Vestibular disease: Leave a light on


UPDATE: This thread now has over 100 comments. On some computers [that is, in some browsers] the comment form no longer functions, so please post new comments at Vestibular Disease II on this same blog. Thank you!


Who knew YouTube would be such a depository of vestibular videos?

They aren't kidding when they say, "Canine idiopathic vestibular disease begins acutely and resolves acutely." Let me back up a bit: it began acutely. I hope it resolves acutely and completely. In any event, she's much better now [huge sigh of relief].

Last Tuesday evening my thirteen-and-a-half-year-old border collie was motoring around the back yard, keen, cheerful and busy, a tad stiff but nothing that herbs and acupuncture couldn't help, and it was a beautiful evening and everything was good.

Half an hour later she was flailing panicky-eyed on the kitchen floor, all sense of balance gone.

I helped her to her feet, but she couldn't stand. And then she could, but she was unsteady as a new calf, and when she tried to walk she staggered and would have fallen if I hadn't been there to hold her. Her eyes weren't focused on anything. Vestibular? Wouldn't her head be tilted? My little dog looked old, frail and very frightened.

Seizure? Stroke?

There are times you say to yourself, "Eh, I'll watch her for a while, maybe take her to the vet if it doesn't get better in a day or two." This was not one of those times. We headed for the emergency vet hospital.

In my mind, or heart, there are a thousand images of my good girl at the farm moving sheep across the pastures, sometimes barely visible through the summer dust or winter rain, working or waiting to work. She was a great partner. Did I think of those times on the drive to the vet's? You know I did. I should have petted her more often. She was never a demonstrative dog, but last year she began sitting next to me each night when I took the pack out. She'd tap my leg with her paw to get attention, and if I stopped petting her she'd tap my leg again. Silly animal, so different from her younger, fiercer self. Her last surviving littermate died of a brain tumor in October. My girl was one of three pups, and she was born smiling: I told her she was mine before she was out of the sac.

The emergency vet seemed far less anxious than I felt. Temp was normal. A tech carried my little dog away for bloodwork, and those numbers were perfectly normal, too.

"Brain tumors, strokes and vestibular disease can share symptoms," said the vet, "but I think it's vestibular. An MRI would tell us more, if you'd like. Keep her on a well padded-floor where she won't hurt herself if she falls. Be sure she gets enough to eat and drink -- the vertigo often makes dogs too nauseated to show any interest in food. She can stand on her own: that's a good sign. She's already compensating for the loss of balance."

By the time we got home the head tilt was pronounced, and her eyes were flickering, slow to the left, fast to the right, constant, involuntary movement.

"Vestibular," said my traditional vet, watching my dog's eyes on Wednesday. "Once they've had it, they usually don't get it again. Keep me posted. If she isn't showing some improvement by the end of the week, it might be something else. Be sure she gets enough food and water. If you're on the computer [who, me?] go to veterinarypartners.com -- they'll have an article or two."

"Her ears and her facial nerves and reflexes seem fine," said my holistic vet on Thursday. "I'll fix some herbs for her after I put the needles in."

I won't bore you with my views on [amazing, wonderful] acupuncture. I will tell you that my good girl slipped past me and navigated the back stairs by herself on Friday morning, and managed just fine. I caught a glimpse of her tail as she trotted off with the other dogs. Yesterday, Sunday, she ate her first full meal in days, and ate it on her own -- no hand-feeding. She's on the mend.

My first bit of advice for anyone whose dog is suffering from vestibular disease: leave a light on 24/7. She can't maintain any kind of balance if she can't see.

Also: don't carry her unless she is quite small and you can put your hand under one or two of her front feet. Web legend, perhaps, but it really does seem to give the dog a "grounded" feeling. Losing contact with solid earth is frightening when you have no other reliable means to tell which way is up. If a dog is too big to be carried easily, use a padded harness to help her move around outside so that the dog can keep her feet on the ground. This will be easier on her and much easier on your back. Target, Home Despot and other stores have cheap, non-slip floormats that provide secure footing.

My girl was never so incapacitated that I needed to dribble water into her mouth with an eye dropper or turkey baster, and she never completely lost her appetite. If she had gone a day without eating I think I would have called the vet for a consult.

If you google dog + vestibular you'll probably read about someone's pet that recovered completely in 72 hours and someone else's that was still unsteady on his feet a year later. Many dogs are left with a permanent head tilt. My holistic vet said that three to four weeks is the average recovery time, based on the cases she's seen in her practice.

Another thoughtful YouTuber has posted several videos of her miniature schnauzer's experience with vestibular disease. Here's the first one:



Here is the VeterinaryPartner article on vestibular disease.

And here's my girl. Suffolks feared her:





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186 comments:

Christopher said...

I hope that it's just vestibular disease and she's back on her feet in no time.

My Bonnie had a bout of the exact same symptoms. Vet said vestibular, I didn't want to pay for or put Bonnie through an MRI, since it wouldn't change how I responded to either vestibular or any other possible cause. She was 14 and not a candidate for surgery or harsh drug treatments.

We gave her Dramamine and it worked, and we were told like you that once was usually enough and they won't get it again. A few months later, bam, happened again.

Well, it wasn't too much longer before the repeat occurrences of head tilting disorientation and eye spasms, plus Cushing's disease led to the conclusion that the Cushing's was the more likely pituitary tumor.

The disorientation became seizures, and after you hold your beloved dog through a few of those, you know it's time.

I was told that the seizures are not painful, but she was certainly sore afterwards, and they're terrifying to experience.

FrogDog said...

This sounds precisely like what I meant through with Tessa last year, only in our case the vets referred to it as 'idiopathic neuropathy'. Same symptoms, same recovery curve, same mystery cause.

Tessa's balance has never recovered completely, but she's still doing pretty well.

We treated her with acupuncture, some chiropractic, pulse therapy for her bad tooth and a general extra amount of care to make sure she wouldn't fall.

I hope your girl is better soon. Watching our pets age is heart breaking.

Caveat said...

She's beautiful.

Bill Fosher said...

A wise friend told me when Molly was going through an episode of vestibular syndrome to watch her closely. I assumed at first, she meant to make sure nothing else was going on, but then she explained:

"These old dogs will teach you to accept disability with grace."

Cardimom said...

I just wanted to point out another, but unlikely possibility. Have you given any anti-diarrhea meds recently? This happened twice with my old Dobe, and the second time I linked it to and AD med given approx. 48 hours previously. The first time I panicked and went right into the vet; the second time was in the middle of the night, and since she had recovered within a couple of hours the first time, I just monitored her and then called the vet when they opened. Sure enough, when she looked it up, neurological problems can be a side effect of some AD meds. Just thought I would throw that out there, in case it fits your situation.

briareus said...

Hi,

My little Pooh has been the best dog, a wonder dog, and for thirteen and a half years she's been at my side.

Two nights ago, at about midnight a few hours after one of our nicest walks in months, she got up and gave me an urgent look, froze still for a few moments, then walked outside and looked drunk, staggered around and threw up a little bit, then laid in the grass. She wouldn't get up on her own. Fearing the worst, I let her sit there a bit in the cool air, wondering what to do. Before morning, she'd had two more drunken spells, followed by a lot of throwing up, and losing her balance and falling right into the vomit. I was beside myself.

She shows no signs of the eye movement or head tilt, but she seems drunk on her feet--but only at night. Still, she lays on the dog bed all the last two days.

The vet that first morning checked out her heart and eyes and balance and they did bloodwork, all normal but for some elevated white count like she's fighting something, but no other overt symptoms and all other work comes out normal. As of right now, we are waiting on results for Valley Fever, but she's passed all the other tests they've given her and I have no answers.

The encouraging thing is that on that first traumatic day after (wow, yesterday, seems like ages ago) she would only eat from my hand and didn't like the water bowl. By last night, and especially today, she hasn't showed the drunkenness and has eaten and drank and gone for short strolls to pee in the grass. But she still is really only interested in her bed, and her breathing seems labored.

I'm worried, but hopeful that vestibular is what it might be, given that she shows most of the symptoms I've read about--except the eyes and head tilt--that other dogs do. I've also read of others who don't have that symptom too.

I feel for you who have witnessed the sudden onset, because in a few short minutes I saw the best thirteen years of my life flash and I want her to be better and content. I think you know what I mean when I say I hope it is vestibular, because if it isn't, my best friend in the world has some real problems and I don't want to say goodbye to her yet.

I hope your dogs are all doing better, and I hope someone sends some good thoughts Pooh's way.

Luisa said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your dog's illness, and I'm sending lots of good thoughts Pooh's way. I hope it's just a mild bug of some sort and she recovers quickly.

My old girl is doing very well. I'm convinced acupuncture was [and is] a big help.

Best wishes to Pooh -- give her a pat for me.

Anonymous said...

Hi.These comments have helped me relax a bit. I have a 9yr old golden.. My baby..and 5 days ago started with all the signs of vesibular.. I rushed her frantically to the vet and after normal blood work and no signs of ear infection, chalked it up to this disease. I have noticed her frantic eye movements have improved, but she still seems "drunk". I cant stand the waiting to see if she gets better.. It's pitiful to see her like this. She is eating on her own now (thank God) but, I just want her to get better quick.There is no quick fix (if this indeed is what she has) so lots of prayers is what has been keeping us going. Good luck to you all who had to experience this terribl happening to your loving pets..

Jules said...

Howdy...First let me say how happy I am to have discovered your wonderful blog. :) I am also really grateful for the post and subsequent comments on vestibular disease in dogs---something I hadn't heard of and, unbelievably, something that no vet has mentioned to me even though my dog (beloved 12 1/2 y.o. Aussie named Jackson) had all the symptoms. He has recovered completely from the balance problems, etc., but seems to have a 95% hearing loss. Knowing about vestibular will really help me in a couple of upcoming medical appts. I have for my pup. Thanks to one and all!

Juliette

Susi said...

Awesome blog and an important source for spreading the word about Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. Too many people I know have come close to putting their beloved dog down thinking it was having a stroke. I'd like to share some "Factioids" about Vestibular Disease that I came across while doing research after my own dog was afflicted.

IVD is non-fatal, non-progressive and so common among older cats and dogs that it's often referred to as Senile or Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome. This is somewhat erroneous since there are cases of younger canines getting the syndrome. It's not genetic, it's not gender related, nor is it limited to particular breeds of cat or dog or even pure bred animals. It occurs most frequently between the months of June and October, though there is no pattern and some veterinarians have noticed a association with outbreaks of respiratory infections.

It mimics a stroke but there are three symptoms that are classic markers for IVD: Disorientation called "ataxia", jerking eye movement called "Nystagmus," and the head tilt. For some animals, the head tilt can persist for months. For a rare few, it's life long. A loss of appetite is also common, and unfortunately in my dog's case, became a problem in and of itself.

There is a school of thought is that IVD is a micro-sized clot which effects the portion of the brain dealing with balance. Recently, some specialists have begun using Magnetic Resonance Imaging in their research. Other than protecting the pet from injuring themselves, there is no treatment and most symptoms disappear after 72 hours with full recovery within one to three weeks.

If you consider what an animal feels during the course of this illness, the behavior of a dog with IVD makes sense. If a person has had too much to drink and tries to lie down, the room spins, he feels nauseated and gets sick. He'll even stick a foot on the floor to make the room stop spinning so he can feel oriented. But the brain of an afflicted animal seek balance by trying to visually "spot" an object in the room and that's why they jerk their eyes back and forth.

It's an alarming thing to witness, but given how common it's said to be, it seems to me that every dog owner should be aware of it as their dogs age.

Susi
www.KnobNots.com

Luisa said...

Thanks, Susi! [My dear old girl made a full recovery -- she'll be 14 on Monday :~)))]

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to have found your blog and the information and comments within. My 15-year old minature schnauzer,Jake, was fine when I left for work but the minute I saw him after returning home I knew something was terribly wrong. "Stroke" was the first thought in my mind when I watched stagger and fall down. Heartbreaking is EXACTLY how it feels to watch your beloved pet unable to stand. He stayed at the animal hospital for 2 days on IV fluids and antibiotics. Fortunately when I picked him up he was much improved. We are now 5 days out and I am seeing some progress each day. He will drink water but still refuses most food. I am giving him Dramamine and he will take antibiotics for the next two weeks. Jake has had a history of ear infections so I am hopeful this is just a middle ear infection and not a brain tumor. I hope your dog has had a good recovery!

Dianeqlb said...

Hi: I have a now 13 year old female cocker spaniel who was diagnosed with Cushings 2 years ago. A year later, she had a "vestibular event" in the middle of the night and I rushed to the ER vet. They said it was a "vestibular event." It is terrible to watch and frightening for both of us as I have read many of you have experienced that same terror. My little girl had another event a couple of months later and just had another one last night. The hot weather seems to trigger it or maybe it's an allergy. I was wondering if it is somehow linked to the Cushings. I don't know. She seems okay today, but just reading about others is great support. I'm glad I found this site. Thanks to all.

Luisa said...

It's tough on the heart to see our dogs age and fall ill. Give your girl a pat for me -- I hope she'll be free of vestibular trouble in the future.

Joyce in the mts. said...

I have a 14 year old shepherd/husky mix- fairly blind and somewhat deaf, who had run away on Friday night, was gone all night and was found mid-morning on Saturday, 2 miles away holed up on the edge of a sandpit near some houses. She's had the symptoms of vestibular syndrome which manifested on Monday or so and is finally beginning to improve a bit in the last 24 hours.

She is still not able to get up, but we are hoping that she'll be able to sometimes this weekend. She's just begun eating small amounts again and still has the head tilt. I have been massaging the back of her neck from head to shoulders which stimulates some acupressure points which help.

It's been very scary for us as this came on so suddenly and just after finally getting her back home. She was very lame after all that running but then was recovering from that, jumping up onto and down off of my bed as usual but got hit hard with the vestibular syndrome symptoms.

I started charting everything she had going on and finally found an article that described it all to a "t". She doesn't have severe eye-tracking, but it has been happening from time to time. After the massages I give her, she's more able to hold her head straight.

Thanks everyone for sharing your insights. I love my Sassafras and I hope/pray that she makes as close to full recovery as possible so she can be her loving self again. She made real improvements yesterday for sure. She's drunk and eaten more yesterday than in the two previous days and this morning has already half as much water as all day yesterday. I am cautiously encouraged by her progress.

Keep a good for Sass and know that I am keeping a good thought for all the animals and their caregiving humans who are dealing with this scary experience.

Thanks again... Joyce

Barbara said...

Hi everyone!

Much gratitude for all of your input. My 14-year old Goldie came down with vestibular 3 days ago and still can only stand with great difficulty when assisted and definitely can't walk. Has anyone else seen this much delay in progress? What homeopathic remedies help?

Barbara

Luisa said...

I'm convinced that acupuncture really helped my 14-year-old border collie. My old girl chases the other dogs around the back yard now as if she'd never had vestibular.

My girl was just helpless for the first few days -- it was awful. I carried her everywhere.

My vet told me he'd like to see signs of improvement by 7 days, but from what I have read [and I am NOT a vet!], it takes weeks and sometimes much longer for the head-tilt, unsteadiness etc. to diminish completely, and sometimes they never completely diminish. The first days were certainly the worst for us. I'll hold good thoughts for Goldie!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who have contributed to this blog. We just experienced the scare today with our shep/sheltie cross, and are reading up on the condition now. Shultz was his usual excited self at 8:30am. He was jumping all over me, went out to do his business, ate his cookie with all the enthusiasm of a pup. When I got in at 3:00pm, my first floor was covered in vomit. I suspected that it was my cat with IBS but shortly after cleaning everything up, I saw him starting another bout of vomiting. The eye twitching started seconds later, as did the drunken stagger and frightened look. He is quite old and has kidney disease, so we feared a stroke or possibly kidney failure, although he just had bloodwork a week ago and his kidney values had improved. We rushed him to the vet and were relieved to hear that he has classic vestibular syndrome and is expected to have a full recovery. He is on anti-nausea meds once daily and should only eat small portions of food at a time, although he's not interested in food whatsoever just yet. I've noticed that he does much better in constant, steady light. I tried taking him out for a potty break but the darkness made him even less steady and when cars went by, the headlights made him walk in circles and get visibly nervous. He is also partially deaf and has cataracts, which probably add to the disorientation associated with vestibular syndrome. The vet has assured me that there is no actual pain associated with this condition and that it usually resolves in 1-7 days with no residual effects. He did say though that it is not uncommon for reoccurrences, but at least we won't freak out if we see it happen again.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
My 14 year old kelpie-cross had a vestibular attack today. It's very scary - we've taken her to the vet and right now she's resting. Poor girl!
Thanks for the blog - it's reasurring to read about other cases and know that a full recovery is possible.
:)

Anonymous said...

This blog has been a source of great support. Thank you. My 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel was fine when I left for work on Monday, but when I arrived home in the evening, he was lying on his vomit-covered bed. There was vomit all over the living room floor. He was weak,disoriented and stumbled like he was drunk. I took him to his vet the next morning, thinking that he had had a stroke. His check-up was normal except for an elevated white blood count. After his doctor pointed out the nystagmus, I Googled nystagmus+canine and this blog was one of the sites. It was reassuring to read everyone else's experiences with this mysterious illness. Today is Thursday and Lucky finally ate a bit of food. I'm still feeding him water with an eye dropper, but he no longer has the head tilt or the nystagmus and he is more steady on his feet.

Anonymous said...

Hiya,
I am so glad I have found these blogs. My 13 year old Kelpie cross came down with vestibular disease on Monday, she got worse for a couple of days, but has thankfully started to get better. The only big problem is that she still has a major head tilt, and as she is almost blind, she is having big problems in walking. I am so worried that this head tilt won't go and she will have no quality of life....

Anonymous said...

We finally got Lucky's labwork results which were all normal except for low thyroid function. Apparently hypothyroidism can cause vestibular disease in dogs. Lucky has been on thyroid medication for a couple of years but the last time he was tested was over a year ago.

Lucky started eating and drinking out of his bowls yesterday, so that was a quick recovery. Thanks to all for telling your stories. It was a big help!

Anonymous said...

Our beagle(Vixie) of 14 yrs was diagnosed with vestibular Saturday, at an emrgency vet. I had never heard of this. After reading about it and researching on the internet I do feel a little better. I have to say on Sat. my 3 children and I all went to the emergency vet because we thought we were going to have to say goodbye to our dear girl. This vet completely played on our fears and said she needed all kinds of tests to rule out other things...x-rays, blood work...keeping her in the hospital, MRI, etc, etc. Now please don't get me wrong, we love this dog dearly and do not want to say goodbye, but I was not about to put her through all of that and pay for it, since she is 14 anyway, how much longer could I prolong her life anyway if it was something else. This vet did however talk us into an over night stay. We came home and I was on the internet in minutes! When I found out, she had all symptom of vestibular, there is no cure, and she could be treated with tender loving care at home, I went right back to the vet hospital and demanded they release her to me without any more payment. It is 2 days later and she is still not walking, but will drink some water, no food. I have given her dramimine which seems to help some. Now I guess we will just have to love her and wait and see. I will call our regular vet as soon as they open. It is very scary to watch, from what I have read about this disease you should see if they have any improvement before putting your dog through a lot of stressful and expensive testing, especially at age 14. We are by her side, and praying for the best. I have read that it is a common disease in "old" dogs and most recover, I guess it all depends on the dog and if there is anything else going on. If she does not show any improvemant after some time and after consulting with our vet we will make the decision on what to do. We will not do extensive testing, I can not afford it and I know she won't live forever but please pray for her, as we are not ready to say good bye yet.

Luisa said...

Best wishes to those who have written, and all best thoughts for your dogs. My 14+ year old border collie still runs around the yard with her "siblings" and is doing well. As Vixie's person says, it all depends on the dog, and every dog is unique.

Good mojo from SoCal to Shultz, Lucky, Vixie and all the dogs [and their concerned humans] dealing with vestibular. Your stories do help -- and be sure to see your vet! As in Lucky's case, there may be an underlying condition contributing to vestibular.

Anonymous said...

