. I prayed that what had transpired in-between would not become a reoccurring event or something that we would have to accept as a “normal” part of our routine. On a positive note, Bruno demanded his routine treat that night and he was right on schedule.

*Originally posted January 5, 2011*

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