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Ask Drhollowayvet Your Own Question
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 882
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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My dog a 15yr old Brittany is having dizzy spells which

Customer Question

My dog a 15yr old Brittany is having dizzy spells which causes him to lose his balance and fall he recovers in minutes and is normal until another spell comes on. Just started yesterday. Any sugestions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is***** but I go by Dr. H for short. I understand that you have a Brittany Spaniel with some possible cardiovascular signs. I have a few ideas of things to think about that could explain the events you described here. - Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

The episode you describe is highly suggestive of a condition called "syncope" and this is where the pet apparently faints from lack of sufficient oxygen to the brain. This would be my first suspicion considering Brittany's are predisposed to heart conditions. If these episodes keep happening I would highly recommend you have his heart evaluated with a thoracic radiograph and an echocardiogram. The echo is important here because it can evaluate the heart muscle walls, valve's and function of the valves, and most importantly in your case, if there is significant amounts of deoxygenated blood present to cause episodes of syncope. - Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hopefully this information is helpful to you? I have not gotten a response from you as of yet but I will check back periodically to see if there is anything else I can assist you and your pet with Gary.- Dr. H

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If what u suggest is true is there any treatment for it. I don't want to go through expensive test just to confirm something with no treatment.
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hi Gary. I am glad you wish to continue the conversation.

In order to answer your question concerning whether this is treatable or not, we would have to first distinguish whether this is truly a syncope episode (collapse) or if this could be a kind of seizure event. This can truly only be done by your veterinarian observing your pet. This classification has to be correct because they can look similar. If the episodes that you are seeing are in fact seizures, then the treatment options would be completely different, although still mostly treatable.

However, if these are truly syncope (collapse) episodes, then I will be honest with you work-up for cardiac conditions can be costly, however a lot of heart conditions are treatable.

Some of the more common reasons for syncope are 1) Pulmonary hypertension, 2) Intermittent or sustained arrhythmias 3) CHF (congestive heart failure), 4)Severe structural heart disease. There are medications that can be prescribed to help with all of these conditions mentioned.

So with all that said, I can understand your hesitations to have testing done only to arrive at a diagnosis with no available treatment options. However, I am inclined to think that would not be the case here.

Are there lots of expensive testing to be done to arrive at a diagnosis and good treatment protocol for your Brittany? The answer is yes.

Can most of the possibilities be treated and managed with medications, but not cured? The answer is again, yes.

- Dr. H

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hello Gary, I awaited your reply from yesterdays conversation but haven't heard from you. If you are satisfied with my informative answer to your question I would ask you to please provide me a positive review by clicking on the "Rate my Expert" above so that I may receive credit for taking the time to chat with you. Thanks!

If you need further assistance don't hesitate to ask them in our open chat. Have a wonderful day!- Dr. H

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