My almost 14 year old Keeshond / Sheltie mix woke us up at 5:00a.m. this morning. We heard something fall and went to investigate. In the next room we found our beloved dog with spittle and vomit on her and the rug and she had also gone to the bathroom on the rug, which she never does. She was trying to stand up, but couldn't. Her eyes were moving fast back and forth. The whole thing was totally bizarre and we thought she was dieing. We called the emergency vet hospital and were told by the person that answered the phone that she was 99% sure that our dog had geriatric vestibular disease. We looked it up on the internet and our dog had exactly all the symptoms. She is now sleeping, but hasn't moved, eaten or drank anything at all. The daylight does seem to have calmed her down. I have decided to call the vet tomorrow when they open to see if there's any medication I can give her to help. At this point, I don't feel comfortable putting her in the car for a trip to the vet and I think she is definitely better off with me at home than staying in a vet hospital. She get freaked out just going for a regular appt. at the vet. After reading these posts, if she doesn't improve in a few days I'll be taking her in. These posts have been very helpful Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I just experienced what seems to be a vestibular attack with my 14 year old beagle, Belle. She has the drunk look to her, the nystagmus, and the head tilt. She was fine at 7:30pm and by 7:50pm she had the symptoms. I will watch her over night and pray for the best. She is such an awesome dog with very human characteristics and we love her sooo very much. This blog helped me see that she should make a full recovery if this is what she has. The you tube video looks exactly like her symptoms. She is still drinking water on her own, dinner time had already passed when she developed the symptoms, so I will see if she eats tomorrow. How awful to see this!!! I was in a panic when I saw the ataxia because, as a nurse, that is a very BAD sign, my poor 14 year old daughter had to calm me down. She is the one who assessed that Belle did not seem to be in pain, only that she seemed dizzy and that her eyes weren't focusing. How sad that my 14 year old had to tell me not to cry!! Pray for my beagle, and thanks to this blog for helping. I will pray for all your dogs also.

Anonymous said...

Hello,
My precious Ms. Piggy was just diagnosed with vestibular disease. She is a 14 year old beagle and Austrian Shepard mix. I had her to the vet this morning and she gave her a shot and sent me home with Amoxicillin and Prednisone. I found your web site and hoped maybe you could let me know if these were good drugs to give her. I saw that some people gave dramemine. I'm going to call my vet in the morning and see what she says about that to help with the dizziness and also check on the results of the blood test. Also I noticed that you had good luck with acupuncture. There are no vets in my area that do acupuncture. But we have a Photonic light that we use on the horses that simulates acupuncture. Do you know what points they did that helped with the vestibular? Thank you in advance for any help you can give me and for having this web site.

Luisa said...

My dog wasn't given Amoxicillin or Prednisone, and I didn't give her dramamine, though some people claim it helps. I am NOT a vet, so I can't be of any help as far as these medications are concerned. At the emergency clinic they did give her an anti-inflammatory.

I think the acupuncture did speed up her recovery by a day or two or three, but I don't know anything about the process, unfortunately. I'm very sorry I can't be of more help -- I'll continue to hold good thoughts for Ms. Piggy, for Belle, and for all the dogs [and concerned owners] dealing with vestibular.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the quick response about my Ms Piggy. I did call the vet tonight and she recommended not giving her any Dramamine unless she was throwing up. Thanks so much for being there it sure helps to talk to someone about this. It's pretty scary to see your loved companion struggling.

Anonymous said...

We've had 2 incidents so far with 11 year oldr St Bernard so far. The frist aws 2 months ago and the 2nd was last night. I had the same fears as everyone else thinking it was a stroke and that we would have to put him down. He was flailing on the ground with a pronounced head tilt, eyes darting, copius amounts of drool (about 10x than the normal for our slobbery guy). He could not stand up at all. The emergency vet gave him Mezclizine which is the generic name for non-drowzy dramamine. It helped greatly, he was up on his feet and I was able to take him home by the end of the day. We gave him the mezclizine for about a week. He was unsteady on his feet for several days and fell down a couple of times after shaking his head, but recovered surprisingly fast. Within one week he was running and happy and playing again. He was not off his food for very long at all, in fact ate a full meal the day following the incident. He recovered with no lingering sypmtoms.
Last night he had another "attack" which I believe we either caught quickly or just was not as severe as the first. He could not stand up, had rapid breathing, head shaking, eyes darting. We immediately gave him some of the leftover mezclizine and waited, comforting and calming him while waiting for it take effect. Within an hour we had him on his feet, though undteadily. Within 2 hours he was moving on his own somewhat drunkenly. About 3 hours later he was dozing quietly. This morning - approxiamately 12 hrs after the onset he is about 80% normal - happy, moving easily but not running yet and barking at us for food.
Thank you for posting this and for everyone commenting, it is good to have aplace to go for information and comfort and to know we are not alone!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that I have only just now found this forum. I read with some distress the account of Mrs. Piggy who was given amoxycillin and prednisone by her vet. My dog, Rufus, had an attack of vestibular in February and was given the same medication. Let me start by saying that immediately before this happened, I had a YOUNG dog. Within a month afterward, I had an OLD dog, who is still struggling today. It has been heartbreaking. All of my internet research has led me to the conclusion that prednisone and antibiotics, not vestibular, have been the cause of everything that has occurred since the vestibular cleared up. It has been a case of one thing leading to another, and all of them bad.

I have read a couple of articles by DVMs who state that prednisone rarely helps vestibular; they claimed that the best treatment was something to prevent the vomiting, and time. One went on further to say that, if steroids were given in an attempt to reduce inflammation which can cause vestibular, it should be something other than a corticosteroid. He named a different type of steroid, but I can't remember the name of it, and now I can't find the article again.

However, we trusted our vet back in February, and administered the prednisone. Rufus had the usual symptoms of excessive thirst and incontinence. We were assured that this would clear up once the prednisone treatments was over, and it did. But within a couple of weeks we noticed that Rufus was suffering from hearing loss, and a couple of weeks after that, we could see that cataracts were beginning to develop. Since he is 11 or 12 years old (not sure since he came from a shelter) we figured it was old age, as distressing as it was. But about a month later we noticed that his eyeballs were red all the time - not bloodshot but a dark pink color instead of the usual white. So back to the vet we went, and she immediately concluded that he had conjunctivitis and prescribed another antibiotic. She said if it hadn't cleared up in a week to bring him back.

A week later, the eyeballs were still red, so back we went. The first vet was on vacation, so we saw another vet in her place. This one took a little more interest in the cataracts, and also checked the interocular pressure to be sure it wasn't glaucoma. All the readings were well within the normal range. He concluded that the cataracts were causing irritation to the eyes, which sounded more reasonable to me. He prescribed some prednisone eye drops, which I accepted with some trepidation, having read some bad things about prednisone by this point. However he assured me that the eye drops would not have the same effect on the system as the oral tablets. So I decided to give it a try. But It seemed to me that whenever I administered the eye drops, the eyes actually became more red. So I stopped using them.

By this point I was fairly well disgusted with the vet. Having now done a fair amount of research on Rufus' symptoms, I felt that the prednisone had probably caused the cataracts, and that the amoxycillin given in February might have caused the hearing loss. In other words, the treatment for vestibular, and not the vestibular itself, had turned my young dog into an old dog.

I am not ready to lose my dog. But I am also afraid to trust him to the vet again. He is now completely blind in one eye and can barely hear, not to mention the weight loss. I guess the moral of the story is this, don't do anything "just in case" or "to see if it will help." Try one thing at a time, and if that doesn't work, then move on to the next thing. I am no vet but that would be my advice to anyone reading this post who is currently dealing with vestibular. Sorry so long but if I can help one dog it is worth it!!

Anonymous said...

In re-reading my post about Rufus, I see that I left out a very important point. I DO NOT WANT TO DISCOURAGE ANYONE FROM TAKING THEIR DOG TO THE VET if they see signs of vestibular. It is important that the cause of the vestibular be determined, because some are quite serious and certainly require treatment to prevent further problems. Rufus was diagnosed with IDIOPATHIC peripheral vestibular disease, idiopathic meaning no known cause. This is the type of vestibular where I am suggesting owners excercise caution in treatment.

The main reason for my post was to caution against the use of prednisone in particular, as I feel it has ruined my dog. I am sure there is a time and place for prednisone, but idiopathic peripheral vestibular disease does not seem to be one of them. I FOUND THE ARTICLE I mentioned about the use of steroids, and here is what it says:

"There is no treatment which will hasten the recovery from idiopathic vestibular disease. Corticosteroids probably do not offer an effective treatment. On the other hand, since idiopathic vestibular disease may represent an immune disease, anti-oxidant steroids (such as Solu Medral) may decrease severe symptoms. During the early phases, anti-vertigo drugs might make the patient more comfortable."

So, to all of you whose vets recommended anti-vertigo medication and loving care, I say HOORAY for your vet, and wish mine had been one of them.

Here is the URL of the full article, which is quite detailed and informative:
neuro.vetmed.ufl.edu/neuro/vestibular/vestib.htm

Barbara said...

Hi everyone. This posting is to let everyone know that the 14-year old Golden Retriever mentioned on July 28 made a full recovery from vestibular illness with only homeopathic remedies and acupuncture. We are thrilled to be walking around the block, however slowly that may be.

Barbara

Robin said...

Hi Everyone,
My 14 year old springer spaniel just became afflicted with Vestibular syndrome. OMG I feel so bad for her. She cries and cries when she is awake. I sit with her and she feels comforted. It was just 24 hrs today since the onset. I hope she starts to recover soon. I read that the symptoms typically peak with 24 hrs or so. What makes matters worse for her is that her sight is very limited to begin with which must make this even harder on her. I wish there was something to give her that would help her...The vet does have me giving her Rymadly 2x a day. Not sure it is doing anything........It helps me to read others experiences. This is frightening for both the animal and the person......

girl6 said...

I'm so glad I found you guys! My 12yr old Corgi mix, Banana has what I really think is CVD. He exhibits all of the symptoms except for the head tilt and the nystagmus. He paces in a large circle in the yard, has that "spacey" stare and stumbles. He's eating, drinking and pooping fine.

The symptoms seemed to come on quickly but I did notice trouble navigating the stairs going back several weeks. That made me think his CVD is the result of an inner ear thing. His ears didn't smell but oh boy, was his breath bad for a while. He'd be drinking water then jump like he'd been stung by a bee. Swallowing probably hurt, poor guy. We tried him on clavamox and his breath cleared up for a couple of weeks then came back strong. Blood work showed really good values for an old man except an elevated white count marker for inflammation or allergic reaction.

We switched to clindamycin and his CVD symptoms hit with a vengeance. I read that some antibotics that end in --mycin have been correlated to CVD. I know cause and correlation aren't always relative but we stopped the clindamycin 10 days ago and he seems to have improved. Yesterday he was chasing his tail without falling over but today he's really stumbling around--but still better than last week. A long nap after dinner helps and leaving the light on does really help!

My question is, how long should I wait before I get really nervous? Most of my research says 3 days-3 weeks with steady improvement. His improvement seems slow with starts and stops sometimes by the hour.

In three vet visits, no one looked into his ears, even though I asked. The last diagnosis I got from his vet was either doggy Alzheimer's or a brain tumor. Banana was diagnosed with canine melanoma but it was caught very early and he is being treated with the melanoma vaccine. There is no sign of the cancer in his body at all. His vets never even brought up CVD.

I have a call in to his vet. I'll let you know what she says.

girl6 said...

I talked to Banana's vet today. She's not willing to commit to vestibular b/c Banana didn't have the head tilt or nystagmus. If he's not significantly better in two weeks, we'll do a head x-ray to check for inner ear infection and if there is none, we'll start him on the doggy Alzheimer's meds. I'm convinced it's vestibular b/c of the sudden onset.

I had a scare when I came home this evening and found pee in the house. My other dog, Odie slunk away like a convicted criminal so I think it was him, the little stinkbutt.

I would love to hear from anyone who has any ideas.

Luisa said...

Those of us with senior dogs seem to have a lot more health issues to deal with these days: types of canine dementia, for example.

I hope your boy will show improvement soon [and I wish I knew more about canine geriatric medicine]. Dogwise has some books on senior care and many others on health and diet that might provide some additional ideas. Give Banana a pat for me, and I'll hold good thoughts for his quick recovery.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone,
My sweet Katie-Bug is still up in the air. The vet is still unable to determine if it's a brain tumor or vestibular. The steroids have got her no longer stumbling, but it has been 9 days since she has taken in any food. She is now dying of starvation. I am force feeding broth with a syringe, but she has lost over 5 pounds in the last week. The vets are baffled. She won't get on her feet anymore, but I attribute that to the fact that she hasn't eaten. She is only 9 years old, and it breaks my heart to see her this way. We are expanding the meds, but it's not looking good at this point. She now spasms every time she takes a breath and the vets have no idea why. I can't find anything online, so if anyone has any ideas... please let me know...
thanks!

girl6 said...

Update on Banana: He took a turn for the worse Sunday Nov 20, not eating at all and circling, circling, circling. By Monday night he could not stand at all and would not stop crying and moaning. He was doing that trembling thing every time he took a breath.

I took him the the ER vet who was pretty sure it was vestibular but wouldn't commit b/c Banana was a little sluggish in only one of his neuro tests. I took him to the neurologist and got the whole song and dance about brain lesions and stroke and they wanted to perform and MRI, ab ultrasound and chest x-rays. THey really pushed it. I said no. They kept him overnight on IV fluids, Manitol and prednisone.

When I went to vist Banana at 7p that evening, there was no change. I was in tears. I was giving serious thought to ending his misery. The neurologist called me te next morning and reluctantly gave me the good news. Banana was markedly improved and could go home later that day. Sorry, no MRI!

When I picked him up, he walked in a wide circle, knew who I was and even walked several feet in a straight line to me. He ate about 2oz of chicken (I chewed some cooked ckicken breast for him. Sounds gross but he has loved that since he was a puppy) and 1oz of baby food from a spoon. He asks to go out to pee. He's not drinking water on his own but I'm hopeful.

It's like a miracle. He was so sick the night before, urinating on himself, unable to even turn over on his own and making crying sounds I never heard coming from a dog before.

He's on a prednisone step down for the next three weeks. If his clinical signs increase as the steriod decreases, we'll up his dose.

I pray that this not a temporary steriod high. I really feel, however that Banana will recover.

Luisa said...

Poor Banana, and what a frightening experience for you as well. I'll hold good thoughts for your pup -- I have a soft spot for corgi-types. Give him a big pat for me!

oleg said...

It happened to my 10 year old Weimaraner today - it was her second event of IVD. The first one was 10 months ago - last time she recovered within 18 hours completely, this time it looks worse - almost 24 hours after she is unable to get up. She's tried to do it, but unsuccessful. She is 70lbs so I don't how we will manage with taking her out during the night, although she just started eating and drinking and was trying to crowl to the kitchen with her head tilted to the right

Anonymous said...

Nov. 26th, 2008

My 15 year old Australian Shepherd just came down with the IVD symptoms this afternoon. My wife and I thought he must be having a stroke and immediately gave him some aspirin hoping it would thin out any blood clots. Without warning he was staggering and falling, refusing food and water, and displayed rapid eye movements. Thankfully he hasn't gotten sick or lost control of his bodily functions. We were sadly discussing having to put him down when I googled "dog strokes" and found out about IVD on this great web site. We'll see how Dakota does over the next few days. He ate some small bites of food but refuses to drink any water and just wants to sleep. After reading everyone's stories we are now hopeful that our faithful companion will pull through this just fine and get back to his energtic self. He lost most of his hearing a year ago but otherwise has had a very healthy life.

Anonymous said...

My 13 yr old Aussie started to walk around the house and lose her rear footing on the hard wood floors. This was a first. She started losing her balance and falling down, struggling to keep control and further struggling to stand back up. I moved her out to the yard where the grass helped her footing, but she walked in circles. She started bumping into walls, circling bushes, with no control of direction. I directed her by holding her below her stomach. Once she got into her bed with help she would get out and desperately try to stand which became increasingly more difficult. The next day, she could walk somewhat but needed guidance. Her eating and drinking was still good. As the day progressed, her motor skills became worse. On the third day she was completely unable to stand. I carried her outside, guided her on the grass but when I let go, poor girl just fell over sideways. She has been sleeping or dazing in her chair under our observations for the last day or so. We are very anxious to see her improve. She does not eat and for the last two days, we give her water from a turkey baster. Callie did not have the eye fluctuations or nausea (knock on wood).

Thank all of you who have posted to this blog. It has helped make this experience less frightening. The hope that she recovers soon is comforted by the knowledge we took from this blog.

Anonymous said...

Update on Dakota's conditon (see Nov. 26th, 2008)
After almost 3 days of not eating or drinking on his own, Dakota is beginning to show signs of improvement. The first sign was that he was trying to stand up to go outside to relieve himself. He would often fall along the way but he kept trying and finally made it out to a bush. The next sign was that his eyes were not as wobbly and he began to focus more. His heads now tilts and his eyes looked glazed but he is getting better. We are thankful we did not rush to put him down. Our research shows that humans can suffer a similar disorder and that there are manual head exercises that have proven to be effective on helping humans overcome disorders like this. We are going to gently try some of these exercises on Dakota to see if it helps him. Apparently your inner ears have some calcium carbonate rocks that can end up as deposits in your ear tubes causing dizziness and vertigo. Head tilting exercises are used to try to dislodge and move these deposits in the ear tubes so that they don't cause balance problems.

elena paulina said...

Hi there to all of the other owners who have a pet with IVD. THIS is the only site that actually made me feel not alone, and made me know that I was doing the right things for my little girl Hanna. I found her as a severely starved little stray in Feb and nursed her back to health. She had her first IVD Oct 2008. As others, I rushed her to the vet, thinking it was a stroke. Within 10 days, she was about 95% back to her normal quirky self.
She is in the midst of another attack right now. I knew it the moment I saw her in the morning. I don't want to keep running up vet bills for them to tell me the same thing, so I am monitoring her closely and will see what happens each few hours.
I just want to say thank you to the people on here who wrote and gave me 'reinforcement', because if it's scarey for us, imagine how our babies feel! And also, for anyone new out there, PLEASE know that there is hope, and that your pet can make a full recovery. Pets with IVD are simply strong & amazing little animals. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,
Thank you all for your posts, it has helped greatly.
My 14yr old cattle dog mix started 4 months ago. We are as of now unsure of what it is but it seems like CVS.
4 months ago i came home to find the head tilt to the left. Vet says dono why. Head tilt remaind.
1 1/2 months ago she had her stroke episode which now we realize wasent a stroke. Vet gave steriod and prezone. Head tilt went away.
As she came off prenezone she began to have the eye movements and head twitching. Vet said mabe siezures .... more prenezone.
This past weekend she had her 3erd episode. vomiting, unbalance, wouldent eat, ect. Treated with meclzone. Lasted 3 days.
She is good now recovering again.
We are now taking her off prenezone and just doning the recommened treatment of meclizone.
We were so scared it was a tumor or another type of leison. But from what i understand those are progressive and CVS the dog recovers after a few days.
It just sickins me to think how many people put there dogs to sleep thinking it was a tumor and because the dog stopped eating they thought it was over.
Bless all of you who are and have stuck by your companions.
There is a group of people pushing a college to start resarch on this syndrome because we know nothing about it. I will post the likns later if i get a responce form them.
She has had 3 episodes in 4 months recovering form each with minor symptoms remaing inbetween.
I hope its CVS and not something worse. I believe it is, I am not getting her an mri because of stress and we will not do surgery or radiation so even with an mri there is nothing we will do with that information.
Stick with it peoples you are not alone. Lets make our friends comfortable.
One other thing you can always do if you believe in it is get an animal communicatior to tell the dog what is happing to them so they are not so scared.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all who have written. Our miniature schnauzer, 13 1/2, came down with this illness on December 5th. We were away until the next day, but she was with cousins who immediately took her to the vet. We were all shocked and frightened by the symptoms, but relieved to learn that she wasn't on death's door. I was expecting a quick recovery from reading on the net, but our vet (holistic) said it might take a month. It was encouraging for me to read your posts and know that longer recovery is not unusual. It has been very painful to watch our girl struggling, but she is making obvious progress. We are reminded that when we brought her as a puppy into our lives, that we committed to 'for better, for worse'. There has been such a wonderful wealth of 'better', that we remain devoted to her for as long as she is with us. Thanks again.,

Anonymous said...

