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Questions On Vestibular Disease...


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Guest cronescreatures

Our nearly 14 yo, Courtney is having some episodes that have both my husband and I kind of worried. It starts off withher seeming to lose her balance and become disoriented. She has a hard time walking straight, or even at all, and her eyes seem to dart back and forth rapidly as if she were having a seizure. She doesn't have the typical seivzing movements, just the eye darting. Eaxh episode lasts only a couple of hours, and the vet says he thinks it is vestibular disease. Here's my concern though; from what I have read here and other places, the Vestibular episodes tend to last a lot longer, like up to 7 days! So far, hers have only lasted a couple of hours at the most. Anyone have any thoughts/advice?

 

I appreciate your help in advance.

 

BTW, Courtney's birthday will be the 11th of next month, and I really hope this is not somethng that will be bad news...

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My Oliver (13) had one episode of vestibular disorder with the rapid eye movement that we know of.

I rushed him to the vet. I would say the episode was over within 20 minutes.

My vet said that we would see the episodes re-occur and gradually last longer in duration.

Oliver died of a stroke 3 months later without another vestibular episode.

 

Had another episode occurred our vet said we did not need to bring him in but to :

watch him - perhaps keep him separate from the other dogs while we were gone

- limit his space (as in not roaming the whole backyard or whole house unattended)

check his temperature - the stress of the episode had Oliver panting. He was very warm to the touch. When I checked his temp I think it was 102.

Vet said to keep him cool with wet cloths.

 

These episodes are so heartbreaking.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta, Howie the portuguese podengo maneto
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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If it's vestibular disease, I can't speak from experience in dogs, but my Dad had it. If it's similar in dogs and humans, the rapid eye movement may be associated with what a human would describe as dizziness or vertigo.

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Our first Greyhound, Lacey had several bouts with vestibular disease, when she was about the same age. The symptoms were just as you described. The first time, it freaked us out because we'd just put our little pit bull to sleep because of an apparent stroke, and we thought maybe they had gotten into something. But our vet knew what it was. I know the episodes vary in length and severity, with some dogs having related problems because of their inability to eat or to keep food down because of the vertigo. Then support fluids would be recommended. But Lacey's never progressed that far, only lasting a few hours at a time. When we put her to sleep several years later, it was due to osteo, not anything related to the vestibular disease. It is called ideopathic because they are not sure exactly what causes it (or specific treatment), only that dogs of a certain age are more prone to it. I would try not to worry too much unless she develops other symptoms, because it may not progress, as you are afraid of.

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The rapid-shifting eye movement is nystagmus:

 

eye movement

 

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta, Howie the portuguese podengo maneto
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Guest cronescreatures
The rapid-shifting eye movement is nystagmus:

 

eye movement

 

 

Thanks for the link. I had not seen that page before. That explained the whole thing rather clearly. If she has another episode, I will try to notice which side of her head seems to be the problem. I will add that the first episode happened while I was out of town, and the second one happened just a week later. The day after her second attack, I did do a routine ear cleaning and did notice a bit extra ear junk, so both ears got treated with hydrogen peroxide rinse and an application of triple antibiotic ointment. She hasn't had another episode since, so perhaps she did have an ear infection, and cleaning her ears out helped...

 

Thanks to everyone else as well. Your answers did put my mind at ease. Glad to know that it isn't something serious like I thought at first. We have lost only 2 of our personal pack thus far - one to cancer in the abdomen and the other, Lucinda, who we had for a number of years, to a stroke. I was afraid that it was the onset of a stroke.

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Kelsey, who will be 13 in November, has been through 2 bouts of vestibular disease. I've never noticed the rapid eye movements in her situation but it seems that everyone has a different experience with this disease.

 

During the first episode, she simply had a head tilt and was a bit unsteady and that was a few years ago I believe. The second episode last year was worse. She couldn't turn to the right and would keep circling to the left to get to the right. Her water dish is to the right of her food and she couldn't move even a few inches to the right to drink from it but would have to circle back around again to the left. Both episodes lasted about a week and the last one seemed to have a lasting effect on her unsteadiness. But luckily these were her only symtoms and I think her LS has more to do with her unsteadiness these days.

 

Good luck with Courtney and we look forward to seeing a new thread for her 14th birthday! :)

Chris, with Bixby (aka Clive Bixby, fka Taplin's Bull) and the feline buggle brothers, Oliver and Salem.

Kelsey (Watch the Kick), forever in my heart.

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