Jayadeva's Brooklyn: Dogs, Babies and Love in Sunset Park

My life in Brooklyn, now with my baby, and fellow dog lover, by my side.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome or Canine Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome or Jaya's Not Feeling Well

Geriatric Vestibulitis/Ataxia

A story by James W.Barr III

Written by Max Bielohuby I

Clinical signs:

Signs of vestibular disease include ataxia, head tilt, and abnormal nystagmus. A wide-based stance and swaying of the head and trunk characterize ataxia. The patient may tend to lean and fall to one side. In severe cases, the animal may continuously roll to one side. Head tilt is an abnormal position of the head such that one ear is held lower than the other. Nystagmus is a rhythmic movement of the eyes, where the eyes move back and forth or up and down. In some cases of vestibular disease, there is a sudden onset of severe signs. This may initially be confused with a seizure.


Identification of vestibular dysfunction is based on recognition of the specific signs. The veterinarian diagnoses the cause of the disorder with a medical history and examination. In some cases, further diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging is necessary. Diagnosis is based on the signs and excluding other causes of vestibular dysfunction. Affected dogs improve spontaneously within 2 weeks, although there may be a mild, persistent head tilt. Nursing care is important during recovery. Unfortunately, affected dogs are sometimes euthanized because of the severe signs and concerns that the patient has a brain tumor or stroke.

The problem seems to be due to inflammation in the nerves connecting the inner ear to the cerebellum (which controls balance and spatial orientation). It usually lasts between a couple of days and three weeks. A few dogs have residual signs beyond this time, such as a head tilt. Most dogs will not eat or drink unless hand-fed or given water by hand because they have a hard time with the fine motor movements necessary to eat or drink from a bowl. As long as they are nursed through this condition almost all dogs will recover. There is no known treatment. Some dogs do have relapses but most do not.

At this time, Jaya is still being cared for by Dr. Morehouse at

Animal Kind Vetinary Hospital.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Park Slope Food Coop - the Pro(duce) & the Con(ditions)

My mom sent me a link to Chowhound to read a post and threads about why someone would remain loyal to the Park Slope Food Co-op. I got in the debate and thought I'd publish my response here. Click HERE for the rest of the story...

Greetings All:

My mother send me a link to this thread, thinking I might be interested and, even though I'd run from a PSFC General Meeting, I do actually have some thoughts about why I'm a member.

I completely respect the views all writers have outlined in their responses. I think that the produce is usually awesome, but yes, those moldy strawberries were disgusting (and expensive)! Shopping in the grid-lock crowds is crazy and can be taxing on the nerves. Also, yes, they do sometimes employ non-eco-friendly packaging.

However, I do love the co-op and my love, I believe, goes beyond the food and the shopping experience. I love my workshift; childcare. I love that this is a place that thought childcare was a good idea and took up a large chunk of their obviously valuable and much needed real-estate to make it happen.

I love that the PSFC only marks their goods up by 20%, as opposed to the ~ 200% of supermarkets, because of the member-as-worker system. I love that even though I sometimes wish the aisles contained traffic lights to help with the weekend congestion, no one is ever cross, or rude and mostly navigate the mess with a smile. I love their dogged support of Hepworth farms (see the NYTimes article) and the trumping of minimally treated local, to imported organic.

I love the clothing swaps, the member movies, the non-NYC plastic recycling and the orange vested workers who amicably walk me to the bus on 5th Ave. I live in Sunset Park and travel to and from the co-op isn’t easy, but even if I’m in line for 20 minutes, I value grassroots ethics and community the PSFC has created in the city.

Doing a quick Google search, I found that PSFC even has their own blog!