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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My 15 year old female Chihuahua/Dachshund mix was sleeping

Customer Question

My 15 year old female Chihuahua/Dachshund mix was sleeping normally but when I called her to come outside she stood up all wobbly and is shaking like she has Parkinson's. Her head is moving around and her legs seem very weak. She is not panting or drooling nor does she seem in any pain. Her stomach is not distended or sore. Her tail is tucked between her legs but if I talk to her she waves it happily. Even lying down she continues to tremble and her large ears are twitching and alert. She is eating and drinking fine and has urinated when I put her outside. I believe about six hours previously she ate the vomit of another dog who had eaten garbage. The other dog (King Charles spaniel) is totally fine. It has been two hours and she hasn't gotten worse, she hasn't vomited or had diarrhoea. It's the middle of the night and the nearest 24 hour vet is far. Is there something I can do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 years ago.
Hello. It sounds like this may be due to vestibular disease. Vestibular is similar to vertigo in people. In older dogs, we usually don't have a known cause. We just call it old dog vestibular or idiopathic vestibular. These dogs are uncoordinated, they have fast back and forth eye movement (nystagmus), they are nauseous and they often have a head tilt. The signs come on very suddenly. The good news, is that most dogs are back to normal within 7-10 days no matter how we treat. I do like to put them on Meclizine. This helps to stabilize things and it's good for the nausea. I also give them an injection of Midazolam on day one. This is like Valium, and helps to stabilize the vestibular system a bit faster. You can wait until your vet opens to get this diagnosed. Until then, just keep her somewhere where she can't hurt herself when she falls. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.