Veterinary questions? Ask a Vet for Answers ASAP
Hello, my name is Dr. Strand. I can try to help answer your question about Lucky
Sorry to hear he isn't doing well.
So typically when we have a dog with a head tilt and loss of balance, this is something called vestibular syndrome.... not the same concept as a stroke at all.
This can happen when there is inflammation around the vestibular nerve which runs close to the middle ear. Possibilities include a middle ear infection, inflammation around the nerve and we don't know why this happens "idiopathic", or even a cancer (which would be unusual in a 2 year old, but not unheard of).
hello, and what happens when he has a vestibular syndrome ?
Sometimes hospitalization is necessary to keep these guys hydrated but I typically put these patients on 2 different antibiotics (amoxicillin or clavamox) combined with ciprofloxacin or baytril. This helps to cover the middle ear infection.
The key I find is also combining a tapering course of prednisone (a steroid) to quickly bring down the inflammation around the nerve. It also simply takes time for them to adjust to the vertigo like symptoms.
Most of the time these guys improve dramatically within 2-3 days of antibiotics and steroids at home. However, depending on the underlying cause of the vestibular symptoms, these guys are prone to having recurrence of the disease.
I think your idea of bringing him home would be okay, as long as you are able to get food/medications down him at home.
These guys also benefit from being kept calm, quiet and in a dimly lit room
Are you there?
isn't another symptom of a stroke eyes moving all the time ? because that's what our vet told us as well .. and yes we are able to be with him 24 hours
The rapid eye movement is called a nystagmus..... this also happens with vestibular disease.
Do you know if his pupils were moving from side to side or up and down?
we haven't seen lucky since wednesday and we don't really know what's going on with him
they were moving from side to side
The side to side movement is typically related to vestibular disease
Many people relate these symptoms to a "stroke" but dogs typically don't suffer from strokes in the same sense that humans do. However this disease looks similar, but is not as serious as a human stroke
should we say that to our vet that it might not be a stroke ?
I would suggest at home treatment to your vet and see what he/she says..... it's hard with the holidays.
Just suggest that you were reading about vestibular syndrome and was wondering if this could be the case. I think so many clients relate these symptoms to a stroke and many vets don't have the time to explain exactly what's going on medically.
Please feel free to continue to ask questions, and I will be back momentarily
Do you have any other questions or specific concerns.
I would be most concerned about a middle ear infection, causing the vestibular disease in Lucky.
and when you were lisitng the symptoms you mentioned loss of balance but when we brought him to the vet, lucky wasn't walking at all he was only going in circles but lying on the bed.. is it still the vestibular syndrome ?
Ask your vet if his ear drums were intact and/or he had an external ear infection.
I was going off of the 1st sentence of your description - sometimes they can start with the head tilt and circling (as you described) and progress to not being able to walk without falling to the side.
So many dogs in this state choose to try not to walk at all because they will simply fall down
Again, the steroids I have found to be key in bringing down the inflammation around that nerve so the dizziness goes away. However, a good broad spectrum combo of antibiotics must also be used to cover for a middle ear infection which might not be visualized externally to the ear drum
It's hard because all I can do is explain and suggest, you will have to approach these things with your vet today.
Do you have any other questions?
Are you still there?
no. thank you very much for your help, we really appreciate it, we just hope the vet won't kick us out with the dog thinking that we're trying to be smart.
Some vets do get offended so chose your wording carefully but what's most important is that Lucky is being treated properly
You are welcome
and good luck
thank you very much