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IDIOPATHIC VESTIBULAR SYNDROME – MEDICAL RESEARCH

Has your dog been diagnosed with Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome?

In May this year my English Springer Spaniel had his first episode, he was referred by my Vet to a Small Animal Hospital with suspected brain tumor. Thorough investigation and MRI scan failed to detect any tumor although a cyst was found on his pituitary gland. He was released with the diagnosis being IDIOPATHIC VESTIBULAR SYNDROME and HORNERS DISEASE. Since then he has had a further four episodes, recovering from each one within a week or two. His last episode being quite severe, he was off his feet for several days having to be hand fed, and catheterized. Today, aged fourteen and a half, he is still slightly wobbly on his feet, although this may be down to his arthritis, but more or less back to the happy chap he normally is.

For some time now I have been attempting to find others who have experienced similar, through posts on Web forums I have discovered others who have been in a similar situation. Peter and Maureen Caulfield have had first hand experience of dealing with this condition from their own pet Meg, very sadly Meg passed some weeks ago (not from IVS). Having learned of a high number of similar cases, they have been actively involved in researching IVS and have approached many Universities in an attempt to ignite medical research into this condition, from their hard work and tireless efforts they have been in contact with a Professor of Neurology at Cambridge University who is interested in conducting some research into this condition. For this, input is needed from as many sources as possible to aid research. In order to drive forward this research data is required from owners of pets who have suffered from this condition.

The information needed should include:

Pet Breed, Sex and Age
Any known medical conditions of your pet i.e. Heart murmur, Arthritis etc
Any impairments from episodes i.e. Balance, hearing, vocal, sight, head, appetite, head tilt etc
The period between attacks i.e. The period between first and second and so on
The treatment/medication given to your pet

Effectively as much information as possible!

Typically this condition involves your pet being wobbly on their feet, dizzy, the head tilts, the pet can circle when on their feet, sickness, diarrhea, nystagmus (eye flickering horizontally)

If you are able to help please forward details to Peter and Maureen who are co-ordinating all data to forward to Cambridge, they can be contacted via email ([email protected]).

Meantime, I’d be only too happy to discuss my pets recovery and episodes with any others who have experienced similar, one thing I have learnt is that not only is this condition stressful to your pet, but indeed yourself.

Thank you for reading and we hope you can help,

David Scott
 

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Hi David - I have dealt with IVS with several of my dogs over the years. It has been awhile now, so I don't think I have all the info to participate in the research -- the dogs that had it have passed on years ago. Things I remember: one girl could not stand, walk or eat by herself for close to a week. We lined a large area in the corner of a room with dog beds and pillows so she didn't hurt herself flopping around and hand fed her. I remember she and another old girl took about 3 weeks to get mostly back to normal -- longer than was suggested by the vets. All of my dogs who ever had it also had recurring attacks, usually months apart and not as severe as the first ones. As I recall they all had the head tilt and most or all had nystagmus. Even though eating was difficult or they needed to be hand fed, they never stopped eating -- but they were all Labs :) lol.
 
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