Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"

They say that what people fear the most is the unknown. 

It might be because when facing the unknown, you simply picture the scariest thing imaginable. After all, that's all you have to go on. How scary that ends up being depends on your past experiences and your imagination.

When I watch movies with people getting all upset about their amnesia, I always wonder if that would be such a bad thing after all. Forgetting one's past is like a brand new start. Dropping all your baggage. I could go for that.

My imagination is pretty good and I have experienced plenty of scary things.

The day started like any other. The guys got two good walks under their belts. It was in the afternoon, about an hour and a half after the last walk.

I was working and Cookie was resting with hubby in the living area.

I heard the sounds as if she was getting up. But then it sounded like a struggle. I leaped up and rushed over to see what was happening.

It seemed as if Cookie was trying to get up but couldn't.

Her front legs were under a foot stool so I yanked it out of the way. But it didn't help. Cookie kept struggling. I tried to help her get up but pulling her up by her harness but she still couldn't get her bearing.

She looked petrified and as if one or more of her legs were paralyzed.

At least that's what it looked like. We moved her to a dog bed, trying to figure out what we were seeing and trying to get her to relax. She stood there, scared, shaking, not moving, though her legs were holding her up.

Then she slowly sat down and eventually we convinced her to lay down, trying to calm her.

I was shaking too, ready to get on the phone with the on-call vet as soon as we got her stabilized.

Did she hurt her back somehow? She looked fine all day, even after the walk. But having had Jasmine with her neck problems usually popping up out of the blue, I thought it was perfectly possible that something might have happened to her back.

I was trying to figure out how we were going to get her to the emergency safely, without causing further damage.

It felt as this was happening for hours but must have lasted just seconds.

As I was trying to catch my breath on my way to make the call, I heard cheerful "good girl!"

This wasn't hubby trying to calm her down, this was a happy praise. I turned around and there she is, walking over to collect the treat hubby offered. She looked better to him so he asked her if she wanted a treat. She did and got right up to get it.

She moved and looked perfectly normal.

I gave her a bunch of treats which she ate. Her tail was wagging, she licked my face. Then she was trying to play with JD. Grabbed a toy and came to play with me.

There was nothing wrong any longer as far as we could see.

What on green Earth happened?

It didn't seem to make sense to call the emergency vet any more, unless something changed. Though I was still so freaked out I could barely hold the treats I was giving her in my shaking fingers.

I still needed to talk to a vet. Thankfully, Dr. Krista of was online and was willing to talk to me about what happened and what we should do.

She brought up the idea that it could have been a seizure of sorts.

She figured that at this point we should keep a keen eye on Cookie. That sometimes such things might happen once and never to repeat.

It didn't look like a seizure to me but then I only saw full blown ones in Roxy, where her whole body was in spasm, she was foaming and unresponsive. When I looked up partial seizures online, I only saw videos of dogs mostly having their faces or heads twitch.

This was nothing like that. But who knows.

Hubby wanted me to ask Dr. Krista whether it's possible that her foot or leg fell asleep and that's why she was struggling to get up. While hubby has always been trying to sell the idea of leg having fall asleep, even with Jasmine's busted knee ligaments, Dr. Krista confirmed that it was indeed possible. And perhaps the fear of not understanding what was happening to her did the rest.

Or maybe she did just get her front legs trapped under that foot stool and it got her freaked out so badly ...?

The fact is, we have no idea what actually happened.

The day before, while running around the trailer in a pursuit of a mouse, she did favor her front left leg for a little while. We checked it and didn't find anything. We figured she stepped on one of the picky weeds.

Of course, remembering Jasmine's mysterious front leg lameness which she got a few times and which, as we figured at the end, must have been from the neck issues, got my brain churning about that too. Was those two events related? Or was it just two separate events which had nothing to do with each other?

Again, we don't know.

We had Cookie checked out by a chiropractor again today, no major issues were found. Plus Cookie's issues are in the lower back, not the neck.

She's been perfectly mobile since.

Running, jumping, playing, walking as always.

Of course, we reported this to her vet. Cookie's vet doesn't think it was a seizure, because there was no rigidity and no loss of conscious awareness as far as we could tell.

She agreed that a heavy sleep or sleeping position that caused an abnormal feeling in Cookies leg could have done it. Or sudden muscular back pain, or episode of low blood pressure.

But we don't know.

We are keeping an eye out of anything unusual. Cookie has been a bit anxious past couple of days but that could have been from the weird weather. Maybe.

Hopefully, whatever it was, it was a one time deal.

