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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10465
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My dog is 16 and has been walking in circles all night. When

Customer Question

My dog is 16 and has been walking in circles all night. When I put her inside, she continues to walk in circles but also walks into walls and seems to br going toward items that are reflecting light
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I'm so sorry that Young Jerry is having the issue that you're seeing.

Unfortunately, her symptoms could be seen with several different conditions which could range from something potentially treatable to something more serious:

1. She could have a brain mass although it gives me no pleasure to say so. These masses do tend to be benign and slow growing but they are, after all, space occupying lesions in the brain. Such an issue can be difficult to diagnose without advanced imaging such as an MRI although this isn't something that many owners would feel practical doing for an older dog.

2. She might have an inner or middle ear infection. These infections are difficult to detect without advanced imaging as well but if I suspect this problem, then I'll dispense oral antibiotics even though I may not have confirmed the diagnosis. Most dogs will respond within just a few days if this is the problem.

3. Dogs with significant liver issues (cirrhosis) can display neurologic signs and behave in some odd ways. Blood work should indicate if such a problem is present; there are a few treatment options although most of these patients don't do well long term.

4. I've seen some dogs with Cognitive Dysfunction (similar to Alzherimer's in humans) behave strangely, too, although they don't typically walk in circles.

I would dearly love to be able to suggest over the counter options for her but I'm afraid they wouldn't be particularly effective (unless #4 is present, then there's a long list of possible treatment options which I can provide if you'd like. However, having said that, this condition isn't likely to be completely responsible for her behavior).

I hope this helps to at least provide possible explanations for her behavior and that a course of antibiotics resolves the problem. Deb

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Young Jerry. How is everything going?
Dr. Deb