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hello,
my girlfriends dog is 3 and is a mixed mutt but a great dog. he is about 60 lbs and was very healthy until about 3 weeks ago he started acting extremely shy, wouldn't eat and lost about 15 lbs and now walks almost sideways sometimes. he hasn't had accidents or anything that we know of. He would normally jump up on the bed and couch as if he was a lap dog but now is unable to. We have taken him to 2 vets, a Neurologist and another doctor. He has x-rays but nothing can be found wrong with him except for slightly elevated proteins. His symptoms are getting worse however we cant figure out what's wrong. please help !!!!
 

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If it's vertigo, there may be nothing terrible wrong (except it feels truly awful). Vertigo would be damage or loss of the inner ear (sorry, I can't give a really sciency explanation, but you can look it up) so the dog feels like he's continuously spinning or falling. They can be violently ill then, not drinking, dehydrated, severe vomiting & diarrhea but it's like being extremely seasick. Awful, but not deadly unless the dehydration is not relieved.
It gets better on it's own, dog learns to use visual cues for their sense of balance. My dog Zandor had (he had all of the symptoms above, couldn't stand up). One sign is rapid tracking of the eyeball (remember the spinning sensation?) they are trying to track a horizon.
Zandor eventually recovered, and walked quite normal, but when on a leash, he leaned into a little (getting his horizontal bearings with the leash pressure) and off-leash you could just see that he needed to use his eyes for forward motion.
Stay in touch with your vet. If it's vertigo, this is good news, but you need to rule out other possibilities, and if it's vertigo you need instructions on keeping him hydrated and nutrition as he goes through a truly awful time.
PS. People get it too, sometimes they get hospitalized and drugged and then get physiotherapy to relearn things. Dogs seem to figure this out on their own.
 

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Didn't the neurologist have any suggestions? Hard to believe that they did not. Sounds like a progressive brain disorder which is likely to have a poor prognosis... did they offer an MRI (best way to look at the brain in detail) or a CSF tap (good way to diagnose meningitis (various categories of that- infectious (bacterial, viral or fungal), inflammatory etc.). Definitely NOT a normal problem and vertigo is a very rare condition in a young dog. Might want to refer back to the neurologist and try to get an answer out of them.
 

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Didn't the neurologist have any suggestions? Hard to believe that they did not. Sounds like a progressive brain disorder which is likely to have a poor prognosis... did they offer an MRI (best way to look at the brain in detail) or a CSF tap (good way to diagnose meningitis (various categories of that- infectious (bacterial, viral or fungal), inflammatory etc.). Definitely NOT a normal problem and vertigo is a very rare condition in a young dog. Might want to refer back to the neurologist and try to get an answer out of them.
The neurologist did an external exam and said he didn't see any reason to look any further. I was unable to make that appointment so he wasn't pushed to do more. I thought it was strange that he didn't do an MRI either, he just referred us to an Internal Medicine Doctor.
 
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