Treating Idiopathic Vestibular Disease (IVD) in DogsDespite the acute onset and often profound symptoms of idiopathic vestibular disease IVDfortunately there are a number of management protocols that can help keep a dog calm vestibular disease in dogs prednisone the typically short duration of vestibular disease in dogs prednisone disorder. During the acute phase of IVD, several different drugs are available to relieve nausea and vomiting until the disorder has time to resolve on its own. Steroids are not normally recommended. Preddnisone can be prescribed to help manage severe disorientation, balance and coordination difficulties. No particular treatment protocol has been shown to speed up ptednisone course of idiopathic vestibular disease in dogs.
Vestibular Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Proper Treatment
Health, advice, and information online community for dog and cat lovers. Vestibular syndrome in dogs and cats can be a frightening event for owners, given the set of clinical signs that typically present when their pet is affected by this disease.
For the owner or even young veterinarian that has little experience with canine and feline vestibular syndrome, it can often be mistaken for a poisoning, siezure, or stroke. In some cases of vestibular syndrome, there is an identifiable underlying cause, but in most cases, it is never really understood what set the disease off.
When we are not certain of the pathogenesis of a disease process, we tag it with the term, ideopathic, hence the name of the disease, ideopathic vestibular syndrome. To understand the disease and its implications, it if first very important to understand the vestibular system, its functions, and the organs involved.
The vestibular system accomplishes three tasks. Third, while head and body are in motion, the vestibular system controls eye movements so that images remain steady and in focus. This is called the vestibular-ocular reflex. These tasks are accomplished through the mechnoreceptors of the three semicircular canals housed within the inner ear, the utricle and the saccule. Like the neighboring auditory system, each canal has hair cells that detect minute changes in fluid displacement, but unlike the auditory system, the utricle and the saccule send information to the brain regarding linear acceleration and head tilt.
Likewise, there is a canal that detects head movement in the eye position, and there is yet another semicircular canal that detects motion from moving your head from shoulder to shoulder.
These hair cells called stereocilia are located within the crista that is in each semicircular The ultimate carrier of signals from all of these aforementioned organs to the brain, is the vestibular nerve. The vestibular nerve ends at a nerve bundle within the brain stem called the vestibular center. Disease of any part of this system leads to disfunctions in balance, spatial orientation, and overall equillibrium.
As previously mentioned, by far the most common cause for vestibular syndrome remains unknown or ideopathic. However, since the canals and sensitive organs of the inner ear are the sensory input for the vestibular system, inner ear infections are a known cause for vestibular syndrome in dogs and cats, and is therefore a primary rule out when presented with a canine or feline patient showing vestibular signs.
The least common cause for canine and feline vestibular syndrome is a tumor on or near the vestibular center of the brain stem. Vestibular syndrome occurs most commonly in middle to senior age dogs and cats. Clinical signs a dog or cat will likely display in an acute vestibular event are: The head tilt, circling, and falling are all directed toward the same side, which tells us which side of the body the respective vestibular system is affected.
There is also associated vomiting and anorexia. Once vestibular syndrome is recognized, the veterinarian must throughly examine the ear of the affected side to rule out inner ear infection as a potential cause. If the ear is found to be severely infected, then treatment of the infection must be addressed. The vestibular signs should gradually begin to resolve once the infection is under control. If the ear is found to be free of infection, then it must be assumed that the vestibular syndrome is ideopathic in origin, or there is cancer.
Since cancer of the vestibular system is quite rare, I only revisit that possibility if the patient does not resolve. Ideopathic vestibular syndrome cannot be treated. However, the course of disease is such that it presents acutely, then gradually resolves on its own over 7 — 30 days. There is no way to speed this recovery process, but during this time the patient needs to tbe supported by antinausea and dizziness medication, and fluids if the patient is so bad the it cannot eat.
