So, this is the first topic to be discussed in the “Rescue Me-Know Me” Series and it seems to be a major issue for new rescues and adoptions, especially for pets coming from shelter situations. Their new families do absolutely everything they can think of to help them with the fear and anxiety they have when left alone or not with their person or persons. This behavior can either be destructive or just extremely stressful for the pet. In every conversation the same pattern seems to emerge. It’s very similar to a human “panic attack”. It is not something they can control. It’s not something they can change simply by their environment changing or being told or trained to. It’s beyond their control in many cases. Many times the pet is medicated which in some cases can make things worse for them and their environment.
The destruction can be frustrating and oftentimes they get the brunt of the situation and may even end up back where they came from through no fault of their own and until the fear and panic is dealt with the pet can be moved around or may never find their forever home.
Even if their new family is incredibly patient and kind and would do anything to help them, it’s the understanding that needs to happen. Love, kindness and patience, although an enormous gift to them, doesn’t always answer our questions of why!
In speaking with many pets who have been adopted or rescued from shelters or bad situations, they already come in a panic simply from their environment. So, first they are dealing with the trauma and panic of their situations, they also now have a new environment and the one and only thing that is grounding them is their new person or family. It’s literally the only thing keeping them together and when that person or persons leaves, even for short periods of time, it causes a panic that they can’t control anymore than humans can control panic attacks.
And very much of interest is that many people say they have had their dogs all their lives since they were puppies and they still have this issue. In that case, most of the time the issue is that they have brought that behavior in from their mother’s. If the mother was in a panic situation or difficult situation during birth, they will often bring that in with them so that their families never really understand where this behavior comes from. They know that nothing has ever happened to the pet to make them scared when alone in the entire time they have been together so there seems to be no reason for the Separation Anxiety. But, that’s it. It can come from Mom.
I can relate to their feelings. I am terribly afraid of turbulence while flying and there is absolutely nothing that will calm me when it happens and, believe me, I have tried everything. It’s a fear beyond my control. They always try to relate the feelings of fear and anxiety they experience when left alone to the exact feelings we would have as humans experiencing a fear that can’t easily be controlled.
Ok, so what do we do? That’s the questions that can change their lives forever. Separation Anxiety can be dealt with through Communication. Understanding how they feel and what exactly sets it off for them. Just your understanding can be hugh for them. But the most important thing is to deal with it before the frustration begins, temper flare and the situation becomes worse for them. In speaking with them they will tell you what they need, how it feels and how to help them. Now you may say, well if they can’t control this, then how do I help them? Listen. Understand. Become a part of their team to overcome this and try to see the situation through the human form of panic attack which I believe will be very helpful. So much of this is UNDERSTANDING. Really knowing how they feel and what sets them off. Also through Communication we can help them to switch the picture to see themselves being calm while alone.
But this is the most important thing, understanding them through Communication. Hearing their words and feelings and listening to whatever it is they may need to help them through this. You can’t train what you don’t know. So many times just being able to speak can change their situation dramatically. Having an understanding with their humans is hugh to them and can change a situation on a dime.
We just need to ask and they will tell us what they need. We just need to put their feelings in human perspective to walk in their paws as this happens to them.
If you take nothing else away from this Blog, please let it sink it that it is not their fault. They are not trying to be destructive or do bad things while you are gone. They are not acting out. They are not bad! They do not have “issues” and they are not stupid. They are simply in a fear pattern that they have no control over!
Speaking with them is the answer!
This will be a new Series entitled Rescue Me, Know Me in which many categories and issues of rescuing and pet adoption will be covered.
This Series came about from many conversations with pets who had been rescued or adopted who dealt with issues of Agressiveness, Separation Anxiety, Fears, Adjusting, and not really knowing how to settle in to something that is so alien to them. And the list goes on for them!
My initial intent was to address each of these issues in separate blogs which will be done, but then I thought about a Series that everyone can follow and hopefully get the answers to so many of their questions.