Update on 15 yr old Dakota 1/4/09: He is now back to his full, healthy "Aussie" self with no head tilt, no dizziness, no lack of appetite and full of activity. He even does his happy boy circle dances and occasional sprints. I am very thankful to this website and am very grateful to all those who have written in with useful information.

Anonymous said...

My Jack Russell Terrier (age 8 1/2) has been diagnosed with VDS last sat., she still has trouble on uneven ground, but does pretty good on solid flooring. She gets dizzy with the eye movements if she tries to move/jump around too much or too fast. It is so heart wrenching to watch, but these messages have definitely helped. She never had the nausea and in fact has had a good appetite. What do you think about continuing her walks?

Luisa said...

It's great that she has a good appetite! I am NOT a vet, but if she were mine I'd give her more time to rest and recover. Definitely ask your vets when it would be OK to go back to your old routine.

I'm glad Dakota is doing so well! Thanks for the update, and thanks again to all who have shared stories — best wishes and a Happy New Year to you and all your dogs.

Anonymous said...

Update on Sidney, (January 7, 8 1/2 year old Jack Russell Terrier). She continues to improve, and her energy level has definitely increased. She almost acts normal, except... she still gets the nystagma (horizontal eye movemets) when she gets to active, leading to dizziness and decreased balance. Its only been 8 days since her diagnosis, but she is a very high energy dog but increased activity seems to stimulate an incidence. My question is how long before the nystagma goes away? Again, thanks for this place to share and compare notes!

Anonymous said...

update on Ms Piggy from last September, 2008. Just wanted to post a little note about My precious Ms Piggy. She is doing GREAT! It took about 2 month but you would now never know she had vestibular. She was on prednisone for 12 days and amoxicillin for 10 days. I fed her chicken breast with white rice and had to hold her bowl up and fed her with a spoon because she seemed to be dizzy if her bowl was on the floor and I always left a light on. I also gave her 'body talk' treatments which helps balance the energy in the body and helps the body to heal itself. My vet couldn’t believe how good she is doing.
She is now back on her regular food and eating with her bowl on the floor. But I still give her some chicken breast, she really likes the chicken.
Thanks so much for this web site. It really helped us through a difficult time.

Luisa said...

I'm so glad to read the good news about Ms. Piggy! Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

I am also so grateful to have run across this blog. Our five year old mix breed dog, on Christmas Day had a sudden onset of what the vet called "geriatric vestibular disease". A little young for a geriatric disease I thought. He was fine earlier in the day then suddenly had the head tilt. No other symptoms. The next day I took him to our vet. Like most others who have posted here, she figured it was GVD or IVD (idiopathic vestibular disease, idiopathic meaning sudden onset). If it didn't resolve itself in 2 weeks or so, we might want to consider further testing for a lesion his brain, spinal cord or somewhere in his inner ear canal. The vet prescribed a five day round of steriods. She didn't think that would help but wanted to give it a try. Our dog continued to eat, drink and compensate pretty well for as topsy turvey as his world must be. Even though the steriods made him pee every half hour or so, it seemed to be helping. His head tilt seemed a little less than it had been. After the round of steriods, he seemed to digress a bit with the dizziness and a little more pronounced head tilt. At the two week mark, I called our vet to give her an update and she suggested we take our dog to an Vet Internist for further evaluation. She checked him out and did some neuro tests. She concluded he was normal except for the dizziness and the head tilt. She suggested we give him a few more weeks to let this try to resolve itself, then consider a CT scan or better yet a Cat Scan. In the mean time, I have located a vet in our city that does chiropractic/acupuncture treatments. She also specializes in holistic medicine. In researching this disease, I read where this may be caused by an inflammation of one of the cranial nerves that runs through the ear canal. I know when I have leg or back pain, I go to get a chiropractic adjustment which takes the pressure off the nerve. Makes sense to me to get to the root of the problem and not keep treating the symptoms with drugs if it can be helped. The appt with the holistic vet is two days away. In the mean time, our dog's head is tilted, but still compensating for the dizziness, a little wobbly but eating, drinking, and playing a little more than he has for a while.

I will give an update after his holistic treatment. Also, I had a thought... this vestibular disease seems way to common. I am wondering if this could be triggered by immunizations? Three weeks prior to this episode of vestibular disease, our dog had gotten his yearly shots and a bordetella shot (necessary if you kennel your dog at the doggie hotel). We hear all the time about the mercury in childhood immunizations causing autism, why couldn't the same be true in animal vaccinations causing problems? I also found that it is very common for cats to get vestibular disease as well. Just throwing this out there....cats and dogs get shots every year, could there be a connection with the shots and this weird disease? I hope there is more research done on this.

Diane said...

My 13 1/2 black lab "Jack" went for a long walk on Mon. and was fine he has always been very active. About 45mins. after his walk he was on the couch and looked at me with that stare and when he got off of the couch was having problems standing and his head was tilt and was going in circles it was like he was drunk very disorintated. It broke our hearts to see him like this. I cannot get him to eat anything, I do get alittle of water in him, and he has peep a couple of times in the house...he has never peep in the house before. He will go outside if we but his leash on him and take him out, it's just so scary to watch my otherwise very healthy dog act like this. He seems to just want to sleep all the time. This site has helped a GREAT deal with dealing with vestibular disease!
Thank you all for your posts.

Anonymous said...

you all are so lucky to ahve the common sense & a vet who was willing to help - i am so disgusted that i listened to my vet & she made me feel like i would be an absolute moron to even consider letting my 14 year old bull terrier dog continue on with canine vestibular disease. i felt i had to make a decision right then & now - keep him in that pitiful state or euthanize him - decide right now - what was wrong with me ???
why didnt vet say it is NOT life threatening - why didnt she say MoST recover with little after effects?? I had never heard of the aillment before. if i had read all this info here he would still be waiting out in the car for me right now. i cant believe i put down such a good boy cuz of a vet that wouldnt give me all the info i neded - she never even laid a hand on him to check him out & charged 57.oo to boot for the "exam". i am so disgusted about this but he is gone now & i cant believe i listened to her BUT she is the vet & how can i know about these things - i was never in med school - he was in such a pitiful shape i didnt know - i cant stop crying

Diane from NY said...

Update on Jack(13 1/2 yr. old Black Lab) he has improved immensely and getting better everyday! It was on Jan. 26 that he had his attack with vestibular and within about 72hrs. he was showing improvement and he was getting back to his normal self! He is eating much better and running around and barking like his old self, it's now going on 2wks. and he is almost back to normal! I CAN'T tell everyone enough how grateful I am for coming across this website, it has been a life saver in more ways than I can even believe!
Again...thank you all for your post! God Bless all of your animals!

Melissa said...

I got home from work today and let Mr. Lucky out of the kennel for some loving. He came right to me with a tilt in his step and fell right over. He has the darting of the eyes and the want to lean to one side. His breathing sounded harsh too. I am giving him as much comfort as I can, ,because I just can't afford the thousand dollar vet visit. Pray he makes it through this ok. I can't stop crying and fretting over it. I lost his girlfriend not too long ago due to lack of care from the previous owner who I think used them as puppy mill dogs. Please send all your well wishes to lucky, I'd be so lost without him.

kkr said...

My dog, a 13 year old Pomeranian, has been suffering with this since last Thursday (5 days). She hasn't been able to walk, stand or sit up since then but she is eating with the help of a syringe. The problem is she is blind and deaf. Not sure how long we should wait to see improvement? Anyone have experience with vestibular and a blind dog? Is there anything we can do to help rehabilitate her?

Anonymous said...

What a great find this web page was. My 11 year old Border Terrier collapsed last Monday morning. He was panting quite badly and could not stand up i really thought the end was here. I rushed him to the vets who diagnosed this terrible illness. He stayed at the vets from Monday until Friday when i brought him home. The vet had pumped him with steroids and antibiotics. By Wednesday there was no improvement he had done blood tests and xrays but all was clear he suggested an mri scan and phoned to make an appointment so we could eliminate any other illness. He phoned me back to say it would cost £1200 I could not afford this amount of money and at the end of the day it would not cure him only tell us he has something wrong with his brain, and put him through more stress I really thought that he would have to be put to sleep and spent the whole of Wednesday night crying. The vet said he would have expected a slight improvement in three days but he was still falling over.
The following day the vet phoned me to say he thought there was an improvement and the day after he appeared a little brighter, he asked me to go to the surgery to see for myself. I have to say although he still looked a little spaced out he was not as bad as he had been. He suggested i bring him home for the weekend as he will be better in his own surroundings. He gave me a cage to put him in as that is the only place he would lie down and go to sleep and rest.
I have to say he has improved over the weekend. He is still walking around a lot, the head tilt has gone and he seems to have lost control of his bladder a little but not sure if this is down to the illness or the steroids, but cleaning up after him is a small price to pay to see him looking better.
I also have heard that it can take up to three weeks for them to make a recovery and i am definitely prepared to sit this one out. I dont know what after that, if this is his quality of life its not a good one, but each day i hope and pray he will get a little better. I am sure he is missing his walks, i know i am.
This is a terrible illness and my heart goes out to everyone who has a pet with this problem, it is heartbreaking to see them going through this you feel so helpless. Toby is getting lots of tlc and being spoiled to death. I do hope that everybody elses pets continue to improve and get better. Has anyone elses pet had trouble with their bladder as reading through all the comments i dont appear to have seen this problem

Diane said...

Yes, Jack 13 1/2 yr. old black lab had bladder problems when he was going thru vestibular...the bladder problems only lasted a couple of days and he was showing improvements within 72hrs. of coming down with vestibular, after 2wks. he was back to his usual playful self and back to his 45min. walks everyday...he has improved 100% and we couldn't be happier...he is the best dog ever as so is everyone else's on this blog. This page helped me a GREAT deal!! Hope Toby improves and gets stronger everyday!!!
Diane

Anonymous said...

Update on Toby. Toby began to have fits last monday - he had 7 in one day it was almost as distressing as the vestibular condition. I contacted my bet who gave me medication for them. The following day he seemed much improved he had a spring in his step and only had two fits. The following day he became really bad again and on top of the constant wandering he was having fits every 20 minutes. I knew then i had to make the terrible decision to have him put to sleep. I could not stand to see him in such a dreadful state. The vet totally agreed with me and said that he thought the inflammation in his ear had gone to his brain causing the fits.
I stayed with him while the vet gave him his injection, and although it was heartbreaking when he fell asleep it was a relief to finally see him at peace and not in any distress.
I miss my little dog so much i am all cried out and three days down the line i am still missing him. He wasnt just a pet he was my best friend and the only thing that is keeping me going is that he is up there now with my dad who i know will look after him for me until we are reunited.

Luisa said...

Toby was lucky to have someone who loved him so much and was brave enough to make the right call when the time came. Thanks for sharing this difficult update - I know that Toby will be in your heart forever.

Anonymous said...

My 17 year old mixed cocker spaniel is at day 9 of recovery from vestibular disease. He is now eating pureed food from his bowl, controlling bladder and bowel better and standing a little bit straighter. Not too bad for this wonderdog!

Morgan Sus said...

My 15 year old german shepherd mix recently had stroke-like symptoms on Saturday morning. Her head was tilted backwards, drooling quite a bit and howling out. We took her to the vet immediately and he diagnosed her with IVD. However, due to the fact that she was almost blind, deaf and had hardly any muscle strength in her back legs, he stated the prognosis wasn't good. I asked if there was anything we could do and he stated she was in pain. Can anyone elaborate what type of pain is associated with this disease? I do need to say that based on the information we received, we decided that this would no longer allow her the quality of life she had prior. It was truly the hardest decision I've ever made in my life, as she was my first pet and has been there with me all these years. We also have another dog that will be 15 in June. Any suggestions on how to help her cope with this loss?

Anonymous said...

My 12 year old dog became ill on Tuesday with what appeared to be a gastrointestinal problem. She vomited numerous times so I took her to the vet where they treated her with IV fluids for 2 days. At the end of the 2nd day of treatment (Thursday), she developed nystagmus and a loss of balance. By Saturday morning she seemed to be almost normal. However, at 3:00 on Saturday she dramatically regressed. She loses her balance, has a head tilt, and doesn't want to eat. My question is whether anyone else's dog seemed like they were on the road to recovery and then suddenly relapsed? Of course the relapse makes me worry that it is more than geriatric vestibular disease.

Anonymous said...

I just read your comment on the "relapse" and I have to tell you, that's what I was looking for on this site, to see if anyone else's dog had a relapse. Tuesday morning my 11 year old cocker spaniel, Donovan, could not walk straight and kept falling down. I took him to the vet and they diagnosed old dog vestibular. He is on the mezicline (like dramamine), clyndamycin, and prednisone. By Thursday he was doing better and could walk up the stairs by himself. I thought we were on the road to recovery, though he did pee in his doggy diaper, but I think that is from the prednisone. I came home from work on Friday and it was like he had relapsed, but this time it was worse. It seemed to affect his vision more this time. He acted like he was blind. He could not see me unless I was right in front of him. His eyes were moving back and forth quite a bit. Saturday was just as bad. Sunday he was a little better, which was encouraging. He still has some eye movement, but not as much and although he was staggering, he seemed to move quicker and was more willing to go outside. Today seems like yesterday, maybe a hair better with the eye movement. I'm hoping he will continue to improve, but am fearful because of the relapse.

Anonymous said...

My dog (blind rescue dog, age unknown) was just diagnosed with geriatric vestibular disease last Wednesday. He started to get better yesterday and we can see a little more improvement today. He has been able to drink water on his own but was not eating. The technician at my vet's suggested baby food (meat rather than vegetable) and that is working. My regular vet and the emergency vet both said it can take 2 to 3 weeks to see improvement. This is by far the hardest thing I have been through with any animal I've had. It is scary to watch them and you feel so helpless. However, it's also good to know that with patience and loving care, there is a very good chance for recovery.

Anonymous said...

My 12 1/2 year old mini-schnauzer had his 3rd episode on Monday night. All symptoms are as everyone has described. He seemed to recover from the first 2 episodes pretty quickly, balance and head-tilt-wise but took longer to regain his appetite. This time, 5 days later, he is eating fine and has lots of energy, but the stumbling is still pretty bad. The first 2 times, he had the anti-emetic and sub-cutaneous electrolites due to the vomiting, but this time, I was able to dropper feed him water after he vomited only once. He is eating fine but not his normal food. He doesn't like to chew anything dry. We make soft treats (almost like bread) and got high-quality canned food. We had to feed him from our hands at first but can eat from a flat plate now - if we hold it up. It is easier for him to eat and drink if he doesn't have to lean over. I am worried about the relapses and have not been able to discern whether the dogs mentioned here who have had relapses are still doing ok. If anyone has any more information, I'd appreciate it. Jake has also developed a heart murmer which has the vet suspicious. We are scheduled for an x-ray of abdomen and chest. I'm not sure why. I would never put him through surgery. Jake is our "first born" and means the world to us. Thank you all for your comments This has been a great help to me.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my little girl Missy started this horriable disease monday 5/4/09 she wont move today, I feed her baby food and water with a baster. She's 13 her and her brother are litter mates, I pray she gets better. Her brother and me dont know what to do. Thank you so much for all the comments, please say a prayer for her, I have had her and her brother since they were born. Thank you so Much Prayers for your kids as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank u all for your stories. My English springer ( to be 15 i two weeks) came down with symptons while at the kennels. They thought she had had a stroke. Seeing her unable to stand, or staggering and falling was more than distressing. Today she follwed me upstairs, but later wants to hang close to a wall. Her appetite seems fine. Despite cooking fresh meat forr her everyday, the vet said her red blood count was low..seems odd? Hope she improves daily as previous comments suggest. I thought her time had come, so Im hopeful we have another summer under the apple tree and lazy walks in the river.

Julie said...

My 7 year old alaskan Malamute was diagnosed with Sards last fall and is blind. That was pretty manageable, but in February the darting eyes and balance problems began. He has no trouble eating and has no vomiting. He's had an MRI and a spinal tap. Idiopathic Vestibular is what they say. It has been going on for months. He's on prednisone, tapering it down now. He's had two rounds of acupuncture, she says if he doesn't get better by the 4th one that she can't help him. I don't know if being blind makes it worse?? It is so sad, he was such a vibrant goofy boy and now he's like a shell of what he once was. We used to go for such long walks and now he can barely get to the car and needs help getting in. Doesn't help that he weighs 120 lbs. All blood work was normal, kidneys and liver are fine. All he does now is eat, drink, pee and sleep. Barely ever wags his tail. I have seen no improvement in the months since it started. I hope the next two acupunctures can pull off a miracle. Just a plain old blind dog would be heaven at this point.

Anonymous said...

That is very sad. It is so awful to see those beautiful creatures so helpless. A month has past since I wrote about my mini schauzer. Happy to say, he is much improved. We decided against any further testing or x-rays, not wanting to know if he had a tumor eating him up. We made hima ramp to go down the back deck and navigates it great. His hearing is very bad know - I really do think he has vestibular syndrome. He still falls to the left and relies on his sense of smell more than anything - walks take a lond time since he stops to smell everything. Otherwise, he is back to normal thank God. We discontinued the Rimidil he was on for arthritis as I was reading bad things about it. we are keeping our fingers crossed that this won't happen again.

Julie said...

I'm glad for your sake that your mini schnauzer is doing so much better!! I hope we get a turn of luck here pretty soon too. Good luck to you!

Padraigin_WA said...

I came across your blog via a horsey friend's. Our golden retriever also had an acute case of canine vesibular syndrome (also known by other vestibular names). I found her on the carpeted floor lying against a wall, and the thrashing was evident in the gouges on the carpet. She couldn't stand. We rushed her to the vet where she was diagnosed with the vestibular syndrome. They kept her for two days, as she was so dizzy she kept falling over. I believe they sent her home with meclazine. I had to help her outdoors with a bath towel slung under her tummy. Eventually, she rallied, within a week. But she had a head tilt for the rest of her days.

Julie said...

I just don't understand why he's had it for so long when everything I read says it goes away within a week or so. Has anybody had a dog that had it for a few months and then snap out of it?? Or maybe the blindness makes it worse? Very frustrating.

Angela Gabriele said...

I have 2 dogs one 2 and one 16 the 2 year old gunner, we recently just got from a friend, had him only 4 months when he came down with what the hospital said was vestibular disease. Now 4 months later chocco the 16 year old was rushed to hospital, 2500 later they tell me he has vestibular disease. There has to be a commonality between the two. It is just not heard of two dogs in same house having the same disease. Has anyone head of this. The sad thing is that gunner is now on phenobarbital because my vet thinks he has seizures. But they both had the same reactions. There is only one thing I can come up with reading all the previous blogs, chocco the 16 year old had an eye infection, doctor gave him presnidone, gunner was cleaning choccos eyes licking them of course so I stopped the presnidone then gunner got sick, week ago I started the presnidone again on chocco and he then got sick, I am thinking there is a pattern? Has anyone had 2 dogs in one house with this?

Lauren said...

My 15-year German-Aussie Shepherd had her first vestibular event in the Fall of 2007, with the typical symptoms of ataxia, darting eyes, and inability to stand up. From what I understand it was a fairly severe occurrence of it, too.

I rushed her to the vet as soon as they opened and was told she had IVD. He prescribed antibiotics, and my sister (a vet tech) recommended giving her meclizine to help with the disorientation and to prevent her from vomiting. It took about 48 hours to start seeing improvements in her mobility. She began eating and drinking in small amounts after the first day, much to my relief.

Over the next year and a half she dealt admirably with the condition... she had a slight persistent head tilt but was able to walk and take care of business, etc. After a couple occurrences of her tripping down the last few steps I got in the habit of turning on the lights for her any time she needed to use the stairway. Also, she developed a fear of the kitchen floor, as she seemed to have difficulty maintaining her balance on it.

During this time, however, she developed a cataract in her left eye causing blindness, and I also soon came to the realization that she had lost a significant portion of her hearing. Slowly, she also began to lose weight, though she regularly ate the food in her bowl.

