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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10217
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 16 yr old Icelandic sheepdog has arthritis, but all the

Customer Question

My 16 yr old Icelandic sheepdog has arthritis, but all the sudden last nite he started falling sideways ,,,Too fast ..His eyes are shifting back and forth a lot..he could see about 75% just other day..now its all the sudden about 90 blind ..His back legs are giving out..He was running around a bit just yesterday..all happened when he turned around on his bed last nite..What can I do right now..concerned maybe hip may have come out of joint..Please respond ..Nerves making leg shake..
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. John replied 9 months ago.

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I do have a couple of questions to see if I can better assess you situation, though.

Is he able to get up at all?

Are his eyes still moving from side to side quickly?

Does his head seem tilted to the side?

Are you able to extend his back legs out completely?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
He is barely able to get up..Just happened since yesterday..His eyes are still moving, his head is slightly tilted to one side I can extend them out yes..he does not like but not much response..
Expert:  Dr. John replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the information. It sounds very much like he has developed a condition called Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome. This balance is thrown off. There are many things that can cause it, such as an inner ear infection, middle ear tumor or polyp, brain tumor, inflammation or infection around the brain (encephalitis), certain medications (metronidazole) and thiamine deficiency. Unfortunately, with most cases we never find the cause, so it is usually termed Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome. We will typically see it in geriatric dogs. There is not really anything that can be done for it, though. The symptoms go away on their own, but it can take a few days to a week. Medications such as Benadryl and Dramamine can be used to help with dizziness, but nothing will cause the symptoms to go away any faster. The biggest problem is making sure they can eat and drink during this time. In most cases, owners have to bring their food and water to them and probably clean up after them, until they are at least able enough to go to the bathroom outside with your assistance. In some cases, if they cannot eat or drink well, they need to be put on intravenous fluid therapy by your vet until the symptoms get better. The website below will have more information on his problem. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

https://www.vetinfo.com/canine-geriatric-vestibular-disease-symptoms.html

http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2011/oct/old_dog_vestibular_disease-11847

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it. Rating it is the only way I get credit for helping you. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Expert:  Dr. John replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Rusty. How is everything going?
Dr. John