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Haredown Whippets

Idiopathic Vestibular Disease

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Arrived home last night to a disoriented, staggering and distressed 15 year old poodle. She'd vomited. Her eyes were rapidly flickering and when picked up she stiffened and splayed her front legs.

I dismissed poison as a likely scenario and thought she'd had a stroke.

Rapid trip to the vet and Lily has Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. A post on Facebook revealed a range of friends whose oldies have had or suffer from IVD.

There is no cure - treatment is limited to managing symptoms. My vet gave me anti-nausea meds and sent me home with advice that attacks can last up to two weeks. In Lily's case she improved throughout the evening, had her breakfast this morning and is close to normal now.

Anyone else with experience of IVD in their senior dogs? It certainly scared the bejesus out of me :eek:

Edited by Haredown Whippets

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shirra   

Did the vet do investigations before making the diagnosis?

I ask because my daughter's very elderly dog was found lying on her side and unable to move except to scrabble in a circle with her paws. She couldn't even lift her head.

She was rushed to the vet who said she would need imaging (?MRI) to determine what was going on, but she thought it might be vestibular disease.

My daughter was very distressed about it all and made the heart breaking decision to PTS.

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Vet checked eyes, ears, reflexes and balance and stability. No scans.

It certainly is distressing to see :(

from my Googling and my friends' experiences, circling is very typical of an IVD episode.

Edited by Haredown Whippets

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Diva   

My elderly Belgian Terv developed it. It took her several weeks to recover, but she did, just needed some help getting about initially.

It sounds like Lily has recovered really well, :)

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4Kelpies   

My Ruff had a bout of vestibular when he was about 14. His eyes were flickering from side to side and he couldn't keep his balance. I took him to the vet sure that he'd had a stroke and fearing the worst but was soon reassured that is wasn't serious. He wasn't as bad as some dogs I've known and although his balance was affected he could still eat. I had to put a towel under him to help him walk outside and apart from this he spent most of his time in his bed. I had to raise his food bowl as he would fall over if he put his head down. He was wobbly for about ten days but then improved quickly although he had a head tilt for some months. He never had another bout. Here's hoping that Lily will be feeling better soon and you will recover from the fright.

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My Ruff had a bout of vestibular when he was about 14. His eyes were flickering from side to side and he couldn't keep his balance. I took him to the vet sure that he'd had a stroke and fearing the worst but was soon reassured that is wasn't serious. He wasn't as bad as some dogs I've known and although his balance was affected he could still eat. I had to put a towel under him to help him walk outside and apart from this he spent most of his time in his bed. I had to raise his food bowl as he would fall over if he put his head down. He was wobbly for about ten days but then improved quickly although he had a head tilt for some months. He never had another bout. Here's hoping that Lily will be feeling better soon and you will recover from the fright.

Thanks! I honestly thought i wouldn't be bringing her home. :(

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~Anne~   

My Monte had a vestibular episode in January. Although now we believe it was caused by something more serious. He acted as though he had a lot of pain around his head. The vet thought he may have have been suffering from an inflammation of the spinal chord. 24 hrs later the eye flickering started and he couldnt stand. He looked so stressed. He didn't vomit a lot, and only did regularly when he drank water. He couldn't toilet without being supported and his swallowing wasnt very good in the beginning. I walked him with a harness to help him toilet and watched him closely while he ate. He was very thirsty in the beginning. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was stress?

Anyway, to cut a long story short he took more than 5 weeks before he could manage a stair or two and his head tilt never left him.

Initially I had been researching and realised it was very likely for it to occur again.

Monte's neuro said to leave a light on for him as his apparently helps when they are experiencing balance issues.

Edited by ~Anne~

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Diva   

My Ruff had a bout of vestibular when he was about 14. His eyes were flickering from side to side and he couldn't keep his balance. I took him to the vet sure that he'd had a stroke and fearing the worst but was soon reassured that is wasn't serious. He wasn't as bad as some dogs I've known and although his balance was affected he could still eat. I had to put a towel under him to help him walk outside and apart from this he spent most of his time in his bed. I had to raise his food bowl as he would fall over if he put his head down. He was wobbly for about ten days but then improved quickly although he had a head tilt for some months. He never had another bout. Here's hoping that Lily will be feeling better soon and you will recover from the fright.