Unfortunately, five days ago she seemed to suffer another mild vestibular event. I held off from rushing to the vet, as the darting eyes had not yet returned and she was only exhibiting an increased difficulty with turning around, figuring I knew well enough from the first incident how to keep her comfortable while she regained her composure.

Last night she suffered another, far more severe vestibular event which left her unable to lift herself up from her bed. The ataxia and darting eyes returned with a vengeance, and she had absolutely no interest in water. Knowing how difficult it was for her and realizing she was additionally impaired from the cataract, I made the toughest decision of my life and took her to the vet this morning, asking if it was appropriate to put her down. The vet agreed, saying that her quality of life from this point would probably not be very good, especially if the IVD returned again. So, my father and I stayed with her as he administered the euthanasia. It feels like I'm missing my shadow.

Anyway, it was good reading through this page and knowing that I haven't been the only person with a pet going through this.

EJ said...

Hi,
My 8 year old Boxer was tentatively diagnosed with Vestibular this afternoon barring something that might show in lab work. She has all the symptoms shown in the videos. She has the head tilt but it seems that there are also spasms where the tilt becomes more pronounced and balance becomes impossible. Started last night when she fell off the bed trying to get down. I thought she had a stroke or some other kind of neurological event. She seemed better this morning - all the dogs went for their walk just fine and then BAM! She's also panting like crazy - perhaps due to the stress. The vet game us an anti-nausea "Cerenia" which seems to be working. The scary thing is when she loses her balance she ends up rolling and flailing in panic and it's difficult to set her right again. Heartbreaking. I had to hold the bowl up at nose height so she could eat and drink. I'm staying home from work tomorrow and hoping for 72 hour improvement as evidenced by others. My other dogs are confused and get in the way - they sense her stress. What's complicating for me is my house is completely tiled. With the exception of just a few spots where I have area rugs the rest of the house is a slip and slide. Thanks for this blog - what a godsend. I can relate though, I had a couple bouts of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) which is just as freaky and inexplicable and equally as miserable.

EJ said...

Hi,

Just a boxer update .. Baci is worse today, she can't move at all. Her neck is wracked with spasms and whenever I try to move her she flails and rolls back into the same position she's laying in now. I'm probably going to bring her into the vet so they can keep her hydrated.

EJ said...

Hi,

Baci passed away yesterday morning. I guess this is a cautionary tale. While she had all of the symptoms of Canine Vestibular Disease apparently there was more going on neurologically and she could not overcome her battle. At least it was fairly quick.

Jennifer said...

Hi there, thanks for this forum. My Mandy (13.5 yr old labrador) came down with VS about June 18th. Tilting head, drunken walk, floopy eyes. I suspected a stroke, then researched online and discovered VS. I brought her to the vet, he acted like he hadn't heard of VS, and said it could be anything (tumor, etc.). I showed him a writeup from online about VS, and he prescribed her Apo-moxi.

She had been on Previcox (for pain due to her arthritis), we stopped that during her episode.
She got about 80% better in 5 days.

We then took her to her regular vet, and she took her off the apo-moxi and put her on cephalexin, and told us to restart her previcox.

We then went on vacation (7 hr car trip) and bam, back came the symptoms. (Began July 2).
Bringing her home (July 5) she was worse than the first time. Lame, head tilt, but slight eye floopiness and just laid around, tryin to walk but only making it a couple steps before falling.

It's now been 3 days and I haven't seen any improvement yet. I stopped her previcox tonight..it said in the instructions not to administer with other anti-infammitory drugs.

Are cephalexin (antibiotics) considered an anti-inflammitory drug) I wonder?

Going to give it a few more days and continue her antibiotics. We have about 2 more weeks worth to go through.

This is so horrible to watch. Thank goodness she's still eating, drinking (with my help), and peeing and poopin. Although we had to rig up a contraption to walk her outside as she's 92lbs and too heavy for us to move her.

Anyway..this is the second bout in a short time period..and my guess is that the 7 hr car ride back and forth did NOT help her at all. I feel awful about that, but wanted her with us at the cottage for her to relax.

I'm going to wait this one out again..and pray so hard that she comes through again.

Keep your fingers crossed and pray for us!

Thanks again for allowing me to read everyone else's experience with this crappy disease!

Jennifer

Anonymous said...

hey, have been reading all these and have given me some hope, ahve an 11 y o bichon! 2 days ago i knew something was up when he refused food and looked slightely unsteady! decided to take him to the vets straight away and he kept the dog in. Yesterday he rang saying it wasnt good that he had fluid in chest and/or tumours also. i went to see him today and he was so wobbly was horrible to see, didnt seem in pain and the only sign is his inability to stand, after reading this i hope he has this vestibular thing and recovers in time. im not ready to say good bye yet!

Anonymous said...

I had my beatiful mini shnauzer cross put down on Wednesday night after one of these episodes.

My little man was 17 and had just been diagnosed with moderate kidney disease, had lost his appetite was listless, depressed and only wanted water and more water. I thought at the time and assisted by his vet of 17 years that we could treat the kidney disease if we could just get him to eat. Directly after his KD diagnosis and right in th middle of having a urinalysis he had a vestibular episode which frightened the life out of me, this happened as we were travelling in the car, I rushed him to the vet who suggested we treat him with fluids and a dexapent injection and hope he settled a little by morning. The same symptoms were there,ataxia, the nystagmus, couldnt stand and the head tilt, all he wanted was to be cuddled and in my ignorance I left him at the vet.

The following morning he had no signs of improvment and had been given diazapam the night before to settle him, my regular vet was not in attendance and we had another unknow vet looking after him. A call from one of the nurses later in the day suggested I make an appt with the vet in attendance to discuss euthanasing him as there still had been no improvement - he was still unresponsive, still the ataxia and nystagmus, again in my ignorance I agreed to come in.

My little man who had a beatifull thick coat was covered in urine, all of his little legs were matted as if some sort of restraint had been used, trusting the vet I signed the applicable form and they told me I had 5 minutes ( as they were going home) to say goodbye. In that five minutes we moved him from the urine soaked cage to one of the operating tables and the precious boy realising I was there came back, the nystagmus stoped, his little eyes righted themselves - he took a huge sigh of relief and licked me several times - even trying to get up.
Again in my ignorance I repeatedly asked the vet if putting him down was wrong as he was being responsive - I had put all of my trust in these people to guide me with what should be done as I could not make these decisions when it came to my pet. This vet whom I did not not know and who had just told me I had 5 minutes to spend with my beloved animal who I thought prior to coming in was completely unresponsive Still insisted he be put down. After 17 years of being treated at this clinic I let him go. I have just read this blog and I am livid at the ability of these animals to recover from this syndrome/disease. My little man was old, yes but any additional time with him would have been a blessing. He fought that final injection - he did not want to go!

Anonymous said...

Hi. This has been wonderful to find this. my vet said she's old and this happens, and here's something for the arthritis...all her blood work, stool etc. checked out good. My friend directed me to this site. Our Molly has a lot of pain when what we now call "the worse" starts up..she can be a puppy one minute (she's 12) and then the next slight head tilt, stares straight ahead, freezes, then front paw curls like a stroke, i try to help her lie down gently so she isn't just keeling over...and i use a syringe to give her water throughout the day..until "the worse" passes. has anyone had their dog yelp in pain at the slight touch of their face, and if you try to touch their mouth, and growling while they are lying there? drooling, and they seem to have a tremor while "the worse" of it happens. then...it stops and they are okay again? the video on youtube was excellent. suggestions for what to give when going through so much pain?? - sylvia in ottawa

Anonymous said...

Watson is a 16 year old English Springer Spaniel who just had a birthday on July 20th. He is the field version of a springer. He has been with me since he was a puppy and of course, like all of your dogs, is my best friend and my number one interest.

He came down with VD at Christmas time and I thought it was the end for him, yet the vet gave him some of the meds you mention and he came out of it after about three weeks. He had all the symptoms that each of your dogs have had.

Three weeks ago, Watson came down again with this same problem and hasn't come out of it yet. He is drinking more this time and eating more as well. I have at times had to hold the water dish up for him. If your dog has trouble eating, try feeding him Puperoni snacks (break up into inch size pieces). He will eat McDonald's cheese burgers without hesitation and warmed-up cold cuts. He also eats round steak broiled, sliced and cut into small pieces.

He can't sit still now for more than two minutes, so I have to make sure he is in a comfortable environment especially if he falls.

He is my savior and I refuse to put him down. Sure I am scared and angry, but I owe him much more than that.

I am sure all of u know exactly where I am coming from.

Thank u for all your stories and love your dog always for the rest of your life.

Anyone have any wonderful advice, please email me at danielmuscatell@yahoo.com

Thanks u very much ! I love my dog !

Roseann said...

It has been one week ago today that we lost our beloved Sassy (beagle, chow) 10 years old. On Friday, she wasn't doing well. This is a dog who just had a huge tumor removed on April 24th of this year...second tumor removed in 14 months. She came thru the surgery with flying colors. The vet said her heart didn't even skip a beat during the procedure. Her blood work was great, etc. Then, Friday she doesn't eat and wouldn't even come down the stairs. The next morning she wasn't any better so I rushed her to the vet's office. We had to carry her in, and the vet diagnoised her with geriatric vestibular syndrome. She was given a steriod shot...forgot the name, but not predisone, and two weeks of antibiotics. I am still in shock at what occurred when we got home. She threw up and I was holding her head, when suddenly she fell backwards as she threw up violently. She was panting heavily, and then started to cry, so we carried her out side thinking she needed to use the bathroom. She was drooling, and her tongue was hanging out of her mouth. She didn't do anything outside, so we brought her back in, and then she defacated (excuse spelling) right where she was lying down. I told her that it was okay. I noticed that her eyes were hazy...then her breathing started to really get funny. I immediately called the vetenarian ER since our vet's office was now closed. They told me that with this particuliar syndrome, they usually get worse before getting better, and for me to hang in there. My hubby was on the couch observing my sweetie; by this time she was no longer panting but taking deep breaths and then her legs stiffened, and then there was nothing. I screamed that she was dead...and my hubby assured me that the shot must of kicked in and that she was resting. Needless to say, I was hysterical, and totally correct. My beloved four-legged companion had died. My entire family was in disbelief and shock. The vet had never even given us a clue that my Sassy might be at death's door. I would of held her in my arm's if I thought that she was dying. We were considering having an autopsy done, but then decided not to. On Monday, the vet's office called to say how shocked they were to hear that Sassy had suddenly died. They said that apparently she must of had more than GVS...perhaps a brain tumor or lesion, or stroke (even tho her heart was strong and not faint) I am beside myself. It's just not fair what some animals go thru. Sassy had so much happen to her....got hit by a car when she was a puppy, then she got parvo....hurt herself on the stairs 4 years ago....and then had what the vet said was breast cancer, and had the tumor removed (it was benign) Then 14 months later got yet another tumor, which became infected and had to be removed. I don't believe in over-vaccinating an animal..and the vet was adament that she had to have a distemper shot if he was going to operate on her in April. So, she had one. Then, according to NY law, she had to have her rabies shot and so I reluctantly complied. Not to mention the steriod shot they gave her that morning I took her in last week. Any comments, please feel free to give any imput as to our tragic loss. I hope that others have a better ending than what I did. Even tho it is quite painful to discuss my dog's untimely end, it is good to know that there is a site like this one in which one can do so.

Anonymous said...

My mini-schnauzer has not had an episode for over three months but he did develop lyme disease. He became lame and listless. Thought we were losing him again. But, once again, he recovered. He still has some head tilt but after antibiotics for the lyme times one month, he is back to normal. He bounced back after only a few days on the antibiotics. I am very sispicious of the Rimidil regarding the Vestibular Syndrome. I would stay away from it.
Hang in there if you can with the VD. The third epidose was by far the worst but he really did come back. He is going on 13 yo and acts about 7. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I have a 2 1/2 year old Yorkie (weigh's 5 lbs) who just suddenly developed the classic symptoms of this vestibular thing. I ALMOST put him down today (he's in the 3rd day) and then my mom found you guys... OMG THANK YOU!!!! He eats and drinks fine, has trouble doing potty cuz he can't stand up but otherwise all his blood tests came back normal. He was born with an open fontanel but it was closed by the time I got him. All I know is that this feels like it fits and I am willing to wait it out to see if it improves. THANK GOD I didn't put him down! He's only 2 1/2!!!

Anonymous said...

I realized I didn't add much detail. Scooter, my 2 1/2 year old Yorkie was diagnosed with a retinal degenerative disease in June 09 and was told he'd slowly go blind. Said it wasn't typical of one so young. Last Wed. (8/12) I noticed his unsteady gait and was going out of town so husband was home with him. He noticed no change. he left Sunday night to come get me at the airport (2 hour round trip) and by the time we got home, Scooter was completely immobile, bumping into walls, stumbling in circles, head pulled severely to the right and tilted sideways. I took him in Monday morning and they did blood tests. I got the results today and they said nothing wrong but that he had all the classic signs of VD except he is so very young. Well, due to the eye thing, I've learned he is one of those 1 in a million "exception to the rules." He eats and drinks fine, no nausea or vomiting but simply falls over when he tries to walk. He stands but has head pulled to the right and wobbles like he's drunk. It came on so fast and hasn't had any change for worse or better since then. I was ready to take him in to put him to sleep today because I just though with his blindness thing that he must have a tumor of some sort and I couldn't afford to do the testing to find out. Thank goodness my mom found this website!! It's a gut thing and it feels so so right and explains everything. So I am going to be with him, love him, care for him and commit to him no matter what from here on out. What a learning experience and opportunity to really feel the love and bond I have with this little one who is so young still.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for posting so much! One other thing... Scooter just had a distemper shot a month ago. I am in the process of finding out if it was live virus or killed. I do remember when they gave him the shot, the needle broke off the plastic part so they redid the dose and gave it to him. I asked how did they know how much he may have got from the 1st one and they just said "oh he didn't get much, if any..." I am wondering if he was overdosed? I have done some reading that the live distemper can give VD type symptoms. Also, Scooter is on antibiotics (in case it is infection related) but no steroids. He's so small I just knew it would not be a good thing to do that. I'll keep you all updated!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if anyone reads this blog anymore or not but it is helping me so I'll post again. Today is day 6 and as of yesterday evening I am thinking I am seeing signs of improvement. Scooter continues to eat and drink normally throughout this and has not vomited once. His head is almost a straight 90 tilt to the right and his eyes do the darting thing, unless he is lying still, then that slows down a bit. My biggest worry was that he was not going potty..but he is a proud pooch and his 2 attempts early on had him falling to the side and peeing on himself. He was humiliated by it. So finally, I decided to use his spunky independent streak to his advantage and kept egging him to get up on his feet and go for it. When he finally stopped resisting, omg you should have seen the determination in his eyes! He even wagged his tail as he fumbled around the yard but he found that if he leaned up against the fence, that helped and he was finally able to go potty. Nighttime is hard because he freaks out in the dark.. freefalling feeling I suppose.. so I leave a nightlight on for him and that helps. Overall, I can't tell if he's actually healing or just getting really good at adapting to it but in the last 24 hours I've definitely seen a change for the better....keepin fingers crossed!!

Anonymous said...

So glad i found you guys. Was about to have my megan put down who is 13yrs but after reading your comments thought there is hope.I just think with technology these days you think there would be a cure.Hers happened a week ago still got tilted head and still fussy with her food but going out a lot more.We are off on holiday in 5wks just praying she is back to normal as my friend is watching her and hope it does not bring on another one as she will be staying with her. good luck to all you owners and pets and god bless this blog.

Anonymous said...

Hello friends.

I posted here in January and just realized I had not posted an update after taking our dog to the doggie internist for geriatric vestibular disease (the dog was only five yrs old, hardly a geriatric!)

After a ct scan, the doc discovered a mid brain lesion that was inoperable. What appeared to be vestibular disease was really a tumor. Our beautiful little dog began to have seizures and spent the next four weeks pretty much lying around. He had to have assistance going down one little step to the patio and out to the backyard. It was so sad to watch him try to do his usual run around the yard to check everything out only to have him falling over. Trying to do the tripod thing to go poop was horrible to watch as he couldn't keep his balance and would tople over. We had to feed him holding his food a foot up off the ground because he was so dizzy he couldn't look down and eat.

There were days his head looked like it was only tilted maybe 20 degrees instead of almost a 45 degree angle. There was a day or two here and there where we thought he was improving which gave us a false sense of security. Putting him down was not anything we even considered doing. We can get him through this and he can recover...can't he???

One morning as he slept in his doggie bed beside our bed, we heard him vomit and when I turned the light on he had vomited on himself as he struggled to get up but couldn't. We knew things were getting worse and he had no quality of life now for several weeks. We called the vet and later in the day, he had a beautiful passing. My first thought after he passed was he was up there heaven, hopping up on my mother in law who had passed a year earlier and was probably saying "get off me you silly dang dog" as he always jumped up on her and started licking her face whenever she visited and sat down on our couch. That senario in my mind was so comforting. Ok, she wasn't a dog fan in this life, but I bet she opened her arms to him in her life on the otherside. lol

Don't get me wrong, it was a few weeks before we got through a whole day without a few tears over losing our wonderful four legged family member. It's been months now and it does get better but the loss is still fresh in our minds. I know in my heart that he knew he was loved everyday of his life, especially even more during all of his sick days right up until his last moment on this planet.

One of the things on my "bucket list" is to find out the cause of vestibular disease in dogs. It is FAR too common as austism is in young children. I am not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but come on, this VD is a little too common in my opinion. There must be a something very common that triggers it.

Thank you all for posting here to help others as you have helped me with your stories. God bless you and your precious four legged companions!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all the posts. This has been a great ease on my mind! I just picked my dog up this AM after a night in the ER with many of these symptoms. I was awoken to his head twisted in an unatural position and my poor dog rolling in circles. Needless to say I was scared out of my mind! It has been great reading about vestibular disease and the recovery stories posted on this Web site and has given me a lot of hope.

My dog is a 15 year old Shih Tzu. Quick question for you pet owners who have dealt with this, how have you addressed feeding? My dog does not seem very interested in food. I purchased baby food and am trying to feed him on regular intervals a few spoonfulls at a time, however how long is the lack of appetite to be expected? I know that I get a bit paranoid about my dog, however due to his age I seem to worry a lot more that I used to!

Thank you again for all of the shared stories!

Anonymous said...

Our 14 yr old mix suffered a bout with vestibular disease about 4 weeks ago. It was REALLY scary at first, but within a couple days, she did start to improve. She always ate dry food with a little bit of warm water but we found that if we added a little bit of BBQ sauce or baked bean juice, she would definitely eat more. We had to hand feed her for a few days but within a week, she was back to eating out of her bowl. Today she still has the head tilt and is still a little bit unsteady but she's definitely happy and carrys on with her day pretty much as normal as her "pre-vestibular" days! She is still afraid of our kitchen floor....the carpet is her friend.

Anonymous said...

Hi, our 13 year old golden, Charlotte, had what the vet believed was a vestibular episode late last night. We had been out and came home to her disoriented, head tilted, and having urinated and defecated on the floor along with the vomiting. She seemed to know us and wagged her tail. We called the vet and took her in immediately. She has had so many issues in the last two years and several surgeries, the most invasive being for a torn ACL which required a full incision from hip to ankle with a plate and screws in the knee. The recovery for this surgery was so very difficult for her. She never completely got back to herself after that surgery. She had been unsteady on her back left leg and that ACL was partially torn as well. These issues in combination with an almost 3 year constant prescription of prednisone for severe allergies and treatment for opportunistic infections and almost complete hearing loss was the final reason, after discussing with the vet our options, to decide to put her to sleep early this morning. She knew we were there and had her head in our laps at the last. The house is very empty right now. Thanks for writing this blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi there animal lovers. My little female border collie, Narnia. She developed Vestibular disorder with all the symtoms. She was maybe 10 years old at the time. Any way my heart sank when she merely flopped down on the pavement during a walk and could ;not get up and when she tried she would fall over. I scrambled to her aid. Kept as level head as I could and decided immediately to go to my Homeopatic Vet. Long story short Narnia recovered fully after about a day and a half from some homeopathic remedy. Unfortunately I cannot remember what it was and do not want to guess. I encourage any one to follow up with help from any homeopathic vet in your help. My Narnia, lasted for 16 years. A true sweet heart and great friend. That I would do any thing for. It was the Best 16 years of my life. Thank-you for your time, Dusty

Anonymous said...

