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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20578
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My dog seems restless and dizzy her equilibrium is

Customer Question

My dog seems restless and dizzy her equilibrium is definately off
However she is eating and drinking with no diarrhea. But she is very quiet and not herself. Any ideas of what this could be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has she been like this?

Does she have a head tilt? Any circling in a particular direction?

Any lip licking, gagging, retching, or vomiting?

Has she had any issues with recent ear infections?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has been unsettled for a couple days. Wandering around. She can't stay in one place. She did have some vomiting a couple days ago but not lately. She is eating and drinking. Never had any ear infections
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would not say she is circling but she can't settle down so she is pacing and wandering. She has also started chewing wires and shoes and things she shouldn't be. This is very out of character for her
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now the reason for my questions is because we can see changes of this nature triggered by a range of issues. Specifically, these signs tend to be related to issues involving the middle ear, vestibular system (balance organ) and brain. The most common causes for these signs in a dog her age are going to be toxic exposure (which is an urgent situation if she did eat anything she should not have), a middle ear infection (often this can be due to a spreading ear infection, but sounds less likely here), a focal brain lesion (ie swelling or a bleed post trauma, a parasitic cyst, and less likely at her age a brain mass), or diffuse brain disease (ie bacterial or viral meningitis, toxoplasma, neospora, etc). These signs can also be seen in young dogs with liver shunts (usually a birth defect) and potentially with low blood sugar but these sound a bit less likely for her.

In this situation, we need to tread with care. Since this isn't settling as you monitor, we'd really want to consider having her seen urgently. Her local vet can perform a neurological examination to start narrowing down our differential list. Based on their findings, they can test for those parasites and start her on antibiotics +/- anti-inflammatories to treat for as many of these issues as possible. Otherwise if her signs are severe or she doesn't respond to those, since brain based issues are most likely here, further testing with spinal taps, MRI or cat scan could also be indicated to get a definitive diagnosis and thus be able to address this effectively for her.

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was suspected she had a liver shunt when she was young. A few months back she had pancriatitis and we had to lower her fat intake by switching her food. She has lost some weight. She drinks a lot and urinates more than any of our other dogs. So your idea of low blood sugar could be a real issue as we were told due to this pancriatitis she does not metabolize sugars normally. Could this be related?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Well, that does make things a bit more complicated for this situation. Though I would note that while severe pancreatitis can lead to dogs becoming diabetic, often it won't affect the sugar situation (especially as the pancreas only releases the hormones to balance blood sugar and doesn't actually metabolize it).

Just in light of that extra bit of history, was she ever tests for a shunt (ie bloods, ultrasound, etc)?

Do you think her signs worsen or lessen after she eats ?

Does her urine every look watery?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When she was a baby and just a few months ago they did extensive blood work and monitoring. She had ultrasounds and they were concerned about her liver at first. However she has lived a very normal energetic life until her illness in the summer when she was diagnosed with the pancreatic condition. But she has been normal up until a few days ago when the restlessness and chewing started. The equilibrium has been the most recent symtom. Urine seems a little more yellow than normal. We were not able to get her normal (healthy) food a couple days ago so she has ate a grocery store brand of food this week but did appear to have any digestion issues (diarrhea etc)
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

If they did check liver values and her ammonia levels before, then a shunt is less likely at this point. As well, if that urine is more concentrated, then that sounds like she is drinking less or releasing less water into her urine (which isn't really what we'd expect if we had a sudden onset diabetes just now). So, those would be a wee bit less of a concern with these signs. Still, given her delicate state and the current issues at hand, I do think a check up would be safest here. And if you do have that done, her vet can check a urine sample to just make sure there is no glucose/ketones (hints of diabetes) present.

All the best,

Dr. B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Gary,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Peeny. How is everything going?