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Shoshone has Vestibular syndrome

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I did a search here and also googled it. She's resting quietly right now, so I'm thinking I can take her to my regular vet tomorrow, rather than rush her to the E Vet and spend about 3 or 4 times as much.

 

In hindsight, she seemed a little 'drunken sailor' last night, right around the bedtime potty break, but this morning it is full blown. She did eat a couple bits of kibble, but wouldn't drink. I'll syringe some water down her in a few minutes.

 

Anything else I can do for her?

 

Ruth

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How old is she?

 

Depending on the cause, a delay in treatment could mean the difference between whether or not the dog makes a full recovery, or even whether or not they survive. MOST causes are very benign, but not all.

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No real advice to offer here, Ruth, but I wanted to let you know I'm keeping you and Shoshone in my thoughts. My William developed CVS in his senior years, and I remember how terrified I was on its first onset. It sounds like you are much more calm and matter-of-fact, and I am sure Shoshone appreciates everything you are doing for her.

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When my old girl got vestibular syndrome, we were told there really was nothing to do except help her be comfortable and help steady her when she needed to walk, in addition to making sure she was drinking enough. She was happy to eat after the first day. My old girl was 11 or 12 at the time. I stayed home from work with her for 4 days and made sure she had a soft place to lay, helped her get up and walked next to her, supporting her, when she needed to go outside, and made sure she drank (the first 2 days, she needed help drinking). It took her a few days to get back to where she could walk straight on her own. She had a head tilt for a good 6-8 month that gradually went away. For a long time after, she had to take a moment to steady herself every time she stood up before she started to walk (she also had arthritis and I think that factored in to this behavior too). She lived to be 15-16 (she was a rescue so we don't know her exact age either).

 

I would wait and see your regular vet tomorrow. At her age, its most likely just the idiopathic old dog vestibular syndrome and you'll just have to wait it out.

 

If its caused by tumor or lesions, knowing today won't help you anymore than knowing tomorrow (if you want to test for that...I don't test for things unless it will open up treatment options). If an inner/middle ear infection is the cause and you took her in today, she could start treatment a day earlier (if diagnosed correctly) but I don't think that one day would make much difference in most cases and I'd rather go to a vet I trust (just my opinion though).

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Shonie Update - she's very interested in food! Gave her some pieces of kibble and syringed some water into her. She was swinging her head back and forth, but she's lying down right now with her head up, and there's no swinging, just a little head tilt.

 

I can't be positive, but I think the nystagmus is less severe as well. When I first got up, around 6:30 am PST, her eyes were darting back and forth so hard that her eyebrows were twitching. Right now, about 3 hours later, there's still eye movement but it doesn't seem as rapid or forceful, and her eyebrows aren't moving at all with the eyeball movement.

 

Unless she gets worse, we'll wait out today and take her in to our vet tomorrow. Will keep you all updated, thanks so much for your help.

 

Ruth

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The cause could be anything from a stroke to infection to cancer.

 

My personal opinion as a vet would be to treat my own dog ASAP to reduce swelling, speed recovery and increase the chances of a full recovery. Of course, because I am a vet my cost to treat my own dog is very minimal. It's never fair to ask a vet what they would do in the same situation. :rolleyes:

 

Even if I could examine your dog I couldn't tell you without an MRI how urgent it is to seek treatment in order to prevent long term complications. Most older dogs with vestibular syndrome will recover well enough to lead a normal life, and many recover completely without any treatment. It's your dog, your dime, your call.

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Having been through it with a few dogs...I keep Dramamine on hand, never did give anything stronger. 1 pill twice a day is what I gave one of my old guys. I also placed food and water on floor in a corner or between his feet when he wanted something. As for walking, I used a tracking harness, this way if they start to "spin" you have a hold of them from above and can stabilize them. Mine also preferred a darker environment at first. "If" it was mine, I'd wait at least until tomorrow and even then depending upon how the Dramamine was working I would call the vet, but not panic (which it sounds like you are taking this in stride)!

 

ETA - don't let anyone tell you they can't get it again either...they can!

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I have had 2 old girls who had VS and both ended up doing OK. My Golden was left with a permanent head tilt but otherwise got around fine and lived with her usual gusto 2 more years.

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Thanks to everyone! Shonie just stood up and walked a few steps on her own, (still wobbly, but 4 hours ago she couldn't even stand!) over to DH for a treat. We'll take her to the vet tomorrow.

 

She's already taking Metacam and Tramadol for her arthritis, so maybe having those drugs on board is helping her recover faster.

 

To all who remarked on my calmness, I can attribute it only to reading the threads on this board about ODVD. If I hadn't had that information, I would have been a basket case, believe me.

 

Thanks again, you guys are the best.

 

Ruth

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Great news about Shoshone! Here's hoping for a good diagnosis and prognosis at the vet's tomorrow!

 

Amy

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just went through this with a 13 year old, and she recovered mostly within about a day, fully within a week, on homeopathic medications. She's very arthritic too.

 

My friend is dealing with this in 14 year old, and dramamine is helping considerably. Thank goodness she had more sense than her vet, who apparently didn't feel trying a cheap and easy solution was worth it. Boggles the mind.

 

I wouldn't personally do a MRI on a 14 year old dog even if I could. What would I do with what I found? Brain surgery? on the dog equivalent of an 80 year old? I see this all the time in human medicine, and the entitlement syndrome that comes from having a cheap/paid for care sometimes means creating more suffering, not less. You have to use judgement and wield power with responsibility towards the patient. And if what you are looking for has no fix beyond what you are doing already (comfort, symptom control) then why put them through it?