My 15 year-old lab/austr. shep. mix had head tilt, eyes flickering to left and right, and back legs didn't seem to work, or he was so disoriented that there was no way on earth he would think of standing. Vet emergency hospital quickly mentioned vestibular issues, but thought they would be permanent and was suggesting euthanasia. We were literally one minute away from a decision and giving him our last petting, then she came in with a 'textbook" and said it could be vestibular syndrome and said let's wait. After they sedated him w/ valium and gave him an IV for fluid, we picked him up 5 hours later and he was completely normal (other than a little woozy from the valium). Our regular vet said he's never seen a dog recover so fast from vestibular disease! I had never heard of this condition and it was very upsetting - we need to get the word out!
Knoxville, TN

Anonymous said...

My 11 year old German Shepherd had a Vestibular episode 2 nights ago. He has had almost no previous health issues and is very active. Like many others who have watched their dog stumbling, circling, falling, in obvious distress, I thought my dog was about to die before my eyes. I called the vet who asked the right questions, recognized the symptoms, and told me it was most likely vestibular syndrome. He saved me an expensive and stressful midnight trip to the k9 ER by telling me my dog wasn't going to die and to bring him in the next day. I couldn't sleep so I read about vestibular on line, and knew what to expect when I took him in the next day. He is on Meclizine for motion sickness, and is starting to eat and show a little improvement. We are fairly confident this is not a brain tumor, and I am hopeful that he will have a good recovery, though the references to subsequent hearing and sight loss that the vets do not acknowledge concern me a little. The biggest question in my mind is when did this become a common malady? I worked for a vet 25 years ago and I do not recall seeing it walk (or stumble) through our doors. I'm also shocked to find that as common as this is, there are still vets out there who do not recognize it or are not familiar with it. ???? To all of you who have written before me, and everyone after as well, I sympathize, no empathize, with the trauma you have been through watching the symptoms of this hideous syndrome play out in your canine friend. Good luck to you all.
D&J in Calif

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this blog. I just adopted a 7 year old dog one week ago today. He is a Jack Russell, Besenji mix I am told. What a week! His former owner took him to the vet on Monday almost 2 weeks ago because he was acting drunk. They gave him a steroid shot & antibotics. We continued the antibiotic pills until they ran out last night. To back up a bit, the day after we picked him up, he began to yelp & kept falling down. We took him to an emergency clinic. They said that they did not know what is was, and that we should take him to a regular vet. They gave him a shot for pain & sent us home with pain pills. We took him to a regular vet & they said that it was probably this disease, and that we should go home & wait for 4 to 6 weeks, and he should get better. He did pretty good for a couple of days, but yesterday & today have been more bad than good. He can be asleep, wake up crying in pain & being paralyzed. It breaks my heart. I guess at this point I will just continue to comfort him as much as I can. We are not home during the day, so i will really be worried about him, but hopefully he will sleep a lot when we are out. When we are there he really tries to hang out with us constantly, which is quite a challenge for him sometimes. I have found a website that sells pills that claim to help. The website link is www.FixMyPetsHealth.com/Vestibular. If anyone is familiar with this, please tell me what you know about it. Thanks again for creating this blog. It really helped me feel better about wanting to make him better, and not give up on him.
Susan in Kennesaw,Georgia

Anonymous said...

Boy am I glad to have found this blog. I have read all the stories and I feel much better now. I was so so upset and sad because my baby pup- head (Burt- he's really 9) started with these 'drunk' symptoms about 6-7 days ago. He started feeling bad around 12/19/2009 but by 12/26 he was wobbling and falling down. He could not get a good grip on the carpet. He would just slide and fall down. He seemed to be choking on his food, but did not throw up. He has excessive drooling and his back legs twitch. He does have the head tilt. He has also growled at me ...I guess because he is dizzy...because as I understand this is not painful. He looks at me with this "please help me" look. I just had this sick pit in my stomach. Because the vet was closed over the xmas holidays I had to wait until Monday to take him in. So all weekend I was keeping him calm and giving him homemade chicken and rice...spoon feeding it to him. He fell back in his poop twice, and that was just awful...poor thing. He just couldn't get balanced. When the vet said vestibular, I was like ???what??? They were sort of vague and offered no treatment ideas except time...and "care" ... I was like what kind of care???, Anyway mom knows best, I just am loving him the best way I know how. I sure hope he gets better soon. Today he is the same as he was on Saturday, so that is 4 days of doing poorly, but from what I've read, he has a mild case as he is not throwing up or peeing on himself. A note of concern...he hasn't been himself for several months, he recently had conjunctivites and he has arthritis and I was giving him prevacox. So a part of me can't help but wunder did something I gave him bring this on. I'll let you know how my Burt progresses. Steph

Anonymous said...

Steph here- Burt still not improving. I've been reading much about this syndrome and the thing that has me upset is that the onset was no sudden. He had a gradual onset of symptoms. It seems to me it's been a couple of months of him not doing his normal tricks. He used to roll over for a treat and he stopped doing that over the summer. The next thing he stopped doing was "sit up" where it sits up high on ins hind legs. Then for the last month or so, he just stopped playing all together. The really bad symptoms (him falling over and not eating has been going on for at least a week. I'm getting very scared and I hope someone will reply to let me know that even though the onset was slow that we will still see improvement. My husband did say that he was able to walk a little better outside. I guess his senses lighted up with all the smells. But inside, he is so pitiful. He started growling at me alot. I can't help but think it's something I did. I keep thinking about the Previcox and wondering if that is what put him over the edge. The other thing that there is little advice on is what nutritionally can I do to aid him in his recovery? So far I know
*Keep him calm, no sudden movements,
*raise his food/water bowls so that he doesn't have to bend his head too far down.
*keep the rooms well lit
*keep him proped up when possible.
*keep his diet wet/soft. (he hacks up dry food)
*massage his neck and shoulders
*avoid picking him up and if we do hold his paws. (My dog is 56 lbs, so I'm not picking him up often anyway)
Poor thing is just so scared. :(
Thanks for reading Steph

Luisa said...

Oh, Steph -- all I can do is wish you the best for Burt's improvement. This ailment tends to show up in a dog's senior years, which can make everything seem so much worse. Please give Burt a hug for me.

BLOGGER'S NOTE: this thread now has over one hundred comments, so I'm starting Vestibular Part II to handle new comments. See the UPDATE at the top of the original post, above, or follow this link: Vestibular Disease II.

Of course this original post and all the comments here will remain as long as the blog exists.

Thanks to all for past and future comments.

Sean said...

Thank you for this wonderful blog.
Emma, my 13 yr old Border Collie came down with Vestibulars in Dec.. 2009. One moment walking perfectly fine straight into my arms, the next splayed out on the floor with eyes rapidly walking side to side, completely unable to stand up. Looked like a severe stroke in a person, so we rushed her instantly to the local vet. All blood panels were done and she is a very healthy 13 yr old Border. She at just fine and drank water with no worries, except spilling both due to the immense instability and head leaning. Within 72 hours she was able to walk up the stairs, but I still carried her down them. Skip ahead 40 days. Today we heard a loud bang in the hallway. Emma has now come down with this for the second time. She can barely walk at all, mostly banging on anything nearby. She stepped in her waterdish and spilled it, something that is impossible for highly balanced Boarder Collie to do. She is laying down in her favorite bed, with my personal blanket over hear head to block out the light and it really seems to calm her down. Alot.
It is 9:30pm pacific and I will send you an update tomorrow afternoon. I am not too sure of how this one is going to play out, not afraid of death in my beloved pet, but I don't want to be alone from her either. 13 years is a long time to have a pet who rides to work with you every day.
She is not exhibiting eye movement at this time, she is showing high instability in moving on her own. We need to use the towel under her waist routine, or I carry her. She fell half way down a very steep staircase before I caught her at the bottom, at a friends home last week, about 6 days ago, enough to require baby aspirin for 2 days. Maybe this is one of the triggers.?

More tomorrow night..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog and all of your wonderful supportive comments. How comforting to read everyone's experiences. My 14 year old miniature dachshund, who is deaf and blind, had a vestibular episode on Sunday morning. I rushed him to the ER and he was diagnosed with vestibular. Fortunately, he never had the vomiting and he continued to eat and drink. He stayed at the ER until Tuesday morning. When I brought him home, he still had rapid eye movement, the head tilt and was unable to walk. It is now Friday and he can stand unassisted, can walk (usually in circles), can go potty unassisted and eats standing up. He still will not get in or out of his bed or crate without assistance. He was acupunctured on Wednesday and given a homeopathic remedy. I believe this made a significant difference. I wish he was completely healed, but it looks as though it will be a slow process. Don't give up, no matter how horrific your dog seems, because if it is truly ideopathic vestibular, they will improve. I look forward to having a dachshund sitting at my feet in a few weeks, waiting to clean my plate. And I believe it will happen. By the way, my dog seems to be more comfortable in a confined area. It seems to lessen his confusion. My dog is also very anxious about his condition - we attribute this to his deafness and blindness - and will cry when he is not right with one of his people. Hugs to all who are experiencing this horrific syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for this wonderful blog, like other posters, until my 13 year old husky had her first attack of vestibular, I had never heard of the disease. That was labour day and it took about 6 weeks for her to normalize. She had a subsequent attack toward the end of the year and came out of it a bit quicker but this time lost a lot of her vision. She has most of her balance back though and I'm so glad I didn't lose her.

Anonymous said...

My 15 yr old sheltie/lab mix -Buddy-had a severe episode tonight..like most, we thought he had a stroke..he is currently admitted to the emergency vet hospital in CT, the vet states he either has a brain tumor or has idiopathic vestibular disease..he went from "normal" buddy boy, to head severely tilted, going in circles, panting very heavy, shaking..when I went to say goodbye to him in his crate at the vet, he heard my voice and started rolling over and over..my heart is broken..we will know more tomorrow..please send your positive vibes to my best friend!

Luisa said...

Positive vibes and good SoCal mojo sent. I hope Buddy will be home soon and feeling better. Sending a virtual hug to you as well -- this illness is as tough on those of us worried about our canine family members as it is on the dogs.


BLOGGER'S NOTE: this thread now has over one hundred comments, so I've started Vestibular Part II to handle new comments. See the UPDATE at the top of the original post, above, or follow this link: Vestibular Disease II.

Of course this original post and all the comments here will remain as long as the blog exists.

Thanks to all for past and future comments.

Anonymous said...

Skippy is still with us. We continue to change diapers and cook for her. You can see her lower her head to her water dish until her chin touches to determine the level of the water and begins to drink after eating what tasty cuisine we've plopped in her food bowl.

She still can smell that pizza and knows there will be crust folks dare to throw out. When she was young and we came home from the pizza parlor with crust we'd saved for her, we also brought a helium balloon or two (originally for our son) which she loved to play with. She would grab the string in her teeth and roll on the floor and paw at it until she worked the balloon within reach with her paws.

It was always great entertainment for everyone. Her buddy, our son, Austin, will be coming home from grad school for a break in a couple weeks. Skippy has been around for most of his life. She WILL be here for his visit. It may be for the last time, but she'll be here. Wobbly, blind, deaf and in a diaper, but we'll be sharing pizza together. All of us.

Anonymous said...

Found this site while researching "old dog walking in circles". Don't know the difference between a "blog", a "twitter" and a "forum", but this is a great find.

Skippy is a 30-35lb rat/jack terrier pushing 18 now. A few months ago she developed signs of Canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome, which the doc referred to as "Old dog disease". We thought she was kidding since Skippy quite qualifies as an "old dog".

The symptoms did in fact subside considerably after a course of antibiotics, but we don't know if it was the drugs or just the time that had passed.

The symptoms never went away completely and have gotten progressively worse. She stumbles from time to time and we had to build a fence around our pond as she once fell in while we were out and from the looks of her when we returned she had quite a time getting out. Her running days are past, but then so are mine.

She can't see much at all, we suspect only light and dark, but she has romped over this property almost as long as our 25 year old son and knows the terrain by smell and shadow I suspect, as she seems to know her way around. Now and then she'll stand in the middle if the backyard for long periods, just standing there, slowly swaying like a drunk until she begins to sag toward the ground, eyes closed, but she won't lay down.

She continues to walk in slow circles, sometimes tight circles, sometimes larger, to such an extent as to wear down the pads on the inside foot she pivots around if she's on the concrete.

Occasionally she gets sick to her stomach and she has gotten extremely picky as to what will entice her to eat. Lately we've been taking dry food and microwaving it with wet food which seems to make for a palatable mix.

She drinks plenty of water and eats well if the the cook takes time to prepare her meals to four-star cuisine status.

She will lean against something when she has the chance, but often just stands there until her eyes begin to close ant then slowly begins to sag to the ground where she stands.

If she does decide to lay down doggie style she will begin to circle just like any dog would, but she won't stop circling. Eventually it drives us crazy and we go over, pick her up and lay her on her bed, where she immediately nods off.

Oh, did I mention she's deaf as a post? Yup, deaf, blind, oh yeah, and incontinent. Yeah, the last one's a peach. We started buying doggie diapers at the local pet emporium, but found that was much too expensive, not to mention a messy ordeal, in much the same way as a child would be.

We found that she could wear a baby's diaper, size 6, if we cut a tail hole where they fold in half and make a couple cuts where the diaper meets her flanks. Saves us a bundle; buy em in bulk at Costco:)

Our neighbor had his 15 year old lab put down a while back because it became incontinent, I'll bet he thinks we're nuts putting up with a blind, deaf, incontinent dog who can't walk straight and has all the appearances of circling the drain for the last time. Thing is, she still likes to be petted and loved, still enjoys a squirt from the whipped cream can directly in her mouth and will work on an empty ice cream carton until every trace of ice cream is gone from every corner and crease.

How can we possibly call in Dr Kevorkian when we know she still enjoys the simple pleasures of "LIFE"? Are we being selfish and cruel?

Let me answer with:
Ever sit or lay in the warm sun with your eyes shut and just contemplate your existence? What if it were you who was old, blind, lame and incontinent, just sitting there in the grass feeling the warm sun on your body and eyelids, contemplating the long life you've had and all the experiences you've lived through and shared with those you've loved.

Anonymous said...

we have connected it to Previcox in our dog (like Jennifer's story below). Every time she has had this problem was preceded by taking Previcox for arthritis. Stopping the medication stops the symptoms.

Anonymous said...

Last year, our wonderful 14 yrld Golden Retriever was stricken with this affliction.

I came home to an absolute horrific sight. Sparky was standing there stiff legged, panting so hard i though she would pass out, and was drooling everywhere. I ran over to her in a panic and when she saw me, she tried to walk over to me and fell right over. At this point, I totally freaked out. I was sure she had had a stroke. I grabbed a blanket, put it in the driveway, managed to get her on the blanket and laid with her for an hour or so and cried. Everytime she would try and get up, she would fall the other way. Her eyes were darting back and forth, her breathing was extremely labored and I was positive that she was dying.

Of course, it was a Sunday and the vet was closed. We live in the country so I grabbed the phone book and looked for a mobile vet that could come and put her to sleep as we didn't want her to suffer.

Of the 3 vets that called me back, all 3 said the same thing "it was rare for a dog to have a stroke and that it was more than likely old dog vestibular syndrome". As scary as it appeared, she would come out of it. Though I had never heard of this condition before, I was ecstatic that this is what it was because it wasn't leathal and she wasn't going to remain as incapacitated as she was at that moment.

This was the scariest and MOST HORRIBLE thing I have ever witnessed.

It took her two days to start eating and drinking on her own, and by the third day, she was up stumbling around like a drunk sailor (a vast improvement).

It has been a little less than a year since this episode. She still has a slight head tilt and at times is a little unsteady on her feet, but otherwise, she is back to normal.

Jen said...

I have a 12 yr old Lhasa named Rags. She began having problems a few months ago with dizziness and coordination problems and I took her to the vet right away. He gave her an antibiotic shot and diagnosed her with epileptic seizures. I”ve never actually seen her have a seizure, he said I was just seeing the after-effects…i.e the dizziness. He gave me phenobarbital and told me to give her 1/2 a pill twice a day. She improved after about a week and has been fine for the last couple months. Now the dizziness and lack of coordination is back and almost worse than before. The vet now has me giving her potassium bromate liquid in addition to the pheno. I’ve seen no improvement…in fact, she has been very dizzy all day today and very lethargic. I’m a total wreck. After reading everyone else’s stories here (which most cases sound almost identical to hers) I’m calling the vet again tomorrow and talking about the possibility of her having vestibular disorder. I don’t like giving her these meds if epilepsy isn’t the problem. I’m also going to google the homeopathic CVD remedies that someone suggested a few posts back.
This little girl means the world to my husband and I especially since we have no human children…..and it just hurts so much because I’ve always been fussy about her care….
all-natural food, spring water, vitamins…..and she’s always been very healthy and playful. To see how she is now compared to just 6 months ago is just tearing us apart…I hope and pray the info I found on this site will help me help her. Thanks
Jen

Anonymous said...

Riches, my miniature schnauzer, woke me up at 3am with some kind of moving around in his bed noise. When I looked it appeared he was rolling around and around in his bed. I got up and held him steady. Once he seemed stable I took him outside. He had lost his balance but he still went pee and then poo and then he went to the other side of the yard and vomited. Then we returned to bed. He was reluctant to get back in bed but he did. Next morning he was very off balance and it was difficult for him to walk. I helped him outside again. Then we went upstairs and I called the vet. Got an appointment for 1:45 that afternoon. By then his eyes were "twitching" with the nystagmus. His vet immediately knew what it was. He gave him a shot of convenia and also an injection of azium. This was Monday morning when it started. It is now Wednesday and, though he is still dizzy, he can go up and down the front porch stairs and walk enough to get a little exercise. His head still tilts but I think his eyes are much better. He is much better actually and I am hoping that the condition continues to improve. We have another vet appointment Thursday. I hope everyone's dog completely recovers from this. I have never seen anything like it. It is so strange!!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. My old gal was trotting around as usual 5 days ago when suddenly she jerked like she was shocked. By the time we got home, she was completely unable to stand, her eyes were shooting back forth etc. This illness comes on so suddenly and the symptoms so severe that it's terrifying for owners, especially those of us who never heard of Vestibular syndrome before. I raced her to the emergency vet where she stayed for two days.

She's much better now, although still unsteady on her feet, and has a slight head tilt. I'm hoping for a full recovery. All through this, even at her most nauseated and frightened she never lost her sweetness and her "never say die" attitude. Yes, we can learn a great deal from our old dogs.

Anonymous said...

I never heard of this syndrome until 3 weeks ago. I was walking my 10 year old dog and she too jerked like she was shocked, but she was able to walk home. Once there she collapsed on her bed and could not stand or walk. Her eyes were moving back and forth incredibly fast, she was nauseated and her head was tilted.

I was horrified and rushed her to the emergency vet, who decided to do no tests but wait and see if she improved with just IV fluids and if she did that would point to vestibular. I'm lucky I had a vet who recognized this illness immediately and told me my dog would likely recover.

My girl rapidly improved and 3 weeks later you would never know anything had been wrong, other than her seeming a bit clumsy when she's excited. She never even lost her appetite nor did she lose her happy and optimistic spirit. The only mess was ME!

Kim said...

The very first dog I rescued over 13 years ago returned to me this year. Grover is a 14 year old Weimeraner/Springer Spaniel mix and has been the best dog in the world. I have been very blessed to have him back and am committed to letting him live out the rest of his days doing whatever he wants to do in comfort. I went out of town this weekend and received a call from the petsitter that Grover was very sick and that I needed to come home to take him to the vet. When I arrived and saw Grover with his tilted head, nystagmus, spralled stance, and ataxia I was relieved. My petsitter thought I was nuts! I told her that I know what this is. It's IVD! Sure enough, the vet concurred and Grover went on antibiotics, just in case, and Cerenia. I am worried with his anorexia as he was already too thin in my opinion. I am syringe feeding him but am getting worried. It has been over 5 days since the onset of symptoms. He is obviously compensating and is walking much better and drinks like a maniac. Still no appetite. I am crossing my fingers. Hopeful.

