Vertigo or Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome

Image of an old dog laying on the ground.

Vertigo is a syndrome in the elderly dog, which can be very frightening to the owners. The dog is suddenly afflicted with a balance problem, usually staggering, but occasionally unable to stand, and more rarely actually rolling over and over. There is a tilting of the head to one side and nystagmus, a rhythmic flicking movement of the eyes. Nausea and vomiting may also in present. It is not due to a stroke, as most people assume. It is thought to be due to an abnormal flow of fluid in the semi-circular canals of the inner ear. It is more common in older medium to large breeds of dogs. It is rarely seen in cats. Although the symptoms are alarming and often incapacitating to the dog, the prognosis is good. Improvement of clinical signs usually starts within 48-72 hours and most patients are normal within two to three weeks, even with no treatment. A mild head tilt may persist. Veterinarians should be consulted as the symptoms can also be caused by ear infections, foreign bodies in the ear, or tumors. The vestibular system may need treatment, with motion sickness drugs, or intravenous fluids if the nausea is severe or the dog is unable to eat or drink for a few days.

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Broad River Animal Hospital

Our Regular Schedule

Office Hours

Monday:

7:30 am-7:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-7:00 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

For Appointments

Monday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • ""I've been taking my babies to you since 2007 and everyone knows my little ones. Dr. Stramaglia has diagnosed + saved the lives of 2 of them. All the vets are super and caring as are the front personnel + vet techs. I've even had home visits.""
    Desire H.
  • ""The best veterinary care in the country - Dr. Lamothe always has the best interest of my dog in mind, goes above and beyond to make sure my dog is well taken care of and thoughtfully answers all of my questions.""
    Jennifer W.
  • ""I am a client of many years. Everyone from the front desk staff, to the techs, to every doctor. Broad River is comprised of consistently pleasant, knowledgeable, gentle and compassionate people who provide the utmost in professionalism and care.""
    Colleen P.
  • "I've been coming for 33 years I think that speaks for Itself."
    Arthur S.
  • "Very satisfied. Very thoughtful, nice people."
    Cornelia F.
  • "5 stars all the way! When I first started taking my dog here, he used to shake a lot, now he perks up and loves visiting (despite that sometimes he's poked at :)"
    Effie T.