Old Dog Vestibular Disease
Binky's Experience with 'Old Dog Vestibular Disease'
On Saturday before Valentine's day 2011, our dog Binky got really wobbly and her head started to twist back to her butt. She was not able to walk in a straight line. She walked alone the wall to keep in direction. She bumped into a few things and acted like she was going to fall down. She had been acting odd for a few days before but chalked it up to an earthquake prediction or a slight ear infection.
So, Sunday morning it was even worse. She was twisted up like a cooked shrimp. She didn't act in pain and was actually running around like normal in a way and wanted snacks. So we took her off to the vet.
I have never heard of the diagnosis that she received that day and it was very scary to hear it in relation to our dog. She was admitted to the vet for intraveneous treatments of steroids for two days. I brought her home today and she has been a sleepy little gir. The twisting has diminished but she is not back to normal 100%. There are a lot of unknowns with this disease. I want to share our experiences as we go with this so that if this ever happens to your dog you have some information.
All I can say is the minute you think something like this is up, take them to the vet. Since it is a viral infection it would probably respond more positively the sooner you treat it!
**All images on this lens are mine unless otherwise noted.
The Name is NOT Accurate
As you can see, Binky is not an old girl! She is only 8 years old. Our other Boston George lived to 15. They usually have a long life.
So it can happen at any time. Our vet said that there is no known reason that it happens. What happens is, that a nerve that goes to the ear canal and into the brain gets inflamed due to an infection be it Viral, Bacterial or Fungal. So you need to treat for those things first.
If the dog is better after treatment, you are usually good to go. If not, then you may need to do a MRI or CAT scan to see into the brain and see if there is a tumor causing the inflammation. This is the most rare cause but can also be a factor. Steroids are used to treat the inflammation.
There is so little known about this disease so you do not get the feeling of ever knowing what you are up against. You just have to wait it out. The doctor said that sometimes they will be better the next day after treatment and sometimes they take weeks to recover and sometimes they never fully recover.
Day Two After Treatment
This is day two after her stay at the hospital. It is completely normal for her to pick out pieces of her food and place them on the floor. So it is nice to see her eating on her own and in her normal fashion. She seems to be not so dizzy but she is still arching her head back to the right side.
Do you know anything about 'Old Dog Vestibular Disease'
Please share what you know with us so we can get Binky back to health!
What is your experience with Vestibular Disease
March 17, 2011
So it has been some time now since her treatment. After the steroids wore off, Binky started to decline again. She started the circling thing again. After time, she started to only be able to eat out of one side of her mouth and started drooling. We took her to the vet several times and they told us to just wait a bit longer. Yesterday, we took her to the vet again and she recommended that we take her to a neurologist to see if she might have a brain tumor. She lost 1 pound since 2 weeks ago and that is a lot when you started out at 18.8 pounds.
Please say a prayer for her and give your own pet a big hug and tell them you love them while they are still healthy!!!
April 06, 2011
So we took Binky to another visit to the Vet today. She told us that Binky is now back to 90% of normal. So we are not doing any more medication. We decided not to do the MRI and just wait to see how she goes.
We are travelling over the Easter Holiday so she and Curtis will be staying at the Vet for the weekend. It is expensive but worth not having to worry.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and encouragement. It looks like she is on track to get better!
We had a bit of a scare last week as she started to drool and have bloody stools. It turned out that she was having a reaction to the medicine she was taking for this. Prednesone. She had to stop taking it and we had to give her a daily anti biotic and a pink liquid that helped to bring her stomach back to normal. It's sort of a super pepto bismol.
Weird Dizzy Sneeze
After Binky's last visit to the Vet, she said she was 90% back to normal and was happy with how she was progressing. Then when we got her home she started to act really weird and started to do this weird shaking her head and sneezing thing. This is what it looked like. What do you think?
April 15, 2011
Binky if finally on the road to recovery!!!! She is over 95% back to normal. We are not sure if she will ever be to 100%, but she is able now to jump off and up on the couch. She gets around really well. We found that the steroids that she was on really messed up her stomach. We took her off the steroids and started taking her for walks. I feel that the walks are really helping her to re-learn her balance. It was a very scary journey but she has pulled through it so far. We continue to monitor her and make sure she is able to get the attention she needs. Curtis is so great (our boarder collie), he allows her to eat separately and is super patient with her. It takes her awhile to eat because she can only really chew on one side and the food falls out of her mouth. She has gained the weight back that she lost and has all of her old energy back. I can really recommend that if this happens to you, just do not freak out and just be patient. Try to cure the infection with antibiotics or steroids. We did not do the MRI. It didn't seem to be really for anything but to rule out a brain tumor. But it is the choice of the parent and if they really want to know. Thank you all for your kind words during this scary time for us.
April 29, 2011
So we are having a set back. We went away for Easter and our Vet said that we could board her with them and they would watch her. When we brought her home everything seemed ok. But, then the next day we noticed that her symptoms seemed to have gotten worse. Then we noticed that she was not able to eat. So, now we have to feed her by hand to get her to eat. So she can only eat canned soft food. I have to put her in the tub and scoop the food up so she can scoop it up with her teeth because her tongue doesn't seem to work very well. She has lost a lot of weight. Now that she has a full stomach she just wants to sleep. Hopefully, it means that she is healing. This is not such an easy disease to deal with and it seems like once you seem everything is ok it only gets better.
If you have any tips please let us know.
Walking with Vestibular Disease
April 30th, 2011 taking a walk with a dog affected by Vestibular Disease. You can see she is like a drunken sailor. This is a common effect since it is equilibrium that is suffering in this condition.
May 4th, 2011
We brought Binky home from the vet today. She spent two nights there after we were concerned that she was losing a lot of weight and not able to eat her food. She was very dehydrated and lethargic. So, they checked her in we put her on IVs and they helped her to eat. I brought her home and she has an appetite and was able to take her pills.
She's sleeping on the couch right now and we hope that she improves. It is getting very frustrating that she isn't really getting better.
May 11, 2011
Binky passed on today. She seemed to be doing fine for a while. But then she stared to have the bloody diarrhea again. So the vet told us to take her of the prednisone. This morning while eating breakfast she suddenly died. She is now playing with George in heaven. I am thankful that she got to go while at home and not have to be in a strange environment.
Thank you all for your kind thoughts and i hope that this lens teaches you some things if your dog ever gets afflicted by this.