If Your Dog Suddenly Starts Circling or Staggering, This Could Be Why
Peripheral vestibular disease results from damage to the nerves of the inner ear that can be caused by infection, overzealous cleaning of the ears, trauma, stroke, tumors, certain drugs and other conditions.
Treatment of the disorder consists primarily of supportive care and resolving any underlying cause. Geriatric dogs with peripheral vestibular disease often need supportive therapy in the form of IV fluids and supplemental nutrition, help with eating, drinking
Dr. Karen Becker
“This disorder often comes on suddenly with no warning. More often than not, a veterinarian will be able to find no reason for an animal (most commonly dogs, but cats can suffer with this condition as well) to all of a sudden be staggering around, walking crooked, turning in circles, and often displaying a head tilt. Basically, the animal is in full vertigo - with the Vestibular nerve being affected and the balance of the animal being completely out of whack. Deep ear infections, tumors, and trauma can cause the condition - but often times it is termed idiopathic - which means we have no idea why it is occurring.”
“I have seen cases severe enough (especially in cats) - that the animal would roll across the floor continually, and actually require sedation and nutritional support until the symptoms stabilized. For most animals, the condition will get better, and the animal will end up in a "compensated" state - able to walk and function. Although many may retain a head tilt for the rest of their life.”
“The condition happens more often in older dogs, but can happen in any animal. Rabbits also can experience a "torticollis" or head tilt due to bacterial infections. NeuroBoost and NeuroBalance Diffusion Blend are both beneficial in these animals as well.”