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Why Is My Dog Acting Dizzy And Wobbly?

Customer Question
My dog is acting dizzy...

My dog is acting dizzy. He is wobbling and when he was in the back yard a few min ago, it looked like he was stretching his back legs but almost fell over. What is wrong?

Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/15/2011
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,046
Experience: 16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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1- Is he walking like he is drunk or just weak in the extremities?
2- Does he have a head tilt?
3- Any changes in his breathing?
4- Take a look at his gums and see if they are pink or pale?

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

1- he is walking like he is drunk- he can run fine when he is ampted up
2- he has a head tilt when he slows down - it almost looks like he is falling asleep but in a wobbly manner
3- I dont beleive there is a change in his breathing
4- his gums are pink, not tacky, and has good CRT of less than 1 sec

Thank you for your help!

- very nervous owners

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Can you look inside his ears for evidence of infection like redness, discharge, bad odor?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
I did look in his ears...his ears are a bit pink and warm but so is the rest of his body and they do not smell at all. - no discharge nothing
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 5 years ago
Can you hold his head straight in between your hands and see if his eyes are moving side to side or up and down?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

We held his head and moved our fingers and he followed them. When we weren't moving our fingers his eyes were fine and did not seem to wonder at all. He has had some gas today.

Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Peter, Veterinarian replied 5 years ago

The symptoms that you are describing of a head tilt and off balance suggest the system that controls balance (vestibular system) is off. Common causes could be ear infections (not in this case), but, there could also be inner ear problems like infections, foreign body, parasites (ticks), etc. other causes could be central diseases affecting the brain. Less likely, the symptoms you describe could be consistent with a systemic disease like liver disease, hormonal, etc.
In this case, there is not much I can recommend for you to try at home. He needs to be seen by a veterinarian to determine the exact underlying cause of his symptoms. For tonight, observe him; make certain gums are pink. If he becomes lethargic, vomiting, unresponsive, pale gums, etc. have him checked by ER veterinarian. Otherwise, follow up with your family veterinarian in the morning.

Hope the above helps, if you have additional questions I will be glad to answer them.

Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31,046
Experience: 16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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