.Hello Trevor, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.
I'm so sorry that Amber has experienced this problem you describe; I can just imagine how stressful this has been for your entire family, not to mention her.
Based on the information you've provided, it certainly sounds as if a central brain vascular event (aka stroke) is a possibility especially if her signs have stabilized, haven't progressed in any significant way and since she's been non-responsive to antibiotics and to steroids.
And, while a CT or MRI might be extremely useful in a situation like this, there are no guarantees that a definitive diagnosis will be made as you point out.
Unfortunately, strokes are not considered curable in the strictest sense of the word. Depending on the location of the affected area in the brain, recovery (if seen at all) tends to be slow, sometimes weeks to months.... although complete recovery is often not seen in most cases. And, there's no way to predict which dogs will improve or which ones won't until time has passed.
Treatment options are primarily aimed at supportive care during the initial phases of the condition but are otherwise limited. Aspirin wouldn't appear to be terribly effective for dogs as it woudl be for humans.
Anti-oxidants such as fish oil or SAMe have been suggested although there are no controlled studies indicating whether or not they will be helpful.
Quality of life issues obviously need to be addressed in a situation like this; for me, this is the priority although often this is very subjective between individuals.
I agree that she's not likely to be in any pain; strokes aren't painful although I suspect she might be somewhat confused by all that's happened to her in such a short period of time.
Questions to consider include:
1. Does she still enjoy doing the things she used to enjoy doing (even if for shorter periods of time) or is she too debilitated or weak to do so?
2. What is her attitude like? Is she lethargic/depressed or is she still upbeat and enjoying interaction with her family and with your other dogs?
3. Has she had difficulty adjusting to her new circumstances? Is she trying to adjust or has she given up?
I find that if you can answer these questions honestly and objectively, then it often helps make this difficult decision about whether or not to let her go.
My personal opinion is that it's best to let our pets go while there's still some dignity to their lives but this is only my personal opinion. For me, quality of life trumps quantity.
I hope this helps although I do realize that this is a very difficult situation for everyone. Deb