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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My dog seems to be dazed, disoriented and walking into furniture

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My dog seems to be dazed, disoriented and walking into furniture and corners without being able to come out. Came on all of a sudden, could it be a stroke? He is not eating and has no balance. seems to be delirious and agitated. Not the same dog as last week and is only a seven-year old Border Collie. No vet knows what it could be. Vestibular disease? Please help! We love this dog!!

Hello, I am Dr. Peter a licensed Veterinarian. I would like to help. I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advise. There is no additional charge for information request.

 

1- How long has he had these symptoms?

2- Does he have a head tilt?

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He has been like his since Saturday. He was playing outside and seemed to over-due playing outside. Running at about 4 pm in the yard but he is a border collie... very active. He began panting, shaking, etc. and has never seemed the same... He doesn't have a real head tilt. Totally off balance, eyes glazed over, walking into walls tripping over his feet but no eye flutter. Now he is heavily sedated. The walking into corner seems scary and bizarre. cant seem to back himself out. Keeps nose against wall. Anxious and wont lie down unless we medicate him. We r devastated.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He has been like his since Saturday. He was playing outside and seemed to over-due playing outside. Running at about 4 pm in the yard but he is a border collie... very active. He began panting, shaking, etc. and has never seemed the same... He doesn't have a real head tilt. Totally off balance, eyes glazed over, walking into walls tripping over his feet but no eye flutter. Now he is heavily sedated. The walking into corner seems scary and bizarre. cant seem to back himself out. Keeps nose against wall. Anxious and wont lie down unless we medicate him. We r devastated.

1- What are you giving as medication?

2- At any point were his eyes moving like up and down or side to side?

3- It is fair to say he was walking like if he is drunk when he was not sedated?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Vet gave us 1 mg alprazolam and he has been out cold since. Before that walking drunk. right into walls, tripping over feet. it was the walking into corners that was most peculiar. People say that is a bad sign. We have Dc xanax so we can see his level of functioning after a full night sleep (started meds yesterday afternoon). He was too sedated and became almost comatose incontinent, no eating). He has just gone outside to pee but is very wobbly. Eyes were never moving side to side. Just glaze over but vet felt his eyes were responsive.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Vet gave us 1 mg alprazolam and he has been out cold since. Before that walking drunk. right into walls, tripping over feet. it was the walking into corners that was most peculiar. People say that is a bad sign. We have Dc xanax so we can see his level of functioning after a full night sleep (started meds yesterday afternoon). He was too sedated and became almost comatose incontinent, no eating). He has just gone outside to pee but is very wobbly. Eyes were never moving side to side. Just glaze over but vet felt his eyes were responsive.

The symptoms that you are describing could be consistent with vestibular disease. Dogs with vestibular disease after several days will show improvement in their gait and stop walking into objects. Being sedated however, will take the compensation mechanism away and the dog will take longer to recover if this is related to vestibular disease. I would recommend you consider stopping the medication and see how he does after several days; if he begins to show improvement then it is consistent with idiopathic vestibular disease and he will regain all function normally in 2 weeks. If no improvement is seen after 3-4 days, then, there could be a central lesion like a brain tumor. These cases are often best managed by a neurologist where they can do advance imaging (MRI or CTScan) of the brain; consider speaking to your veterinarian about a referral to see a neurologist.

 

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

 

Dr. Peter

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Many vets have said that the walking into corners is not at all characteristic of vestibular disease. Why is he doing this? We r no longer giving him the Alprazolam to see what he is like now. Seems to be wobbly but still sedated.Why is he going into corners?

Walking into is not indicative of any disease in particular either. If the dog has the head press against the wall or into a corner it could be sign of brain swelling or discomfort. But, walking into a corner does not provide any diagnosis nor does it rule out vestibular disease.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
what can we do to help with this brain swelling/discomfort? will he recover? About how long? How do we keep him safe if he is not sedated? He walks into everything. Not the same dog. People say put him down. we dont want to if there is a chance...
We do not know if the brain is swollen without advance imaging of the brain. As stated earlier, his symptoms are consistent with vestibular disease. The only thing you can do confine him in a room where he can not injure himself and give him some time. If this is related to vestibular disease he is going to show signs of improvement within the next 3-4 days, after 2 weeks he may be near to normal.
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