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Cher, Dog Caregiver--Extensive Experience
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21449
Experience:  Extensive Experience Caring for Canines; Specializing in behavior and health concerns.
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my dog is walking around constantly running right into ...

Customer Question

my dog is walking around constantly running right into things head first. when he does a 360 degree turn he hits his head at least two times. this has all transpired in the last 2 days. a friend just told me that his dog was doing the same thing and was diagnosed with lyme disease. is this a possible symptom? he is not lethargic, is eating fine, and does not have a fever like other symptoms. thanks for your help
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.

Is your dog walking like he's dizzy or drunk (not in a straight line), and then banging into things?

Is he walking with his head tilted to the side or falling to one side at all?

How old is your dog and what breed?

Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hello again,

It's possible that your dog is suffering from vestibular disease, which affects the vestibular apparatus that controls balance.

The symptoms you describe might also be related to ingestion of a toxic substance like antifreeze, so your dog should be evaluated by a vet, immediately, in order to establish the cause of the problem and have it treated.

Lyme disease usually presents with the following symptoms:

"The most common symptom of Lyme disease in dogs is a reoccurring lameness that may shifts from leg to leg. Most commonly, it is a front leg that is effected and the lymph node on the shoulder of that leg may be enlarged. Many of the sick dogs are depressed and run fevers. Occasionally I find that the superficial lymph nodes all over the dog’s body are enlarge. It is common for infected dogs to have hot, painful joints when lameness is present. They may yelp when these joints are pressed and be quite reluctant to walk. When they do walk, they walk with a stiff shuffling gait and an arched back because of the pain. Unfortunately exercise-induced sprains, arthritis, hip dysplasia and lumbar or cervical spinal problems present very similar signs. When I am fortunate, I will notice ticks present on the dog. A classical red circular band often surrounds the tick or the place where the tick was attached. This mark is called a target or bullseye lesion. The redness follows the routs of the bacteria migrating through the skin from the site of the tick bite."

Since you say your dog is not lethargic, is eating well and has no fever, plus is not exhibiting any lameness, this may not be related to lyme disease; however, he still should be checked out by the vet ASAP, as the symptoms you describe indicate something is not right, and the underlying medical cause must be determined and treated.

I hope your dog will be fine!

Cher and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Cher's Post: no he is not walking around like he is dizzy or drunk.He can be walking fine and run straight into something. And his head is not tilted to the side at all. Please help
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply and accept.

If he's not walking like he's dizzy, can he see alright? Have you tested his vision?

From the symptoms you describe, he should be seen by the vet ASAP, for bloodwork, testing of his vision and central nervous system, and a diagnosis, so that then, he can be treated for the problem found. As you could see from the link I included, your dog really isn't exhibiting typical symptoms of Lyme disease, but if you're worried because your friend's dog was doing the same thing re: walking into objects, the vet will test for this, too. (I'm posting this as an information request so you're not prompted to accept an additional time).