If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Thank you both so much for your kind responds.
I feel very alone in this. I live in the mountains and we don't have great "vets" plus my husband travels so much...it's hard for me to try to "lift" her. Right now I have "WEE WEE" pads on her bedding. The hardest part is she wants to "get up" but can't. Her legs just get stiff and she can't move them when she tries. She will sit up...like she wants to stand...but if I lift her she has no idea how to move...top heavy. She is very sensitive on her left ear. I looked at it...can't see anything but wonder...could a foxtail have gotten deep inside..or am I just pulling at straws. Before I haul her 2 hrs. to the speciality vet...I guess I "wait" a bit.
My vet asked a Neurologist who said blind dogs progress is twice as long? She is on antiboditics (amoxicillin) but my vet said no drugs help. I put her on a small dose of dramamine. The eyes aren't rolling...she isn't leaning like she was...but still favors that left side.
This morning when I found your two responses...I just thanked God for your kindnesses to us.
It helped my heart.
Blessings...Maybe today will be a "good" day!
Try not panic over your dog's vestibulitis. I had an old dog that got this frequently during the last year. When this happened, the vet would prescribe steroids such as Dexamethasone and the symptoms usually cleared up within a day or two. I have never heard of using antibiotics. To my knowledge, this would not help as the vestibulitis is not caused by an infection. However, maybe it has proved beneficial in some cases.
Do you have the book "Senior Dogs for Dummies"? It would be a good book to have and it talks about vestibulitis. It says that vestibular syndrome is fairly common among middle-aged and older dogs and occurs in any breed. It affects the dog's balance and is "usually much less serious than it looks - and it generally doesn't last long. The cause is unknown." "The dog may lose his balance, lean to one side, and tilt his head. He may try to walk straight ahead but end up walking diagonally. He also may vomit and probably will refuse to eat or drink." "Treatment often consists simply of letting the dog rest". It does talk about subcutaneous fluid administration if the dog is not drinking. It also says "Vestibular syndrome often strikes quickly; your dog may seem find one minute but start walking like a drunken sailor the next. However, the condition usually doesn't last long - typically no more than a few days." It says if the dog hasn't improved within a couple of days, it should be rechecked by a vet. The info in the quotes came directly from the Senior Dogs for Dummies book by Susan McCullough.
From personal experience with my dog, I found everything she said to be true. I never had to have fluids administered to my dog. The dizziness always cleared up within a day or two. I would recommend trying to get steroids prescribed for your dog as this usually helps symptoms subside. Vestibulitis is a short term condition. If the problem lasts more than a few days, then it is probably something else causing the dizziness. If your dog doesn't improve by Monday, I would contact your vet and have an exam done and try to get a referral to a neurologist.
Good luck and take care,
We have had some cases of vestibular that began with a middle ear infection, maybe that is what the antibiotics are for. When researching vestibular once, I remember reading a comment by a vet saying it was one of the diagnoses she best liked to give, because the symptoms look so terrible that carers often think their dog has something incurable and most make a full recovery in 2-3 weeks. I hope that is the case with Hansa, it certainly sounds like she is better. If you do take her to the vet I would get them to check that ear.
Best of luck
Best of luck
I recently went through this with my 13 yr old shep. I thought she had had a stroke because she tried to get up and suddenly felt over, having been fine a few minutes earlier. Like you, I thought as I drove to the vet that she wouldn't be coming home with me. This was sometime in April. After the vet saw her eyes rolling he diagnosed it as vestibular syndrome and eased my mind. Even though most cases clear up in a few days to a couple of weeks, she has lingering symptoms but is 90% better. She was very unstable for about a full week but then she began to show improvement day by day.
My vet didn't prescribe anything, much to my disappointment. When I read about the syndrome and saw that dramamine is often recommended, I called him and asked if I should give it and he said no. So even though she didn't take any medication, she did improve.
Hang in there.
Just found this site and thought I'd reply since my 12 1/2 year old Lab Kelley is going through the same problem. She woke us up two weeks ago with terribly fast panting - she was trembling, her right eye was twitching and rolling and she could not get up on her feet. We immediately rushed her to our vet who diagnosed "idiopathic vestibular syndrom" also called a stroke in the ear, and that she should be OK in a few days. Well, she remained at the vet hospital for ten days without much improvement - it took two techs to help her go out to eliminate. We brought her home on the eleventh day and we had to drag her to the door to go out on a blanket and use rolled towels to help her up - just about breaking our backs since she weighs 65 lbs. We ordered a front and rear harness from handicapped pets (hope it arrives soon) and I was very despondent over everything. Luckily my husband is retired and home because I could not handle her by myself. Well, that was three days ago and she has made marvellous progress - she gets up and walks around the house like a drunken sailor and takes a few falls, but each time does better. We discovered that she walks better on carpeting so we put remnant carpet strips over the wood and tile parts of our floors. The vet sent her home on a lot of meds:
cephaloxin and baytril, two antibiotics in case she had a middle or inner ear infection; meclazine for dizziness; and prednizone to help against swelling in her ear. I don't know if it is the meds or just being home with her family that has done the most good. It's been a hard two weeks but I am feeling much more optimistic now. We decided against a neurological exam after being told that an MRI cost over $1000 - it would not cure her and if it showed something like a tumor we would not opt for surgery at her age. So HANG IN THERE, get help in caring for your dog if you can, and I hope that recovery will be swift. Good luck!
