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Larssenabdo's avatar

Ideopathic vestibular syndrome in dogs--experiences?

Asked by Larssenabdo (543points) August 18th, 2008

Our dog went down with this a week ago Thursday, and the vet says he has the worst case she has seen. He seems to be making small progress daily, but he is still somewhat wobbly and unable to walk—he can’t tell his back legs what to do yet.
My research tells me that dogs recover from this, but the vet can’t say whether he will recover to the point that he has the use of his back legs again. I’ve heard of lots of dogs with less severe cases making a full recovery, but I am wondering if anyone has any experience with dogs that have been severely affected and what their recovery was like.
Thanks!

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9 Answers

cak's avatar

;( Lars…I’m keeping him in my thoughts!

Larssenabdo's avatar

Thanks, Baby, but he’s going to be fine! You just get yourself together!

Adina1968's avatar

I am so sorry. It is always hard when a beloved pet becomes ill. I don’t have any experience with this particular illness. I did want to give you some encouragement and advice. If your dog does not regain use of it’s hind legs. There is a product called a K-9 cart that enables them to get around and live happily with a good quality of life. I hope everything works out for you all.

marinelife's avatar

My elderly whippet got this. It was very scary. He had two bouts of it, the second milder than the first. He just gradually recovered. Give your dog time.

I went through the human version this year. Now I know how my poor dog was suffering. The recovery was so incremental as to be almost undetectable, but it happened. Give him another week. If he cannot walk by then, I would look for a veterinary specialist in the condition. (Maybe a teaching facility at a University.)

Sometimes it is idiopathic, but sometimes there is a cause.

Good luck.

mcbealer's avatar

You didn’t say how old your dog is…

My dog, Tilly, had a bout of VDS this past spring. At first, I thought she had suffered a stroke.

It is very disheartening to watch because you can see their distress and confusion.

Tilly was almost 13 when this happpened. It does seem to afflict senior aged dogs more often than not.

As with humans, I think that her fitness prior to the onset will be a big determinant of her prognosis.

In the meantime, spend as much time as you can with your dog, and try to make her world as quiet and calm as possible. I also read that keeping some lights on, even if dimmed, are helpful at night.

The key things to remember are to keep your dog from exertion and sensory overload in the coming weeks.

It took about 1 month for Tilly to fully recover. She was very patient and never grew mean.

Best of luck, and please keep us posted :0)

mcbealer's avatar

You didn’t say how old your dog is…

My dog, Tilly, had a bout of VDS this past spring. At first, I thought she had suffered a stroke.

It is very disheartening to watch because you can see their distress and confusion.

Tilly was almost 13 when this happpened. It does seem to afflict senior aged dogs more often than not.

As with humans, I think that his fitness prior to the onset will be a big determinant of his prognosis.

In the meantime, spend as much time as you can with your dog, and try to make his world as quiet and calm as possible. I also read that keeping some lights on, even if dimmed, are helpful at night.

The key things to remember are to keep your dog from exertion and sensory overload in the coming weeks.

It took about 1 month for Tilly to fully recover. She was very patient and never grew mean.

Best of luck, and please keep us posted.

I had never even heard of the disorder
until Tilly became ill.

All the dog-loving Flutherites are thinking of you and your dog, so no matter how hard it is, stay hopeful. dogs can read your worry

Props to Marina, who helped me when Tilly became ill, and basically diagnosed it right away. :0)

Larssenabdo's avatar

Thanks all. Moze is 13 1/2. He’s always been quite healthy til this incident. His spirits are good, as are ours. He is doing much better now that we are keeping him at home. He had to go for a check up yesterday, and was stressed out at the thought of having to spend the day there again. He does prefer human companionship these days, I’ve noticed that. If I’m in another room, he hollers for me.
I’m committed to giving him all the time he needs to recover. McBealer, like you, I was taken by surprise with the diagnosis; I also thought it was a stroke or seizures. I’d never heard of it, and I’m heavy into dogs.
Marina, I had a human friend who suffered it. She got up one morning and the whole room was spinning, had to crawl on her hands and knees to get me, and the only way she could walk was with her eyes shut, being led about. Like my vet, the doc told her to just wait it out and stay off the computer! GAH!

syz's avatar

It’s quite common in older dogs and they usually recover with supportive care. The only concern is the cause.

Ideopathic, of course, means that we don’t know the cause, but one of the differentials is some sort of brain tumor. In those cases that don’t respond well with treatment and time, we usually assume some sort of tumor.

Much, much more commonly, they do just fine. Make sure he’s not too nauseated to eat, don’t let him injure himself stumbling around, and eventually he should do fine.

Larssenabdo's avatar

@syz, yes, I have been giving Moze a bit of Bonine if he seems especially queasy. I think he is going to have to be confined to the crate now that he is improving, because he is trying to get himself up and around more than he had previously.

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