Nystagmus Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $200 - 3,500

Average Cost

$1,800

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What are Nystagmus?

Nystagmus is a rapid, involuntary movement of the eyes. It may appear as though the dogs’ eyes are bouncing up and down in their sockets or moving rapidly back and forth without focusing. This can be characteristic of either a peripheral vestibular disease involving the trauma or inflammation of the inner and middle ear, or central vestibular disease that affects parts of the system located near the brain stem. Dogs can also develop vestibular issues due to advanced age (idiopathic vestibular syndrome) or be born with a physical defect that results in congenital vestibular disease. The peripheral form of the disease is most common, and once the underlying cause is determined, it can usually be cleared up within a few weeks. Central vestibular disease is rare, but due to the prevalence of brain damage, the prognosis for recovery is poor.

An unintentional eye movement, or nystagmus, is most often a symptom of an underlying vestibular disease. The vestibular system includes the inner ear organs, and is responsible for balance and spatial awareness in most animals, including humans. Vestibular diseases occur when nerve messages to the brain are disrupted by irritation of the nerves from the inner ear.

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Symptoms of Nystagmus in Dogs

  • Falling
  • Lack of coordination
  • Head tilt
  • Walking in circles
  • Rolling
  • Eyes jerking side to side or up and down
  • Stumbling
  • Disorientation
  • Motion sickness
Types
  • Peripheral Vestibular Disease
    • Peripheral Vestibular Disease is the most common form of this affliction, affecting the inner and middle ear. Once the cause is determined, it can usually be cleared up in a matter of weeks.
  • Central Vestibular Disease
    • Central Vestibular Disease is the rarest and most life-threatening of these disorders. The central vestibular organs are located at the base of the brain stem and conditions that cause this form of the disease are much more catastrophic.
  • Congenital Vestibular Disease
    • Puppies who are born with a congenital vestibular disease usually show signs between birth and three months. Prognosis is positive, however, since the dog will likely adapt to the problem and compensate for it naturally. Several breeds have a predisposition for this kind of congenital issue including Doberman, German Shepherd, Beagle, Smooth Fox Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, English Cocker Spaniel, and Akita.
  • Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome, also called Geriatric Vestibular Syndrome
    • Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome occurs in older dogs, and usually come on rapidly with no discernable cause then resolves itself just as mysteriously. Because of the alarming symptoms, it can sometimes be mistaken for a stroke.

Causes of Nystagmus in Dogs

Peripheral vestibular disease can be caused by many factors: middle or inner ear infections, perforated eardrum, head trauma, hypothyroidism, stroke, polyps, tumors or as a side affect from medication. Central vestibular disease can be caused by a chronic inflammatory disease, infection, bleeding on the brain, trauma, impaired blood flow, or cancer.

Diagnosis of Nystagmus in Dogs

Your veterinarian will conduct a physical and neurological exam and need the animal’s complete medical history including any medications the dog may be taking. They will use and otoscope to exam the dog’s eardrum for signs of irritation or perforation. They will take blood and urine samples for culture and microscopic examination to determine if an infection is present and what kind. They may need to x-ray your dogs’ head to look at the structure of the vestibular system. If tumors or polyps are found, the veterinarian may need to perform a surgical biopsy. An MRI or CT scan could be necessary to rule out tumors, bleeding or other brain-stem abnormalities.

Treatment of Nystagmus in Dogs

Determining a course of treatment will really depend on identifying the underlying cause. If your veterinarian suspects a medication side effect is causing the issue, they may take the animal off that drug and see if symptoms clear up in a few days. If it’s caused by an infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. If it’s a case of hypothyroidism, management of the metabolic condition should resolve the vestibular issue. Surgery will be needed if polyps or tumors are present. Cancerous tumors of the central vestibular organs can cause devastating brain stem damage, and are often fatal.

