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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28511
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a female beagle who's been spayed and is about

Customer Question

Hi,
I have a female beagle who's been spayed and is about to turn 3 years old.
1 week ago I noticed she was falling over when running for the tennis ball and over a couple of days she's been off balance, Dalling over, not being able to jump onto anything or off of anything over a foot high and she's very scared if I leave her. She also appears to have lost her hearing not responding to anything unless in plain site.
I've taken her to the vets and they said her temperature was fine. Nothing that could be seen in the ears. No painful reactions when prodding her spine. She tilts her head slightly to the right and it does appear to be her front and back right feet that are struggling as she always falls over to the right. They gave her metacam and said to bring her back after 5 days If no changes or she gets worst. As there have been no changes I'll be taking her back in 2 days. But would really like your oppinion on what the next step should be. As I haven't a lot of money £500 maximum and no insurance. To me it's as if she's had a stroke. However I'm no expert and I'm unsure if you can check for that without a ct scan.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Her head tilt and ataxia ("drunken sailor") are hallmarks for vestibular (balance) disorders. If you've also seen nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth), that symptom would be another indication of a vestibular disorder. Her vet's goal should be to differentiate idiopathic (unknown cause) from peripheral (involving the middle/inner ear) from central (involving the cerebellum or brainstem) vestibular disorders. This will entail a thorough physical and neurologic exam. Many vets aren't comfortable performing such a neurologic exam and will refer your dog to a specialist veterinary neurologist (please see here: www.acvim.org). Please note that while a mild stroke is possible, it's not a common finding in such a young dog and usually causes profound changes in mentation (mental status) such as obtundation/coma, vocalizing (whining, e.g.), and seizures. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Please disregard the info request.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
May I have an update, please?