Gidget, Taco Bell Chihuahua, Dies of Stroke

Gidget, the lovable chihuahua featured in Taco Bell ads, has died at the age of 15 (105 in dog years?). The cause of death of the 12 lb canine is reported as stroke. “It was very hard to lose her,” owner Karin McElhatton told ABCNews.com today. “She was a great little dog.”

The causes and types of strokes (or cerebrovascular accidents) in dogs are the same as in humans (see recent entry: Walter Cronkite Dead at 92 from Vascular Disease of the Brain ), however the signs of strokes in dogs and cats are often very different from those seen in people. In human stroke victims a drooping face or totalparalysis on one side of the body are common signs, but these are rarelyassociated with stroke in dogs and cats. More common signs include headtilt or turn, loss of balance, loss of vision, circling and falling.These signs are not specific for stroke and can be seen associated withother brain disease.

To see Gidget in action:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8sZ1DWsAHE

rs.cerebrovascular

Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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