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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32505
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
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My Australian Cattle Dog is 14 years old this month. She has

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My Australian Cattle Dog is 14 years old this month. She has some trouble keeping her balance. One of her back legs is stiff and occasionally gives way, and i am particularly concerned because she is now holding her head to one side. Could this be a sign of serious illness?

Welcome! Thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian and I will be assisting you today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has this been going on?

2- Is she walking like if she is drunk?

3- Any pre existing medical conditions?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She began having trouble with her back leg giving way about a week ago (it has happened before--about 2 years ago) but she recovered, but the slight staggering and odd way of holding her head just began yesterday. She only occasionally staggers--yes, as if a little drunk. She takes propane for incontinence, and has been taking that for about 6 years (since when there have been no further problems with incontinence). otherwise, and part from getting a little old and stiff she seems very healthy and is eating well.

Can you stand her up and try to get her head straight then look at her eyes and see if they go side to side or up and down?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She is currently lying beside me. Her eyes seem normal, but look up and down rather than side to side.

Please give me a few minutes to type your answer. Thank you.

Friend, older dogs could have balance issues when they develop arthritis. So, it is likely that her back legs could be suffering from arthritis. As far as the head tilt this can be caused by: An ear infection, vestibular disease (system that controls balance is not working properly), brain tumors, etc. all of which can cause balance issues as well.

In this case unfortunately we are very limited as to what you can do at home. Kimba needs to see family veterinarian for a hands on examination, blood work and xrays as initial screening test. Treatment will be based on exam and test results.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service - I hope I've provided the information you were seeking, if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done.

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