I started googling like mad, and soon was a bit soothed. I ruled out side effects from her medication, especially because she had been on it in the past. I ruled out stroke, as apparently, strokes are very rare in dogs. She seemed to FEEL FINE, wasn’t sick at all, and really was quite perky. So, what I settled on was one of two things:
- An Inner Ear infection
- Canine Vestibular Syndrome, also known as Old Dog Disease
Monday morning arrived and she had not gotten any WORSE. YAY! We were off to the vet that afternoon, and after checking Mocca over, our veterinarian diagnosed like we expected – Canine Vestibular Syndrome. We did get her the antibiotic Clavamox, just in case there was an inner ear infection (her ears looked ok upon inspection). Sometimes vets will give Prednisone to dogs with this problem, but because Mocca is elderly, and her blood work 2 weeks ago had shown slightly elevated Liver Enzymes, we didn’t want to risk any further Liver issues.So, we waited it out. We got used to her balance problems, hand fed her and made sure she had water nearby at all times. We also kept her subdued, so that she couldn’t hurt herself falling. She was escorted outside on a harness to potty and walk around, and not allowed up or down any stairs. Little by little she improved!
By Friday, she was doing 85% better! Up and down stairs (though with my hand on her, I think it makes her feel safer) – jumping up on the bed, racing outside to play, eating her food on her own, and barking at the kitten who got too close! She still has a head tilt, but we are hoping that goes away with time as well.
In researching Canine Vestibular Syndrome, I found a lot of stories of dogs MUCH worse than Mocca, whose owners had no idea what was going on and thought their dogs were dying. Some dogs have it much worse, so worse that they can barely stand up, and instead circle, salivate, vomit and altogether can’t function. If your dog is as bad off as that, vet assistance would be a priority so they don’t get dehydrated and have organ failure from there. Mocca was eating, drinking, and not sick at all, so we opted to wait to see our vet on Monday, but I would never have waited if she were sick at all.
Hopefully, this post helps out a few pet owners out there who may also experience this.
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- Canine Vestibular Syndrome
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