Anonymous said...

calonHartley, our 15 year old black lab has developed some, but not all, of the symptoms described by others on this blog.
He was off colour for a couple of days before suddenly going off his legs. when he gets up he sways from side to side and finds it hard to balance. At times he manages to walk a little way then stands with his legs splayed before gently sinking to the ground: when this happens he is very reluctant to move.
This first happened overnight the day before yesterday. We rang the vet who suggested we give him an anti inflamatory and bring him in the next day. There was a marked improvement in the morning and he enjoyed his usual walk. By lunchtime the symptoms had reappeared. The vet has given him antibiotics and a steroid jab and told us to bring him back in the morning.
He has not urinated since his walk this morning and I am worried that this will be making him uncomfortable.
He has never soiled in the house and I am worried that he must be uncomfortable. He has managed to walk outside once but it was dark and he sank to the ground within a few steps of the door.
Any suggestions?
We are back at the vet's tomorrow morning.
We have always said that we will not let him suffer and he has no quality of life as things stand. He does not have filckering eyes but did vomit at the start of this attack.
Sorry about the rambling nature of this post but I really want to do everything possible to help our dear old friend who has donee many, many miles with us over the last fifteen years.
Thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences of Vestibular disease.

Terri said...

I have a Cocker/Eskimo mix, Edelweiss, that went through this in Sept, and now in March is going through it again. I have alot of experience with this vestubular condition, as another dog I had also got it. She was a Shih Tzu miz and about 18 years old. Also had one relapse. My dog now will be 16 this summer. Both dogs I had hospitalized the first time it happened, and the second time was able to treat them at home.
One tip for trying to get your dog used to drinking from his water bowl again, is to mix a little gravy in the water. It seems to aid them in "finding" the water line since their spatial perception is off. Last vet suggested using Science Diet A/D which my dog is gobbling up, and it is a wet food with moisture. The vet did do a sub-cutaneous drip as I was concerned about my dog getting dehydrated. This vet does not want to use Prednisone but I have used that before so I may look around. I know it has side effects but worked well in the past. I am giving her 2 antibiotics and also the vet prescribed Mezicline (sp) similiar to Dramamine. Luckily she is not vomiting since the inital onset, but her eyes seem to be taking longer this time to adjust. Good luck to anyone reading this and just give your dog support and let him know you are right there beside him! They can recover well, as my dog has been like a puppy the last few months. The setback is hard to deal with but hopefully she will be back to her old self again soon.

Anonymous said...

We just took our 4 year old Golden into the Vet for nausea. Before getting there, we stopped to let her vomit in the landscaping, after which she fell over. As she tried to get back to the car, she listed terribly to the left. My husband and I thought it was a stroke. After examining her, our Vet thinks it is Vestibular Disease, which is rare for a dog her age. After reading these blogs, it sounds like we have an interesting road ahead of us. She is our baby and the smartest dog we've had in the past 38 years. We also have a 9 year old "Special Needs Child" Golden and an 18 year old Tabby Cat who is doing great. This being a new territory for us, I am fearful over our young Golden's future.

Lorie said...

I am so thankful I found this blog. Duke, our 8 yr old boxer has been struggling with what the vet initially thought was vestibular disease for 2 wks now. Today we went back to the vet, and he now thinks it's a brain tumor since his face is starting to droop, and his front right paw keeps rolling under. We were told we can take him home and keep him comfortable until "it's time". I am so heartbroken right now! This baby means the world to me, and I can't stand the thought of losing him. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced vestibular disease, but without the head tilt and eye darting (along with the paw rolling under)? I completely trust our vet, and truly think he will be do what is best for Duke...but I am holding out hope. It comforts me to read the comments about your dogs that have recovered from these symptoms. I hope we can be so lucky!!!

Thoughts and prayers to everyone worried about their beloved babies.

patrinapitts said...

I'm glad to have seen this blog.
We have a 15yo golden/lab, Marla (she's a "failed foster" & has been with us for 11 yrs now). Marla has had random bouts of urinary incontinance for 10 of those yrs, painful arthritis in both hips & 1 knee for several yrs, and has begun losing her sight & hearing. This combination of ailments gives her a very robotic gait & a normal "head-down" posture. All of these issues are treated by our vet.
Last December, she had what we thought was a stroke. I'm a former vet tech, familiar with Wobblers, Vestibular, Cushings, etc & I don't panic easily. Her symptoms were almost identical to those of our old epileptic lab/mix, Sneakers, who developed an inoperable brain tumor & had multiple strokes the last year of his life (all of which he rallied from with care & PT, until the last one).
The only additional symptom Marla exhibited was a severe head tilt & slight body lean. She had no nystagmus, no vomiting, no apparent nausea (retained a healthy appetite) & the lean did not make her walk in circles. Her normal arthritic posture & gait were largely unchanged, although she seemed generally weak & tired & had to be supported to stand & walk (she's 75 lbs). Her previous annual blood work & panel showed no thyroid problem, and her ears are clean & free of mites, so a middle ear infection was unlikely.
I called our vet of 12 yrs, who advised that we could bring her in for a series of tests or support her physically (PT) & observe her for a few days first. Considering her age, size & dislike of the clinic, we decided to wait, aid her physically & observe. She improved along roughly the same timeline & progression as our stroke dog, Sneakers, and with our vet's agreement, we chose to keep her home.
About 2 weeks ago, we noticed she was sleeping thru episodes of urinary incontinence, then startling herself awake, staggering to her feet & moving to a dry spot, embarrassed. She also began a slight leaning posture, but again without any other neuro symptoms.
Just last night, she began having stability issues. She is anable to stand or walk without assistance as her toes are curling under. Her back left leg is uncontrolled & folding under her, she is leaning to 1 side, without a head tilt, and she has to be urged to eat. Our vet is strongly suggesting vestibular, but without extensive tests, can't be certain. And an MRI would have to be a referral case to a clinic 1-1/2 hrs away.
Honestly, I don't know what to do at this point. Extensive tests & xrays are out of the question, we have no intention of stressing her at her age, with painfully fragile hips & temperament. We also have the care of several other special-needs & senior dogs, so can't afford extensive tests if it won't change the treatment options or outcome. She's not a candidate for harsh pharmas or surgery.
Is anyone experienced with specific homeopathic or home treatments to ease her symptoms? We know a difficult decision is in our futures, but would like to ease her & stabilize some quality of life as long as possible.
Any home-care advice is appreciated, as we are in a rural area without the options of a homeopathic/accupunture vet...

patrinapitts said...

I just reread my post on Marla, and forgot to mention another new symptom: in the past few days, she has developed a random cough. Nothing serious, just a single cough or two, particularly when she changes position, from sleeping to sitting, sitting to standing & vice-versa.
We've had enough senior & special-needs dogs over the years to sense when it's time for "that" decision. We just don't think Marla is there yet, and are looking for any suggestions to make her more comfortable. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Woke up to my dog flailling pn the ground on circles, head tilt an inability to walk:( she is at the vet hospital over night but it seems she had another episode and they are thinking it might be a brain tumor and seizures not ivd :( im praying its ibd and she gets better. Dont really kniw which it is but im not ready to say goodbye to my 12 year old dog:(

Anonymous said...

So greatful to finding this blog. Our Sabrina, 14-1/2 year young Dobie-Lab just came down with Vestibular syndrome late last night, falling once, but by morning falling many more times like a drunken sailor (sorry to all the sailors out there). She had a fatty tumor removed two weeks ago and her pain wasn't managed well with that, so off to the vet the next morning. The next day so had a little ulcer break open, back to the emergency vet. When she had her staples out from her surgery on Monday the wound hadn't healed well so she was getting a cold laser treatment yesterday, and last night she started to stumble. Imagine our dismay thinking that the care we were giving her may have caused her problems. It's such a relief to read everyone else's story and making us hope for a quick recovery. I was just glad I'm home on vacation to help with her care while she recovers.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, I hope your dogs are all doing well!
I am wondering if my dog Phoenix has vestibular or if it's something else. He is 7 years old now, and since about 2 or 3 years, mainly in summer, when we go out and exercise him by throwing his ball for him (this means he runs like crazy for 5-10 minutes to begin with), he sometimes started to run straight ahead in some random direction, or in circles without listening to me when I called him, or he would walk like he was drunk, occasionally also falling over, but if I managed to catch him and give him something to drink, he was perfectly fine after that! he did not vomit nor did he have a head tilt, nor did his eyes move, although I thought sometimes his eyes looked a bit cross in those situations. We went to the vet who assumed epilepsy, but my personal opinion is maybe a heatstroke, because my stupid dog does not drink all day while tied up to his kennel waiting for us to come home, even though he has got a water bowl right next to him. When he comes off his chain he usually runs inside to have a drink there, then we would go for a walk, and he would run like crazy for a while so I thought heat stroke might be a possible explanation? However it has since then also happened a few times in cold weather, so I am not sure anymore if my theory is correct. Has anyone's dog got similar symptoms? Thanks! Kat

Anonymous said...

My 13 year old dog got IVD last month. She was in pretty bad shape and was not eating or drinking and stumbled (ataxic) alot, even falling flat on her face to play with her favorite ball. Poor thing! I decided to try lying her down in a quiet place on the same side that I noticed she had been most comfortable sleeping. After a relaxing massage, I then waited for the nystagmusin her eyes to subside (this will happen if you really watch closely). She then could eat very well out of my hand while sidelying! It was remarkable! I mean I had just offered her chicken and steak while she was upright and she flat out refused and now she was happily chowing down! After a few minutes of eating while sidelying, I raised her up to what I call a "sphinx position" (lying down while sitting up)and she could then finish her food and drink plenty of water. I'm familiar with human patients with vesibular problems in physical therapy and they have to lie still too in order to stop the world from spinning.It worked! She seemed to get about 5 to 10% better everyday and is now fine with a very subtle residual head tilt. One thing I noticed is the entire time she was sick, she always had a playful attitiude, not lethargic and she never vomitted.

Buster's Mom said...

Thanks for all these posts.
Our Buster (13+years) developed vestibular disease on mother's day night this year. we came home from dinner & he was flailing about, had thrown up and had urinated and defacated in the house, which he had never before done. rushed him to the vet, thinking the worst. "luckily" vestibular was his diagnosed. had the jerking eye movement. went through a lot, but is much better now, almost 3 weeks later. just the massive head tilt left.
I wanted to comment on the "suddenness" of the condition. I noticed a few weeks before he became ill that he had been having tracking me in the house. usually he came to me as soon as i walked in the door and could find me anywhere in the house at anytime. for a few weeks, he struggled to find me. i just thought he was losing his hearing. now that he is getting better after the vest.disease, he acts much more like his old self, ie., coming right away & finding me where ever I am. So, i wonder whether there are perhaps warning signs to the disease, and maybe it isn't always so sudden. just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hello. My dog Grover is a German Shepherd Mix. He is a shelter dog, so I don't know exactly how old he is, but I'd put him in the 12-13 range. In March, he woke up one day acting drunk, stumbling, moving to the right, horizontal nystagmus (eye movement), eye twitching, head tilt to the right,falling over. With Meclizine (for his dizziness) and lots of TLC, he eventually got back to 100% within 3 weeks. It was remarkable.

However, 2 weeks ago, I came home and he was unable to move at all. His head was straight down and near the floor (like an ostricth). Every step he tried to take resulted in him rolling on his head and falling onthe floor. This happened three times. The nystagmus was back. I rushed him to the hospital. The neurologist said he had bilateral vestibular disease. The first time, only the right side was affected, this time it was both (bilateral). I was nervous and opted for an MRI. No tumors, no lesions, no infections. It's been two weeks, and he now has a head tilt to the left, needs a lot of assitance walking, and falls on occasion. He has begun walking in circles, sometimes it lasts as long as an hour with brief breaks in between circles. I wake up every morning at 5am to his circling and my heart breaks. I have cried so much. He has an appetite, he gives me so many kisses and such affection still, but I know he's going through a lot, never mind what I"m going through. I know that it's only been 2 weeks, and it took 3 weeks last time, and this time is worse, so it may just be that he needs more time, but I keep fearing what if he doesn't get better? What if I have to put himi down? What if I do put him down and he would have gotten better if had waited a week?

Does anyone else have experience with vestibular disease coming back and it being worse? Did the dog get better again? I have constant anxiety about my friend and I can't even focus at work right now. Please help!

Buster's Mom said...

This is the 6 week mark for buster since he first got ill. He is MUCH better. each week shows more progress. he can use a large ottaman at the foot of our bed to jump up in a couple of jumps. he still tilts to the side when he does it, but he isn't as fearful as he was at the beginning of the disease. his appetite is back in full force, and he's back to roaming our back yard as he used to love. his bark is back. the head tilt is still rather prominent and, as i said, still tilts some when walking/jumping, but i think the tilt is less than initially. just thought i would give a bit of a time-line for anyone new to vestibular disease.

Anonymous said...

It's now been four weeks for Grover. He is still having trouble walking on his own outside. Inside is better because he can grip the carpet. Yet, he still walks in circles early in the morning and veers to the left. He is very hesitant to make right turns when he walks, and still doesn't walk straight. He stumbles, falls, and does forward rolls often. This happens more in the morning and late at night. He is still eating very well and is affectionate as always, but he still is not "himself." This has been extremely upsetting. I'm trying so hard to do everything I can for the little guy. Does anyone else have experience with vestibular disease taking over a month for the dog to get closer to normal?

Jeri Soulier said...

Our 6 year old Sadie (McNab/German Short Hair) was walking "drunk" this past Sat a.m. on her back legs, then front legs also on Sunday a.m. - to the vet on Monday with idiopathic vestibular disease diagnosis. We passed on the MRI offer due to cost and lack of treatment options. Horizontal eye movements came yesterday. She refuses water or food or can't seem to manage them, and can't stand/walk. We are pushing water with a bit of salt and sugar with s syringe, and mixing up anything bland we can think of and adding as much water as palatable to help keep her hydrated. She doesn't seem to be able to voluntarily blink her eyes. We are nursing her, and praying. Vet had never seen it in a younger dog like ours.

Trina said...

Jeri, rather than saltwater, try clear pedialyte (or generic equivalent) by syringe. When I was a vet tech in private clinic, we recommended it for anyone choosing home-care for a dog that could become dehydrated. It has a fantastic balance of nutrients, potassium, etc. We've seen it save lives- even parvo pups. Hubby & I, and most friends & family w/dogs, keep it on hand in our doggie 1st aid kits at home... Also, try to tease her appetite w/a meat-based, low-grain canned food, something like 4Health Chicken & Rice (it's a TSC brand). It's our go-to with our old vestibular girl when she won't eat anything else & it's seems to be easily digestible for her. Best wishes...

Kim said...

Thank you so much for all of your comments about your experiences. This has been a tremendous help. I have never heard of this disease. I have an 11 year old German shepherd who had her first episode just 4 days ago. Everyday is a little better than the last. My vet took one look at my Heidi and knew exactly what was wrong. She had all the symptoms everyone else has described. My vet did not prescribe any drugs but, just to take her home and let her rest. Her eyes have stopped twitching. She still has the head tilt and, I have to wrap a towel under her to help her go to the bathroom. She has been drinking water. The only thing she has eaten are baby food cookies. This was just an idea I had to try to entice her to eat. She also has an alergy to animal protein so she cannot eat meat. I tried some morningstar soy chicken parties which she normally loves but, not now. Though its only been 4 days, I can see an improvement in her demeanor. She seems to act a little more like herself. I'm not normally a Blogger but, I decided to post in hopes that I could contribute something helpful as those before me have done. Thank you so much for this site. Very helpful, helps give some piece of mind.

Anonymous said...

my dusty has diabetes and is blind. she is 10. she takes insulin shots twice a day. two days ago, i thought she had a stroke but her body was moving ok, it was her equilibrium. it was vestibular disease and today, she's over it. she still ate and drank good. she couldn't get the steroids because of her insulin but it was obviously a mild case. we were very lucky.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all so much for sharing. My 12-13 year old beagle mix started with these symptoms three days ago. It came on all of a sudden, he had fallen and couldn't stand on his feet. I was holding him, meanwhile his eyes uncontrollably bounced back and forth. It was such a relief to find out that he would be OK over time. Watching him go through that was so scary, my first thought was stroke or seizure. He has already shown improvement with his ability to walk, although he struggles, it's an improvement and I'll take it. He has had continent issues, which isn't mentioned much so I wonder how many others experience this symptom.
Buster's mom, I don't know if it's related, but I noticed in recent weeks my beagle was showing signs of his age, or so I thought. I would call him in a room and he was unable to locate me. I would have to clap my hands while he looked around and I would wave my arms for him to see me. I hope that was a precursor to this syndrome and he gets back to himself. That is yet to be seen, but I'm thankful for the improvements he has made so far. And I'm looking forward to the rest of our days together, I was worried for a bit that they were numbered.

Kate said...

So glad to have found this blog. I have read every single one. For the most part everyone's dog seems to come out of it within a month. Well let me tell you about my journey with CVD.

About a year ago my bull-terrier/mix Jersey(adopted from the humane society, so we think she is 6) had an ear infection. We treated it as per usual, then one day things were different. She had a hard time on the floors, she fell down the stairs, she couldn't walk straight, her head had a slight tilt. She was eating and drinking the same. We brought her to the Vet and he said inner ear infection so again we treat the ear infection. No improvement to be seen. So time goes on and we are back and forth to the Vet each time hoping for an answer to solve this problem.

So we decide to bring to the Vet again and our Vet wasn't there so we saw a new Vet. He prescribed Jersey prednisone and an antibiotic.

After a few days Jersey was doing better, she was shaking her head without falling over, she was running down the ramp in a straight line. Things were looking good. Then the meds came to an end, she is still not 100% her self but things are looking up(still no stairs). So the meds have ended and now again she is having all the same symptoms again. So we get another 2nd opinion because the second Vet moved away. This Vet had no idea if it was CVD or the other VD. So he sent us to a neurologist.

Well he wanted us to do an MRI and a spinal tap and it was around $3000. We have 4-5 dogs at a time and they are all rescues, and we are a young couple in our late 20's just starting out. If he said $3000 and she will be back 100%, I would have paid in a heart beat. But that was not the case.

He then says she is Chronic and is implying that end is near and that the tests need to be done or I will never know if I don't do them...blah blah blah. I just can't do it.

Anyways I have read so much information on this disease it is sick. He thinks she has a lesion. I on the other hand do not. She is still the happiest dog I have. SO she needs help up the stairs and off the bed, she wages her tail all day and has a smile on her face.

I want to believe in my heart he is wrong. So I request meds as a part of a treatment plan without MRI's and such. He gave her Clindamycin, Prednisone and Doxycline. It's day 3 of this and she is doing better, still a bit wobbly and no stairs but she is not fallen over when she shakes. Still happy. Still doing an hour walk with her pack.

The neurologist called today to see how she was and wants us to come in soon to do an MRI. I feel like he is forcing it on us. Do you think they just want $? I also think if I do the MRI and find out it is a lesion, I won't be able to afford to get all the treatment/surgery and medical care if needed after anyways. So why not just try the meds and hope for the best.

I don't know, I am just hoping to hear that someone has been going through this as long as I have. My husband believes everything the Vet says. I'm no Vet but I read everything and I just don't agree. My gut says he's wrong.

Thanks for letting me vent, and if anyone has some insight I would love to hear from you. I will post updates on Jersey incase anyone ever needs this information they can know what to expect if it's the same.

Anonymous said...

Kate, I am a former vet tech; our own 15-1/2yo lab/retriever mix had recurring VD beginning last December. We've recently lost her- we made the very difficult decision to have her pts in my arms when she was no longer able to stand due to massive spinal pain & muscle atrophy in her back legs. VD was a contributing factor in her condition, not THE factor; we had been supplementing for Marla's severe arthritis & other conditions prior to the VD, and those are the conditions that ultimately caused her decline in health.

