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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not A Dead Dog - Just An Old One Sleeping

Saturday I got a frantic call around 8:10am as I was getting dressed, from my good girlfriend ... will leave her name anonymous but anyone that follows this Blog should figure out who she is .... it went something like this 'uuuuu ... mo uuuuu (this are those deep short fear breaths) ... can't move .... uuuu... help ... I can't ... uuuuu ... (could hear the tears) .... she's ... d uuu .... help!' I finally figured out who it was and was trying to reply in between ... you can't get out of bed?, what's wrong, you're back? you can't move? ... hang on, I'll call ML as she'll get to you faster than me,' ... well by this time the voice was calming down .... 'it's OK, she's awake!!!' What do you mean, who's awake? .... Opal, she scared me I thought she was dead!.'
"Opal" December 2009

OK, so here's the crux of what was happening. My BGF had taken our old gal Opal home for a few days to work on her coat so we could bath her. Opal was SOUND asleep by her bed and altho the other 2 dogs were up and ready to go out to potty, Opal was 'dead', dead to the world, asleep. She's deaf now too! Her breathing was shallow and with her fluffed out coat it was even harder to see her breathing. She thought she was indeed dead! and was calling me for help. Even a few 'soft' prods weren't waking her up.

So, what's the info behind this ... old deaf dogs sleep, very deeply and one must either almost jump on the floor beside them so they will feel the vibration, or 'rattle' them in a cautious manner as it can startle them to the point they could snap at 'you', to wake them up.

Dead dogs ... usually their eyes are open, many times either their bladder or bowls have let go and if you check their gums they will be white.

So if you're not there yet with an older dog, take heed as this time will certainly come!


judyf,  June 28, 2010 at 8:43 AM  

How old is Opal now? Amber (dau.)is 10 1/2 and starting to show her age this year. She sleeps more and now has white eyelashes and white hairs on her muzzle under the eyes.

Kav June 28, 2010 at 11:32 AM  

LOL. Funny story -- though I'm sure it wasn't at the time.

Shelamo Shelties June 28, 2010 at 1:20 PM  

She was 12 in May.

Yes, funny now, but heart attack then ... when you're on the other end of the phone and can't make out what is being said, all I could think of is a 911 call is needed!

Kav June 28, 2010 at 9:02 PM  

Now THAT would have been funny.

One of my 'old girls' went deaf in her later years and we used to use scent to wake her out of those deep sleeps. One whiff of peanut butter had her wide-eyed in seconds. LOL.

Shelamo Shelties June 29, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

another good idea ... using scent to wake them up. Hope people read the comments and take note.

Cesar's - nose, eyes, ears still works in old age :)


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