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Old September 5th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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deborah183 deborah183 is offline
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Geriatric vestibular syndrome

Does anyone have experience with this? My 12 year old mini daschund is displaying all the symptoms and my vet is wanting to keep her off medication until he's sure this is what it is. It is very severe and I'm very worried. Are there ways to alleviate symptoms? She isn't eliminating waste as she can't walk or stand. Ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Deborah
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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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For geriatric vestibular syndrome the best treatment is supportive care and time. I am glad that you do not have a vet that is blindly throwing steroids in her direction and hoping something happens.

We don't totally understand this syndrome but for unknown reasons the center of balance basically shuts off. And like a computer the brain needs to 'reboot'. This re-orientation of balance usually takes anywhere from hours to days for the majority of signs to respond. Typically most all signs have resolved by two weeks. There are some dogs who may have a permanent head tilt however most do not.

When trying to 'figure out' what it exactly is, it is important to remember that geriatric vestibular syndrome will start suddenly and then consistently improve. If the clinical sign begin to worsen or other signs appear, then we need to start looking at other possibilities of what may be going on.

I hope this helps.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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Thank you so much for your reply Dr Lee. It is of great comfort to know that you don't advocate medication as I was unsure of my Vet's decision. We are new to this city and just started seeing him and I wasn't sure if his not medicating her was the right decision.

She is getting a lot of comfort, being held in a fleece blanket. We are also letting her lay on the floor and move around a bit. She has eaten a little food today and so far hasn't thrown it up, so the signs are improving.

I appreciate your advice.

Deborah
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Old September 5th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Our 14 yr old golden, Ginger, had vestibular disease last Sept and it scared the wits out of me! She manifested in the night and in the a.m. there was white foamy vomit all over the living room and she was staggering around like a drunk with her eyes going up and down and side to side. Thought for sure she was having a stroke :sad:

The vet said it was classic vestibular disease and TLC was the best treatment! She also told us to give her some gravol if we could get it in her to try to stop the spinning and hopefully get her to sleep. She did spend one night in hospital because she was not peeping/pooping and it had been over 36 hrs so they wanted to put an IV and catheter. She spent 28 hrs in hospital and then we brought her home and just waited anxiously and patiently for her to get better

I switched her to Wellness wet food because she was having trouble eating and we ended up putting all kinds of area carpets in the house because she was having trouble getting a grip when walking, getting up. I suppose it would have come to that even without the disease as she is getting old.

Our Ginger still has the headtilt a year later. I still give her Gravol once in a while when I see she is a little off balance but she is still going very strong.

I am sure your pooch will continue to improve and I am sure you don't mind giving her the TLC right now either. As Dr. Lee said, as long as it keeps getting better and not worse, you are doing all you can do.

Good luck and keep us posted.

(I will check my other computer...I think I still have pics of Ginger's progress)
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Old September 5th, 2008, 06:07 PM
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I'm so happy to hear your dear one recovered. I am thinking that my girl is doing better. Her eye's aren't twitching as much, she is able to control her head movement a bit better and she went to the bathroom earlier.

I'll keep the thread informed of her progress.

Deborah
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Old September 5th, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Found them!!!

She still has the head tilt even today, especially when she is tired. We think it is kinda cute because she looks like a puppy. She is in no pain or discomfort...it just becomes the norm.

Glad yours if feeling better. That she was able to eliminate on her own is huge...took Ginger three days.

1. first day, 2. a week later, 3. one month later...
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:53 PM
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What a beauty - head tilt or no. Here is a photo of my little one - Pebbles. I took this today.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Pebbles looks like she is a real sweetie!
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Old September 6th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Oh poor baby...don't you just want to squish her??? She is so sweet looking. Hope the improvements have continued through the night and that she is eating and drinking better today.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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She is a sweetie and I adore her! Today she appears to be about the same as yesterday, perhaps a bit more coherent. She ate a healthy bit of food this morning and has not vomited. She slept well last night, just waking up a few times. I'm hoping she is improving and thankful I didn't advocate for medication like I thought I should. Thanks to you both for your support.

Deborah & Pebbles
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Old September 6th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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About 5 years ago, my 12 year old GSD Chelsea had the same thing, She recovered to 98%. You could hardly see the head tilt unless you were looking for it.

I am for you doggy. Hope everything goes well for you both. Please keep us posted.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Thank you for your prayers Sylvie.

Today I left Pebbles on her blanket to go get her a bit of food. When I returned she was standing, yes STANDING!!! I was very happy. She didn't stand long, but at least she is up on her feet.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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I'm very happy to report that Pebbles continues to improve. She is walking nearly a straight line, stumbling just a little. Her appetite has FULLY returned and she's eating more then usual. She is able to cuddle with her brother Whatley (our other mini dacshound) and will come and find me if I leave her to go into another room. Her head still tilts dramatically and she cannot be left on anything other then the floor or around stairs. Her vet is very pleased with her progress and we have not had to medicate her!

On a sadder note; my Vet told me that many dogs get put down because of this either because of misdiagnosis or their owners can't stand to watch them go through it. That is so sad and frustrating. I wish there was more information 'out there' about this syndrome so people would know that a dog can recover and live out their lives. I know for me that I believed I would lose Pebbles when she first showed signs, but going through the past few days - as hard as it has been - has been SO worth it. I feel like I have been blessed with her all over again.

Thanks to all for your support.

Deborah
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Old October 29th, 2014, 10:45 AM
Meesha Meesha is offline
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My 14 year old Pointer mix had this two years ago. It was the scariest thing imaginable. My vet had me treat it with Gravol. I had to feed him with a siringe for a few weeks. After about two months, he got it again. This time it only lasted about a few days, but it took about 8 months for him to stop with the head tilt.
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