 

Good luck with getting her stabilized. Lucy sends her sympathies for what she called the "eeew pukies" disease LOL

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I used this with great success with my Golden when she was recovering so I could give her a little help and support when she needed it...I just put it on in the morning and kept it on all day. I took it off at night and ran a pin brush over her so it didn't mat up her fur.

 

dogliftlarge.jpg

 

link

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I wouldn't personally do a MRI on a 14 year old dog even if I could. What would I do with what I found? Brain surgery? on the dog equivalent of an 80 year old? I see this all the time in human medicine, and the entitlement syndrome that comes from having a cheap/paid for care sometimes means creating more suffering, not less. You have to use judgement and wield power with responsibility towards the patient. And if what you are looking for has no fix beyond what you are doing already (comfort, symptom control) then why put them through it?

 

Good luck with getting her stabilized. Lucy sends her sympathies for what she called the "eeew pukies" disease LOL

 

Thanks to Lucy, luckily for Shonie (and us) she's not felt sick enough to urp.

 

I'm of the same mind as you, Lenajo. First, would I want to put her through anesthesia at her age, and second, what would I do with that information if I had it? Any treatment beyond palliative isn't really in the cards, mostly because of what the dog or cat has to go through to get another week or month of life.

 

When Sami collapsed, it was in the evening, and we chose to go to our E Vet hospital, which is owned by VCA. I was very clear that I was not going to ask my wonderful, sweet girl to endure any thing else, and when the vet mentioned doing a work up, I said, "How would that benefit Sam?" It wouldn't, is how.

 

My quirky Shoshone has walked around a bit more, got herself down the stairs into the back yard, peed and pooped without any help, and needed just a little balancing to get back up the stairs. She's asleep in one of her favorite spots, so we're all happy right now.

 

Ruth

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My friend is dealing with this in 14 year old, and dramamine is helping considerably. Thank goodness she had more sense than her vet, who apparently didn't feel trying a cheap and easy solution was worth it. Boggles the mind.

 

My dog. She still has a bit of a head tilt. Still taking the less drowsy Dramamine (Meclizine HCI 25mg) once a day. Not as stable as she was when younger but we are also dealing with spondolosis of the spine and some hip socket bone growth. Started Adaquan and if I can show the dr. I can give it to her I will be doing that at home. Metacam daily for pain. Snaps started on 8/15.

 

Jenny

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I didn't recommend an MRI. I was simply pointing out that a firm diagnosis as to the cause couldn't be given by any vet without one. I've treated many, many dogs with vestibular syndrome and only wanted to refer to a specialist once. With that one dog I was highly suspicious of a tumor, and I was right, though the owners couldn't afford any treatment and the dog died. Most dogs I treat conservatively with supportive care and medications used to make them feel better faster.

 

When someone asks via the internet what she should do I would never say, "Oh, it's ok, your dog will be fine. Take her in tomorrow."

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When someone asks via the internet what she should do I would never say, "Oh, it's ok, your dog will be fine. Take her in tomorrow."

 

So you would recommend and emergency fit in appointment then, or an ER visit at first symptoms?

 

Curious, because my Mom dealt with Lucy first, and she called the local vet and they said "oh, its ok, bring her in tomorrow if she doesn't get over it". Then we used the homeopathic vet and didn't need even that.

 

I would be careful with the emphasis on any. There are many vets who don't agree with how to treat this, or how to treat owners - it's the art of medicine as much of the science of it. Doesn't make them wrong, or you wrong, but it doesn't make anyone right either. I personally wouldn't want to be treated to the "you're dime, you're call" attitude if my dog had this - implying it was money for the utmost care...or else well..it's you're dime. Does that really sound as callus as it feels reading it here?

 

And if you define firm diagnosis by legal charting, then that's not right either. I've seen this diagnosis on charts many times over, with no MRI. On both humans and dogs.

 

otc (over the counter) med and animal husbandry...when does that stop and vet care begin? Internet? vet? cash register?

 

anyway, hope the dog is better soon

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Last report for tonight - she's been outside again and relieved herself, and later on got herself to the water bowl and got a drink. Way to go, Shonie!

 

Will let you know what the vet says tomorrow.

 

Ruth

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Wendy, I would think that as someone who is in the medical profession you would know that the advice a doctor can give legally to a total stranger is very different than the advice that can be given to someone with an establish doctor/patient relationship.

 

I would also think you would understand that no medical chart ever says that a patient has X disease beyond a doubt, no matter how many diagnostic tests there are to back up that conclusion. You can tell someone that the most likely diagnosis is X, you can even say that that you are 99% sure, but you can never be 100% certain. On any good medical chart there is a list of other possible causes of the problem/s being treated.

 

It was the OP who said she would rather not spend the extra money on an ER visit if it could be avoided. That's her choice, not mine or yours.

 

Ruth, I am sorry this thread has turned ugly but I am also thrilled to hear that Shonie is feeling better.

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I didn't read all the post, but when my collie/greyhound cross had vestibular syndrome my vet put him on a high dose of benadryl to help him. It helped within a day or two and he was very happy to have it.

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Really encouraged to hear how well Shonie was feeling as the day went on yesterday--hoping she continues to improve today, Ruth!

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