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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 45459
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 47 years of experience.
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Panting, eyes flicking left to right, rapid heart rate, no

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Panting, eyes flicking left to right, rapid heart rate, no co-ordination, moving in random directions, vomited once, right eyelid twitching as she calmed down.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Hopefully it didn't make a mess. Did the dog eat anything unusual?
Customer: Nothing that I know about
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Susie, a rescue dog I have had for 8 years, they said she was about 1yr when I got her, so she is about 9 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Susie?
Customer: No she has been fine until now this is the first sign that there is something wrong. Oh she had been drinking more water than usual over the past few months gradually

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Susie. Her ataxia ("drunken sailor"), nausea (as evidenced by vomiting) and nystagmus - eyes flicking back and forth are signs of a vestibular (balance) disorder in our pets. You may also see nystagmus - eyes flicking back and forth. susie's vet vet needs to clarify if the idiopathic ("old dog") vestibular disorder has arisen (most common), a peripheral vestibular disorder involving her inner/middle ear(s)/otitis interna/otitis media) is present, or a more serious central vestibular disorder involving her cerebellum or brainstem exists. This will take a thorough physical and neurologic exam.
Dogs suffering from the idiopathic vestibular disorder generally have a good prognosis for recovery. Improvement is usually seen within a few days and dogs can normalize within a couple of weeks although some are left with a persistent head tilt. There's no specific therapy for these dogs but I might prescribe an antiemetic/anti-motion sickness drug if nausea is preventing normal eating and drinking.

Is there a chance of the ingestion of a prescription or recreational drug? Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.


errata: "You may also see nystagmus - eyes flicking back and forth." should be removed.

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Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you, she has calmed down now. It is 21.00 so I will see a vet in the morning unless something happens during the night.

You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I'll set a follow up for tomorrow but please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.