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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

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I cannot begin to find the words to express how grateful I am to Dr. Journell and her team of associates. They are all so super sweet and compassionate towards my fur-babies. I feel confident in the care and comfort that they provide. My furbabies never seem stressed after a visit. I couldn't ask for better!"
    Katrina B., Client since 2014
  • "We love the attention our pets receive at this clinic. We moved to Clemmons recently and decided to continue as patients here, even though there is another clinic within walking distance of our new house. Dr. Journell and her staff have gone above and beyond in their care of our dogs over the years."
    Amanda T., Client since 2012