Canine Vestibular Syndrome | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Canine Vestibular Syndrome

May 23, 2014
75
113
Surrey
Funster No
31,615
MH
Nuevo
Exp
4 years
A fortnight ago Petroc had an episode that mirrors all the symptoms of a stroke. It was so awful that after three days of really nursing him & following the vets instructions we made the terrible decision. However he wagged his tail so a swift phone call cancelled the home visit. He is on Vivitonin tablets and I can walk him with a sling.He is eating ,happy, continent and because his head is now held with a distinct list to port looks very appealing. Petroc is a fairly big dog a beardie x wolfie and weighs 32 kgs.He is over 13 years old and had symptoms of hip arthritis so he was having Cartrophen injections . Anyone out there who has experience with this awful condition please share with me any management tips you have. I love old "lopsided lopez" to bits.There is a lot about the condition but not a lot about the prognosis on line.Thanks doggy people.
 
OP
petrocspals
May 23, 2014
75
113
Surrey
Funster No
31,615
MH
Nuevo
Exp
4 years
No one has posted so I thought that 4 weeks into this episode I would just post what I have learnt so far. There does not seem to be a lot of guidance available.
1 When you see your loved pet with this condition it's harrowing. You think you must do the "kindest thing".
2 Don' t do it! Give it some time, notice tiny improvement markers. Canine Vestibular Syndrome is a bit like a stroke. I treated Petroc in the same way I would a human, physio, moving ,turning etcetc.
Four weeks later aged 13 1/2 Petroc is pottering around,eating well & wagging his tail. He is left with residual disabilities, a lopsided head & a tendency to rush & fall but it does not seem to worry him as much as it does me. Hope you never have this experience with your older darlings.
 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
12,490
17,967
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
an awful fright, but it was described to me as a mini stroke, like a TIA in humans. you are of course doing the right thing for Petroc for now and that is all he needs. If he is not suffering, enjoy the extra time you have left

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
May 3, 2016
1,154
7,232
Scotland
Funster No
42,868
MH
Swift Kon-Tiki
I am sorry that I don't have any words of wisdom for you.
But you know your boy & your clearly doing your best to manage his condition, I hope he stays happy for as long as possible.
 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
5,393
29,042
Devon.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
I missed your first post, can’t say I’ve heard of the condition but agree with TheBig1 , it sounds like a TIA would in humans. When I was a teenager my dog ( aged about 14-15 at the time, had a stroke and the vet advised immediate euthanasia. Years later I read that Vets now advised treatment and nursing such as you’ve done.
You know your dog and he sounds happy, content and pain free. I have a “disabled“ dog ( due to injury before I found her) I get lots of comments/ questions while we’re out. My record is 14 people in one afternoon in Weymouth. She’s not in pain, and has adapted to having 3 working legs.
Wishing Petroc well from me and my two.
 

Minxy Girl

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
20,345
21,915
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Carthago Cmpct i-138
Exp
Since 1996 we've had Elddis, Swift, Rapido, Rimor, Chausson MHs and Autocruise & Globecar PVCs
It is very distressing when you have a dog which has a 'stroke' but as you've found with love and care they can make a good recovery.

We had one dog, Poppy, who was highly strung and didn't like being on her own at all. She had a stroke whilst in kennels with 2 of our other dogs (same kennel) and was falling all over the place with her eyes flicking constantly - the kennels hadn't even noticed! We immediately took her to the vet and she was treated and recovered almost totally, however she was prone to them but the meds they put her on seems to keep her pretty stable for a few years and although she had some mini ones fortunately she recovered each time.

All was well until her best buddy Honey had to be put down due to emphysema (at 14) and Poppy was 'lost' without her even though we had 2 other dogs, however she seemed to be getting over it but unfortunately 15 days later at lunchtime when we came home form work we found her in the kitchen with our other dogs in the hallway and the kitchen door was partially closed - we assume she panicked about being on her own and had suffered a massive stroke as she was falling all over, her eyes were whizzing around like pin-balls and she was literally 'screaming' from being scared about what was happening. We took her to the vets immediately who said that they could sedate her but it wouldn't really help as she was so stressed that as soon as she became conscious again she'd panic and likely have yet another stroke until one did her in, consequently we made the decision not keep her going and had her put down - she was over 16 years old and had had more years of life than we ever though she would.

