Vestibular disease

I've been up since 2am; had a couple of winks between then and now but now I'm up. I was waken by Tilley panting very heavily this morning; being that she'd just had a haircut the panting was strange. Not long after she stumbled around the room with her head wobbling from side to side. Having a dog with epilepsy I knew this was not a seizure but seemed to be some sort of neurological issue. I hopped out of bed and got her outside where she pretty much eliminated everything. She could barely walk; she certainly couldn't walk a straight line.

I had carried her downstairs and out; and carrying her back up the stairs was necessary as well. This is when I wished she was a toy sized poodle. Once back in the room she stumbled around until I forced her to lay down. She slept for several hours while I listened to her breathing and started my research. This is what I came up with after typing in her symptoms: Canine peripheral vestibular disease. I've never heard of it until now.

She has all the symptoms; eyes darting back and forth, head tilted, staggering movement and head wobbling. Being someone who suffers from vertigo I feel horribly for her; she is in a constant state of dizzy. Just imagine being on a never ending ride at the fair; horrible. I will try to get some food into her this morning, don't know if that will happen or not as she has vomited several times.

It seems that there are three different types of the disease. One; starts with a deep inner ear infection, often unseen from the exterior ear. Two; a brain lesion of some type which is a central vestibular issue. And three; commonly seen in older dogs which causes are unknown and usually start to dissipate within 72 hours. I will not panic; I am doing my research so that I am well aware of what I am dealing with. I have just given Tilley a Meclizine to hopefully ease her nauseas.

I will keep you all posted.


  1. Sherri, our dog is 15 and he suffered from this. It was really scary and I had never heard of it before and thought he was having a stroke. Our vet took one look at his eyes and immediately told us that he will be fine in a while. Fine meaning he will be able to see straight and walk on his own but may have some lingering or lasting effects. Meclizine was what he prescribed for him and it was a coincidence that I was taking it at that time too due to side effects from Lyrica, so we shared my meds!! LOL! He needed help for about a week when going outside. We used a harness to help him steady himself and be able to take care of business in the yard. He is a 60 pound pit mix so carrying him was not really an option! He still has a slight head tilt and, if he tries to move too fast he has a tendency to fall over, but he's doing fine. I hope your dog recovers well and quickly.

  2. Thanks Jen; like your guy Tilley is doing well. It took her about 5 weeks to get to where she is at today. She is more fragile now but she gets lots of TLC; she is asleep on the couch at the moment waiting for her b-day cake.


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