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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30418
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog has not been able to walk since wednesday night and has

Customer Question

Dog has not been able to walk since wednesday night and has his head cocked to the left and eyes are unstable. he is about 14 years old and no longer able to walk on his own. he is eating and drinking ok
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with your elderly dog. You appear to be describing vestibular (balance) disorders in dogs. A head tilt and nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth) are pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of vestibular disease. The idiopathic (unknown cause) vestibular disorder (also called "old dog vestibular disorder") is most common and holds the best prognosis for recovery - improvement is usually seen within days and many dogs can normalize within a few weeks; a head tilt might persist. More worrisome are both peripheral (involving the inner/middle ear(s)) and central (involving the brain stem or cerebellum) vestibular disorders. Your vet will need to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam on your dog in an attempt to clarify which of the vestibular disorders is present. Advanced imaging in the form of CT or MRI might be needed. There is no specific therapy for the idiopathic form but an antiemetic might be prescribed if my patient is inappetent due to nausea and vomiting. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

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

Dr. Michael Salkin