Communication is the key to all adoptions and rescues mainly because you know very little about their lives or backgrounds prior to meeting you and that’s incredibly important to know because it explains so many behaviors and fears. It’s like sitting down with a new friend and learning all about them. The more you learn of the friend, the more insight you have into their personlities, dreams, wishes, fears and beliefs. As in starting any new friendship or relationship, it’s important to know who they are, what makes them tick and what doesn’t!
The more Communication you have the better, as is almost always the case. So many times I will be in the middle of an Animal Communication session with an animal who has recently been adopted from a shelter with no known information on their history or background and the person will say “Oh, it all makes sense now”! So many things come to light that literally explain their actions and behaviors and all the puzzle pieces come together. I always say “you can’t train what you don’t know”. The more you know, the easier it is to help them and yourselves through the transistion of welcoming them into your lives and homes. The more you know, the more the blessings flow!
So, in this Series we are going to cover many aspects of life after adoption or rescue. These are issues that have come up in Sessions over many years and I want to share them with you and some of their stories which will help us all come to an understanding of how best to love and help them settle in.
The Series will cover topics such as:
Moods and Interactions
And Many More!
I hope you love the new Series and that it answers many of your questions or concerns during your process of welcoming a new member to your home and your heart. These are their words. These are their stories and these are the lives that will be changed forever simply by talking, understanding and connecting to them through words, their words and their heartfelt connection!
The Series will begin on April 26, 2020 and the first topic will be Separation Anxiety! And as in each of these topics, if it is something that you are struggling with and feel you need help with, feel free to reach out to schedule a session to have that one-on-one conversation with them! It will change your life as well as theirs!
Remember, “The More You Know, The More The Blessings Flow”!
The Lion’s take on the Global situation!
When I saw this photo, I knew I had to use it for this Blog! It is absolutely perfect for the words of wisdom coming from our animals at this time of world’s struggle to survive – something they understand all too well. The wisdom that comes from these amazing beings should lead us through and give us the courage, faith, trust and belief to come out on the other side of this Corona Virus with the help of those we turn to in times of troubles, our beloved animals!
So, in the many years I have been an Animal Communicator I’ve heard all kinds of stories, but what I love most about speaking with them is their advice and boy can it be a wise beyond our ability to comprehend.
In wanting to do something during this time, I decided to ask the animals of our world their thoughts, feelings and wisdom as we go through this global issue. I know it may sound simplistic, but you will be amazed at their insight!
This is the wisdom of the Lion!
The will of the animal can give us strength in any given situation, but especially now when so many are suffering in ways they have never known before so, therefore, are unpreared for. And the unknown is very frightening. The will to survive kicks in and truly only the strong survive in many instances. People have been backed into corners they are very unfamiliar with and the future is very uncertain for millions. This is a world tragedy, not just in our neighborhood but globally which is the blessing because instead of seeing our small sectors come together we have the opportunity to see the entire World come together as one and fight to get back up and survive.
The wisdom of the Lion to us at this time is” Get Back Up! Only the Strong Survive! Connect with the primal side of you that digs deep to say I can bring this forth with power and enlightenment for all. It’s not just about survival, it’s about survival with honor that leaves respect in your wake wherever you go”. That’s the pride of the Lion. In the survival of the Lion there will be times of extreme draught in their travels calling forth an energy to survive and then times of beautiful waters and streams to their fulfillment. Times of danger from predators that lead to blissful days of peace and contentment like no other when there is complete safety. They will be called on to protect their family and understand their place in the hierarchy of their species with humble deference and the wisdom to do it with pride. And for the strong who do not survive, it will only be said that whatever was attacking whether an illness or predator it was something that was not going to be overcome.
In the strength and wisdom of the Lion may we find that primal side of us that knows survival by digging deep to find our faith and to lean on the One who creates us to survive each day. May we realize that survival is also about honor and how we as humans respond to tragedy and fear and what we leave behind us in the wake of this pandemic. How we handle this as humans will leave an imprint just as the mighty paws do for the generations to come and will give testiment to the power of belief in something we cannot see, but know it’s there. May we know that on the other side of danger are blissful days of peace and when called upon to protect our family and loved ones, we will reach beyond ourselves for strength and guidance. Let us pray that the hierarchy of our Government and those in power will find a place of humbleness and deference through Grace and the wisdom to put pride side.