If Petroc is happy, even if a bit 'wonky', just give him lots of love and hopefully he'll have a good many years of fun with you.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Hollyberry

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 24, 2011
5,393
29,042
Devon.
Funster No
16,134
MH
None.
Exp
4yrs
I did think Holly was having a stroke last year. One minute she was chasing after her ball in the local field, then her back legs seemed to go from under her and she sank to the floor. She didn’t seem to understand what was happening, took a few steps and it happened again. Managed to get her home and took her to the vet. She couldn’t find any signs of a stroke, or anything else amiss, thought it might be a back problem, advised me to keep her quiet and see what happened. Was ok for a couple of weeks then it happened again. Back to vet where we saw the senior vet who diagnosed sciatica. She had laser treatment in her back, 3 times a week for 6 sessions, then down ton2 a week, 1 a week etc... Touch wood it’s not recurred. Can recommend trying laser therapy if any dog has back problems.
 
Mar 9, 2015
2,033
3,897
Heywood, Gtr. Manchester.
Funster No
35,384
MH
Autosleeper Winchcom
Exp
Since 2008
I had a 12 year old Border Collie who was curled up next to me as usual. She looked up, one eye flickering sideways, eyebrow flickering vertically and unable to stand. Immediately thought she'd had a stroke. Quick trip to the vets where I expected her to be put to sleep. Brilliant vet immediately diagnosed Canine Vestibular Disease and reassured me that he'd seen worse that had recovered but it would be at least 5 days.
Anti sickness , painkillers and steroids given and brought her home on Vivitonin. Sure enough she improved each day and made a full recovery.
She lasted another 4 years. 😀👍
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
14,415
26,021
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
24,219
MH
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Exp
2013
A bit of Googling suggests, assuming the diagnosis is correct, this is a balance problem and stems from the inner ear. Alarming symptoms obviously but long-term it shouldn't get any worse and may well improve. In some dogs the symptoms only last a few days but not in every case of course. Thanks to the OP, it isn't something I had heard of. :)

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Last edited:
Apr 17, 2016
828
3,915
Chichester
Funster No
42,523
MH
Soon
Exp
Newbie
My little jack has collapsed a few times, had a spell when she was about 3 months old then it came back again in 2017.
She would just collapse, pass out for about 10-20 seconds then wake up screaming.
we took her to a specialist who put this vest on her for a week that monitors her heart.
504AC61C-2DB8-4664-9514-7DF2ADB26C85.jpegB15C7680-61B1-4A0E-9C06-4E076E3564A6.jpeg
Strange that they could not find anything wrong and she has been fine since!!

Good luck hope it all works out.
 
May 8, 2010
1,345
1,439
Funster No
11,466
MH
A class
Exp
Since 2010
Our 14-year-old Dally had an attack of it, a few weeks ago, on a Saturday evening. Like you, we initially thought he'd had a stroke. His head was cocked to one side and his eyes were moving rapidly from side to side.
After a quick consultation with Mr Google, we concluded that it wasn't a stroke but Vestibular Syndrome.
He only has three legs, in any case, so standing and walking were particularly difficult for him.
Having read all the stuff on the web, we decided that, as it was Saturday night, we would just keep him comfortable and see what he was like the next day. Graham slept downstairs with him that night, and by next morning, he was very slightly better, even wagging his tail a bit.
This being the case, and given his age, we decided not to take him to the vet.
In the case of our dog's mother, we had a very traumatic experience at the end of her life. She was unwell so we took her to the vet, who was unable to determine what was wrong with her. X-rays or any procedures requiring anaesthetic were out of the question because she had a heart murmur. All they could find was that she had some irregularity concerning her kidneys, so they kept her in and put her on a drip. The poor old thing was highly distressed by this, as were we. After three days, she had deteriorated and they felt that she should be put to sleep. We felt dreadful that we had put her through all this distress at the end of her life, and decided that we wouldn't do anything similar again.
Our current dog quickly recovered from his Vestibular Syndrome episode. His head remained cocked for about 3 weeks, but he's now completely normal. We continue to care for him in a way similar to caring for an elderly relative.
If he has another attack, given his age, we will not be taking him to the vet.
 
