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jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19759
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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My 14 1/2yo lab had a bout of vestibular syndrome while we

Customer Question

Hi, my 14 1/2yo lab had a bout of vestibular syndrome while we were traveling in an RV in august. Although it seemed to clear up in a couple of weeks, the few times he's been for a short car ride, he seems to relapse and stagger, head tilted, his hips swaying from side to side. No apparent nausea or vomiting. Each time it lasts a couple of days, then back to normal. His back legs are also markedly weaker since the first big episode.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: He has a history of laryngeal paralysis and the tie-back surgery. he has a great appetite and gets around ok around the house and outside for small walks around the yard. Gets confused at times
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 10 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

I am assuming your dog had the version of vestibular disease related to old age. That does resolve itself over a few weeks as a dog learns to cope with it.

I personally have the human version of vestibular syndrome which is vertigo. The way my doctor explained it is that certain forms of the disease are due to things like ear infections or tumors disrupting the vestibular system. Others are viral (in the case of vertigo). With this form the patient learns to live with the disruption and how to move without serious dizziness and nausea. For bouts of vertigo, your vet may prescribe dramamine or bonine to help with the symptoms. You can read about dramamine and bonine usage, precautions and dosage here:

Now many dogs the cause is from a different cause such as ear infections or a growth in the area of the vestibular system. In those cases, antibiotics or other treatment is necessary to relieve the symptoms.

Many dogs experience car sickness even without having vestibular disease. It just affects your dog worse than normal. I'd ask your vet about possibly using dramamine or bonine for car rides to relieve the symptoms. Perhaps if you start treatment right before the car ride, it will stop the symptoms from continuing for days.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.