And with the acceptance of the Lion, may we know that the ones who lost their lives fought the battle with strength and courage, called on their faith, left their imprint of honor for our future generation and moved on to the blissful days forever and Infinite contentment.
So maybe you think I’m a horse and your a human. What if you thought of it as I’m a soul and your a soul? What if you thought of it as I share the exact feelings and fears as you? What if you thought of me as a beautiful creature of God who shares your world through love and understanding one to the other? So, for many it may feel outside your comfort level to believe that our souls are the same, we are just in different physical bodies. “There’s a soul in there – connect with it and it will change your life”. I feel grief, I feel fear, I feel love and loss, I feel energies around me and I feel joy and love above what most can understand. Because I feel instead of speak it’s more powerful than you can imagine.
So, yes obviously I am a horse in this physical body and you are human in your physical body, but we both have souls! We have the same feelings, thoughts and desires. But, unlike humans, our souls can connect through pure love – no words necessary. Imagine if humans could communicate without words, connect their souls through feelings and heart connections and accept each other unconditionally through the beauty of who they are. Isn’t that the feeling of that first love or true connection to our human soul mate? Isn’t that the feeling at a wedding alter? Isn’t that what the world prays for? If you want an example of how this world could love, look at animals. Follow their lead, follow their souls.
So, if it’s outside your comfort level to believe that we are both souls, please hear the words of our souls, hear the beauty of our wisdom and maybe just for one moment you can look in our eyes and see something there that says “yes, I’m here, connect with me”. When you look into the soul of an animal, you will feel their love and wisdom.
Even if you think this is the craziest thing you’ve ever heard – an animal having a soul? Animals only ask that you just take one look. Just take one look into their eyes, just one look into their souls and you’ll see it. You’ll really see it! And you’ll feel it in your soul and you will never be the same again because it is a true experience of God to feel the soul of an animal. It’s the true experience of God!
Blessings to all who have felt the soul of an animal and to those who have never known the beauty of connecting with their souls but somehow know you need to. May you find the courage to connect with what you know is real.
You’re my soul-mate, my best friend, the best part of me, my happiest days and my one complete unconditional love. You’re the only one who has ever loved me unconditionally, who understood me and a true living example of grace! You carry a part of me that no one else will ever have. We have a special story and no one else will ever know it. We are one and our souls are connected without words. I connect with you when no one else can and you bare your soul to me in every action and unspoken word. We are souls on this journey meant to be together. Always meant to be. Our bond is endless. So how do I live without you?
Maybe if God had given us some warning or a head’s up, it would help but I’m not really sure about that. One minute you were here and the next you were gone. How do I live without you? How do I live with the fact that you were taken suddenly?
The overwhelming grief we feel when we suddenly lose a pet is helped so much by speaking with them once they have crossed. You may think you’re not ready or it’s too early, but it never really is and here’s why. Acceptance!
I recently had the opportunity to speak with a horse who was incredibly loved who had been fine the last time his mom had seen him and died suddenly after their last connection. It was a complete fluke, an instant kick and life ending injury that no one could have seen coming. Just a crazy, instant, life-changing accident which led to the end of his life very suddenly. There was no time to prepare, no time to accept. The beauty of speaking with him very soon after his passing was the gift of hearing his wisdom. You know what it was? It was acceptance. It was peace.
He said he was in a place of peace and acceptance of what happened to him. Peace and acceptance. When we think about these words, how often do we really use them.? How often do we actually accept with peace what happens in our lives? This horse did. He spoke of accepting what had happened and being in a complete place of peace around his crossing. When his peace and acceptance came across it was so real you couldn’t help but feel it. We could feel him totally being at peace and in a place of love and completely accepting that this was his day and time. His words lifted us to a place of blessings and even if there was not understanding and the grief was overwhelming, there was a true sense of peace – his peace and it lifted us up and brought us to a place of acceptance on his part and thus on ours.