Sep 11, 2014
676
964
West Sussex
Funster No
33,306
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2013
Our golden retriever had an episode of this when he was about 12. He'd been sleeping on my bed and I woke to find he'd peed on the bed and wouldn't/couldn't get off the bed. His head was very lopsided but I don't remember rapid eye movements.

We had to carry him downstairs in his dog basket. Called the vet who diagnosed Vestibular Syndrome and basically said "see how it goes". We took turns to keep him company 24/7 on the floor in the kitchen, and used a sling to help him get out in the garden when necessary.

He recovered fully within about a week and never had any further episodes. He went on to live until age 19.

Hope Petroc continues to improve.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jun 30, 2012
30
21
Ipswich, Suffolk
Funster No
21,718
MH
Burstner Lyseo 728G
Exp
March 16
We've been through 2 episodes with our (almost) 14 yr old Springer,
1st time we thought he'd overworked himself on Le Touquet beach, following morning kept collapsing in a heap for no apparent reason, head also tilted one way....thought it was a mini stroke, gradually improved balance etc over next couple of weeks but retained the head tilt.
Next time was 4-5 months later, dramatic collapse on walk, couldn't stand at all, eyes flickering up & down...thought it was terminal massive stroke.
Rushed to emergency vets who diagnosed vestibular almost immediately on seeing the eye movements, also completed a complete physical examination.
He wouldn't eat or drink for a couple of days but gradually improved over 2-3 weeks, almost good as new for a 13yr old, curiously the head tilt was rectified with the 2nd bout???
It is horrible watching the ageing process ☹
 
Jul 13, 2017
124
110
Bressuire, Deux-Sevres
Funster No
49,459
MH
Van conversion
Exp
Off and on since 2015
So sorry to hear about your dog's horrible experience with this condition.
If it's any consolation my last dog, a collie cross, had two attacks of this type, the first when she was a bit over 14 y.o. and the second a year later. She lived a good 18 months after that.
It's not a stroke, it affects the inner ear hence the balance problems. Think sea-sickness on a large scale. Some vets recommend a rapidly administered steroid injection (as we did second time round), but it is a condition associated with old age.
Give your doggie lots of love and look after him or her xx
 
Sep 11, 2014
676
964
West Sussex
Funster No
33,306
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2013
QUOTE
>Think sea-sickness on a large scale<

Very good description. Our vet said whenever the dog attempted to move, his brain wouldn't know which way was Up. Horrible to see in your own dog.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
petrocspals
May 23, 2014
75
113
Surrey
Funster No
31,615
MH
Nuevo
Exp
4 years
Thanks all of you I have felt terribly alone with this & reading the progress reports that your dogs made I feel a bit better. Petroc has good days & then a blip. I have been trying to avoid ball games ( only rolling along the floor towards him) & car journeys lest I start it off again. He has residual head tilt & is wobbly but he is happy. He looks so appealing with his head on one side , I cannot deny him anything....better watch his weight. He is the very devil to get a pill into so I am cooking sausages to disguise them.....as a veggie I have to say they do smell nice & that seems to help his appetite.
 
Jul 13, 2017
124
110
Bressuire, Deux-Sevres
Funster No
49,459
MH
Van conversion
Exp
Off and on since 2015
I don't think anything you do will cause another attack; they just seem to come out of the blue🤔 Similarly to another poster's comment, my Cassie's head tilt was less after her second attack, but they seem to adjust to life on the tilt in a good number of cases.
Glad to hear that Petroc's condition is improving, I'm sure it will continue.
 
West Country Motorhomes
Rhino Installs
Johns Cross
Friendly professional service from qualified technicians
Safeguard Motorhome Insurance
Top