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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24471
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My 14year old pointer has been suffering with the heat and

Customer Question

My 14year old pointer has been suffering with the heat and has over the last 2 days been walking round to the left. Here hearing has also got bad so we were wondering if she has an ear infection?
Many thanks
Robert bridge-wilkinson
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. If your pointer is continually circling to the left, she's exhibiting signs of an encephalopathy - a brain disorder involving the cerebrum or thalamus. The disorder is likely to be intracranial (within the skull) in origin - a brain tumor at her age is most likely. Extracranial (outside the skull) disorders such as a poorly functioning liver or kidneys which are intoxicating her brain should be considered as well. Her vet will need to perform diagnostics in the form of blood/urine tests in order to differentiate these disorders although MRI might be necessary - an inappropriate diagnostic for a 14 year old in my opinion.
If, instead, you're describing a head tilt to the left, we consider vestibular (balance) disorders. Vestibular disorders are further differentiated into idiopathic (unknown cause/most common), peripheral (involving the inner/middle ear), and central (involving the cerebellum and/or brainstem). Once again, her vet would need to clarify which of the vestibular disorders exists and advanced testing might be necessary to do so.
I regret that I can't be more specific from here but I recommend your having her seen by her vet at your earliest convenience. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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