In majority of cases, the vestibular signs completely resolve, but with others some remnants of disease never go away. For example, some dogs and cats will keep a mild head tilt and occasionally cirlce, but for the most part, quality of life is good. Dogs and cats that have recovered from ideopathic vestibular syndrome usually do not ever have it again, but a minority of cases experience relapses.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent relapses. My 14 year old dog developed symptoms of vestibular disease 9 days ago. She has been in vets since. Should we persevere for a while longer? Grateful for any advice. My female 7year old cat went through this since July 26th. The accupuncture treatments that my vet did on my girl made her MUCH better.
She has had 4 treatments — once a week with two treatments after that spaced a couple weeks apart each. If you can find a vet to do the accupuncture, do it. Our 13 year old lab could not get up Sunday when we returner from an overnight trip. On Monday she was still wobbly but a tiny bit better. She gets stressed by the vet so we were going to wait until the weekend to decide if we needed to put her down.
I found another blog and give her a dramamine each morning and she is getting better. Able to go in and out of doggy door. She has had numerous ear infections over the years and this may be the cause.
We are letting her enjoy herself vs putting her through vet visit and potential meds. One day at a time. How is your dog today. I just read your post while I was trying to find info about my 15 year old cat who while being treated for ear infection became totally unbalanced as soon as she was given ear drops.
It has been 10 days and she still cannot stand or walk. Thank goodness she is eating and drinking well. What have you decided to do with your dog. Phyllis and Shirl, I just found your stories. I wish I would have found this sooner. I opened the capsules and sprinkled it on his food. The disease was completely resolved in a few months.
He had all the symptoms, head tilt, no appetite, falling down. Now he suffers with what I think is sebborhea. I think it may be a side effect of the vestibular disease. I know for a fact, it is not a side effect of the Ginko Biloba. They both need to be organic. I have a 14 yo blind Cocker Spaniel with the same diagnosis.
He adapted well to his blindness. The vet tried him on prednisone but it caused intestinal problems. Sometimes he eats on his own sometimes not. He is getting his personality back but the head tilt is still bad and he can hardly walk. Where is this info spoken about above. Vaccinated ten days ago and symptoms began shortly after and increasingly got worse.
My 10 year old Belgian Mal had this event last week. Rushed her to the vet hospital thinking stroke or seizure. Vet diagnosed vestibular syndrome. She had a couple of mild relapses over the next 24 hours. We helped her stand and used a strap under her belly so she could walk to relieve herself.
She would not eat much at first but after 3 days she is almost back to normal, She has a slight weakness in her hind legs and seems a little confused at times when going for her daily walk. It will take me longer to recover from the scare! Joanna, I wondered how your dog came out.
Our 13 year old border collie started with this a week and a half ago. She was great in about 3 days even playing , then it started all over again. The vet said there is just usually a slow progression to the better and now I am worried about a tumor. Her balance is now better, but she is not eating well some table food — will not touch her dog food and she seems very tired. Except for hip dysplasia she has been a healthy dog. She has been given antibiotic in case of an inner ear infection no signs of other ear problems and an anti-nausea medicine.
My 12 year old lab had an episode last fall. The steroids really helped her appetite. Her balance gradually improved over a few weeks and she made a complete recovery. A couple of weeks ago she had another episode, but it was a bit different. She threw up once but since then has been eating though I have to coax her with a little cat food or boiled egg on her dog chow. Her balance is gradually improving again. I would urge anybody whose pet has this problem to be patient and get the vet to prescribe steroids if they are not eating.
It really looks bad but a full recovery is possible with patience. Both times my dog had eaten something unidentified off the ground before I could stop her so I wonder whether that could have been a factor.
A week ago I thought she had a seizure but they said it was vestibular. I took her to another vet the day after and they put her on prednisone. The day after she had her episode she was wanting to get up and eat and drink. She just could stand up on her legs or sit-up without falling. But after starting her on the prednisone I felt like she got worse and we stopped it.