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Vertigo or Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome

Image of an old dog laying on the ground.

Vertigo is a syndrome in the elderly dog, which can be very frightening to the owners. The dog is suddenly afflicted with a balance problem, usually staggering, but occasionally unable to stand, and more rarely actually rolling over and over. There is a tilting of the head to one side and nystagmus, a rhythmic flicking movement of the eyes. Nausea and vomiting may also in present. It is not due to a stroke, as most people assume. It is thought to be due to an abnormal flow of fluid in the semi-circular canals of the inner ear. It is more common in older medium to large breeds of dogs. It is rarely seen in cats. Although the symptoms are alarming and often incapacitating to the dog, the prognosis is good. Improvement of clinical signs usually starts within 48-72 hours and most patients are normal within two to three weeks, even with no treatment. A mild head tilt may persist. Veterinarians should be consulted as the symptoms can also be caused by ear infections, foreign bodies in the ear, or tumors. The vestibular system may need treatment, with motion sickness drugs, or intravenous fluids if the nausea is severe or the dog is unable to eat or drink for a few days.

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Office Hours

At this time we only offer services for large animals.

Monday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Tuesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Wednesday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Thursday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Friday:

8:00 am-5:00 pm

Emergencies

Saturday:

Emergencies Only

Sunday:

Emergencies Only

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Incredible vet and very genuine person. During one harrowing event, he was on the phone with me numerous times during the day and night, at midnight, and at 2am, then called the next morning for a progress report. He always goes above and beyond because he takes his job seriously - something that is becoming harder and harder to find. Can't say enough good things about him. He is a treasure."
    Lisa C.
  • "Dr. King is awesome! I cannot say enough great things about his practice. He has saved my horses multiple times. Even if he is out on an emergency, he still takes the time as soon as possible to follow up, answer lots of questions, and give instructions. I completely trust him with my big babies! THANK YOU for all you do for all of us!"
    Staci P.