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Old 09-01-2007, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Vestibular Disease

Just thought I'd post this. I hadn't heard/thought much about it but one of the IMOM dogs might have had an episode:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...r_disease.html

WHAT ON EARTH IS THE VESTIBULAR APPARATUS?

In a nutshell, the vestibular apparatus is the neurological equipment responsible for perceiving one's body's orientation relative to the earth (determining if you are upside-down, standing up straight, falling etc.) and informing ones eyes and extremities how they should move accordingly.

The vestibular apparatus allows us to walk, even run, on very uneven ground without falling, helps us know when we need to right ourselves, and allows our eyes to follow moving objects without becoming dizzy.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

Too had episodes of vestibular disease the last two or three years of her life. She ended up in the hospital once, the other episodes were short, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, I always held her until the symptoms subsided and she was steady on her feet.

Her eyes would look like they were sucked into her head, she'd keel over (I believe it was to the left), she had head tilts, and then after a few minutes, it would slowly be over. They never could determine exactly what was causing it (and from what I understand, even if they figured it out there wasn't anything they could do for it).

I always thought that in some ways it's similar to vertigo in humans.

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Old 09-01-2007, 09:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

It can also appear in puppies. I had one pup eons ago that had it. If it does go away and the tilt goes away, it can still reoccur from what I was told.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My shep x that I just lost had a nasty round of this disease in late May. I didn't know what it was and thought he was a goner. My vet told me that it would take some intense effort at his age but he thought he could pull through. He was disoriented - walk was very wobbly as if he'd been drinking canine Budweiser, head tilt to the side, sort of a vague look in the eyes, and just "off" in terms of orientation. After a couple weeks of slow recovery, he got better but it was effort - had to hold food and water for him for the first few days. My vet told me that basically, the whole world in his view was upside down, that it wouldn't change, but that he would relearn how to cope. I think a lot of dogs that suffer this get put down as the symptoms are scary - thank God for good veterinarians!
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

I had a dog who had an episode of this when she was 9. It did not last long and adjusted with no problems. Was scary at the time though!!!!
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

A friend's dog had several episodes in the last three years of her life (She recently passed at 16+), the last left her with a sideways walk and a bit of a tilt.
She did however keep her happy spirit!
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

this is a really scary thing to watch in your dog. Lando had it once. it cleared with time, but wow, those eyes flitting back and forth and the not being able to walk- creepy creepy creepy.

Lando also had something that looked just like this without the eye nystagmus that turned out to be flagyl related. over-use of flagyl can cause neurological problems. just as scary.

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Old 09-02-2007, 12:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

Sneaker had it, about 2 months before her 14th birthday. We thought she'd had a stroke and rushed her to the vet thinking it was the end. Our vet knew immediately what it was. She spent several days in the hospital and when she came home she was still pretty bad. It took weeks to fully recover, but she only lived about 8 months longer.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

Cassidys Mom,

Magnum went through the same. I was so upset taking him to the vet as I was sure this time, this was it. He sent him home immediately but told me I would be doing some intensive nursing.
I literally slept on the patio with him as he was so disoriented, I knew it would be tough to get him outside to use the grass. I wondered if my other two dogs would opt to stay in or join us - we were all out there together! LOL
After three nights out there, he was well enough to come inside but had that sort of walk forward and to the left that someone else noted. I lost him last month, three months later.
As an unrelated aside, your photo entry was adorable.
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vestibular Disease

Many vets call this a stroke when it isn't - strokes in canines are not common and I've read that it is rare due to a mechanism in the circulatory system in canines (can't remember what it is called) that prevents either clots occuring or, if they occur, getting to the brain. I had a client whose 15yo GR (Hunna) had a number (5) of these episodes with the exact same symptoms and until a new locum at her vet said it was vestibular disease, she was always told it was a stroke. Many dogs get PTS by owners given this diagnosis, as the owner thinks in the terms of the effect of a stroke on a human.

It is scary to see. I had another client with a JR mix (Bernie) who called into my house on the way home from the vet after his second episode and the eye flickering was the reason she realised what was going on - both dogs made full recoveries although Hunna was at 15yo showing signs of senility anyway.
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