I want to let you know that it is perfectly fine to question your vet. Selecting a vet is like selecting a pediatrician- you must have absolute trust in that person's medical opinion. If you don't, keep looking. Some vets do not specialize in diagnostics, simply are no good at it, or abide by formulaic treatment b/c that's what their clinic encourages, no different than some human docs. That doesn't make them the right fit for you & your family.

A young mix breed pup I adopted out from private rescue was found to be in renal/kidney failure when her new family ordered a standard chem panel prior to spay.
Their new vet insisted on extensive tests, an experimental type of dialysis, prescription food, meds, etc to start at $3-5,000.

This family was much like you, young, newly married, multiple dogs, brand new house. With no guarantees, they just couldn't do it & asked if I could take back.
I picked her up with copies of her medical records, brought her to my vet (my former boss) & started fresh. Yes, she was in renal/kidney failure & had a terminal prognosis. But our vet is an amazing diagnostician & was able to design a diet & meds treatment to give this girl a quality of life with us for an additional 14 months at less than $150/month. Even he was amazed at her longevity w/a terminal prognosis, & he used her case to redesign how he approached treatment in future.

He also used an alternative combination of meds a few yrs ago to treat our rescued American Dingo. Mojo's symptoms mimicked parvo, but repeated snap tests were neg, his symptoms continued for wks & were recurring even after marginal recovery. With a radical combination of meds, in addition to fluid treatment, Mojo survived & is flourishing (it was a severe chemical allergy to a topical flea/tick treatment). All because our vet was willing & able to think outside the box.

And you should keep in mind that you & your husband know your dog best; on some subliminal level, you're noting discrepancies b/t what you see in her & what the vet or the neurogist are claiming is her condition. Trust your gut- you are her guardians, you're the ones who love her & have to live with your decisions.

Our old dog, Sneakers, was a 10yo epileptic when diagnosed with a brain tumor behind his eye. Our regular vet was on vacation, his new associate received the test results. This new associate pressed for us to do immediate surgery, something we just did not want to do. The discussion went on for wks until we asked our regular vet to take back the case. His review backed our gut feeling NOT to have risky surgery. Sneakers was with us almost another year & 1/2, happy, healthy, undiminished until the last 6wks. We made the right decision for us & for him.

Trust yourself & find a vet you can trust. You'll never regret that.

LissaLou said...

I am reading your blog and feel relieved that others have gone through this and have had happy endings. About a month ago my dog presented with a head tilt, walked unsteady and was in some pain. Went to the vet and it was discovered she had a yeast infection in her ear. Fine. We were treated and left with meds and miraculously within a day she behaved normally. We followed the course of treatment though and thought it was now all behind us. Yesterday out of the blue, she presented with the head tilt and unsteady gait again. Being that it was a Sunday and because it is so unsettling to witness we went to the emergeny vet. Despite stating this exact thing has happened before, I was told it was a neck strain and prescribed an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer for a 5 day regimine.

I will just continue to watch Jing-Mei (my 7 year old Japanese Chin) for a few more days. With the description supplied by all of you, I know this is what it is and I think the first time, it just happen to coincide with an ear infection (lucky timing so to speak). Thank you all for telling your stories!

Barktender said...

My dog Whiskey, is not very old maybe 8-9 a white powder puff pom. I love him dearly. His first episode with what I believe is vestibular disease was around April of this year. He was put on prenidone. He was already on pheno and thyroid medicine. I had put him on a water therapy regimene of 2 to 3 swims a week and he completely recovered. Then 5 days ago it came back. He is on antibotics and I just removed him off of the prednisone because he had not shown any improvement with a day and a half of giving it to him. I am heart broken, he does not seem to see me and does not seem to hear well. This was not the case last time. I want to thank you all for sharing your stories I still have hope that my Whiskey will recover. Right now he is circling clockwise and staying on his feet pretty well. He eats and drinks, pees and has not had a bowel movement for a day. If anyone has a thought other than acupunture I would love to hear it. I live hours away from any animal acupuncturist. Is there any natural remedies that would help here. Again thank you for this blog.

Barb said...

My dog, Buddy, (a 14 yr old Lab/Husky/Shepherd) fell down the stairs on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday night, she could not stand up or walk. On Thursday I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with severe ear infections in both ears and Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. Otomax was prescribed for the ear infection. She is still not eating very much, only bits from my hand and drinking very little. She stays in her bed most of the time and is very wobbly when she tries to stand up or walk. There are a few steps off the porch to the yard and she has trouble getting down them. Getting up is not as difficult. The vet told me we should see improvement by Monday, but most of the blogs I've read indicate that it may take weeks! Any suggestions for helping all of us get through this would be helpful.

D said...

I would hope that some vet or good research person would look into the cause of this desease via drugs, foods, water, etc.
For this syndrome to come out of "nowhere" seems too bizarre. Ther has to be a cause somewhere!
I would start with what is in their foods and any drugs firs!

Bella's Mom said...

Thank you for this wonderful site! My beautiful 9 yr old cocker spaniel 'Bella' has developed this frightning disorder. I was awakened night before last when I noticed that there was something wet at the foot of the bed where she was laying. Bella had wet the bed! I was in disbelief,this is completely out of character for my girl. She seemed fine otherwise. I cleaned her, cleaned the bed and back to sleep we went. The next morning I was getting dressed when I noticed Bella tilted her head and fell over and began to wet herself. After the episode she was able to stand but she was falling about and her head was still tilted. I was terrified, I thought I was loosing my friend. Shortly after this episode Bella started to vomit. The day after this all began and having to turn down tests that I could not afford, I found this site. Almost 48 hours in and she has every classic symptom I have read in other 'parents' stories. Bella did drink water today on her own from a cup I held for her despite vomiting an hour or so afterward. I am giving her Nutri-Stat diluted with water through a push syringe to keep her from dehydrating and to help her keep her energy up. I have gotten so much good info here and I finally feel hopeful that she will have a chance to be around for several more years to come. (As I am not ready to let her go.) I am going to try some of the other remedies I have read about too in hopes they will help her recover quicker. Thank you again.

kelley said...

I'm so glad I found this blog. My 15yo poodle, Pete, started showing signs of vestibular syndrome in June. The vet thought he had a luxating patella, at first, so it wasn't until this week, when he had two seizures with head tilt, loss of balance and vomiting that they landed on this diagnosis. She believes it may be from a brain lesion since he's had multiple seizures. I've decided not to do the MRI because he's not a surgery candidate at his age. Instead, I'll do acupuncture and possibly phenylbarbitol if the symptoms continue. I'm amazed at how prevalent this syndrome is - just seeing all the posts on this thread have heartened me. I'm sorry for all of our beloved pets but grateful to know that Pete and I aren't alone.

Anonymous said...

My 13 yr old German Shepherd had his first and hopefully last vestibular event this morning. Like other dog owners on this site, I was thinking the worst.....stroke. The most distressing to watch was the rapid eye movement. And he looked very disoriented. Luckily, he is doing fine now and hopefully that will be the last attack he has.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks,

Thank you all for sharing your stories. They have given my wife and I a lot of hope. It is truly awful watching our beautiful girl go through this.

My question to those who have been down this road before is this: Were you able to stop medication (prednisone) at any point? or will our dog have to be on this stuff from here on in. She is a twelve years old dobe. Our Vet seems to think she will need to be on it for the rest of her life, but reading some of these blogs, I'm thinking I should get another opinion.

Has anyone had success after stopping the prednisone?

Thanks,

D

Jan said...

My Lilly (cocker spaniel) was diagnosed yesterday (Christmas Day)with vestibular disease by the emergency ER. I agree with others...this is truly awful to go through. This AM, she went into the bushes and laid down and would not come out as if she wanted to die there. Has anyone else experienced this? I thank everyone for the posts because I feel less alone in this and since my dog has the same symptoms, I can feel like her diagnosis is accurate.

Lori said...

Our dog Sasha was also diagnosed on Christmas Day...scary and sad for our kids and us as well. Thinking we might not see our just turned 13 year-old shepherd mix again when my husband rushed her to an emergency animal hospital left us all in tears. We were so relieved when my husband called a couple hours later to say he and Sasha were on their way home. My 8year-old said that was the best present ever! Now 5 days later, she is some improved (had been on anti-vomiting meds for 4 days) but still has no appetite. Thankful to read these posts as it gives us hope it won't last much longer.

Alyssa said...

Wow, it has been such a relief to read all the posts about vestibular disease. My baby girl, Precious, was diagnosed 3 days ago. She is young 16 year old Corgi mix. I actually thought that she had stroke after noticing her symptoms once I had gotten home from work. I quickly took her to the Emergency vet and she was diagnosed with vestibular. She did have the involuntary eye movement;however, it has subsided. She has a slight head tilt. She is able to move around without much stumbling. I do have to hand feed her because she likes to just lay in her dog bed, even though I just thinks she likes the added attention. She will get up to drink water out of her bowl. She is on predisone and antibiotics. Her recovery is going well. Thanks again all for all the helpful posts! I can worry about my baby a little less.

Anon said...

Hi folks,

Thank you all for sharing your stories. They have given my wife and I a lot of hope. It is truly awful watching our beautiful girl go through this.

My question to those who have been down this road before is this: Were you able to stop medication (prednisone) at any point? or will our dog have to be on this stuff from here on in. She is a twelve years old dobe. Our Vet seems to think she will need to be on it for the rest of her life, but reading some of these blogs, I'm thinking I should get another opinion.

Has anyone had success after stopping the prednisone?

Thanks,

D

Anonymous said...

Our peke was just diagnosed last night after we had the same experience as many have posted on this thread. Lulu is a 13 and 4 months golden female peke. She's extremely lovable and hardly suffers from any type of health ailment except for dry eyes which we administer medicated eye drops daily. I noticed late at night when I was up that she was acting "funny". Just that she was sleeping one minute and then suddenly out and about walking around really fast around the kitchen. Odd because at 13 she loves her bed more than anything but then she climbed back into her bed normal again. The next morning came downstairs to see vomit and diarrhea everywhere! I cleaned it up and she was in her bed looking depressed but I didn't notice the symptoms then. Not till I came home from work and she refused to come out when I called for her. She was staggering, had the head tilt and just looked not good. I panicked called the vet and was luckily still able to bring her in for the last appointment of the night. Before though, I goggled her symptoms and found this site and realized it really can be vestibular syndrome. Took her to the vet and the vet did confirm that in their opinion it was vestibular - idiopathic vestibular. They took her temp- normal. Checked her ears and then ran some neurological "tests" basically having her walk on her two front paws and then on her back paws to see if she has body awareness. She did and the vet believes that rules out any neurological problems. At this point, they prescribed her a week's worth of meclizine (anti-nausea) and we have to wait it out. We took her home later that night exhausted and gave her some water which she definitely drank a lot of. We had to hold the bowl right up to her face and since she is a peke and has a flat face, it was tough for her. The vet recommended bland wet canned food, but we decided that we would softened her dry food using warm water and then sprinkle some cut up apple (her favorite treat) to coax her into eating. It took a bit but she did end up eating most of her food and responded to the apple. We are happy she has somewhat of a normal appetite. She has not gone though, she has peed twice, but has not pooed at all. We took her outside and harnessed her to help her walk which she took some fragile steps but has not gone. Normally she goes at least once a day so am a little worried that she will not be able to hold it and just go in her bed, but will try to see if I can take her outside again and prompt her to go. It's only been 24 hrs since the incident happened and we are praying that she will get better and believe there is some progress. This site has helped in terms of allaying some fears and hope that my account has helped someone. I was wondering though if anyone knows how long the nausea lasts? We have a week's worth and it's only for once a day but it pains to think she is continuously nauseous w/out the meds. Does anyone know? I was also wondering if it's okay after the meclizine that the vet gave us runs out, if it's okay just to use cut up dramamine which is the exact same thing as meclizine? I called the vet and they advised that I contact them once we run out. It's pretty expensive for like 2 quartered tablets.

Thank you and hope this helps =)

Anonymous said...

my mom has a 4yo cocker (rescued) buddy girl has had several episodes of what we thought were strokes or seizures is she too young for vd? i have not noticed the head tilting but, she does seem to "go off to another place" and she stiffens, thrashes and seems to be breathing labored also, looses control of bladder and drools the big difference in what i am reading is the age and the fact that after the episode, she seems fine almost immediately disoriented for a few minutes but, ready to play and still can eat she has had this happen at least 8-10 times and is fine after each $ is at a premium and we know she needs to be seen but, curious about her overall symptoms and young age tks all

Anonymous said...

Thank-you thank-you thank-you for the site and the posts. During times like these, it is so comforting to hear the stories of others. I now feel hopeful and encouraged, rather than sad and desparate. My 17 year old Jack Russell is exibiting all the classic signs of vestibular. The past 48 hours have been difficult for her and because of this site, I've focused my attention on keeping her comfortable while she gets thru this. I'm taking her to the vet in the morning armed with the knowledge from this site and will post again with news. I think it would be great if more bloggers could post what they think might have triggered the problem in the first place. I know its not scientific proof, but if we find commonality, that would be a great way to start some research - just a thought... I had read some good things about a raw food diet for dogs. So, I started her on a diet of raw organic meat and vegetables. She loved it and she was digesting it well - or so I thought...Could this have been what triggered the vestibular... its the only thing new in her life at this time. I have since moved her back to her old dog food just in case.

Timmy & Terri said...

This is our second round of vestibular disease,our husky is 15 now and really has been doing great even with the vet saying she has a heart condition also,its really scary if you havent been through it,but a harness is a must for helping them to go outside,and fluids with a baby type syringe or something,also thier appetite will be shot sometimes and i have been told that dogs can go without food 4 to 5 days without a problem,but still try home cooked chicken breast or something to try and get them eating,but they will get better within days,lots of loving care,rest,and around the clock fluids is your best starting point.Also our girl went without doing a no.2 for a couple of days,so dont be alarmed,try your best to watch over your pet,its tough but in time most pets get back to thier normal self.

Anonymous said...

My 12-1/2 year old lab woke up last night with all those symptoms, vomiting, twitchy eyes and seemed drunk. I was so scared and took her to the vet this morning and the vet is diagnosing her with Vestibular disease as well that is if these symptoms go away in a few days. She said if in a week there is no improvement she may have a brain lesion or tumor. I am worried sick. They have her on 3 different meds, anti nausea, prednisone and an antibiotic in case of a inner ear infection. Sure wish it was that simple. She's my friend and I can't bear the thought of losing her.

Anonymous said...

My 16 year old cocker spaniel poodle cross/ mutt just had his first episode 5 days ago. Extremely scary. He wouldn't walk, excessive drooling, the head tilt. I thougt we'd have to put him down. He can walk again again and eat out of my hand though he's not as interested in food as usual. Has the severe head tilt. He's still on an anti inflammatory. Hope he gets better. Seeing your best bud struggle is hard to handle

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooooo much for this blog. My 8 year old baby started this yesterday afternoon. I like so many others immediately thought STROKE. Scared the daylights out of me. Rushed him to the vet and was told same thing. His ears look good, but MIGHT have a middle ear infection. Seeing your baby stagger around as though drunk is beyond heartbreaking. On a brighter note, last night he bagan walking somewhat normal. He did eat and drink on his own. The odd side is that he became overly protective of his food. He went into full on attack mode when his sister attempted to eat. This morning, he seems a little better. Will NOT leave his Daddy's side and still has trouble navigating the stairs. Question though, does this disease make it hard for the to go poop? He hasn't had a bowel movement and is "tooting" up a storm.

tysma70 said...

My GSD was diagnosed with Canine vestibular disease nearly 3 weeks ago. It was so frightening to see and I was sure he was on his last legs.He has improved and finally eating again but is fussy what he eats. He had another relapse last night and a new symptom showed. He lost me several times on his morning walk. He got very confused and was fine once he heard me calling him, He was only about 30 metres away but always ran back to where we had been. So I also had to backtrack !!! I have been exercising him cautiously as some days he only wants a short walk to have a sniff around.He still enjoys meeting his doggie friends and tries to play. I am cautiously optimistic that he will recover even if he does have a head tilt. I am interested to know if anyone else has had a dog with CVD and suddenly deveoped sight problems.

Care's Beauty Bar said...

Thank you so much for this blog. I was working on the computer when I suddenly noticed my Baxter (a border collie/lab mix) staring up at the ceiling, fixedly and his eyes were cocked in a strange way. I looked closely at him, and realised something was dreadfully wrong ..so I got down on the floor with him - he was nervous and favouring the left wall .. this has happened before .. with all of the symptoms described by yourself and so many others. I instinctively starting massaging the left side and it seemed that as long as I was doing that, his tail would stop wagging so hard ... I finally asked the teenager that I care for to help me get him up onto the bed as I couldn't sit on the floor like that (back/hips injuries) ... it's been about two hours now, whilst I've been constantly massaging him. His eyes have stopped with that back and forth so much ... he watches me even more closely than he normally does (border collie at work) ... his breathing is calmer, he won't drink yet but he did smell his cookie and he's licking me ... as long as I am touching him or am very close to him .. he seems better. So thank you from the bottom of my heart ... I love Baxter more than anyone or anything else in life .. he has been my faithful companion for 13 years now .. and I am far from ready to say so long. oxox Care Campbell Sask. Canada

Anonymous said...

Our almost 13 year old miniature poodle Snickers came down with this today. He seems to be doing a little better - ate some of the dog food the vet gave us, has been drinking, but we can't get him to pee. He can't stand by himself, so we're using a towel to hold him up. He justs stands there. It's been 12 hours and I'm starting to get worried. Maybe I'll try once more and then call the vet's after hours number if no luck.

We really expected this would be the end when we went into the vet. He has congestive heart failure, and a lame front leg. We almost lost him to pneumonia about three weeks ago. Poor thing has been through so much. But the vet said let's see if he can get through this. If we don't see significant improvement in the next few days, we may need to make the tough decision. But I'm very hopeful from all your posts. Now if we could just get him to go potty.

Anonymous said...

Snickers update: he peed! Woo hoo! And ate a bunch of treats and chewed some chicken jerky. Hopefully he'll recover. He's been through a lot lately, but he is still so loving and giving. I'm hopeful!!!

Deann said...

My 11 and a half year old Lab/Shepherd cross, Kessa, was diagnosed over a month ago now. She seems to have good days and bad days. She has had a head tilt from the beginning. And just in the last 2 weeks has vomited a couple times. Something she didn't get when the CVD first started. I have all ready tried her on antibiotics. And theres no change. She also seems to have some hearing and vision loss. I have to keep an eye on her on our walks. I've lost her a couple times. Shes still pretty keen to go to the doggie park to see her friends. But our walks are much slower This has been so hard on us. She use to run around with the other dogs. Maybe one day this will disappear as quickly as it came on. Wish there was some miracle pill for them. Good luck everyone.

Anonymous said...

Our 13 year 'Honey" came down with the illness yesterday. We were completely freaked out. I thought our little girl was having a stroke so we rushed to the vet. It breaks my heart to see her struggle. She still eats, drinks wags her tail and wants to give and get attention. I feel so sorry for her and hope she gets better soon. Thanks everyone for your posts. Andy

Anonymous said...

May 31-2012
MAH--Our male, rough collie was diagnosed on the 28th by our vet. We are giving him extreme care and he is improving. It took an injection of Cerenia to bring him out of the naseau and dizziness. Please help me with homeopathic remedies for him. Any suggestions are appreciated. This is day 6 and he is doing much better but I want to support him naturally as much as possible.
Thanking you in advance.

Anonymous said...

My 12 year old german shepherd had this on thursday last, was terrifying and as i had no prior knowledge of Vestibular i thought it was a stroke and when i rushed her to the emergency vet i was totally expecting to be having to have her put to sleep. She was diagnosed by the vet within seconds of her seeing her she had a steroid jab and we carried her home full of hope. A lot of nursing and tlc, hand feeding and massages and Its now Wednesday, and she is doing fantastic, walking still unsteady, She still has the head tilt but seems to have figured out how to adjust herself. we just did her first walk outside the house, not far, but she did well, did fall a few times, but to be expected its early days in her recovery.

Was such an awful experience but one that I have learnt from, not to take your pet for granted and to treasure every minute you have together. Many thanks to all you bloggers, your information helped me no end. I hope all other posters on here health and happiness for both them and their pets. xxx

Marilyn Antonellis said...

