What is Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Vestibular Disease can be a very alarming condition for dog owners. This is because the symptoms can appear to be very severe, and there is not always a known cause for the condition. Luckily,  dogs with vestibular disease usually have a fairly good prognosis.

Although vestibular disease can cause some pretty severe looking symptoms, the condition is hardly ever fatal in dogs. This means that most dogs can live with this condition with few complications, even if it cannot be cured.

In this article, we will be explaining everything that dog owners need to know about vestibular disease in dogs. We will also be answering some commonly asked questions about this condition. Let’s get right into it!

what is vestibular disease in dogs atlanta ga

What Is Vestibular Disease?

Vestibular disease occurs when a dog suddenly has a dramatic decrease in balance. This happens when there is a disturbance in a dog’s inner or middle ear or the parts of the brain that control balance and movement.

Is Vestibular Disease In Dogs Neurological?

Yes, vestibular disease is often classified as a neurological condition. In fact, if your dog’s vestibular disease has no known cause then you may need to see a veterinary neurologist. This is a veterinary specialist who deals with neurological disorders in animals.

What Causes Vestibular Disease In Dogs?

There are several potential causes of vestibular disease in dogs. Possibly the most common causes of vestibular disease in dogs are severe middle or inner ear infections.

This is not the only cause of vestibular disease in dogs, though. Conditions such as hypothyroidism and brain cancer can cause vestibular disease as well. Similarly, head injuries and benign tumors can also cause vestibular disease in dogs.

If your dog has no known cause for their vestibular disease then this is called idiopathic vestibular syndrome. Though there is no concrete cause for this condition, it is suspected that this is usually caused by some neurological issue. Idiopathic vestibular syndrome is most common in elderly dogs.

What Are The Signs Of Vestibular Disease In Dogs?

What are the signs of vestibular disease in dogs

The Symptoms of Vestibular Disease in dogs can appear to be quite severe. Here are some signs that your dog may have some form of vestibular disease.

  • Vomiting
  • An unusual head tilt (may vary in severity)
  • Wobbly walking and a loss of overall balance
  • Falling over (in the same direction as head tilt)
  • Leaning (in the same direction as head tilt)
  • A reluctancy to stand or walk
  • Irregular eye movements (nystagmus)

Even though vestibular diseaes is very rarely fatal in dogs, you should still take them to the vet as soon as you can if you notice any of the above symptoms. This is because a proper diagnosis from a vet is key to making your dog feel better and get back to their old self.

Does Vestibular Disease Hurt Dogs?

No, vestibular disease does not cause a dog any pain. The main feeling that a dog will get as a result of vestibular disease is nausea and dizziness.

Is Vestibular Disease In Dogs Curable?

In some cases, yes, vestibular disease in dogs is curable. This is only the case if the vestibular disease has a known cause that can be treated occurred, though.

In cases of idiopathic vestibular syndrome, the condition cannot be cured in a strict sense. However, the condition usually resolves itself within a few weeks. In some severe cases, there may be lasting effects such as a slight head tilt or wobbly gait that will remain after the severe symptoms have passed.

How Is Vestibular Disease In Dogs Diagnosed?

vestibular disease in dogs

Vestibular disease is usually treated by a physical exam from a vet. Here the veterinarian will examine your dog and take note of any symptoms that they are experiencing.

Depending on the situation, the vet may call for other tests to be carried out. These tests can diagnose the cause of the vestibular disease or rule out other conditions causing the dog’s symptoms

How Is Vestibular Disease In Dogs Treated?

For cases of vestibular disease with a known cause, the cause will be treated. This will also cure the vestibular disease after a short time. For example, a dog with vestibular disease as a result of a middle ear infection will be prescribed antibiotics. Once the infection has cleared up the vestibular disease should also be cured in cases like this.

In cases of idiopathic vestibular syndrome that has no known cause, dogs are usually given medications that are designed to make them more comfortable. These are usually medications that help reduce nausea or aid in relaxation. In some severe cases, feeding tubes and IVs may also be necessary if the dog is having difficulty eating and drinking.

How Many Times Can A Dog Get Vestibular Disease?

Dogs with idiopathic vestibular syndrome may experience multiple bouts of the disease. This means that a dog may have a few weeks of vestibular disease symptoms that resolve, and then they experience another, similar episode sometime later. This is more common in elderly dogs than it is in young dogs.

Can Benadryl Help Vestibular Disease In Dogs?

Benadryl has been proven to help reduce some of the symptoms of vestibular disease in dogs, as it has been shown to reduce nausea and dizziness. Although Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication, it is still recommended that you contact your vet before giving Benadryl to your dog. This way the vet can instruct you on the proper dosage and use of Benadryl for your dog.

Can Vestibular Disease Cause Death?

Vestibular disease in dogs is hardly ever fatal, especially if the dog has been given veterinary attention for the disease. Although vestibular disease in itself is not fatal, the symptoms can sometimes be similar to those of more serious and life threatening conditions. As a result, you should still always take your dog to the vet if you notice symptoms of vestibular disease.

Similarly, ear infections can commonly cause further complications in addition to vestibular disease. This means that you should also get ear infections in dogs promptly treated by a vet.

Conclusion

Although vestibular disease can be alarming to you as a pet owner, it is rarely fatal in dogs. However, that shouldn’t stop you from seeing a vet if your pup is experiencing any symptoms of vestibular disease.

For dog parents in the Atlanta, GA region, The Village Vets has 6 general veterinary practices and a 24/7 emergency vet clinic to treat your pup. Visit our site today to find a location near you!

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.