Old dog with extreme head tilt

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Old dog with extreme head tilt

This is a discussion on Old dog with extreme head tilt within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi, my 15 year old German Shepherd/Collie was diagnosed with vestibular disease by one vet, stroke by another. So we are treating her for vestibular, ...

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Old 03-05-2019, 10:43 AM
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Old dog with extreme head tilt

Hi, my 15 year old German Shepherd/Collie was diagnosed with vestibular disease by one vet, stroke by another. So we are treating her for vestibular, to start with. Her head is tilted at an almost 90 degree angle, and it has not improved since she became ill a week ago. She's eating, drinking and grooming, but she just lies on the floor all day. When she stands up she sways her head from side to side for a minute (I presume her head is spinning)

Some questions:

Has anyone had experience with a severe head tilt, and how long before it starts to improve?

How do you encourage a dog with a head tilt to poo in the garden? My dog is reluctant because of the unsteady walking I think. She has no problem weeing.

And will the dizziness she experiences when she stands up go away? The vet does not prescribe meds for dizziness in dogs!


Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:58 PM
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I had two cats with head tilts and vestibular disease. Both had middle or inner ear infections and both got treated with antibiotics and antinausea medications. The head tilts took a few weeks to go away.

If it came on suddenly it could be from an ear infections and absolutely needs antibiotics so if your vet isn't doing that and antinausea meds I'd take your dog to a neurologist who can treat properly.
Some animals always have a permanent head tilts but the angle should reduce with time.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for that Shadowmon. She's on antibiotics and steroids. Just worried about the head tilt - will it ever improve, but if it takes a couple of weeks then maybe I should not worry unnecessarily about it. It's just so sad watching her trying to move about with a wonky head :-(
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:37 AM
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Observing a dog tilting its head frequently is an indication that the dog feels imbalanced. ... A common cause of head tilting in dogs are disorders of the vestibular system, a sensory system located in the inner ear which provides information needed to hold the body in an upright position and move about confidently.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:48 AM
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My senior dog Miles was diagnosed with vestibular disease. He was given an injection of antibiotics and prescribed an antinausea medication. He began to feel better within just a couple of days. The head tilt disappeared, and he resumed his normal routine quite quickly.

Vestibular disease is treatable, and according to my vet, much more common than a stroke. Ask your vet again about getting a medication for his dizziness.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:52 AM
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Hello,

I just joined this forum specifically for this topic. I have an almost 11 yr old golden retriever who has this ailment. She was diagnosed the beginning of Dec and almost went a month without another. We are currently experiencing an episode every few days and I feel we need to go back to the vet. The first time it happened, we did think she was having a stroke and many vets make this mistake too. Luckily my vets both have large dogs with this problem and knew right away what it was. They said rest is imperative, offer small amounts of water and food if able, but she will be extremely nauseated. What worries me is she will go 24+ hours without going outside, but no accidents yet. I worry about her safety since we live in a 2 storey house. We blocked the stairs so she didn't try them on her own last night (she normally sleeps in our bedroom) and sure enough she was in the living room (by the stairs) when I checked on her in the night, which means she would have tried. She JUST went out to pee and ate a bit, so we are on the mend, but gosh this is hard. She is 85lbs and I have had to slide her down our stairs as she has attempted them previously and had gotten dizzy on the way down. Any advice/information appreciated!
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