My dog loses his balance and has his head tilted: Vestibular disorder in dogs

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SIGNS of loss of balance should not be ignored since they can indicate a serious medical emergency. The vestibular system is composed of portions of the brain and ear. It’s responsible for maintaining our sense of balance.

When Vestibular systems go wrong, it feels like the world is spinning.  Vestibular syndrome is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a ‘stroke’. The signs you may see are loss of balance, leaning or circling to one side, head tilt, rapid eye movements (nystagmus), reduced appetite and vomiting. Sometimes the loss of balance is so severe that the dog rolls over repeatedly.

Ear infection, Idiophatic Vestibular syndrome, trauma/injury, stroke, brain tumours, brain inflammation, stroke are causes that can cause a vestibular syndrome in the dog or cat. Metabolic diseases and intoxications can also cause it, such as Hyperadrenocorticism, hypothyroidism, and metronidazole intoxication.

There are two types of vestibular disease:
Peripheral vestibular disease can be caused by a condition in the middle or inner ear such as ear infection, perforated eardrum, and ear mites.

Central vestibular disease is typically due to a disturbance in the brain.

Diagnosis requires a physical and neurologic examination, blood test, x-rays, CT scans or MRI. MRI is essential if brain injury is suspected.

Centro Veterinario de Diagnóstico por Imagen de Levante
C/Los arcos 23 Cuidad Quesada Rojales Tel: 966 716 176 – 609 779 109

Costablanca Norte:
Anicura Marina Baixa Hospital Veterinario 

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