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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 26288
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My miniture schnauzer who is nearly 13 has in the last 6

Customer Question

my miniture schnauzer who is nearly 13 has in the last 6 hours has been walking with a splayed gait well not really walking but struggling with his balance have you any answers for me he has never been ill
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Sid's behavior - ataxia ("drunken sailor") is consistent with overall weakness such as might occur with profound anemia, vestibular (balance) disorders, myelopathies (spinal cord disorders) and encephalopathies (brain disorders). If you're also seeing a head tilt and/or nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth), he's likely to be suffering from the "old dog vestibular syndrome" - an idiopathic (unknown cause) disorder of balance which tends to improve over a few days to weeks although some dogs are left with a head tilt. Most owners think that their dogs have suffered a stroke but that's more likely when our dogs peracutely (suddenly) vocalize, demonstrate a mentation change (coma, obtundation), and seize. Please respond with additional information concerning Sid's symptoms and additional questions or concerns if you wish.