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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Pearl our old dog seems disoriented, unbalanced, breathing

Customer Question

Hi pearl our old dog seems disoriented, unbalanced, breathing heavy - and all of a sudden. We know he is old 13 but it seems to have been a very quick sympton
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?
Customer: Falling all over the place like he can't stay upright properly & breathing heavy - almost like he is drunk &
JA: Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No will do that now
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Bruiser
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: Not really - it just seems to have happened all of a sudden - we have left a message for our local vet but have yet to hear from him.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Please let me know if you still need help. Peracute (sudden) ataxia ("drunken sailor") most often indicates the old dog vestibular syndrome - a balance disorder considered idiopathic (unknown cause) and often thought to represent stroke by caretakers. You might also see a head tilt and nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth). We need to differentiate this vestibular disorder from a peripheral (involving the middle/inner ear(s)) and central (involving the cerebellum or brain stem) one which is done with a thorough physical and neurologic exam by Bruiser's vet. The prognosis for the old dog vestibular syndrome is generally good. Most dogs improve over a few days to a couple of weeks. Some will be left with head tilts. No treatment has been reliably effective although an antiemetic might be administered if dogs are nauseated and inappetent.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 8 months ago.
Hi,

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

Dr. Michael Salkin