Thanks! I honestly thought i wouldn't be bringing her home. :(

If you haven't seen it before, it looks terrifying. Very stressful to see them like that.

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Monte's neuro said to leave a light on for him as his apparently helps when they are experiencing balance issues.

Thanks, I leave some on at night for my other old boy and I have a motion sensing one that turns on so that he see and use the stairs up onto the bed embarrass.gif

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Trishm   

My 15 year old whippet suffered an attack of Geriatric vestibular disease some months ago, she had no signs of nystigmas though,and no head tilt, and recovered pretty well over night which surprised me and my Vet.

She was given anti-nausea medicine

She has not suffered any further attacks since.

Its pretty scary to see, good luck to your girl.

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Sheridan   

I've never seen it in my dogs but I have heard of it. Owners report it takes some time to recover from and it can happen again but usually the dog returns to normal, or at least as normal as it gets for a very elderly dog.

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I've never seen it in my dogs but I have heard of it. Owners report it takes some time to recover from and it can happen again but usually the dog returns to normal, or at least as normal as it gets for a very elderly dog.

24 hours later, Lily is almost back to normal. She's a tough old chook :)

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Sheridan   

I've never seen it in my dogs but I have heard of it. Owners report it takes some time to recover from and it can happen again but usually the dog returns to normal, or at least as normal as it gets for a very elderly dog.

24 hours later, Lily is almost back to normal. She's a tough old chook :)

Bless!

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2boxer   

My old boxer girl had it, she recovered after a few days but was left with a mild head tilt. She eventually had to be put down to a suspected brain tumor. I do wonder if the two were related.....

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kayla1   

My older girl is still recovering, her symptoms started three weeks ago. She still has a head tilt and staggering, but is improving very gradually. The first six days or so were the worst with the nausea and vomiting. She has her appetite back now, but has become quite fussy with her food.

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Same, about 1 month ago woke up to find my eldest boy (nearly 13), barely able to move, staggering, eye flickering, etc etc. he has other health issues (degenerative myelopathy) and I seriously thought that was it.

Some how he managed to get himself outside, promptly vomited everywhere and would take one steps and either collapse or fall over and couldn't get up...it was terrifying.

By the time the vet got here he was able to stand unassisted. Vet diagnosed geriatric vestibular syndrome and we elected to nurse him over that weekend to see how he did. Gave him anti nausea meds.

It took 4 days for the eye flickering to stop (each day it would be a bit slower) and the 4 days before I was comfortable enough that he could be left on his own without getting himself into trouble (falling over and getting stuck somehow).

It has taken about the whole month to get back to where he was prior to the episode.

I can certainly relate to how scared you would have been, it's horrifying.

But ditto with leaving lights on (they are very disorientated), given my boy is fairly big I also used a harness to help steady him, assist him up and help him around corners, made sure food and water bowls were raised and I also had boots for his DM and they were great in helping him with stability and traction.

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shirra   

24 hours later, Lily is almost back to normal. She's a tough old chook :)

That's great news :thumbsup:

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Kavik   

My previous dog had vestibular disease when she became older, first time took a week to recover, longer the second time, it is very scary to watch, I also thought she wouldn't be coming home when I saw her.

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ness   

Is there any benefit to taking the dog to the vet if you are pretty sure the dog is suffering this. My oldie who is 13.5 started showing potentially signs of this condition around bedtime last night. She managed to eat breakfast this morning although I offered her dry food rather than chicken necks and is otherwise snoozing. Money is tight and if it doesn't need a vet visit I would rather avoid the expense but if its necessary then obviously I would take her. She is my first oldie so not really sure and just going on what I have read online over the condition. If she worsened then I would be straight to the vet but other than she can't walk without falling over she has started being able to stand and has toileted fine this morning with me supporting her.

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~Anne~   

The vet can rule out other potential causes for the symptoms. There are several causes for vestibular episodes.

However, if it is vestibular all they can do is treat some of the effects such as nausea or dehydration from vomiting or if they are not eating or drinking.

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