They will teach us how to live on without them. They will teach us how to accept and come to peace with what is. They will teach us Heaven is an amazing place to be that their Spirits will live on forever. They will teach us how to feel their infinite love and blessings from above and most of all they will teach us that our lives were brought together for a reason only God can know and what will live within us forever will only be ours – just our one true love!
Peace and Acceptance.
What’s your story? How many times do we look into their eyes and just wonder “what’s your story”? We wish we could just get inside their head for a moment and see life through their eyes and know where they came from and what their life has been to that point. Through Animal Communication we can know their story from beginning to present.
When that amazing stray or rescue animal comes into our lives to bless us forever, it’s so nurturing to know their past and what has made them who they are today. Whether dealing with fears or unexplained behavior, it’s so important that we really know who they are and where they have come from.
When speaking with a wonderful soul who is a complete unknown to us, whose history is important and whose behavior warrants a true understanding, the beautiful blessing of communicating with them is that we can know their story from beginning to present. Whether you purchase a horse at auction, adopt a dog or cat from a shelter or come upon a beautiful stray, there’s always going to be that question – What’s your story?
So, we go to the beginning. When opening up to speak with a pet who is a complete mystery, I always ask them to tell me about themselves from birth to the present. Hearing their stories can be amazing, rewarding and life-changing for all concerned. It also explains so much of their behavior and fears. It all seems to make sense as we hear their stories unfold and everything seems to fall into place. Not only do we understand them, but we know how to help them going forward. How? Because they will tell us. Not only will they tell us their history, they will also tell us what they need and exactly how to help them. They are great at this!
Maybe there are issues of food aggression, separation anxiety, fear, trauma, unexplained pain or competition challenges. At any rate, knowing their history will open our eyes and help us to help them. Whatever the issues whether large or small, they will share them with you through communication and you can know and understand them better. It’s always a good idea, if possible, to speak with them prior to a purchase or adoption, but if that can’t happen, get to them as soon as you can! When we meet a new person in our lives, whether a new love, soul-mate, friend or unexpected connection, we want to know everything about them because it helps us to know who they are and what makes them tick. What they love and what has made them who they are today and we take in as much of them as they are willing to give. It is no different with an animal. The only difference is that we need to communicate with them through a clear and open channel which is what Animal Communication is.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience Animal Communication, there is never a better time to do so than when we connect with a soul whose story is completely unknown to us. Giving them a chance to speak to us, share their stories and explain their behaviors it priceless both for them and for their loved-ones who want to make their lives the best they can be.
So many times people will ask me to tell their pet how much they love them and ask them if there’s anything at all they can do to make their lives better and I believe with all my heart that these people want exactly that – to always make the lives of their pets better and for their pets to always know how much they are loved. But what better love then hearing and understanding them? What better love than to give them the opportunity to speak with you one-on-one, to share their story and tell you what they need to make them better or happy? What better love?
Give them the gift of speech. There’s nothing better. Giving them the gift of sharing opens our hearts and giving them the gift of understanding is our true calling in being a part of their lives. Know the soul and you’ll know the answers.
So what happens when you inherit the fear-based training of your horse? What happens when you just can’t figure out what the problem is? This horse is tense while working. Is there some sort of pain causing this rigid body or is it emotional?
It seems that more and more I’m speaking with horses who have been trained through fear, not knowledge. This leads to misunderstandings between them and their humans as well as frustration and anxiety for both and in purchasing or inheriting a wonderful soul trained in this manner it’s incredibly important to understand their minds and thinking at that point.
Even in this day and age, believe it or not, there are still trainers who believe in breaking the Spirit. There are still trainers who believe in making them do things instead of asking and way to many that punish them for the slightest imperfection which creates rigid bodies and fear. Although horses trained in this manner can certainly go on to being Champions in their field I would ask “at what cost”?
