Activities For Dogs With Vertigo

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Introduction

Vertigo, also known as vestibular disease is a condition that affect’s the dog’s vestibular system responsible for their sense of balance and coordination. When this system is struck by disease, the dog may lose their ability to coordinate their movements and can cause a head tilt. Usually, it is caused by the damages and disorders in the inner ear or the brain, but luckily, in most cases, the issue is short-term, although sometimes it can evolve into something more serious if the central nervous system is affected. Because of this, your dog will be limited to bathroom breaks as far as activity goes.

Spot It

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
12 - 24 hours
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Pen and paper
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Activity description

The very first thing you think of when you suspect that your dog is suffering from an illness is to take them to the vet immediately. While that is, of course, good practice, it is also important for you to spot the symptoms of the disorder so you can inform your vet of everything that has been happening since you started noticing that something is wrong. Write down what you see and maybe even take a video of your dog’s behavior so your vet can properly assess the situation and have some help from you as well, since dogs can often become very nervous at their office. As you observe your dog, comfort and reassure them.

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Dizziness
Some of the most common symptoms of vertigo are dizziness, walking or spinning in circles, loss of balance, falling on one side, vomiting, and of course, excessive drooling. You can easily spot if only one ear was affected because your dog will tilt their head in that direction.
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Head tilting
Another sure sign is the typical head tilt. Your pup will tilt their head in the direction of the affected ear, which will also cause them to probably fall on that side, it will cause nystagmus, which is an involuntary jerking eye movement, they will stumble, and probably shake their head as well.
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Severe cases
In more serious cases, your dog may lose the ability to eat and drink properly due to shaking, circling, and loss of coordination, and even going outside can become a challenge. In these cases, they will experience nausea, will not be able to stand up, and if they do, they will circle constantly.
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The Cause

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Once your vet determines that your dog is, in fact, suffering from vestibular disease, aka vertigo, it is only natural that you will want to find out where the disease came from and what caused it so you can prevent it in the future, if the case is benign, and learn how to help your dog by eliminating some of the causes. Usually, your vet will be able to give you plenty of information, but in this day and age,  when we all have access to the Internet, you can search for the causes of vertigo and educate yourself on the matter even further. While your pup is resting, settle down beside them and peruse reputable sites on the Internet.

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Infection
In some cases, vertigo can be caused by the infection of the inner ear nerves. Infection and inflammation of the cranial nerve is also a cause, and these can happen if bacteria enters your doggo’s head due to injury or the punctured eardrum. Has your dog had an injury lately?
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Congenital
Vestibular disease can also be present from birth, meaning that it does not have any specific cause, which makes it harder to diagnose. In some cases, the disease can be idiopathic, which means that there is no specific cause of the illness, although those cases are pretty rare.
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Trauma
Finally, the most common cause of vertigo is trauma to the ear or head, which can result in an injury that will trigger the condition. Bleeding in the brain, cancer, and polyps can also cause vertigo, so make sure that your dog gets regular checkups to monitor their health.
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Treatment

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Moderate
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12 - 72 hrs
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Now that you know that your pup is, unfortunately, suffering from vertigo, you can take the necessary steps to help them and treat the disease! Your vet will, after the initial diagnosis, prescribe medicine to treat the underlying issue, and will give you helpful advice on how to help them cope with the condition. However, you have to realize that vertigo is just a consequence of an issue that you must treat, so take it seriously and help your dog get better. Always include a lot of love and support as you interact with your dog, since they are probably scared and need you more than ever. 

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Antibiotics
One of the most common causes of vertigo is the inner ear infection, which is usually treated with antibiotics. Never try to pick the medicine yourself, and let your vet prescribe it instead. Be a responsible dog owner and make sure that your dog never skips a pill.
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Other medicine
If your dog is also experiencing nausea, they may need additional medication to help them feel better. Your vet will prescribe anti-nausea drugs that you can give to your doggo, and if they are suffering from motion sickness or anxiety, they can also get mild sedatives to help them cope.
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Recovery

Finally, the recovery period can be hard for everyone, especially a sweet, innocent creature that your doggo is. Always provide support and love and help them cheer up. Be there for them and be diligent with treatment. 

Prevention

Of course, before treating, you’d always want to make sure that your dog doesn’t get sick in the first place. Try to avoid head and ear injuries, as well as infections by always keeping your doggo clean and not letting them go to dangerous places. 

Conclusion

In most cases, the recovery prognosis for vertigo is very good! What you need to be aware of is that the disease is caused by something else, usually an infection, and be very responsible when it comes to treatment and elimination of the underlying issue. Always try to cheer up your pup and be patient with them, as they are probably scared and cannot comprehend that the situation will get better. Make sure that your furry companion is happy and healthy, and the recovery should be over in a heartbeat!