Our Veterinary Blog

Is Your Dog Acting Drunk and Wobbly? 

Ever notice your dog stumbling around like they’ve had one too many treats from the “special” jar? If your fur baby is acting a bit “drunk” or wobbly, it might not be as cute or amusing as it seems. It could be a sign of Canine Vestibular Disease. Let’s dive right in to know more about this often confusing condition.

What is Canine Vestibular Disease?

Defining Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Vestibular disease in dogs is a condition that affects the balance and coordination of your pup. It’s like they’re on a boat that they can’t get off of, poor things.

The Vestibular System: A Quick Anatomy Lesson

The vestibular system in dogs (and humans, for that matter) is a complex network that helps maintain body balance. When this system gets a bit out of whack, you’ll start noticing symptoms like stumbling, head tilting, and general clumsiness.

Common Symptoms: When to Raise an Eyebrow

Head Tilting and Imbalance

One of the most noticeable signs is head tilting. It’s like your pup can’t keep their head straight. Couple that with imbalance, and you’ve got yourself a pooch who can’t walk in a straight line.

Nystagmus: What is That Eye Movement?

You may also observe something called nystagmus, which is a fancy term for involuntary eye movements. It’s like their eyes are doing the cha-cha without their permission.

Potential Causes of Vestibular Disease

Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome

Older dogs are often more prone to Vestibular Disease, which is sometimes called “Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome.” It’s not entirely clear why, but age does seem to be a factor.

Ear Infections and Other Factors

Ear infections can sometimes cause or exacerbate symptoms, along with other underlying health issues. The important thing is to get your dog checked out by a vet to pinpoint the cause.

How Vets Determine Vestibular Disease

The Importance of a Full Check-Up

If you’re seeing these symptoms, it’s crucial to bring your dog to the vet for a full check-up. We can’t stress this enough—only a qualified vet can diagnose and treat Vestibular Disease.

Tests and Procedures Involved

Expect your vet to conduct a variety of tests, from bloodwork to possibly even MRIs or CT scans, to make a firm diagnosis.

Treatment Plans: What Comes Next?

Medication and Supportive Care

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment often involves medication and supportive care to manage symptoms and address any underlying issues.

Recovery Expectations

Each dog is unique, so recovery time varies. Your vet will guide you through what to expect and how best to support your dog during this time.

Preventing Future Episodes

Routine Vet Visits

The best prevention is routine vet care. Regular check-ups can catch symptoms early and offer preventive measures.

Monitoring for Signs

Be vigilant in observing your dog’s behavior. Any signs of recurring imbalance or nystagmus should be taken seriously and require a vet visit.

Contact Main Street Veterinary Center

Concerned about your dog’s balance or symptoms of Vestibular Disease? Don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call at Main Street Veterinary Center in Bartow, FL at (863) 534-9584 to book an appointment or for more information. We’re here to guide you through the diagnosis and treatment journey, ensuring the best for your furry family member.

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Family is family, whether it has two legs or four. At Main Street Veterinary Center, we've spent the last 40 years healing and caring for your pets. As a family-operated practice, we know that family is about more than simply being related. Animals give us the ability to develop strong bonds and feel great compassion for a fellow living creature.