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2nd Stroke for Greyhound/Deerhound

by Claudia
(Kanab, UT)

Clyde, my 8 year old Greyhound/Deerhound, 80 lb boy had a stroke 2 days ago. He had a similar episode a year ago.

I've had him since 6 months. He's always been healthy. He's raw fed. He's a 'balls to the walls' kind of dog - when out, he's running places in a pell-mell kind of way. When inside he's a couch potato. He lives with a greyhound and an Italian Greyhound. Limited vaccines as a puppy. He's given joint supplements and yucca.

Stroke #1
One year ago he had a stroke. Not as bad as this one. I came home from an errand, and he met me by leaning against a wall. He couldn't really walk without something to lean on. He was leaning left, but it was his right side which was wonky. From mouth to back leg.

He was treated with homeopathic remedies and acupuncture and with 1 week was recovered about 80%. Within a month about 90%. I'm really the only one noticing how he has slowed down, and how his depth perception, and knowledge of where is body is (when he's running) and ability to control it is not the same as it was before the stroke.

Stroke #2
11/12 Monday morning - 5:45 am– crashing in living room.
Clyde on side struggling, flopping. Heavy panting. Trying to stand. Got him quiet. Gave aconite. 15 minutes later gave rescue remedy. Heavy panting. Alert to me. Can see. Eyes blink.

6:15 struggling to get up again. pooped. Gave nux vomica. Rigid neck. Moved legs for range of motion. Two more rigid than other.
6:30 - Gave yucca.
6:55 - laying and stretching legs. Quiet. Not panting. But copious dripping from nose and mouth.
Left side appears to not respond as well. touch inside pad, no reaction. Legs don’t bend as easily.
Right front leg trembling.

7:35 got up. Full head tilt. Leans left into me, but appears right side is off.
7:50 – reverse sneeze. Gave belladonna per vet.

8:20 – friend came over. He got up. Went outside with sling and leaning assistance. Drank a little water. He didn’t pee though acted like he wanted to.

Front left leg works. Front right leg knuckles under, but he can put some weight on it. back legs are very rigid, but he moves them in a Frankenstein way.

8:50 Won’t let me leave his side. Went to get cord in garage, and he got up and walked into the kitchen on his own. Tilted and leaning.

10:30 – restless, went outside. Peed on his own with some support from me. Kept wanting to move around. Wouldn’t stay in one place. Started moving better. Then seemed to freeze up and couldn’t move as well.

11:15 Right front leg is pulsing/tremoring on its own while he is laying down. He seems
more out of it. strain from trying to walk around? He’s also sneezed a bit. Nose still dripping.
101.5 temp. Restless – wanted to be outside. Didn’t want to lay down. In and out.

Noon - Got him settled in big chair. He stayed there for a while. Gave Arnica.

4 pm – got up. Walked on all four legs. Very solid. But still big head tilt. And a lean, but doesn't need to lean against something to move or to stand. Arnica. Incredible change from morning to evening – 11/12 hours later.

5 pm – outside. Peed. Ate. Put yucca in food.
6 – 9 moved beds and sleeping positions on his own.
8 pm - arnica

Slept on my bed all night. Didn’t move. this is not normal for him. he doesn't even sleep in my bedroom, much less my bed.

Arnica in am. Went outside by himself.
Is definitely depressed. Just lost looking. But he's never been a good patient.
Took for walk on leash – some trouble lifting in and out of car. Walking pretty well on his own.
Gave belladonna noon & ten pm per vet.

Summary: Ate really well - mush raw meal and turkey neck. seems so sad. Walking well. some oddness in gait. Head tilted left still. Tongue hanging a bit out. Slept most of day. Seemed sad when awake.

Slept on my bed all night. Not wanting to drink. Still depressed.

Sight hounds run a higher RBC than other breeds. This might make them more predisposed to strokes.

Last year I allowed a 'friend' to put a training collar on him when we took him horseback riding on the beach with us. I had said no initially, but thought it would enjoy the run, she was worried about his staying with us. I asked that it go on the very lowest setting.

