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My dog is walking kind of sideways and is tilting her head…

My dog is walking...

My dog is walking kind of sideways and is tilting her head to the right and shaking. She just started doing it. She can't (or won't) turn her head to the left and her left back leg is weak. could she have had stroke?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is your dog's name and age?

Gypsy and she is eight I think.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Gypsy?

Not that I can think of

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Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/19/2018
petdrz
petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,620
Experience: Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
Verified

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am Dr Z. I'm reviewing your question now, and will post back with a reply ASAP.

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Thanks for trusting me to help you and Gypsy today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 30 years of experience and would be happy work with you.

I am typing a reply currently. Please allow me a few minutes and then we can reply up and back if you have further questions.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you

When a pet experiences sudden loss of balance and ataxia (weak and uncoordinated walking) along with a head tilt, one of the first things to rule out is vestibular disease. The vestibular system is one that controls the sense of balance and is located in the brain. The vestibular nerve, which exits the brain travels through the inner ear, so an inner ear infection can be one cause of irritation to the nerve and can lead to vestibular symptoms. A brain lesion, like inflammation or even a tumor can also be a cause. There is a condition know as idiopathic vestibular disease in which all of the symptoms show up acutely, but there is no underlying pathology noted. The good news about the latter condition is that it tends to resolve on it's own in usually a week or so. Here is a link with more information about this condition. LINK HERE Strokes or other types of vascular incidents are not very common in dogs.

If it is idiopathic vestibular disease that Gypsy is dealing with, the treatment is supportive which may include some form of fluid therapy if she is not eating and drinking well and getting a little dehydrated.There are anti-motion sickness medications that can be prescribed that may offer some relief as well. I would definitely have her evaluated by your veterinarian for this to make sure there is nothing else going on like an ear infection and so that the appropriate medications can be prescribed.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you Dr. I checked her ears and she does not seem to have any irritation or infection. I am very familiar with those as my lab has chronic ear infections. I can’t get her to turn her head to the left at all and she constantly keeps her head turned to the right. She is getting up and following me around and she ate a treat. I am at a loss. Is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable right now?

An inner ear infection does not need to have visible discharge as the inflammation or infection is on the other side of the ear drum. Idiopathic vestibular disease is by far more common and in those cases, we never do find an underlying cause.

The over the counter medication called Dramamine II or Dramamine Less Drowsy has the active ingredient meclizine and can help with her symptoms if this is due to vestibular disease. How much does Gypsy weigh?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you, ***** ***** the duplicate question. I will go weight her now and let you know give me just a minute.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I just weighed her, she is 63 lbs. She is a lab/dobie mix we think.

OK, her dose would be one if the 25 mg tablets every 24 hours. The medication will not affect the head tilting, but will help her to not feel as if the room is spinning quite so much.

I would still recommend that you have her evaluated by your veterinarian as soon as you can get her an appointment. In the meantime, you may need to help her with eating and getting around if she still seems off balance. It is a horrible feeling if you ever talk to a human who has gone through it.

Good luck with her.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have had vertigo and it was horrible. Thank you so much for your assistance doctor I will get an appointment for her. Have a great day

You are most welcome.

petdrz
petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7,620
Experience: Over 30 years of experience caring for dogs and cats
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Thank you kindly for the positive rating. It is truly appreciated.

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