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jadedangel57
jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19280
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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Dog having major coordination issues; keeps falling over!

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Hello! Our dog is having major coordination issues. Her front legs are knuckling every so often and she is extremely unbalanced. She can be walking normally and all the sudden she just falls over, then gets back up again.
She has no wounds. This has been going on for weeks. Have seen out vet, but would be curious to see what someone else says.
Mollie is a yorkie- she is 11 years old.
Mollie has all sorts of issues- but none related to this, no. :) She has had kidney and liver issues since she was a puppy, but those are under control.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Also wanted you to know that she is on Gabapentin 50mg. Doctor thinks it could be spinal fluid buildup. We are not seeing any improvements. Thank you!!

Hi JaCustomer,

I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Are your dog’s eyes moving back and forth?

Is your dog standing with its legs further apart then normal?

Is your dog swaying? Is your dog walking on an angle and can’t walk a straight line?

Is your dog holding its head at a tilt? Is your dog nausea or eating less?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Jane! Thanks for your quick response. To answer your questions- her eyes are not moving back and forth. She is definitely standing with her legs further apart than usual- especially her back legs. Often it is like the "slip" outwards while she is standing- almost as if she was on ice. I would say that she somewhat walks on an angle, yes. Not all of the time- but definitely enough that we notice. I haven't noticed her head at a tilt. She is not eating less, but is very lethargic. Occasionally she will bring a squeak toy over to play, but is more lethargic than usual. I'm not sure about nausea- she is also taking metronidazole regularly. this is a medication that she has been on for quite some time, as she has had extremely loose stools/ diarrhea for years. Not sure if that would help or hurt with nausea. Hope that this additional info helps! Thank you!!

Thanks for that information.

I asked these questions because there is a condition called vestibular disease that often is missed by some veterinarians. It’s possible your dog is suffering from vestibular disease. Symptoms include standing with legs spread out, swaying, head tilt, abnormal eye movement, walking sideways, falling over and may include vomiting. There are a few things that can cause this condition such as an ear infection, some medications and old age. `Here are some great sites on this condition:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_vestibular_disease.html

http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/vestibular.html

The good news is that if this is the problem and it is due to old age, the condition normally resolves itself over a few weeks. Your vet could prescribe dramamine or bonine to help with the symptoms. You can read about dramamine and bonine usage, precautions and dosage here:

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/dimenhydrinate-dramamine

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/meclizine-bonine-antivert

Other possible cause is a stroke. With strokes, there is often improvement within a week though it may take several weeks for significant improvement and a dog may not totally recover. Read about strokes here:

http://vetspecialists.co.uk/Default.aspx?PageID=2123716&A=SearchResult&SearchID=1890667&ObjectID=2123716&ObjectType=1

Aquired hydrocephalus can cause similar symptoms as you can read about on the following site. Be sure to click next to read about treatments

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Hydrocephalus/Symptoms.aspx

I would also suggest seeing a neurologist given her age and symptoms.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

jadedangel57 and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.

Thank you so much, but did have one question. I will be calling the vet tomorrow, but do you know if it is safe for a dog with hydrocephalus to be on metronidazole? For various reasons, including initial visits when she was a puppy- I am fairly certain that is what is going on. I noticed that in those cases that doctors often use diaretics. Just curious if this could be a problem. Thanks!

I'm sorry I didn't address that and you are right. With long term use of metronidazole your dog can have some neurotoxic side effects. REad this article here:

http://www.vetcontact.com/en/art.php?a=572

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/metronidazole-uses-toxicity-and-management-neurologic-sequllae

It is usually prescribed short term.