The vestibular system is the system that is responsible for maintenance of normal balance of the head, neck, eyes and limbs.
When a dog suffers from a vestibular disease, it simply means that there is a malfunction in the vestibular system, which results in a sudden abnormality in the dog’s balance. A vestibular disease can either be central, affecting the brain, or peripheral, affecting the inner and middle ear.
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There are clinical signs and symptoms of vestibular disease; some of the common symptoms of a vestibular disease in dogs are:
- Severe Head Tilt, which will cause most dogs to lean towards the direction of the head tilt.
- Staggered movements or Falling over.
- Uncoordinated movements
- Moving on a spot in a circular motion.
- Reluctance to eat or drink
- Very rapid movement of the eyes
- Preference for hard surfaces as sleeping positions.
If you notice or observe your dog showing any one of the above listed signs, ensure to consult your vet for medical advice, since these signs might be an indication of a more severe condition. Keeping constant communication with your veterinary doctor concerning these signs is very important.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why Is My Dog Acting Dizzy And Disoriented?
It is certainly a cause for concern if you observe your dog acting dizzy and disoriented. Your dog could be acting dizzy, disoriented and uncoordinated for very different reasons. If you notice your dog acting in this manner, he is most likely suffering from at least one of these three conditions: A vestibular disease, ear infection or a stroke.
A vestibular disease could be caused by any of the following: infections in the inner ear, growth or tumor in the ear, a traumatic history, drugs that have adverse effects on the ear, amongst others. This condition is not a life-threatening condition but is most often mistaken for severe conditions like stroke and brain tumor.
Ear infection can be taken care of with proper medications so it is advised that you consult your veterinary doctor to take tests on your dog so as to know what exactly is going on with your dog. Ear infection, if left unattended to, might deteriorate and pose a threat to your dog’s life.
Older dogs that suffer other health issues such as cancer, kidney or heart disease and other severe conditions alike, are more prone to suffer a stroke. Strokes can, as well, be treated and cured, depending on its cause, hence, an immediate visit to your veterinary doctor is very essential. Your veterinary doctor will run tests on your dog, determine the root cause of the stroke and begin treatment in earnest.
How Can I Treat My Dogs Vestibular Disease At Home?
Although a vestibular disease is not life threatening, it is advised that you get your dog to your veterinary doctor within the quickest possible time. This is because you basically cannot tell, at a glance, if your dog is suffering from an ear infection, a stroke or a vestibular disease.
Consulting your veterinary doctor would give you a medical perspective and opinion to the situation. The vet would most probably prescribe medications to help with the dizziness and disorientation. If disorientation and dizziness in your dog is severe, your vet may decide to sedate your dog and aid relaxation of his nerves.
Be aware that despite these medications, your dog might still experience some signs and symptoms every now and then, for a few days. Your dog is likely to experience loss of appetite, which is completely normal since he would usually feel nauseated from the dizziness.
It is however important to pay close watch and look out for signs of dehydration in your dog. If the signs of dehydration are present and have become a cause for concern, it would be in your dog’s best interest to be left with your vet for close monitoring, for few days.
While your dog is in the process of recovering, you can help your dog get better even quicker by providing literal supports like a comfortable sleeping or resting position, keeping water and food close by for easy access, keeping obstacles and injurious objects off the floor to ensure your dog’s safety, since the condition affects his balance.
You may also have to help your dog get outside to relieve him for his potty breaks at intervals. Spend as much time with him as possible since this condition could cause trauma for him.
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How Long Does Vestibular Syndrome Last In Dogs?
Recovery process varies with different dogs. With some dogs, it may take longer and with some others, lesser. Recovery could be as quick as few days or take as long as two to three weeks. However short or long it takes for your dog to recover fully, a second visit to your vet would be advised, after a few days.
This is only a precautionary measure, to ensure that your dog is actually recovering fine and there is no other issue arising in the process.
Vestibular disease is not a fatal condition in dogs and can often be clear up on its own within couple of weeks. A veterinary doctor is most likely to tell you to wait and see, since it can clear up itself and should be gone within two weeks, without treatment.
In severe cases where it does not clear up after the stipulated period of time, the et begins to prescribe and administer medications and treatments to your dog. Fortunately, the vestibular disease is not painful or life-threatening, even though it may cause some form of discomfort to your dog.
What Are The Signs Of A Stroke In A Dog?
Head tilt, imbalance, circling, moving in the wrong direction, abnormal rapid eye movements, vomiting, falling over, severe weakness, limb paralysis and a few others alike are common signs and symptoms that a dog is suffering from a stroke.
As you must have noticed, these signs and symptoms are very similar to those of the vestibular disease. A few other conditions can trigger equally similar signs and symptoms. It is important to note this since there is a chance that your dog is actually not suffering from a stroke but some other condition.
Your dog could be displaying a drunken, disoriented, uncoordinated attitude for different reasons. These reasons could be as minor as the vestibular syndrome or severe and life-threatening as poisoning or a stroke. Resist taking your dog’s uncoordinated, disoriented demeanor lightly.
There is a need to monitor and keep close tabs on your dog’s symptoms. Once you notice your dog showing off the signs and symptoms discussed in this article, ensure to consult your veterinary doctor so that your dog can be tested and treated while the condition is still in its early stage.
Your vet will carry out tests and examinations to determine if your dog’s symptoms have a different cause than the obvious.
Ignoring these symptoms might give it time to deteriorate and graduate into a more severe condition than it started out as. While at it, make sure to keep your dog as comfortable as possible and introduce core exercises to improve your dog’s abdominal strength. This will aid quicker recovery.