There was no vibration, so it was still a shock setting. Well, she shocked him, and had forgotten to lower it, so it was at the high setting which she uses for her German Shepherds. He went up in the air, screaming. I was just as upset. A month later he had the stroke.

Weather and elevation changes. We've been living for 3 - 5 months a year on the beach in Washington - sea level. Our main home is Kanab, UT, about 4000 feet above sea level and very dry. Weather had just turned colder. From 70 - 80 degrees to 32 - 50 degrees.

The strokes were a year apart and occurred about 3 weeks after I got home to Utah from WA each year.

I've been rescuing greyhounds for the past 25 years. is the web site. I am a huge proponent of preventive and holistic care. I've seen miraculous recovery and changes.

Comments for 2nd Stroke for Greyhound/Deerhound

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Nov 15, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: 2nd Stroke for Greyhound/Deerhound
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Claudia,
For your 8 year old Male, Greyhound/Deerhound, Clyde, it sounds like Vestibular Syndrome. Only you did not notice any nystagmus (twitching of the eyes back and forth in a horizontal direction which commonly occurs with this problem). He just had the leaning, difficulty walking, head tilt, etc.

At this time, it sounds like Clyde is actually on the road to recovery. Doing much better than he was on Monday. Following his progress over the past 3 days, from the symptoms you have described, and his response to the different remedies given, I came up with the following from my repertory:

1. Vertigo in general
2. Vertigo, sudden
3. Better in open air
4. 'Clingy' wants to sleep in your bed
5. No thirst--thirstless

I am not sure how to interpret 'sadness', since you cannot talk to Clyde and know exactly what he is feeling. If he could talk, you may find that he is not sad, but just unsure of himself due to the head tilt and it seems like the room is still spinning, and he needs to stay in a secure location! But for the 'rubrics' (symptoms) listed above, the top homeopathic remedies are Lachesis, Sepia, Arsenicum, Nux-vomica, Sulphur, and Pulsatilla.

For now, I would suggest allowing his Vital Force to continue to improve, and not to give any remedy unless he has a relapse. If he does relapse, then I would repeat the Arnica in a higher potency, perhaps 30c or 200c (I am not sure what potency you have already given).

Since you noticed that he really was not completely recovered and back to normal after the first 'stroke' from last year, I agree that he still has some chronic disease and he needs some constitutional workup to prevent the recurrence of a third stroke/vestibular syndrome. But it would be best to wait 3-6 weeks to see if/when he gets back to normal, and observe what symptoms he has at that time to prescribe a specific homeopathic remedy.

His diet sounds good, NO MORE VACCINATIONS, and supplementing with yucca and joint support. Perhaps a total blood panel should be done, just to rule out any internal disease, include heartworm test, since you have spent time in Washington.

Practicing at a clinic in Walnut Creek, California, where we see a HUGE number of greyhounds, I have not noticed a higher incidence of this vestibular syndrome in Greyhounds/sight hounds that any other breed. Actually, my thought was the higher red blood cells, hemoglobin and packed cell volume would be a benefit and PREVENT a stroke since there would be MORE blood supply going to the brain!

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 15, 2012
by: Claudia

Thank you for your thoughts.

More info:
Before the incident, and even now, his head is particularly warm. Temp not elevated, but to the touch, there is a warmth that shouldn't be there. It's worse at end of day.

I've had dogs with vestibular, and this presents to me differently. But I'm sure it's individual with every dog.

There was never any circling. He couldn't get his legs working initially. It did not appear to be vertigo. He knew where he was, the muscles were just not working. I looked immediately at his eyes to get his attention when he was flailing, and they were not darting.

He's not acting like things are spinning. He goes out the dog door, gets in the car, goes for walks, walks a straight path, eats from a bowl. He's not running into anything. When he eats his turkey neck, he struggles a bit in picking it up with the tilted head. It's as if he thinks his head is straight, but it's not and he has trouble adjusting for that. I also think because it is more right side, that there is lack of motor ability with his mouth on that side.

