SPAY & NEUTER CLINIC (330) 865-6890 // RESCUE & ADOPTION (330) 865-6200

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Vestibular Disease

Has your dog been a little “off” lately? Possibly stumbling, turning circles, or wobbling as though drunk? These subtle symptoms can be the first telltale signs of Vestibular Disease. Our veterinarians at the Spay & Neuter Clinic were presented with two cases of the disease this week, making it the topic of discussion for our staff.

The vestibular system in dogs is the part of the ears and brain that are responsible for equilibrium and balance. When something occurs to upset this delicate system, the dog will begin to develop signs. Vestibular Disease can be one of the many causes. Sometimes referred to as “old dog disease,” this condition is often mistaken for a stroke or seizure, as the symptoms are very similar.

The following are the most common symptoms that appear with the onset of Vestibular Disease:

  • Sudden head tilt
  • Stumbling and/or falling
  • Unsteady walking
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Circling in one direction

Treatment consists of take-home antibiotics, steroids, and anti-nausea medications. Most dogs should show signs of improvement within 72 hours, though complete healing may take up to two weeks. If the symptoms of the dog are more severe, further steps may be taken by the veterinarian, which can include injectable medications or a more thorough diagnostic testing.

Though the condition is not painful, it can leave the dog with a very nauseating feeling like vertigo. The best care for these patients includes making them as comfortable as possible. When tending to a dog that is affected by this disease, make sure to give them a firm surface to stay on that will provide support and safety due to their wobbliness. They must be protected from stairs and avoid carrying them. After they have been treated and are safely cared for, the healing can start and they will begin to walk again.

Two Convenient Locations

Adoption Center

1929 West Market Street
Akron, OH 44313
(330) 865-6200
(behind Walgreen's and AutoZone)


Spay & Neuter Clinic

1700 West Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44313
(330) 865-6890

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