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Everything OK After Lilly’s Sudden Collapse

The headline is that Lilly is fine, but here is a recap of how she gave me a BIG scare on Wednesday.

We’re expecting another foot or two of snow tomorrow, but this week has been nice and warm. We took advantage of the weather to get Lilly some exercise outside at lunch and to do some makeshift physical therapy such as:

  • Walking through slushy snow, which is a bit like walking in the underwater treadmill.
  • Practicing heel side shifts (what we call “switch”) and spins both directions, which is like doing figure 8s.
  • Climbing a few hills in the pastures, which is just generally good for strength.

On Wednesday, we’d been poking around outside, both dogs off leash, for about 15-20 minutes. I like to give Lilly as much freedom as I can, even though it would have been smarter to have her on leash.

Just as we approached the house to go back inside, Ginko spotted some dogs going for a walk on the road and bolted. Lilly took up the race to the fence too.

I called Lilly to me, after she got a good look at the dogs on the road. She turned to come to me, but:

  • She was limping badly, suddenly lame in one rear leg.
  • She stumbled and fell several times.
  • She finally gave up and just flopped down in a snow bank.

I feared she was having another seizure, but when I got to her in the upper pasture, she was just really winded and weak.

You see, Lilly has NOT sprinted in a very long time. She mostly looked like she had really, really overdone it. BUT, I was still worried about the lameness.

I carried her most of the way into the house. Once inside, I massaged her well and checked her over (no signs of pain). I asked her to “nest” (cue for lie down on the dog bed) under my desk. Lilly proceeded to:

  • Sleep for 2 hours.
  • Ask for a KONG.
  • Have dinner.
  • Bug me for attention.

She never limped nor stumbled again.

Just to be sure, I emailed our veterinary neurologist with the news — telling him I thought she just overdid it.

His reply?

“Poor lilly! Her heart & volition were bigger than her body.”

We’ll be more careful outside from now on. I’ll keep her on leash or leave Ginko inside while we work so that he doesn’t instigate another chase.

By Thursday, Lilly was once again enjoying the sun and having fun being outside.

This photo makes me laugh. She looks SO young and SO short!

best dog blog, champion of my heart, border collie photo

Have a good weekend!

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Sam - March 11, 2013

We are glad she is okay – that must have been scary!

Sam
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Donna - March 10, 2013

Oh how scary. Thank god she was okay! Having a dog collapse and having to carry them has been one of my biggest fears lately with having two seniors (one with a heart issue) that are over 80 pounds.

I nearly dropped my oldest when trying to get her into the car a while back, which is what prompted this ever growing fear – and as much as I love the bigger dogs, it has made me seriously reconsider getting another dog so large in the future and that maybe I should stick with medium sized breeds.
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    Roxanne Hawn - March 11, 2013

    Donna ~ I think about those things all the time. It’s actually ONE reason we adopted Lilly. I definitely wanted a dog small enough that I could carry her in an emergency. I mean, I CAN lift Ginko in and out of the car (now that he is an old boy and needs help), but I could NOT carry him very far at all.

Dillon Miller - March 9, 2013

I’m glad everything is fine. Sure had me worried. Still praying for Lily and you too!

Jen - March 9, 2013

Oh my! My heart would have just stopped. I’m glad everything is all right.
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Jodi - March 9, 2013

Glad it was nothing too serious. I have a long leash for Delilah, it gives her the freedom to not have to stick close to my side, but still helps me manage her. You can always use a rope too. 🙂
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    Roxanne Hawn - March 9, 2013

    Good idea, Jodi. We do have a 30-foot line, but I’m forever getting it tangled up. Operator / mommy error.

Marcie - March 8, 2013

Shew, glad it was just a case of being a little over zealous without any lasting effect.
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