Vestibular Disease in Senior Dogs

Vestibular disease in senior dogs is not something I had ever heard of…until Red got it.

One day, I guess it was a couple of years ago (lots of things were happening to her around that time period), I saw Red standing in the kitchen with her head tilted.

Not the adorable head tilt some dogs have when they look at you like they want something, or have a question to ask. This was a bizarre tilt and I had no idea what was going on. Due to Red’s age I’m usually on the phone with my vet’s office with any change, but I didn’t react right away. I noticed she was doing it more frequently, with no other symptoms or changes in behaviour.

Since I was basically a permanent fixture at my vet’s office during that time, it wasn’t long before I had another appointment scheduled for something or other. When I saw him I mentioned the weird head tilt, and that was the first time I had heard the words “vestibular disease.”

He explained that the cause isn’t always known, there wasn’t anything to do at that moment and to keep an eye on her. Things aren’t usually that simple and I accepted it, but I don’t like unanswered questions.

Anyway the good news is it passed after a few weeks. I can’t recall exactly how long, but I know it wasn’t a long drawn out thing otherwise I would have been back at the vet.

Naturally, after Red’s episode I started doing more research into the condition, and came across a lot of great information. One of the experts I enjoy learning from is Dr Karen Becker, because she educates about a side of veterinary medicine that I haven’t come across in any “traditional” practice. I prefer holistic treatment in my own life, and that has since translated into having my pets cared for, when possible, in the same manner, hence the interest.

Dr Becker’s article entitled “If Your Dog Suddenly Starts Circling or Staggering, This Could Be Why” is the one I referred to and I hope you find it as interesting as I did. 

Has your dog experienced vestibular disease? Did your vet recommend any tests or did he adopt a “wait and see” attitude. I’m very interested in hearing your story, so please leave it in the comment section below, or post on my Facebook page.

 

 

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Hindy Pearson
Helping people care for their senior dogs
I am a dog trainer, pet care consultant, long time animal welfare advocate, and future director of The Saffy Pearson Retirement Home for Animals. I foster and adopt senior and special needs dogs, and advocate for shelter adoption of all animals, particularly older dogs and cats.

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