When you purchase or inherit that wonderfully special horse you want to take to the top of competition hoping to be the best of the best and instead you get a horse who seems to freeze when working – a horse who seems perfectly fine and relaxed on the ground but stiff in work you have inherited the training that has gone before. You’ve inherited emotional baggage and disrespect and must find a way to correct it. But how?
Fortunately, they are very clear and straightforward on what to do. In conversation they speak of the training they have had in the past through fear or punishment for taking the least bit of a misstep or mistake which did, in fact, train them but not through knowledge. They will ask for their training to take steps back, go back to the beginning if you have to, and completely training them through knowledge. Train them to understand and learn what it is you are asking of them.
More importantly, they ask the for understanding and assurance. They need more than anything assurance from you and their trainers that “it’s ok if you make a mistake, you don’t have to be perfect” . You really can’t over-assure them at this point and encouragement when they do a great job.
Horses who have been trained through fear and not knowledge are always waiting for the other shoe to drop, they are always waiting for that correction that causes fear. When you give them a chance to understand that they don’t have to be perfect, it’s okay because we will work through it, it changes their lives.
They will tell you that when you are in a situation of dealing with a horse trained through fear you are hitting a brick wall and all of your time, effort, money and training will not change that. You will not get through that brick wall unless you understand them and change the way you are working with them. So many horse lovers and owners will know exactly what it feels like to put so much energy, emotion and money into a horse and feel like you are getting nowhere and hitting a brick wall. When this happens, you may very well be in the presence of a wonderful soul who has been trained through fear, not knowledge.
The most important part is to hear them and understand what their fear is. You can’t train what you don’t know and each horse is different and individual. To some trainers this may be a no-brainer but to so many people who are currently in the situation of hitting that brick wall and not understanding what is happening or what to do about it, it’s devastating. If we just listen to them, we can work through it. We can always work through it. Communicating with them is key, of course. But, if for some reason you either don’t have that option, although you can always connect with me through Shirleymerrill.com, or don’t believe it it, at least you will have the understanding of how to help a horse who has been trained through fear and an understanding of how to get around that brick wall!
I recently had the honor of speaking with a dog who had lost a human member of the family. She was a companion to the 99 year old lady who had recently passed away. She and the daughter of the lady who had passed were the ones left in the home. For the daughter who was left her Mom was her everything and she had been caring for her Mom for quite awhile. It was always just the two of them and their beloved pets. One long time pet had crossed over and they now had a new companion who was quite a personality.
The session was scheduled for me to speak with the dog because she was exhibiting very sad and depressed behavior and everyone was wondering how to help her with the passing of her companion. Another reason for reaching out to me was because she had been looking for another dog to bring into the home as a companion since the lady was now gone and the little dog was alone all day. Even in her struggles to go on after the death of her Mom the lady was mostly concerned for her little dog and how to help her.
So I began the session thinking that we would be dealing with grief and deep sadness from this little dog at the loss of her constant companion but that was not to be!
What a wonderful blessing this little dog was to the woman grieving the loss of her Mom because she said “every time I think of her I smile. I get so happy when I think of her now because I know that she is in Heaven and happy and well and whole and with all her loved ones who have gone before. I am not sad for her, I am happy every time she comes to my mind. I get so happy thinking about her being whole and perfectly in Spirit! My heart rejoices for her.”
So, why the grief? Well as it turns out this little dog was taking on all the grief of her human and responding in kind. This was not her grief but that of her person. So often we think our animals are depressed and reach out for help for them only to find out it is our grief and issues they are taking on. Our animals are like hugh refrigerator magnets taking all of our emotions and pain onto themselves. That is the level of love they have for us. Your grief is their grief. Your pain becomes their pain and so the story goes.
This lady’s religion and belief consisted of deep grief for those who have passed, regular visits to the cemetery and a feeling of permanent loss. However, this one little dog changed her thinking forever. The little dog asked her to please go out and get living plants for all over the house. She asked that the windows be opened and living things be brought into the house to celebrate living not death. She asked the lady to try just for one day to be happy when she thought of her Mom being in Heaven and then maybe again the next.
