How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Andy Your Own Question
Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29958
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Andy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 13 year Beagle named Gabby, she seems to be very disoriented,

This answer was rated:

I have a 13 year Beagle named Gabby, she seems to be very disoriented, almost if she were intoxicated, lack of balance, panting, head bobbing and swaying, and is falling over when she tries to walk. Her appetite the past few days has declined. She doesn't seem to be in any pain.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Gabby.
What you are describing sounds consistent with possible vestibular disease.
The most common symptoms can occur in any combination and include: head tilting, walking in circles, vomiting,
fast eye movements back and forth (nystagmus) or the eyes pinned to one direction (strabismus), and/or drunk-like walking

Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Generally, vestibular disease is caused by either:
1. Central disease which includes anything within the brain
2. Peripheral disease which includes problems outside the brain like inner ear infections, toxin exposure, organ problems
3. Old Dog Vestibular Disease. No known cause found on any tests and possibly attributed to having a stroke

Initial testing usually includes a basic blood profile, which should be done immediately. To help with nausea and motion sickness, many vets will recommend giving Meclizine:

If a blood test does not reveal any abnormalities, additional testing would possibly include:
- to check for evidence of inflammation or infection within the spinal cord or brain.

Very sorry to hear that Gabby is not doing well. With vestibular issues, I would not expect any pain, but it can cause nausea, which would support the appetite being declined.

Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover for you. I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Please, hold off providing your feedback rating until you have asked all your questions. Otherwise, I greatly appreciate your rating to close the question. My goal is to try and provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up on our conversation about Gabby. How is everything going?

Dr. Andy