Recovery of Nystagmus in Dogs

During recovery, your veterinarian may also prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms of the vestibular disease. Your dog may need motion sickness medications for vomiting and nausea, and even sedatives for a dog that is severely disoriented. If your dog is dehydrated due to vomiting, it may be necessary for them to stay a night or two in the hospital receiving fluids until the symptoms start to dissipate, and they can eat and drink normally again. If the dog is overwhelmed by dizziness, they may be reluctant to walk and will need to be carried indoors and outside for bathroom breaks. As long as the underlying cause of the vestibular disease is identified and treatable, your dog should recover fully within a couple of weeks.

Nystagmus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Chuck
French Bulldog
3 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

rigid front limbs
eyes darting back and forth

Hi there! My dog had an episode today where his front limbs went rigid and his eyes darted back and forth for less than two minutes (this occurred while he was resting/asleep). He appeared a bit disoriented afterwards, but was acting otherwise normally- no loss of consciousness, foaming at the mouth, vomiting etc. Less than an hour prior, he had eaten too fast and was choking and then regurgitated his food. I rushed him to our vet after the episode and she did a neurological exam, said that it was most likely not a seizure but recommended taking him to the emergency room. At the emergency room, the vet also agreed it was not a seizure, but rather nystagmus or a vasovagal event that caused a decrease in blood supply to his brain. He did not recommend keeping him overnight or any other tests/course of treatment. Should I be concerned that there is a more serious underlying cause? He has had blood work as recently as 2 months ago and all was normal, and his work-up today (heart rate/ temp) was normal.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Sometimes these episodes are one-offs and other times they are a sign of something more serious; if two Veterinarians are sure it wasn’t a seizure I would just monitor Chuck for now and note any behaviour changes or anything else significant. If another episode occurs, you should definitely look into further testing. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Cody
Pug
13 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Nystagmus, Stumbling

I have a 13 year old Pug that has had nystagmus before, however, it has become more and more frequent – almost once a week. The first time was a little over a year ago, then it happened again about 2 months ago and it's been on and off each week since then.

He's been to the vet for the first instance and stayed overnight at the vet on the second instance. All of his blood work was clear with no signs of organ issues or ear infection. He's not getting sick and still has an appetite but is a bit aggressive when it comes to eating now. I've been giving him the motion sickness meds too. I remember the first few instances where his eyes shifted horizontally, but now it's always vertical or diagonal.

Is it common for nystagmus and vestibular issues to happen this often?

Does the direction of the nystagmus identify anything?

Everyone says that this should pass after a few weeks, and thats how long it took for him to recover from the first instance last year, but lately it's been happening too often with recovery within 1-2 days.

Any suggestions or diagnosis based on the info above?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I'm sorry that Cody is having that problem. The direction and frequency of the nystagmus can be significant, yes. Horizontal nystagmus can be caused by vestibula disease, and often will resolve on its own over time. Vertical nystagmus can be a little more serious, and can sometimes indicate something going on in the brain. The increasing frequency is worrisome. If you are able to get an MRI done, that may give you a better idea as to what is causing this problem for him, and any treatment options that might be available.

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poppy
half collie half lab
14 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Balance
eye flickering
Falling to one side
peeing a lot inside

Medication Used

athritis

My dog is about 14 years old and is a half collie half lab. all of the sudden, she has been falling a lot not able to get up on coaches and stumbling, she has also been peeing considerably inside our house when usually she goes outside. We thought it was old age and that it was time for poppy but my daughter found an eye movement just as you've said, the flicking sideways. Could this be to do with why she's peeing, falling and collapsing or just old age?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

The nystagmus may also be due to old age, stroke, head trauma, tumours, poisoning etc… the other symptoms may also indicate old age or stroke. It would be best to have Poppy examined by her Veterinarian to determine the actual cause of the symptoms and if there is any treatment or management available, your Veterinarian will perform a physical and neurological examination along with blood tests. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I am not a vet or have any medical background. The only reason I'm commenting is because I'm a dog mom of a young lady (6 y.o. mixed breed rescue pup), named Pippa, who was diagnosed with SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome) at the age of three (2014) and all of the symptoms that Poppy's mom describes (minus the eye flicking) are what we witnessed when, Pippa was in the beginning stages of SARDS (pre-diagnosis). I'd be curious to hear if Poppy's vet was able to determine the cause of her symptoms.

