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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19798
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My 11 year old westie vomited then fell her side. She is

Customer Question

My 11 year old westie vomited then fell her side. She is leaning hard to the side as well. She seems to be having problems with her back legs as well. She tried to get up and walk and acts "drunk". She's nervous and seems like her eyes are bugging out of her head.
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 Westie?
Customer: She's seems to hard of hearing lately and has been hiding under stuff. Both of these just started and I chalked it up to old age but then this episode.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr Gary. I've been practicing veterinary medicine since 2007. I look forward to helping with your questions/ concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 3 months ago.

It sounds like your dog has Vestibular Disease. The vestibular system is the connection from the brain stem to the inner ear and it coordinates balance. Vestibular disease is a disruption in that pathway.

The cause in young dogs is usually due to an inner ear infection. In older dogs it's usually due to an unknown cause and we call it old dog vestibular. Rarely it is caused by a brain stem tumor. Common presenting signs are: head tilt, nystagmus (rapid eye movement), falling, circling, rolling and nausea.

The good news is that old dog vestibular disease will usually resolve slowly over 7-10 days with no specific therapy. I usually put them on Meclizine (Antivert) to help with the nausea and I think it helps to resolve the signs faster than with no therapy. The dose I use is 25 mg once daily. Meclizine is available over the counter at most human drug stores.

If the signs progress over the next couple days, then an MRI would be indicated to rule out a brain stem tumor. Try not to get too discouraged as it can take some dogs up to 5-7 days to regain balance and to be able to walk normally in the severely affected.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 2 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Gary