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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12450
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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My 13 year old smaller dog (breed unknown) suddenly became

Customer Question

My 13 year old smaller dog (breed unknown) suddenly became disoriented last night and was having a lot of trouble walking. This lasted through the evening and continues today, though to a lesser degree than last night. He also has begun panting at times though he never panted before even in very hot weather. He has been active right up to last night, then suddenly this stuff. He's bobbing his head and looking back and forth like he's searching for something, but his vision seems intact. As I said, it seems to have diminished somewhat at the moment today, Sunday. Any idea what's going on and what I should do about it, if anything?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No, no wounds, and he didn't fall either.
JA: The Veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Dog's name is Cooper. Have not taken him to a veterinarian. This is Sunday. It does seem diminished.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Cooper?
Customer: No. He's been eating and drinking very well and his stools are brown and hard.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 6 months ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today! Please give me a few moments to type my response and I will be right back!

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 6 months ago.

I am so sorry to hear about your senior friend Cooper. It sounds like there might have been a vestibular event. This can be confirmed if there is a head tilt and/ or eyes dart side to side

Here is a link to more information on this condition:

Luckily in most dogs they will improve within a week of having this event and it sounds like he is already showing some mild improvement from last night. We don't fully understand the reason this happens in pets unless there is an overt ear infection that is the cause but in most cases this is not the issue

Supportive care is often the best treatment for vestibular disease which means keeping quiet, minimizing the ability to cause injury such as stairs, fluids under the skin to maintain hydration until this passes if there is vomiting, anti nausea medication if there are symptoms of nausea (licking lips, increased salivation, eating grass) or vomiting and medication to help with dizziness if there is difficulty getting around or a reduction in appetite

If there is improvement within the first few days to a week that is a great sign. Some dogs will have a residual head tilt to some degree while others will relapse but until we have a better understanding why this happens in dogs we really support their quality of life in hopes of getting through to where they were before this occurred.

Other causes unfortunately do include a brain aneurism, tumor, a stroke to name a few

I hope this information makes sense but please let me know how else I can assist you both today

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 6 months ago.

I am glad to see you were able to view my responses. I am going to be exiting for a little while but wanted to ensure there were no additional questions before I go?