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DrRalston
DrRalston, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  Over twelve years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My dog woke up this morning barely unable to walk, falling

Resolved Question:

My dog woke up this morning barely unable to walk, falling down, vomiting and his eyes are rapidly moving back and fourth. He is a fourteen years old male dog,mix breed. any suggestions, to help make him more comfortable as he's very restless.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  DrRalston replied 5 years ago.
Hello, welcome to JustAnswer! I am a Veterinarian and will help you right away!

To help me understand, I have a few questions.

Does he have a tilt to his head? And if so does it go to one direction over the other?

When did you start the drops? This is very important. Was it before or after you started seeing the falling down, rapid eye movements, etc?

Yes, this could be vestibular disease, but it might be more serious. I will help you figure out if that it is it or not.

One more question, and this might be hard to tell. The movement of the eyes, does it seem to be rapid both ways? OR does it drift to one way, and then quickly dart back the other way?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have not notice any tilt in his head, but he does walk in a circle.

We started the drops after we researched on line after the symptoms started.

His eye movement are rapid left to right both ways. His eye brow area is twitching non-stop even though he appears to now be sleeping
Expert:  DrRalston replied 5 years ago.
Ok, is the circling always to one direction? Counter clockwise vs clockwise?

Ok good that you started the drops AFTER the signs. Some medications will cause ototoxicity, inner ear toxicosis if the ear drum is not intact. Those tend to resolve when the medications are stopped.

If the circling is one direction, it might relate to the side of the head that the lesion is located on. A clockwise direction is usually going to be right ear related for example.

The thing with vestibular disease is there is not a really good treatment for it. Steroids and antibiotics are used but may not really do much. Supportive care is important. Fluids and IV might be necessary for patients that will not eat, or can't eat. I have recently started using a medication called Cerenia on these patients.

Cerenia blocks nausea at the level of the brain. And, I think that it keeps these patients with inner ear, or vestibular disease from getting dizzy. They recover faster and are able to eat sooner.

If it is vestibular disease, most dogs repond in about 3-5 days. Some are never quite normal again. I don't think they really heal, I think they just get used to the changes and adapt.

The direction of the eye movement may be a very good thing. Fast twitch in one direction only can be an indication of a brain tumor. Typically, the slow drift will be toward the tumor side. The fast phase is away from the tumor. So, if the circling is to the right, and the slow phase is to the right, I would suspect a likely right sided lesion.

Best is to keep the pet calm and safe - away from stairs, etc - for the next several days. be sure that he is eating. If not, he will need hospitalization for fluid treatment, and electrolytes.
DrRalston and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  DrRalston replied 5 years ago.
Please be sure to see first answer.

Please feel free to respond if you have more questions.
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