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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24432
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 15 year old /Rat Terrier started wobbling when he walked

Customer Question

My 15 year old Jack/Rat Russell Terrier started wobbling when he walked just in the back legs. Now he is walking in circles.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Wobbling (ataxia/"drunken sailor") and circling are symptoms of both vestibular (balance) disorders and encephalopathy (brain disorders). His vet would need to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam in order to clarify which is present but, pragmatically speaking, at his age I would treat symptomatically with a drug that might stop his circling and supportively by providing supplemental fluids by needle (subcutaneously or intravenously) and feeding by syringe as well as an antiemetic to address presumptive nausea. I would hope for remission as he did the first time but if symptoms persisted for more than 3 days in spite of therapy, his prognosis would be very poor for meaningful recovery.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did take him to our regular vet who has been monitoring him this weekend. He said basically the same thing that you said. If it goes away in three days he should be ok. If it doesn't it will be something that is not good. Thanks for your help!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the update. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know. I'll think good things for him.