So this lady learned to deal with the loss of a loved one in a whole different way. As we spoke to the little dog I could feel this woman’s grief lifting. I could feel her tapping into the emotions of her beloved pet and getting happy and excited when she thought of her Mom instead of depressed. This one little dog taught her to be happy when she thought about her Mom in Heaven instead of depressed. This was the way her little friend dealt with the loss and it was life changing for her.
I could tell in the beginning of the conversation that this lady did not know how to process death in this manner. However, her love for her pet led her forward into this session and she really opened her heart to listen to this little girl who seemed to have all the answers to grief and I was happy to be a part of that kind of joy for the crossing of a loved one.
Grief literally turned into a celebration! A session that was thought to be about loss and sadness turned out to be one of joy and uplifting excitement at the thought of this wonderful 99 year old woman who had returned home to Spirit and it all came from this amazing little dog who had nothing but joy around the passing of her friend.
You see, this one little dog showed us that day that when we think about our loved ones who have crossed we should get excited, wag our tails and do our happy dance because they are in Heaven, whole, well and beyond any physical demands or illnesses. This is how she chose to send her loved one off. Not with grief and constant remembrance of the sadness of the situation.
The fact that she asked for living plants to be brought in and windows opened to breath in fresh air and take in life was a simple suggestion to her human not to wallow in her grief and concept of death. I believe with all my heart that this little dog changed the way her human will forever think of death.
“I smile every time I think of her and where she is now” is such a better way to remember our loved ones who have crossed. Perhaps it is in the wisdom of our pets that we will learn what it truly means to be joyful in the knowledge that our loved ones are at peace and in a place we can only try to imagine.
The most amazing part of this story is that I initially met this little dog just the Summer before when she was a rescue. The lady and her elderly mother had adopted this little girl through a rescue organization and gave her a home when she was abandoned by her family. Oh how this little one shined when she was called on to rescue them!
OPENING A CAN OF WORMS HERE – GOING OUT ON A LIMB! IS KEEPING A HORSE STALLED 24/7 OTHER THAN FOR HEALTH REASONS FOR MOST OF THEIR LIFE ANY DIFFERENT THAN KEEPING A DOG CRATED 24/7 WHICH PEOPLE WOULD BE ALL UP IN ARMS ABOUT?
It has been on my heart now for quite some time that I’m not sure it’s any different with horses then it would be for any animals who is confined almost all their lives. So race horses for example can sometimes have only a few moments a day if that to leave their stalls to go on a walker after a bath or for a brief period of exercise. Other than that at most race tracks or racing barns they live in stalls almost 24/7.
Show horses, especially if in the care of a trainer or boarding facility responsible for their well-being and safety will sometimes never leave their stall for fear of injury in a pasture or arena. In so many of the show barns I have been in they literally clean the stall with the horse in it because the horse does not go outside. Even if they get really lucky and go to a barn where they can get some outside time it is very limited – sometimes only an hour a day. I am in no way saying this is the norm or a way of life for show horses or training barns everywhere but it’s happening much more than you could ever know.
And get this, you have no idea how many “professionals” and experts are completely fine with this. They see absolutely no reason why this hugh animal should need to leave a tiny stall, run, get fresh air and be a living soul. This is a part of Animal Communication that totally blows my mind. Because I have to tell you these people for the most part are very educated (i.e. doctors, lawyers, CPAs, scientists, you name it).
So, I began to think. Because I know how horrible it is to see on TV or hear of an animal who has been left in a crate their whole lives. Even though they have food and water and are cared for they never really leave that crate and I know that most of America and worldwide would be appalled at that and want justice for that animal! At the very least their hearts would break for them never feeling the air on their face or the wind in their face.
A great many horses simply shut down with this type of lifestyle. Yes they perform and do their jobs but are totally detached from humans and sometimes other horses. People will oftentimes say the horse is aloof, but more times than not they are just shut down.
I can only imagine that if the people who believe in this type of lifestyle for these beautifully large animals could only for a moment put themselves in their hoofs maybe they would understand never feeling fresh air or running free in a pasture for awhile, feeling the breeze or the grass under their feet and realize truth. That truth is that the horse’s soul and their souls have the exact same needs! One soul is in a horse and one soul is in a human, but both souls have the same needs. There is no difference!
