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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16512
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian
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I have a 14 year old collie mix. He has artritis in his hips,

Customer Question

I have a 14 year old collie mix. He has artritis in his hips, bad knnees and loss of muscle mass in his hips. He fell today greeting me at the door.I took him outside as usual, he did both. Had trouble with his balance and when he came inside, he laid down but then could'nt get up by himself. His eyes were twitching and he seeemed in pain. Stroke, seizure? He is dozing now but one eyebrow is still twitching.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your fellow is falling over and having trouble standing as well as eye twitching today.
Is his head tilted to the right or left?
When he tries to walk is he circling or leaning to one side or walking very slowly with a wide stance and then leaning and falling over?
I understand that his eyes were twitching, does his eye movement look like the dog in the link below?
If the answer to these questions is yes then he may have vestibular disease. Vestibular disease is a malfunction of the balance system, either a problem in the inner ear itself or in the nerves that take information to the brain or in the brain itself. Episodes often come on suddenly.
With vestibular disease he can get very dizzy and as such have trouble with coordinated movement. They will often fall or lean to one side.
Does he have a history of an ear infection?
There can be several causes of vestibular disease. They range from very benign causes such as idiopathic (meaning we don't know the cause but they resolve on their own with supportive care) to middle ear infections or polyps, brain infections (bacterial, fungal or viral) or even a primary brain lesion such as a blood clot, bleeding or a tumor.
If we cannot identify a cause then we will often treat the patient symptomatically (anti-nausea drugs, anti-inflammatories and possibly antibiotics if an ear infection is a concern) as most dogs do get better with supportive care.
His prognosis if this is caused by a lesion outside the brain is very good in most cases.
We may check bloodwork to make sure organ failure or low thyroid hormone are not the cause of his symptoms. If he isn't improving at all in 3 to 5 days then blood tests should be done to make sure all is well internally.
At home you can give Gravol also known as Dramamine (dimenhydranate) to control dizziness and nausea, ( this medication is also used for carsickness). The dose is 4mg to 8mg per pound of body weight every 8 hours. Side effects are mild sleepiness and dry mouth.
Or you can try Benadryl (diphenhydramine only, do not use products with acetaminophen or decongestants as they are toxic for dogs) at 1mg to 2mg per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours or one 25mg tablet per 15-25 pounds of body weight every 8 hours. Side effects are sedation and dry mouth as well. Do not use in dogs with heart disease or glaucoma.
To stimulate his appetite start a bland diet of 1/3 boiled, lean hamburger (or boiled, white skinless chicken), all fats and juices drained off mixed with 2/3 boiled, plain white rice. Add warmed low salt chicken or beef broth to get additional fluids into him and make the food more palatable. Feed several small meals a day.
You may need to hand feed him and offer him water or ice cubes to lick as he may have difficulty negotiating eating and drinking on his own.
If he still won't eat even after medication to decrease his dizziness and offering a bland diet then to help with nausea at home you can give either:
1) Pepcid ac (famotidine) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 12 hours
2) Prilosec (omeprazole) at a dose of one 10mg tablet per 20 to 40 pounds of body weight every 24 hours
These are acid reducers and should help her feel a little less nauseous. They are quite safe and can be used for several days if necessary.
If he starts vomiting or refuses to eat for a couple days he may need hospitalization for supportive care, fluids and injectable medication for nausea.
If after a week's time there is no improvement or he is worse then he needs further diagnostics to try and identify the cause. Serious central nervous system (the brain) causes are more likely and thus prognosis is much more guarded.
Things such as an MRI or spinal tap are indicated at that point.
If he is not improving a referral to a neurologist is best as they can perform this advanced testing.
Please see this link if you would like to read more about vestibular disease:
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
None of your answers apply to my dog. I just read the exact same thing on another website.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please do not respond, I am finished with your service. I am not happy with the information you provided. Please stop my time.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
I will forward this to customer service to refund your deposit. Please don't respond to this or it will come back to me.