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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21464
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My 16 year old Wheaton is falling over when he walks and I

Customer Question

My 16 year old Wheaton is falling over when he walks and I noticed his eyes are rolling up
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: I don't believe there is
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Buddy
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Buddy?
Customer: He does have seizures and it's on potassium bromide. I also give him previcox for soreness
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me

How long has he been showing signs?

When he falls over does he seem to faint?

Or does it look like he is having a seizure?

Are his gums pink or white/pale? Moist or sticky?

Could he have eaten anything harmful (ie chemicals, human meds, etc)? Or hit his head?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He dies have cataracts, however I noticed earlier this week he was really following walls, so it seems like his vision has gotten worse.
Friday morning he did throw up 2 times which is very unusual and when we tried to walk him a few times we really had to pull him along. By Friday afternoon he would really stumble or fall over, and when I looked on his eyes I saw this rolling. By Friday evening he couldn't walk at all. We've been keeping him laying down and he sleeps in spurts. When he raises his head it does tilt.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Oh dear, poor Buddy.

Now we can see falling over with a few different issues. Usually sight deterioration will have them following the wall as you noted, but not often will it cause the other signs. Instead, to see falling, head tilting, and nausea/vomiting; these are more suggestive of vestibular issues (common at his age), inner ear infections, and brain lesions (ie bleeds, swellings, infections, or a mass, etc). Furthermore, we can see this in dogs that have had access to toxins or have underlying organ issues (ie liver, kidney, heart) also cause this but they sound potentially less likely here with Buddy.

In this situation, if he were my patient and since he sounds to be rapidly deteriorating, I'd want to have him seen now. Ideally, we'd want a full neurological examination to help localize which system is involved here. If organ issues are a concern, blood testing can confirm them. For infections and inflammation in the brain, inner ear or even vestibular system, his vet can start antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to reduce his signs. Of course, for severe cases we do sometimes need them to see a neurologist for an MRI and spinal tap; but we'd hope that isn't necessary for him.

Any delay and we can at least symptomatically treat the nausea since any reduced food intake could lower blood sugar and make him worse. For that, you can try offering a light diet option for a few days. Examples of an easily digestible diet include cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, scrambled egg, or meat baby food (as long as its free from garlic or onion powder). Ideally, we want to offer this as small frequent meals to keep the stomach settled. Further to this, if we see any more nausea, we can also treat with an antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid). We'd give this 20 minutes before food to allow absorption and of course double check with your vet before use if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any medications you haven't mentioned. But again given his seizure history, we could have a brain lesion that is worsening and now putting more pressure on the brain; though with the nausea as well old dog vestibular issues (which tend to be more treatable) are also a concern for Buddy.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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I aim to provide best care for you just as I do for my own clients & their pets. If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for the reply. Although there are a lot of testing that could be done, when something like this, and a 16 year old dog, is it best to p let them go peacefully?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

You are very welcome, my dear.

Now age is just a number and some dogs are quite fit at 16. Though if he is showing his years, then heroics may not be indicated. Still it is worth at least having a check with a view to trying to treat the treatable (with antibiotics/anti-inflammatories). Of course, if we didn't get positive progress with those then it would be kindest to let him go so he doesn't' suffer with this.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

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I aim to provide best care for you just as I do for my own clients & their pets. If you have any other questions, please ask – I’m happy to help but please rate me with the **STARS** (or leave a written rating of 1-5; 5 being great) as this is the only way I am credited for my work by the site & this allows me to continue to help here. This is included in your question fee. Once you rate, your question will not close & you can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you. : )**