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Possible Vestibular Disease?


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Hi, my 3 year old staffy began loosing his balance slightly around 3.5 months ago. We noticed he is knuckling his front right paw. We took him to the vets and they wanted us to do an MRI but we can't afford that at the moment :( Over the last few months he looses his balance when walking and walks with a head tilt to the left. He also never barks anymore. He doesn't seem to be in any pain and still has full sensation in all limbs. His eyes also flicker side to side. No vomiting and still wants to go for walks and loves his food. I feel like if it was vestibular disease it wouldn't be lasting this long? The vet also checked his ears and everything seems to be in good health. I'm really hoping its not a tumor. Any help would be appreciated. It's been such a struggle watching him..

 

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My experience with Vestibular disease is it's sudden onset and quite severe. My boy could barely stand up. I have read some dogs can never fully recover but mine did in a month or so. Can you get a 2nd opinion?

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12 hours ago, Kat05 said:

Hi, my 3 year old staffy began loosing his balance slightly around 3.5 months ago. We noticed he is knuckling his front right paw. We took him to the vets and they wanted us to do an MRI but we can't afford that at the moment :( Over the last few months he looses his balance when walking and walks with a head tilt to the left. He also never barks anymore. He doesn't seem to be in any pain and still has full sensation in all limbs. His eyes also flicker side to side. No vomiting and still wants to go for walks and loves his food. I feel like if it was vestibular disease it wouldn't be lasting this long? The vet also checked his ears and everything seems to be in good health. I'm really hoping its not a tumor. Any help would be appreciated. It's been such a struggle watching him..

 

Video him for starters

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It definitely sounds like something neurological is going on... tumour, stroke??

 

Unfortunately, the MRI may be your only poroper diagnostic to get to the bottom of what is happening, and will provide more options than you currently have right now.

 

T.

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If the MRI is out of reach, just an appointment with a doggy neurologist is a great compromise.

Obviously they like to do scans, but also have amazing diagnostic skills by simply doing physical exams. 

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I agree just an appointment with a neurologist can be valuable hence why videoing could assist  and a diary off when symptoms are worse aka after certain activities,times .

 

Also consider a vet chiropractor.

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I would ask the Vet to do blood & urine tests.  I would also ask the Vet to check his back for possible disc problems .  He might need a back X-Ray to rule out a herniated disc or damage/injury to the spine.

 

I would also ask the Vet to check for Degenerative Myleopathy.  

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When Rheneas had the bad vestibular attack 3-4 years ago I don't recall any tests, the vet just "knew".  I thought when I took him in that recovery could not be possible, that this would be fatal.  Vet said don't give up hope I've brought them back when they've been much worse than this.  He made a slow but great recovery, maybe never bounced back to his old puppy-crazy self but is now 18 and still with us.  Treatment was something like sea-sick tablets - nausea control, some pain relief, importantly 'old school' re-hydration with bag and needle.  @Kat05if you use the search button, there are quite a few posts with some information/experience re vestibular.  (Rheneas is the Shetland Sheepdog cross in my avatar photo).  Hope your Friday appointment is helpful for your staffy, let's know what the vet thinks.  

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3 hours ago, Deeds said:

It's the paw knuckling that concerns me.  I'm not sure if that is part of vestibular disease.  

 

Ditto here... knuckling usually indicates that a message is not getting through from foot/leg to brain, or vise versa... so either a brain issue, or a spinal cord issue.

 

The head tilt points me to the brain rather than the spine though... and ear issues have been ruled out.

 

T.

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Paw knuckling can be caused by Cervical Disc Disease but given the other symptoms I agree it sounds neurological in origin.

 

The problem with MRI's is that even if you do one you might find out what is happening but you may also find out it is a disease that you can't cure or fix.   And MRI's are very expensive.

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44 minutes ago, Deeds said:

Paw knuckling can be caused by Cervical Disc Disease but given the other symptoms I agree it sounds neurological in origin.

 

The problem with MRI's is that even if you do one you might find out what is happening but you may also find out it is a disease that you can't cure or fix.   And MRI's are very expensive.

Yes we've been told an MRI could cost around $3000. It's the paw knuckling that has me worried too. All his other legs seem fine its just the front right that seems to be failing him. I've tried to upload a video to this site but it doesn't seem to be working. 

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The giveaway for vestibular disease in one of my dogs,and a couple of other dogs I've seen with it, is nystagmus .. uncontrolled repetitive movements of the eyes usually flickering from side to side.   

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