UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

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Cindy
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UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Cindy »

The other day Kayla (13 yrs) was roaming around in the yard when all of a sudden she started staggering a bit and then spinning in circles. We picked her up and brought her inside and she seemed fine. She did this several more times during the day so off to the vet we went. She had a thorough exam, including poking/prodding at her face to make sure her brain reacted properly) and nothing was apparent. Since the vet couldn't see her inner ear and Kayla swims so much, we decided to put her on antibiotics to make sure. We also have her on Dramamine twice/day. The next day she was better but still did the spinning thing a couple of times. Today she seems perfectly fine and went on a 5 mile walk and swim with no issues at all. The vet just called with her bloodwork results and everything is excellent :D :D Her thyroid is a little low so we're running another more specific test (thank you health insurance) just to make sure and to have for future reference. We are keeping her on the Dramamine until Sunday and then will see how she does without it.

Does anyone have any experience with this issue and what did you do?? Did it reoccur?
Last edited by Cindy on Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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adele
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Re: Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by adele »

Scary! I have no experience so I googled it. It sounds like Kayla has a great chance of becoming and remaining her old self. I have my fingers crossed but it sounds like she will likely be okay. Keep us posted.

I'm glad you posted, if I ever see those symptoms I will have some idea of what's going on.
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Cindy
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Re: Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Cindy »

Today is the first day we have her off the Dramamine and she seems perfectly fine so far. We had no further episodes over the weekend being on the Dramamine so we shall see. Just back from a long hike and she trotted along like her normal self so I'm feeling very optimistic. Apparently this type of problem is fairly common in dogs over the age of 12 so YES, good info for everyone to be aware of. If you didn't know better you'd think your dog was have some kind of stroke or seizure!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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adele
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Re: Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by adele »

Phew. That's good news. I'm so glad Kayla is okay.
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Cindy
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Re: Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Cindy »

About 6 days ago Kayla had another, and much worse, bout of this vestibular problem. I was at work but John called and said he thought she was having a seizure or a stroke because her eyes were vibrating back and forth rapidly, her head was all tilted to the left side, and she couldn't stand at all. After a more thorough look and description I wondered if it could be the doggie dizzies again. We took her to the vet (had to carry her because she couldn't walk even with help) and this was confirmed. We wound up having to give her IV fluids because she wasn't drinking at all and barely eating. We had about 4 days of really having to carry her outside and support her as she tried to walk but the last 2 days have seen more improvement. The vet told us it could take several weeks but she fully expected her to get back to "normal." I can totally understand why people think their dog is dying and take it to be euthanized only to find out that it's very common in older dogs and they can (and do) recover. Anyway, I just want to give you some information to tuck away in your memory bank in case you ever see this happen to your dog.

Now ... Kayla is still not eating great unless the food involves dinner leftovers! Any thoughts on how we can stimulate her appetite? Even sprinkling cheese over her food doesn't do the trick! She'll nibble at a spoonful or 2 of canned food and then walks away.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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adele
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Re: UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by adele »

I'm sorry to hear it. Have you tried green tripe... Lola loves that. Just real meat? scrambled eggs?
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Barb Wright
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Re: UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Barb Wright »

Whew, that was a rough few days....thank goodness you all, vet included, realized what was going on.

Frankly, I wouldn't worry too much about letting her eat whatever strikes her fancy, at least for the next few weeks. If you can sneak something really nutrient dense into what she does want to eat, well so much the better. But just getting her to eat whatever is better than not eating at all. She probably is somewhat stimulated by the odors of your meals and so if you have leftovers go ahead and let her have them. There will be something she gets out of it. You could even try to fake her out by having some of her regular food on your plate (separated I imagine) and add a bit of what you ate to it and offer that after you are all done. She might be doing a little manipulating, or it might be she just needs the stimulation of something that smells good and different to her.

Hoping it is getting better as each day goes on. I know you'll keep us posted.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Cindy
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Re: UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Cindy »

We went to the grocery store this afternoon and shopped like we were dogs :lol: :lol: Decided on cheddar stuffed sausage to use as pill pockets and mushroom beef gravy that I warmed up and poured over her regular food. It's the first time in a week that Kayla ate everything in her bowl - WHEW!!! The big question is whether she'll like the same flavors tomorrow. I might try whipping up scrambled eggs for her breakfast just to keep things interesting.

We took all the dogs to our dog park and Kayla did really well on the flexi leash. I think it helped because the fields are much flatter and more open than anything around our yard. She bopped along with a nice little spring in her step despite the occasional "listing" to one side. She no longer walks like she's drunk ... just a little tipsy!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Cindy
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Re: UPDATE 2/13/15 - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Cindy »

So here we are, one month from the start of Kayla's vestibular problem, and she's "almost" back to normal! :D :D She still has a bit of a head tilt, which may never go away, but she walking, trotting, and sometimes running around like she used to. Her appetite is better than it's been for the last year and she's eating faster too (might have something to do with the warm gravy she gets on top of her meal :wink: ). Occasionally I catch her starting to go in large circles in the yard but a simple tap on the back straightens her out. We are still going outside with her to supervise but, at this point that's due more to her failing vision/misjudging distances and stair heights than to anything else. I feel very fortunate that we live on one level and the most stairs she needs to negotiate are 3! At any rate, we feel very lucky that she has her quality of life back because she was pretty miserable for the first week or 2. We're trying to build up her stamina so she'll be good for hiking come Spring time. On a leash she can now go for about 2 miles but she needs to be able to do 6-7. I think (and hope) that will happen. So ... if any of you ever have this problem with your dog, DON'T GIVE UP! We weren't sure she'd get back to normal but it's just taken a little time.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Barb Wright
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Re: UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Barb Wright »

Bless you for not giving up. You're right, sometimes a person gets so caught up emotionally that trying to "hang in there" seems hopeless. Well, you have shown that hanging in there sometimes works miracles. Sooooo happy to hear that Kayla has also "hung in there" and the future looks brighter for all :-) Thanks for the update, you made this day brighter!!!
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Cindy
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Re: UPDATE - Geriatric Vestibular disease

Post by Cindy »

It just seemed like this group needed some "good news!" And I'm always happy to share.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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