Thank you all for your responses to my questions on Vestibular disease. We are at week 2 and I am seeing ome wonderful results. Hansa is walking again!! No stairs yet...walks a bit like that drunken sailor...but she is walking and seems to be getting stronger everyday. She isn't back to her regular eating schedule and seems more "lost" in the house...but one day at a time. I am very encouraged if she continue at this pace. I never would have thought she'd be this far along with what she looked like and acted like 15 days ago.
Still on antiboditics and some dramamine...but she took a ride with us in the car today and "wanted" to go!! Yippee.
Thank you all for your advice and help!! It is greatly appreciated.
That is wonderful news! I absolutely know what you are feeling now. What a ride your emotions take with this syndrome. You mentioned that Hansa seems a little lost in the house and that rings true for Bailey also. Her strength is back...in fact when we go for walks, she has started doing this Lippisan (sp) thing when she looking for the right spot (it is so cute - she looks like a little pony trotting), but when we get back to the house, the first thing she does is lean into the couch for a few minutes as if to get her bearings and then she continues on. I have noticed that with this second blindness which occurred after the vestibular, she did not map as easily as the first time. It's been about 6 weeks since she went through it, so I am wondering if this will remain. It is not bad, just different from before. I am so grateful that all other systems are go! Was Hansa born blind? Bailey and I had a terrible time with stairs (me, more than she) so I have ramps now. When she was losing her sight and I did not realize it, one morning she jumped five stairs to the ground with me at the other end of the leash - scary, fortunately, no injuries, funny after the fact, but oh, boy... I am so happy for your and your girl!
Christine and Bailey
It is great that Hansa is recovering so well. We are in week 3 with our lab Kelley's recovery. She too is so much better - still walking a little stiffly and cautiously - but not so many slips and falls. I have noticed that she is worse in the evenings when it becomes dark and she can't see as well and she is tired, and that she walks with her hind legs further apart now for better balance. I myself suffer from Meniere's syndrom in my left ear and have gone through vestibular rehabilitation. It's amazing how much my experience with dizzyness is helping me to understand and care for Kelley. She has been home now for eleven days from the vet; when we brought her home she could not stand upright by herself. We took her back a couple of days ago so the vet could check her - he was so excited when he looked through the windows and saw Kelley walking away from the car by herself that he rushed out to the parking lot and threw his arms around her and gave her a big hug and a kiss. He had worried so about her because she seemed to be taking such a long time to recover; however, it appears that some dogs just take longer than others. He said we should see slow but steady improvement each day. Her head, however, will probably always be tilted to the right - gives her a raffish appearance! It is so wonderful to see our pets recover! Best wishes to you and Hansa.
Ginny and Kelley
My 11 year old Sheltie had been stumbling but we just brushed it off until one night he was in my bed and could not get up..we thought it was a seizure but it did not stop so I decided to call the emergency vet. When we took Buster there they said he was fine and walking but his white blood cell count was slightly elevated which would most likely be linked to Vertigo/Vestibular Disease. (He was having nystagmus and his equillibrium was off.) The vet gave us antibiotics for the ear infection and said he may get worse before he gets better but it is a week later anf although the antibiotics are not halfway gone yet he is alarming me by still stumbling and oddly enough he has seemed to go slightly blind knocking into things and not seeing treats ont he floor when we give them to him. It seemed to have happened overnight which is why I am nervous and would link all of his symptoms not to vestibular disease but to a BRAIN TUMOR :( The only thing that is still giving me hope is he has cataracts and shelties are known for having some collie eye disease which would have caused him to lose his eye sight. Can any one help me out or give me support?
I have no experience with this but it looks like the vision and eating symptoms can be part of vestibular disease...
I wonder if it would help to have some kind of harness for you to help him navigate while he is still wobbly?
Thanks for responding. We went to the vet for a follow up and they said if it were a brain tumor he would not have gotten better and the reason for his blindness would be from his very bad cataracts. Other than that, they said Buster is a fairly healthy 11 year old sheltie :)
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