Dr. Krista said that something like this happened to her dog after Frontline application. But we don't use such things. She also suggested that it could have been from a bug bite, or a tick bite. We didn't find any ticks (we check every day) or any other discernible bites.

Did anything like that ever happened to your dog? 

Related articles:

From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy 
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking 
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary  
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment  
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit? 
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore 
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely? 
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal  
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work   
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?  
Happy Birthday, Cookie 
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks 
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps 
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit 
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update 
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is 
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach 
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated 
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury 
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection 
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology  
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you!


  1. Weird - never had anything like that...or at least that resolved itself so quickly. I'm with JD on the leg falling asleep.

    1. Hoping something like that is all that it was. I was VERY happy that it resolved so quickly but it was so scary and I'm naturally still worried.

  2. Kilo sometimes has little twitches and snaps in fear if you wake him suddenly but nothing like that. How scary. Thank goodness it seems better-hope it does not recur. X Susie

    1. I haven't seen how it started. Originally it sounded like she was normally getting up. But then something went wrong. We have no idea what.

  3. I've never had anything like that happen, but I am so glad it hasn't happened to your girl again.

    1. Thank you, Robbi, I truly hope it was a one time deal whatever it was. Not sure I could take it twice.

  4. That would be really scary! I would have been shaking like that too. My mind would forever be turning as I tried to imagine what caused the problem. I'm glad that she's okay!

    1. I couldn't even hold anything. And every time she lays at the same spot I'm afraid even though I know it doesn't make any sense. I guess at least I get to be relieved every time she gets up from there normally.

  5. That would have been so scary; I would have been a mess. I'm glad she's OK and hopefully it was just a weird one time thing.

    Not exactly related but I panicked years ago with my childhood Lab; he was sitting in the living room shaking suddenly so I thought he might be having a seizure. I was able to get him up and outside but he was still shaking. Panicked I called my father ( I was a kid so didn't think to call the vet ) but while I was on the phone with him the dogs shaking stopped. It ended up being the new dryer we had gotten the day before - it was scaring the crap out of him.

    1. I was a pretty good mess, trust me. Even after it was "over" I was shaking for quite some time yet.

      Poor both of you, your dog being so scared of the dryer and you being so scared for your dog. Glad that's all that was.

  6. As a matter of fact we did, one turned out to be a missing vertebrae disk, and the other a partially torn ACL.

    Now that we know what the issues are, we can treat them and keep and eye on their activities to keep from further injury.

    1. Oh boy, those are not good things; particularly not the missing vertebrae disk.

      Cookie already did have x-rays of her spine and other than the aftermath of her old pelvic injury it didn't show any other abnormalities.

      Torn ACL? Really? We dealt with those in the past and it looked nothing like what we observed in Cookie that day.

      She's been doing fine since, so hoping it was just a one time deal type of thing. There are no signs of a musculoskeletal problem. So hopefully it's none of that.

  7. Geeze that sounds so scary and knock on wood, nothing like that has happened here. Hope all is okay now. Hugs.

    1. It certainly was. Everything seems to have been fine since. Knock on wood here also.

  8. How scary!!! I get super nervous and overprotective when it comes to my animals. I would definitely have panicked. I sure hope that Cookie continues to do well!!

    1. Yeah, I'm extremely protective too. I hope I'll never see anything like this again. Ever. Ever.

  9. Never had anything like this happen, but I have found that not knowing what it could be is the worst of it! Our minds are too fertile and jump to worst case scenarios, inevitably. Why does this stuff always seem to happen on the weekends? Glad things appear to be okay.

    1. My question totally. why does stuff always happens on weekends? The only thing worse than thinking worst case scenario is actually it being the worst case scenario. Hopefully I"ll never see anything like this for the rest of my life.

  10. Oh that is SO so scary, I'm sorry you had to go through it but glad Cookie is ok. My Husky had a really bad incident that looked like a seizure but we quickly realized she had been stung by a scorpion. We were terrified and stayed up with her all night long. Her snout had been twitching a lot and it lasted a couple of hours. Thankfully she was just fine but what a scare we had!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. I'm sorry Cookie had to go through it. She was so scared.

      Wow, scorpion, at least we don't have those here. I can imagine that was some scare too!

  11. Interesting. We have had a very small seizure, where a dog jumped down from a sofa and started spasming like they couldn't get up. The dog was scared during and after the whole thing. Haven't had another once since.

    1. Cookie wasn't spasming, unless it was some of the noise I heard before I arrived. It still sounded like struggle to get up more than anything else.

      I hope she's not going to have anything like that again, ever, whatever it was.


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