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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28931
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 15 year old schauzer is having trouble walking. she is weaving

Customer Question

my 15 year old schauzer is having trouble walking. she is weaving from side to side and falling down and falling over backwards. She has a pretty serious heart murmur and can't see very well and cant hear. The waling is new.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My dog just had a full blood panel done and everything was normal. Her electrolytes were a little elevated, but my vet said that it was nothing to be concerned about.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Your Schnauzer is exhibiting either signs of vestibular (balance) disease or is profoundly weak which would be unlikely with a recent normal diagnostic panel.
The idiopathic (unknown cause) "old dog" vestibular disorder is most likely and is evidenced by ataxia ("drunken sailor"), nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth), and/or head tilt. Please let me know if you're seeing nystagmus or head tilt. Peripheral vestibular disease involving the inner/middle ear(s) and central vestibular disease involving the cerebellum or brain stem need to be considered as well.
In most cases, the old dog vestibular disorder symptoms improve over days to weeks although the advanced geriatrics such as she tend to take longer to remiss. Her vet is likely to prescribe an antiemetic/anti-motion sickness drug such as maropitant or meclizine if your dog remains as vertiginous (causing vertigo) as she currently is. For now, please keep her as quiet as possible lest she hurt herself running into things. Place her food and water with her in an enclosed place. If she continues to improve over the weekend, an ER visit can be avoided.
Most owners think that their pets have suffered a stroke. While possible, strokes most often cause a profound mentation (mental status) change such as obtundation/coma, vocalizing (whining), and seizures. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.