The appalling feeling our society has (especially animal lovers and rescue groups) around finding animals in situations where they have never left a crate but lived their entire lives in confinement should relate to all animals and I feel especially horses because of their sheer size and need to be who they were born to be. Yet it is the norm in many competitive barns and other barns around our country that horses live the majority of their days in stalls with humans cleaning around them. This is not to say they don’t get exercise because they certainly leave the barn to show and also lesson with their people but it’s the confinement that gets to me when this is not happening.
I’m basically saying here that maybe there can come a time when this is looked at the same way it would be looked at for any animal for which we would seek justice for being confined the majority of their lives.
Don’t get me wrong, in most of these facilities these horses are treated like royalty and I’m going to acknowledge this right here. They have the most beautiful stalls, the best vet care, chiropractic, accupunture, training, food and love and warmth in the winter and cool in the heat. The best of the best! This is because these horses are loved and respected for what they do. Pampered beyond belief in some cases. But why with all of this is it not understood that confinement is really tough on their souls as it would be to any human as well? There’s no difference.
This has been on my heart and now maybe it will be on yours especially to those who work with or own these amazing beings! I was told once that in order to be a true communicator I would need to become the crow. I thought that very strange, but then I was told it meant going inside and looking through the eyes of the crow to see and experience it’s life and existence. It was merely an example but I never forgot it. So I would ask each person in the care of a horse who has to for whatever reason face confinement for most of their existence to “become the crow” go inside and see the world through their eyes and experience life from their perspective. I guess what I’m really asking is that people will look at them as equals with the same basic needs as them and maybe just for a moment see the world through their eyes and LET THEM RUN!
I learned something recently from a client that I wanted to share with you. Her older dog went to the vet with all the common signs of a stroke – falling, no coordination, head tilt, etc. Oftentimes when there isn’t a clear indication of what is going on especially in older animals, the diagnosis of “stroke” can be common. It’s broad and can encompass many behaviors or signs. Stroke can seem to be a general diagnosis when no one is really sure and extensive testing doesn’t make sense at that point. I’m not a vet so I really don’t know much about strokes or vestibular disease but it’s worth mentioning because it may help a lot of animals with a general diagnosis of stroke.
So, from what I googled, Vestibular Disease is a condition in which animals can suddenly develop incoordination, falling or circling, disorientation, etc. Apparently the vestibular apparatus is located in the inner ear and is responsible for maintaining balance and sense of orientation. Animals do recover from this it seems but it is often diagnosed as stroke.
After hearing this I realized that we also had an older dog who suddenly showed these signs and the vet said it was probably a stroke but we never really knew for sure. We also had an older cat with the same symptoms also diagnosed with a possible stroke. We never knew to ask about vestibular issues.
This is something that I found very interesting and I wanted to pass it along because of the fact that these symptoms are so similar to stroke and stroke can be a very general diagnosis but it may in fact be vestibular and I’m not sure that it’s a common thing that vets look for or for that matter are familiar with.
It also turned out that this particular dog I was speaking with had a thyroid issue and was on medication for that. In a further google search, because I was just interested in the connection, I did find medical sights that seemed to connect the two. A connection between Vestibular Disease and Thyroid. Once again, I’m not a vet but this just seems very interesting to me.
This is exciting news for me because I can pass it along and hopefully help many animals and their owners as well. With all the information available to us 24/7 through the internet it’s something to look into should you have the uncertain stroke diagnosis for your pet and for many who read this it will be something to research for current conditions in their pets.
So, if you find yourself and your pet in that situation maybe just ask for or seek an opinion from a vet or specialist before assuming it may be stroke related. I think I have also heard of this for older horses as well where they just assume it’s stroke related because of the symptoms.
My hope is that you never encounter this with your pets but, should it be, it’s something to inquire about and pass along to others who may be in that uncertain situation with their pet.