My 12+ year old Corgi mix woke us up at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning - vomiting, stumbling, head tilting and the eyes moving back and forth. I thought she had suffered a stroke, however, after researching on the internet felt for sure she had IVD. I took her to the emergency vets that morning and was told that she had IVD. They insisted that I keep her hospitalized for 3 days (which I foolishly did - how I wish I'd found this blog first!) and on anti-nausea medicine. When I asked the vet about the possibility of a middle ear infection (she has a history of ear infections) and antibiotics, the vet became agitated with me and said she had examined her ears (we never witnessed this) and there was no cause for antibiotics. When we took her home after 3 days, she was a little better and came home with anti-nausea medicine and antibiotics (imagine that - that they had started after I called them). We are now at day 5, and the nausea has stopped. She will eat out of our hands and she drinks water. She can't navigate the stairs and still stumbles about and has the head tilt. I have consulted with another vet and she will go to see her in 5 days and we'll see what happens. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. IVD is so scary as it comes on immediately and my baby girl is so helpless. I am hoping she will make a full recovery.

Jenn said...

So happy to find this forum!

On Monday, my 14 year old blind, nearly deaf girl went to the vet to get her nails trimmed. When I came home from work on Tuesday, she was having a hard time walking. She was walking like and old dog, even though she never had before. I assumed she was sore from being restrained during the nail trimming. Wednesday she still seemed sore, so I called the vet's office and he gave me some pain killers.

When I came home from work on Thursday, I tried to take her for a walk and she could only walk in circles. I thought stroke and immediately took her to the vet, but of course when I get the vet - she is walking just fine. He examines her and doesn't see anything wrong. However, when I get her home she starts with the head tilt and staggering. Her equilibrium is off. Luckily, she still has an appetite and isn't vomiting (so it could be worse!)

I started researching online and found vestibular disease and it really seems to fit. I am going to give her until Monday to see if she gets better before I take her back to the vet.

She really gave me a scare! But besides the instability while walking she seems like her normal self and doesn't appear to be in any pain.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for Spike to come home after vestibular. First one he's had and just like everyone else I was in complete shock when it happened. I thought my beautiful old fool was indestructible.

I know I should continue to think positively, but I cant get past the comments on here mentioning relapses, even though my vet said it wasnt common. I have to say my vet was absolutely brilliant, as usual. IVD was the first thing out of her mouth as soon as she saw him and as far as she is concerned anti-sickness meds and time are all she wants for him.

I will update after a while with his progress. Hoping I will be able to go and get my old man tomorrow and bring him home.

Anonymous said...

8/1/2012 Our approx. 13 yr old rat terrier woke up & couldn't walk.

He had tilted his head slightly for 1 week prior to this. We thought that it was probably just the fatty tumor on his neck.

Now he can walk pretty good - will eat his dry food crushed finally after days of chicken & hamburger ( still gets some). Will drink water.

Head is still really tilted - he sometimes seems confused - especially at night - we have a lot of lights on for him.

One problem is picking him up - don't want him jumping/getting hurt. He tends to "flail". We try to put our hands under his feet but doesn't always work.

We do take him for walks - but very short.

Anyway - hope he gets better soon.
Want him to enjoy things more again.

1 /2 weeks seems like forever. I'm sure it does for him too.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Update from August 1, 2012 11:19 AM

Spike is doing brilliantly, his head tilt is now barely noticeable and his balance has improved greatly. Think he may have lost some of his hearing, or it could be that he's just sick and tired of listening to me!

Either way, he is back to chasing the squirrels and the wood pigeons in the garden, which I'm sure they're ecstatic about.

Best wishes to you all and your pets.

Anonymous said...

Whew! I think we dodged a bullet thanks to this wonderful blog.

13yr old Mini Schnauzer gets the symptoms of a brain tumor. Since I lost my primary Schnauzer exactly 2 years ago due to a brain tumor I knew what I was seeing.

But there was a difference. Though Maddy was doing the tight circles and just freezing in step she still would drink water. No vomiting. She woke up this morning with held tilt but 3pm she seems to be recovering.

I'm so glad I don't have to go through another brain tumor. The symptoms are very similiar!

Noticed the loss of balance 3 days ago.

Laura said...

Hello everyone and God Bless you all and your animals... I have a black lab she is 9 alot of these symptoms match hers except for when she walks she seems to want to walk along the wall, she sleeps constantly has no stamina and still has a good appetite but eats very slowly and when she drinks she puts her whole mouth into the bowl of water and drinks very slowly. My vet did blood work and Xrays everything normal. Has any of your pets had these same symptoms? Thanks for reading. Laura

Anonymous said...

I just experienced this for the first time this am with my 13 year old male neutered Siberian Husky, he was in perfect health acting much like a 2 year old as he always does but this morning was THE SCARIEST moment of my and my husbands life when we woke up to him trying to stand, head tilting to the right and his left eye going up and down. We immediately called the vet and rushed him there and was told about getting MRI and the possibility of letting him go over the rainbow bridge. He is at hospital now and I came home and started researching the Vestibular disease he was diagnosed with, my boy is a fighter and I did not adopt him from a rescue at 5 mths old to give up. This blog has really helped and I am more aware of the disease and has calmed myself and my partner down and we are going to pick him up from vets and give him home TLC and help him recover from this, I really am in a financial crunch right now or would of immediately done and MRI, but after seeing this I going to try home love and care and the anti vertigo meds the vet gave me, will leave light on in my flat for him all night and am just going to have to carry him down the 6 flights of stairs for his potty runs, running now to get moist food to encourage eating and HUGS to all please prat for my Niack boy!

Anonymous said...

My Haley, a 14 year old cocker, went to the vet today after episodes she was having that I had accurately diagnosed as vestibular disease from internet searches I did over the past 2 weeks. There are great videos on youtube. I was going to let things run their course with supportive care hoping she would recover until the horrible episode this morning. She urinated in her bed, threw up her food and was pitiful in her attempt to stand, falling over and paddling to get up, head tilted to the side, and seemed to be frightened. Previous behaviors showed inbalance,jerky eye movement, constant circling and unsteadiness, and occasional walking sideways, a fall or two but nothing like this. I started giving her dramamine last week, following the initial behavior and symptoms. She had improved,symptoms had diminished and now this. Funny thing is that I gave her a dramamine last night after she appeared to have a few recurring symptoms, following me letting her out to potty last evening. It was very cold and I thought that the cold could have caused the onset.I woke this morning at 5:am this to find her in this alarming horrible condition. She will not accept food, so giving her dramamine(childs dosage) for her 22 lbs. in her favorite treat, cheese,was impossible to do today. I was at the vet at 7:am and had to carry her in my arms. The vet confirmed my diaganosis but did not mention whether it was central or peripheral vestibular disease,so I guess he did not know. He recommended to continue the dramamine I had gotten at the drug store. I had asked the vet if Haley could have an ear infection although she did not have a temperature. He said that she could have one. He examined her ears and said they looked fine, but she could hve an inner ear issue and this he could not see.He did not suggest an antibiotic and said she had crashed and things would probably go uphill from here.I requested an antibiotic. He gave me amoxocillin to give her twice per day. I am trying to decide whether or not to do this based on what I have read on these great blog posts. I really appreciate the intelfrom all of you guys. I guess I am concerned about the antibiotic on an empty stomach since she will not eat and whether it might make things worseon her stomach? I also read where someone posted that their dog had been on metrodazonal. Haley had been on this therapy for diarrhea about 3 weeks prior to the initial episodes of Vestibular Disease. I had also used gentmycin ear drops about two weeks before this happened too. Don't know if there is a connection or not. She is sleeping now. I am not anxious to see how things are when she wakes up from her nap. It is scary to watch. I am glad to find that she is not in any pain as some of you stated after asking you vet this question. I would put her down before I would let her stumble, fall, urinate, be covered in her own vomit and be in pain as well. I will wait to see how she does and pray that all of your babies recover along with my sweet Haley.

Anonymous said...

Update on Haley!!!!! Have a vet check your dogs teeth! Haley had 3 abcessed teeth . The infection was bad and into her sinuses. The vet thinks this caused the vestibular attack.I felt so guilty finding out that she had been in pain. She showed no signs of having these bad teeth and was eating fine until the vestibular attack.The vet out her on antibiotic and pain pill until over the vestibular disease, then taking out the teeth. She is in surgery having the teeth removed today. I almost lost her during the vesibular disease because she was getting so weak as she would not eat or drink from the dizziness causing nausea. I got a syringe from the vet, dissolved her antibiotic and pain pill in water added it to the baby food and syringed food and water 3 or 4 times a day in the side of her mouth into the back of her jaw food pouch. This supportive care is a must if your dog will not eat or drink from being nausiated due to the eye movement.Your vestibular dog needs water and nutrition to get better. Turkey, chicken and vegetable baby food provides the needed nutrition. Use scissors to cut off the end of the syringe to mak a little larger hole at the end, just like yu would cut a tube of caulking. Get a syringe that matches the size of your dog's mouth. My vet had several sizes. I got a medium size for Haley, my Cocker. I just got a call, she made it through the surgery fine. I am picking her up this afternoon. CHECK YOUR DOGS TEETH! BAD BACK MOLAR AND TWO INFECTED CANINES WITH INFECTION INTO HER SINUSES CAUSED HER VESTIBULAR DISEASE!Can't wait to see my sweet baby!

cangel44 said...

Our dog was 13/14 years old when she first came down with Vestibular disease. Then had a relapse 2 years later. I created a support group for all our babies. =)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/126232394099102/

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU everyone for your contributions. My ~12 year old chow/golden mix is prone to ear infections, but I had noticed she had a particularly bad one that had not gone away. Then 2 days ago she started with the head tilt, weaving and being unable to stand and vomited the last 2 nights after walking. I am sad/happy to say that I almost put her down today before I noticed the rapid eye movement side to side - certainly nothing I had ever seen before. I started researching online and quickly came across GVD. I have a 6pm appt (originally to PUT HER DOWN) and will now get anti-nausea meds from my vet so my girl can stop vomiting and possibly eat - and definitely need to clear up the inner ear infection. I am praying that she improves. THANK YOU again to everyone! A particularly wonderful hint that someone gave was not to put them on furniture - I had tried moving mine to the sofa, thinking it was softer, but she panted hard and was distressed. I just now moved her back to the floor and she is 100% happier. Praying for a recovery.

Andrew Cowling said...

Our Rajah is 15 years old, GSD/Dingo and after a sudden onset of many classic symptoms vet diagnosed a stroke, kept in overnight recommended euthanasia if not improvement with 24 to 48. After one day of "hospitalisation" a mega bill later and google took Rajah home realising that the vet has probably got it wrong - He has all the classic symptoms of vestibular, with very pronounced head tilt, very bad stagger (he couldn't walk without a towel looped under him for support and a lead for direction) and distressingly complete refusal to eat for the last 4 days. We are effectively force feeding him liquid food which is emotionally and physically tiring (he has some jaws on him!). Thank you all for your reports of hope for eventual recovery

Anonymous said...

My 14-year-old Border Collie ad her first bout with IVD about a year ago. Symptoms cleared in the usual 10 days and then returned and remained a month or so later. In Taz's case these include slight head tilt, intermittent unsteadiness, and loss of hearing.

This past weekend, she bagan to have what seem like seizures as well. She falls, goes rigid, stares into space, screams, and empties her bladder involuntarily. The whole episode lasts less than a minute and then she is up and back to herself again.

We're going to the vet tomorrow morning. Today I've been reading up on IVD (again) on line. I'm curious whether anyone here knows whether seizures can be a part of the disease or whether Taz now has a second disease process going on

Karen jakes MoM said...

Five Days since the Vitibular started and our 13 year old Wheaton Terrier is slowly improving but cannot walk without leaning against something (me, the coffee table couch etc.).
The ER Vet gave a Cerenia Injection and we went home. Our Vet actually has the condition and told us to go get some overthe counter Meclizine ( anti nausea like Dramamine?). Jake did not eat or drink so we used a squirt bottle. The vet gave us some A/D critical care cans which he would eat. We were concerned that there were infrequenst urination and bowel movemnents. I was dragging him on a mattress pad that I could wash and carrying him 35 lbs outside. I switched to my Costco collaspable wagon but still have to lift hom down two steps. He is not going enough. I hope you put up a third post that dscusses care and helps people learn how to nurse a sick dog.....I was at a total loss stressed and felt helpless. I stayed home with him for 4 days. Please also discuss the accuptuncture care which was mentioned a few times. I do not feel equipped to handle this but will do anything I can.

Anonymous said...

I've been checking this blog daily since my 13-year-old border collie/golden mix, Holly, was diagnosed. Not sure why I keep checking the blog even though there aren't any new posts. It does make me feel better to hear the other stories. I scan through looking for happy endings. Thanks for posting, everybody. Especially when people write back to say it all worked out.

But here is our story. I'm worried because she hasn't eaten and tomorrow will be day 6. I thought she was supposed to be ok after 72 hours. My poor girl.

Day 1: Sunday at 7 a.m. she fell over and a nice on-call vet asked about her eyes. Yes, they were a little zig zaggy. He said take her to the ER clinic just in case. Sadly, she got worse while she was there and her little blood pressure reading went to 211, so they admitted her. I feel lucky I got the probable vestibular diagnosis immediately. The vet said 90% of dogs have peripheral (will resolve) versus central (could be a tumor). Good ER vet. No fancy tests, they just wanted to keep her overnight to observe her.

Day 2: They let her go home Monday morning and I brought her back home, carrying my 55-pound dog up 3 flights of stairs, thinking she'd make a nice fast recovery based on the vet's info and the internet. But she couldn't move. I dragged her into the bedroom to sleep. The eyes were darting to fast and she looked miserable.

Day 3: Same thing Tuesday. Missed another day of work. Starting to really worry that she has not had food or drink. My friend visits and she wags her tail, barks her first bark, surprisingly tries to get up and falls right over. She laps up a few sips of water! Yay. But still can't move. I carry her down the stairs. She doesn't pee. She is rolling in my arms and I'm not that strong. It seems dangerous and we need a new plan.

Day 4: Wednesday. I decide to temporarily move back in with my parents to our single story house with a nice yard for her. One of the vets said the worst thing you can do is lock them up in a dark room without any stimulation. Being outside on the grass, just laying there would be good therapy. Off we go, for a traumatic car ride. She pees on me all the way down the stairs, while twisting her poor body and trying to scrape the walls with her paws. At home in the yard, she finally squats to pee and drinks more water.

Day 5: A lot more tail wagging and even barks when I go away to make dinner after finally getting back to work on Thursday. Luckily my mom has been able to feed her water with a turkey baster. She seems more alert, but no eating. Not even bacon covered dog food or cottage cheese. Not a peanut butter Cliff Bar like another guy mentioned. At this point I have stopped the antibiotics, wondering it that's making her stomach queasy. I hope that wasn't a bad plan. Still on Meclazine. ER vet called. Low thyroid. Ok, more meds. We started that pill today.

So: if she doesn't eat on day 6, any suggestions? Also there is another more serious anti-nausea pill we could try this weekend if no improvement. Tonight I had a talk with her and tried to convince her to snap out of this. She looked at me with sweet happy eyes. She can stand on her own but only for a few seconds. She doesn't need help getting onto her feet anymore. I don't think she is hurting. But I'm so worried and its so stressful, I keep crying. It feels like a month, but it's less than a week. Help?

Anonymous said...

Our 9 yr old golden was diagnosed with IVD 11 days ago. She was prescribed an
antibiotic, a steriod and otc anti -nausea medication. She first declined and had every symptom of IVD including the rolling which she did not have in the begining. She never quit eatting or drinking but her balance and head tilt became so severe we had to carry her out to potty. Day 9 she bagan to walk on her own with much encouragement for very short periods but was very "drunken". We were thrilled but our vet says she should be making more progress. Today she seems tired and not as eager to go out as yesterday. Has anyone else had similar experiences (a 1\2 step back) not continous progress?

Anonymous said...

our 14 1/2 yr old shiba inu suddenly developed the symptoms about a month ago. We had people think she's a puppy for years because she's so active. We had a guy ask if she was 8 months old last year She always went for several walks a day with my husband and could run easily. She was improving after about two weeks then we took her on a hour long car trip and it set her back. We don't let her outside by herself n always harness her. She never had any meds except dramamine n she eats n drinks okay except her head tilt kinda hampers her. She's been like this for over a month but she's happy to go for a walk even though she's a little crooked. Don't take you dog for car trips it's absolutely necessary n don't let them put their heads out the window. It really put her back. use a harness n a ramp for their safety. We are hoping she gets back to get old self but we don't care as long as she gets excited to go for walks.

natamiraj said...

Hi, last night my dog, Phoebe wandered anxiously into my room. It was odd to me that she had not followed me in in the first place, but I brushed it aside for her preference for the yoga studio. She then desperately want to the washroom in the middle of the bedroom. I cleaned it up and noticed she was shaking, so I held her. Not feeling well, she took her comfort spot in the hallway and I didn't make a big deal of it.

Phoebe unfortunately has to wear a muzzle when I leave the house for work ( i never leave more than four hours) because she has extreme seperation anxiety and it seems to calm her. She, being a papillon, knows how to take it off incase of an emergency.

Today, I left to teach a therapeutic yoga class early in the morning. When I came home phoebe didn't come to the door as she usually would for me to take off her muzzle and celebrate in our ritualistic freedom dance. I called her name and opened the door to see her lying in her own excrements, with her head tilted, eyes flickering and so forth. She was sooo excited to see me that she tried to celebrate but it just made the dizziness worse. Terrified, I called the vet and carried her over...Vertigo was the conclusion.

I'm rather afraid because as know that I will have to leave the house during her recovery time at some point. I live alone at the moment (24 year old yoga teacher and full time Ayurvedic Student). I'm afraid without the muzzle she'll get anxious, bark and hit her head but with the muzzle she may get nauseated and not be able to get it off easily with the dizziness. Does anyone have any ideas of what I could do?

Also Herbs and Accupuncture...Please!!! I love this stuff and I love my Schmeeble! You can email me at fritterandwastethehours@gmail.com with any suggestions. Thank you.

Michelle said...

I have a 6 year old Frenchie, Cheville, that has now in the past 2 months suffered 2 vestibular "events" as the ER vets call it. The first one really freaked us out and they Vet told us it was likely IVD and the would put her on fluids and sent her home later with us. Not even 2 months later she had another event, which we took her to the ER vet for. This was much worse than the first time. She had the same vestibulr issues as before, but now she had labored breathing (it sounded wet, like she had fluids in her lungs). We had been feeding her water via a syring and feeding soft food since she had a loose tooth as well that was causing some pain.
Our poor Cheville was at the ER vet for 3 days under fluids and in an O2 tank to help her breathing. The Neurologist looked at her and said she would recommend a MRI (that costs $2500!) to confirm if it was a "central" issue or "inner ear", but there was no way to know for sure without the MRI.
The ER vets ran chest xrays, abdominal ultrasounds, didimer tests and an EKG. All the tests came back "unremarkable" (meaning nothing found) except for the didimer test which showed that her blood "could" be making clots. Other than that, the Vets are totally stumped.
We have her home now (been home for a week), she was only eating baby food for a few days and it was/is incredibly hard to feed a dog large pills (especially with a loose tooth that's causing pain and the ER vet recommended NOT giving her the pain meds from our normal vet as it could affect how we could monitor her breathing). Her balance isn't all the way back, but she's at least moving without too much stumbling. We have noticed that her hearing is 100% gone. She reacts to no noise at all what-so-ever. Even the vacuum which she would chase around when she heard it come on, she looks at it as I move, but makes no movements or sounds towards it. (Very odd for her). She doesn't drink any water (unless I stick my hand in the bowl and let her lick my fingers, then guide her to the bowl on the sly does she drink. She pees fine and goes on walks, but makes no effort to try and poop. We do have a vet appointment on Sunday which I'm waiting to take her to. I would prefer NOT to go back to the ER vet as we just spent $5000 for inconclusive tests.
So, we know about this IVD and it's extremely frustrating, especially when the Vets can find no signs or reasons why she's having these affects. It just seems like a downhill battle.