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Roxie
American Staffordshire Terrier
5-6
Moderate condition
2 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Tired

Medication Used

none

my dogs eyes are bouncing back an fourth was fine when she went to bed last night she did split her toenail open yesterday morning could this have anything to do with it.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

I cannot think of a direct link between the toenail injury and the nystagmus. Nystagmus is usually caused by head trauma, stroke, tumours, ear infections or poisoning. If the nystagmus continues, visit your Veterinarian for a neurological examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My dog has all these symptoms he's on .amoxicillion will this cure it he's. A 4 year old boxermix

My Maltese dog had blood drawn and chest x-rays on Feb 10 th and today he is falling, won't eat and turns in circle and falls when he tries to urinate. What is wrong?

Is there any home remedies for this?

My dog has the same symptom under nystagmus. My dog's 17 years old already and her ears used to be in a standing position (like siberian husky ears) it's now collapsed, I mean we thought of it like because of her age.

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Slingshot
Pekingese
14 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Head Tilt eyes rapidly moving
Head Tilt

Medication Used

Phenobarbital

So slingshot has his head tilt to the side he's kind of looking up into the air he's eyes are moving rapidly he's blinking a lot he has really bad balance he has been on medicine for seizures since August of 2017

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Dogs sometimes develop vestibular disease, and it can be related to a problem with the ears, or the brain. If this is a new occurrence, it would be best to have him examined by your veterinarian today to see what is going on, and what treatment he may need. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Amira
Siberian Husky
6 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Hello,

I am a breeder of Siberian Huskies. Our current litter we have noticed three of our seven huskies have nystagmus. The puppies act perfectly fine besides their eye movement.
Can this be caused by a cleaner we use to clean their cabin ?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Nystagmus may be caused by various causes which may include toxicity from the environment (which may include some cleaning products but it unlikely), congenital disorders, parasites, trauma or infection. Since three out of seven pups are affected, it would be best to bring this up with your Veterinarian when you take them in for their primary vaccinations. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mateo
Pug
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Appetite
Loss of Balance
Eye Movement
Falling to one side
Head Tilt
Eye Clouding

My pug is 9 years old he stated to walk like unstable and eyes are moving back and forth, vomited and don’t want to eat or drink anything, can’t sleep ( maybe caused by eyes moving to much and too fast ) it started yesterday and he couldn’t sleep at all last night.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Nystagmus and loss of balance in a dog may be due to a vestibular disorder which may resolve on its own; however there are other causes for these symptoms which are more serious and may include head trauma, brain tumours, neurological disorders, severe ear infections, infectious disease among other causes. You should monitor Mateo for the time being, but I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian for an examination before the weekend to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Zeik
Siberian Husky
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

As above

Our 3 and half year old husky was lying quiet and suddenly he tried to get up but was swaying and very uncoordinated and fell down. Both eyes were flickering rapidly from side to side he appear dazed. When he tried to walk we had to help keep him steady. He was 100% himself and acting normal until this happened no vomiting or diarrhoea had been eating normal and behaving normal. Has not had access to anything he should not have eaten. We live rural and he does not come into contact with other dogs other than our other Husky. I took his temp rectal it was 101.5, breathing appeared normal no excess panting. We took him to the vet within 6 minutes of this happening and he was given an anti sickness injection and another 2 injections and we took him home The eyes flickering lasted for just over an hour and the unsteadiness on his legs is better but not 100% 6 hours later. Our vet was quite vague and would not commit to any diagnosis and we just have to wit and see but wondered if you had any ideas. Zeik is our world and just want any ideas thanks in advance

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Your Veterinarian would have been vague as there are many different possible conditions that it may be and without having a thorough examination and numerous tests (the tests may all come back normal) it is difficult to say what may have happened. Head trauma, infections, poisoning (may still have occurred), heart disease among other causes may lead to similar symptoms. Monitor Zeik for the time being and try to keep him calm and if any other symptoms present, contact your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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