How would we determine vestibular vs stroke?
I'm assuming treatment would be different for each, so it would be important to really determine which it is?

What do you think of the almost exactly one year later?

Or elevation/weather changes?

Thank you.

Nov 16, 2012
Clyde - Vascular/Vestibular?
by: Claudia

I had bloodwork done on 10/29 when I felt things weren't right with him. I'll get blood work done again.
Results follow:

Clyde Blood Work 29-Oct

ALB 2.5-4.4 3.5
ALP 20-150 16
ALT 10-118 58
AMY 200-1200 876
TBIL .1-.6 0.5
BUN 7 - 25 24
CA 8.6-11.8 10.4
PHOS 2.9-6.6 3.7
CRE .3-1.4 1.3
GLU 60-110 118
NA 138-160 146
K 3.7-5.8 4.5
TP 5.4-8.2 6.1
GLOB 2.3-5.2 2.5

WBC 6.-17 4.18
LYM 1-4.8 0.05
MON .2-1.5 0.23
NEU 3.-12 3.63
EDS 0-.8 0
BAS 0-8.4 0
LYM 12.-38 18.5

No 2.-4 4.9
NE 62-87 76.6
EU 0-8 0.1
EA 0-2 0

RBC 5.5-8.5 7.26
HGB 12.-18 18.7
HCT 37-55 52.66
MCV 69-77 73
MCH 19.5-24.5 25.1
MCHC 31 - 34 34.7
RDVD 15.10%

Nov 16, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: 2nd Stroke for Greyhound/Deerhound
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Claudia,

Regarding the 'new' symptom "Head Warm-rest of body cooler" ARNICA is the best remedy. (aconite, arsenicum, and Nux vomica also come up, but lower grades). Since you already gave Arnica, I would not switch to a different remedy.

Vestibular Syndrome versus Stroke:

Vestibular Syndrome IS CAUSED by a stroke that occurs in the vestibular part of the brain. A stroke that occurs elsewhere would have symptoms specific for whatever part was controlled.

For example, a stroke in the vision part of the brain would cause blindness. A stroke in the motor center would cause paralysis. And it depends on how much of the brain is affected.

Since Clyde has the head tilt, that pretty much confirms that the vestibular or 'balance' part of the brain is involved. As he does not show circling, nystagmus, or acts as if the room is spinning, this indicates that the 'balance' part of the brain was not completely involved.

The bloodwork from 10/29 looks great, except his white blood cells are low. This indicates a low or depressed immune system. Not sure what any follow-up blood work will show, but if the white blood cells (WBC) are still low, then he should be on some immune system supplements:

1. Missing Link Canine Formula
2. Immuplex from Standard Process
3. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

For the Immuplex, give one capsule by mouth two times daily opened and sprinkled into his food.

Chinese herbs
Wei Qi Booster available from Jing Tang herbal, at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida, but by prescription only. Therefore, a holistic veterinarian would need to be contacted.

I am not sure how to explain this 2nd stroke happened about one year after the first, or if weather or elevation changes contributed to it. I doubt it. It seems that he just did not recover completely from the first one, and if the immune system was not supported, then a 2nd stroke may have been inevitable.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Nov 17, 2012
by: Claudia

Sorry for not being clear about head being warm.

This is not a new symptom. He felt warm to my touch around his head, ears, neck since BEFORE the stroke. He did not have a temp. But it's why I had blood work run. The warmth is now more intense after the stroke, and has not dissipated since the stroke on Monday.

Nov 20, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: 2nd Stroke For Greyhound/Deerhound
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Claudia,

My comments still stand. If he had the symptoms before, and also now after the stroke, he still fits the symptom pattern. Who knows, if he had a dose of Arnica BEFORE the stroke to treat the head warmth, would he have even had the stroke?

"Head Warm-rest of body cooler", ARNICA is the best remedy (aconite, arsenicum, and Nux vomica also come up, but lower grades).

As the warmth has intensified, he may need a higher potency of Arnica. I am not sure what potency you have already given. And he needs to be on some immune support, since his white blood cell count is low.

Please continue to keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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