Senior dog with head tilt/loss of balance

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Senior dog with head tilt/loss of balance

This is a discussion on Senior dog with head tilt/loss of balance within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a 15 year old Australian cattle dog/border collie mix. This morning she woke up with a head tilt and loss of balance. About ...

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Old 11-29-2014, 09:37 PM
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Senior dog with head tilt/loss of balance

I have a 15 year old Australian cattle dog/border collie mix. This morning she woke up with a head tilt and loss of balance. About a year ago she had the same symptoms. After a couple of days her head tilt worsened and new symptoms appeared - walking in circles, unable to eat or drink and finally after just a day or two, she was unable to even stand up. We took her to the vet immediately and initially she was diagnosed with vestibular syndrome and also a UTI. We treated her with antibiotics for the UTI and over the counter med for the dizziness, etc. and were told the symptoms would go away after a few days of rest, etc. The symptoms did go away but came back after about 3 weeks. We took her back to the vet and were told that it might be some sort of infection in her brain that was getting better while she was on antibiotics for the UTI. She was put on stronger antibiotics and again the symptoms went away but she has never quite been the same. We have attributed most of this to her age and the fact she has really bad arthritis in her hips. But the fact her head tilt and loss of balance returned today has me worried. She has her first appointment with a new vet on Wednesday - made a couple of weeks ago just for annual check up, vaccinations, etc.

I would love some feedback from anyone else who has experienced anything similar with their dogs. With the same symptoms recurring after all this time, I can't help but worry and think the worst.
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:25 PM
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When I had my elderly dog he was one month shy of 16 yrs old when he developed very similar symptoms. He was out in the yard with me and I glance over to see what he was up to and he was running in a very tight circle like he was chasing his tail. He couldn't stop and barely acknowledged me. He didn't want to eat or drink, and when he finally stopped the circling his balance was bad. I also noticed his head was tilting.

The vet diagnosed stroke. He called my attention to the rapid darting of his eyes, and said that, the circling, and nausea (not wanting to eat or drink) were all because he was very dizzy. He also told me Shadow was blind. He sent us home with some medicine, and told me to keep him as quiet as possible, that he should recover over the course of a month, and whatever was still not right by then was likely permanent. He did well for the next week, stopped the circling, appetite was better, balance was better, and eyes stopped darting back and forth. Almost a week after the stroke I got up in the morning to find him dizzy again, and his eyes darting back and forth. We went back to the vet and he said he had had another milder stroke, which was very rare to have happen. He told me that when I finished the medicine to start him on baby aspirin to help prevent any more strokes. Over the following month Shadow recovered everything but his sight. The stroke left him permanently blind, but he lived for nearly two more years without any other strokes.

Here's two articles, ones on vestibular disease, and the other strokes.
http://blog.vetdepot.com/the-differe...isease-in-dogs
Dog Stroke| Symptoms and Signs

Good luck to you and your girl, I hope that she makes a full recovery.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:50 PM
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First of all do not vaccinate any more. A dog that age does not need yearly boosters.
They can be very harmful and suppress the immune system. It actually could have been the original cause. The only time those symptoms happend to one of my dogs was when he had a foxtail in his ear canal. Since you have seen these symptoms before I would suspect the original problem. I would still have the vet check in the ear just in case.

Neurologic and eye disease
Neurologic symptoms are the most common vaccine reaction seen in dogs. Canine distemper vaccination is the most common cause of neurologic disease, and can cause an inflammation of the brain. . Cerebellar disease has been reported in puppies less than 5 weeks of age who were vaccinated with a modified live vaccine.
Adverse Reactions to Vaccinations in Dogs
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:11 PM
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Her symptoms, just as before, seem to be getting a little worse. Her balance is definitely worse, the tilt is worse and she has a difficult time not turning towards the right when walking. She also has had a couple of potty accidents in the house - just like a year ago with these same symptom. Our vet appointment is for Wednesday but I am going to call in the morning to see if they can see her sooner.

Thanks for your replies! Hopefully we'll find out soon what is going on and hopefully it is something that can be treated.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiesmom View Post
Her symptoms, just as before, seem to be getting a little worse. Her balance is definitely worse, the tilt is worse and she has a difficult time not turning towards the right when walking. She also has had a couple of potty accidents in the house - just like a year ago with these same symptom. Our vet appointment is for Wednesday but I am going to call in the morning to see if they can see her sooner.

Thanks for your replies! Hopefully we'll find out soon what is going on and hopefully it is something that can be treated.
Let us know how it goes! Good luck!
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