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Old Dog's

You get up an notice your furry child is running into furniture. His/her head is cocked and they are tipping over and falling. They are walking in circles. Something is wrong, they must be in the throes of death. NO!!! you scream at yourself. What happened? My beautiful happy feisty pal can't be dying. Did he have a Stroke? OMG!


Don't freak out. It is more than likely what veterinarians have termed, "Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome". It is associated with their inner ear and brain. The part of their body that orients balance and their position of space. In humans, it is like having a severe case of vertigo, or dizziness.


The onset of this syndrome is rapid, and there is no explanation as to the factors that cause this other than the age of your furry friend. It affects middle age and elderly dogs.

What are the symptoms of Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome?

  • Head Tilt - the most obvious. Their head will be tilted to one side. Even while resting, it will be slightly tilted as they try to find their balance.

  • Difficulty walking or balancing - They may be clinging to the walls or furniture while walking.

  • Wide Stance - They may take a wide stance while walking or standing.

  • Nystagmus - Eyes unable to focus, and moving back and forth.

  • Loss of Appetite and Vomiting - due to being dizzy and nauseous.

  • Falling over and rolling - mostly to one side.

Recovery from this may take anywhere from 3-4 days to two weeks. It is important that during this time your pal will need to be able to eat, and drink water. Palliative home care is essential to the recovery of your furry child.


For more information about this syndrome, you may need to call your vet. However, the internet provides some useful resources as well.

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