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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23758
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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He is unbalanced and confused, leans to one side , about 15

Customer Question

he is unbalanced and confused, leans to one side , about 15 years old
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the dog?
Customer: I think old dog vestibular syndrome
JA: Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: not sure if he has pain , wags his tail and will still eat a small treat
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Jock
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Jock?
Customer: 30 pound terrier.thinks he is the boss
JA: OK. Got it. 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 then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.
You may be correct, Ted. We need to consider idiopathic (unknown cause/"old dog vestibular disorder"), peripheral (involving the inner/middle ear(s)), and central (involving the cerebellum and/or brainstem) vestibular disorders in Jock. All can cause head tilt, nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth), and ataxia ("drunken sailor") and it behooves Jock's vet to distinguish one from the other. There's no specific therapy for the idiopathic (most common) form. Neither antibiotics nor steroids have been found to be of value but we do prescribe anti-nausea medications such as meclizine or maropitant when we suspect our patient to be nauseated. Care is supportive - not allowing Jock to hurt himself by stumbling into things and making sure he's assisted to go out to do his business and that his food and water is readily available to him. Most of these dogs will improve rapidly over the first few days and normalize within a couple of weeks. Some are left with head tilts. The older the dogs, however, the more protracted the recovery expected. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 5 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin