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Discussion Starter #1
I am really panicked and hoping I can keep it together until we can be seen by my normal vet. I am hoping you guys might be able to help me compile a list of things to check for at our appointment.

This morning my 11 month old Dober-girl was acting totally normal. I gave her breakfast and then about 2 hours later she walked into the office, where I was working, and vomited. Then I noticed that she was stumbling around. she kept falling down, struggling to get up and then falling again. Once she stopped panicking, she was able to stand still but was drastically leaning to one side and bracing herself in an awkward position just to stay upright. she had a significant head tilt and her eyes were bouncing back and forth rather rapidly. I woke up my husband and we took her straight to the ER. in the car she was crying quite a bit and continued to fall over as I attempted to hold her upright.

The Emergency vet was positive that she had been exposed to some sort of toxin and asked us a couple times if we used recreational or illicit drugs. (which I found slightly offensive, but I understand) I know for fact that there is no way she could have gotten into anything. She has not been out of my sight for the last 4 days. After all of the tests for toxic exposure came back normal, the vet tried to induce vomiting (which didn't work), feed her some charcoal, and sent her home.

So now I am left with the fact that I know my dog didn't ingest anything but she had some very scary symptoms and is still a bit uneasy on her feet. I feel so helpless, right now. The vet pretty much shrugged and said, "who knows, just watch her closely."

I am not sure if these symptoms are related to her previous symptoms that have been discussed in other threads (I linked one).

I feel like An x-ray of her head would be in order to see if there are any inner ear issues. Also a full chem panel and CBC (the ER only did a blood gas). I am also thinking maybe a protozoan infection? T4 and TSH should be tested. As well as I have read that DCM can occasionally manifest as Neuro symptoms as well as a thiamine deficiency (which would be odd because she eats good food, but who knows).

Has anyone ever heard of this sort of thing? It came on suddenly and then seems to be mostly resolved 6 hours later. Could Vestibular disease manifest this way? ( I thought it took weeks to clear up, not hours) anyone have any other ideas? I am so worried and so frustrated that the ER sent her home without trying to figure out what is wrong (I got the impression they were busy and it was inconvenient to dig deeper. She wasn't dieing, so send her home...):emo10:
 

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Hopefully vets will chime in. First, I want to say how sorry I am that you are going through this.

Tilting to one side, stumbling and nystagmus (the eye twitching thing) can all be signs of vestibular disease. It has been my experience though that it does take days to right itself. I don't think an x-ray of her head would help as it doesn't show a lot of soft tissue things like inner ear tissue. Did the vet look in her ears?

Toxin ingestion could have the same results though.

Complete blood pannel is in order I would think to check major organ function. I am not a vet though so hopefully others chime in.
 

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I'd be wanting a scan of her head/brain and a full blood panel just like you. No other thoughts other than thoughts for you and her that your regular vet gets to the bottom of it quickly and that you get good news.
 

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It really does sound like Vestibular Syndrome to me. I've had three dogs with it, and it yes, it can, and from what I understand, usually does, resolve on its own. You should still have your vet do bloodwork, just to double check that everything else is normal. Toxins will affect the results, and can show what organ, if any has been affected. And like workingk9s said, X-rays don't show soft tissue problems, so unless there is suspected head trauma, they would be pretty much useless. But yes, definitely have her ears checked. An ear infection is a common cause of Vestibular Syndrome.
 

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Jalyn Live in the Moment ‘Helo Agathon’ Harper x Godric DOB 3/4/2019
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So sorry, I hope you find some answers and your girl will be OK.
 
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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (and perhaps other tick borne diseases) can present this way. I would be having a tick panel run in addition to whatever other diagnostics your vet thinks are appropriate.
 

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I had this with Diesel just last week. Very scary but only lasted a the night. ER vet said vestibular, but the next day he was bouncing around and normal vet said we'll just put it down to inner ear infection. It hasn't happened since, although that reminds me, he finished his anti-b's at the weekend and has started head shaking so I don't think it's fully cleared p yet, I have to get him some more.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had this with Diesel just last week. Very scary but only lasted a the night. ER vet said vestibular, but the next day he was bouncing around and normal vet said we'll just put it down to inner ear infection. It hasn't happened since, although that reminds me, he finished his anti-b's at the weekend and has started head shaking so I don't think it's fully cleared p yet, I have to get him some more.
Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better that it could just be an ear infection. She seems pretty much back to normal, today. I have an appointment with my vet this afternoon. I kept asking the ER vet if they looked in her ears and they just blew me off about it. Crossing my fingers that it could be something so simple!

Thanks to everyone who has responded. I could barely sleep last night, I was so worried it might happen again. I am exhausted!
 

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Vestibular issues can be really scary for poor owners to have to observe. Most think their dog is having a stroke but in all reality it is just that their world is spinning. I am glad your pup is doing better though :) I am honestly surprised that the vet didn't think vestibular but because she (your puppy) vomited and was ataxic the vet probably focused on that first. If it was a toxicity, that could be deadly, and time is vital. Seriously though, you can ask for a copy of the records / chart and see if the vet wrote anything down about it. He may have and you don't remember cause it was such a traumatic event. I've been there before.
I've never known vets to do x-rays of the head unless it is dental related. The only protozoan infections that really affect puppies are coccidia and giardia. With all the information out there, it is so easy to get scared when researching symptoms. Whenever I freaked out about Doc having something strange, his vet always told me, "It is possible but is it probable."
Puppies do weird things sometimes, lol.
Sending good vibes and ease your way :)
 

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Just Read About A Similar Case

That's interesting that your dog has these symptoms as 'The Bark' magazine I was subscribed to just had an article about a dog that had the exact same symptoms. I will try to type out whatever relevant information I've found in this article for you. As a result, this post will be rather long. Hope you find some useful information!

First off the dog in this article had vomiting, nystagmus and a drunken gait and instability just like your dog.

Vestibular disease/vertigo is what the article focuses on. The ER Dr. had made a diagnosis over the phone for seizure but it wasn't.


"The most frequent cases are referred to as idiopathic or 'old dog' *I know your dog is not old, but keep reading* vestibular disease because it's most often seen in older dogs and there's no obvious cause. 'It's benign; we still have no real understanding why it occurs,' [Dr. Sturges says]. 'It's self-limiting, [requiring] no treatment except supportive care and comforting the dog,' she adds. The second most common cause is infection - especially Rocky Mountain spotted fever - or inflammation.

Dr. Sturges describes two broad categories of vestibular disease: outside the brain, and inside. 'When outside the brain, it involves the middle or inner ear and is referred to as peripheral vestibular disease. This type is more treatable, with a better prognosis,' she says, and includes the old-dog syndrome. 'Inside the brain means it involves the brain stem and is referred to as central vestibular disease. In small breeds - Maltese, Yorkies, Pugs, Poms - it's usually caused by a non-infectious inflammation of the brain stem, often referred to as inflammatory brain disease. It occurs mostly in younger dogs [less than] two years of age. In larger breeds, central vestibular disease is usually caused by brain tumors [putting] pressure on the brain stem. Or, sometimes, trauma to the head.' Symptoms of central vestibular disease may be more subtle, with gradual onset...

Nystagmus is not seen in all cases, but [it] is common,' says Dr. Sturges. 'It lessens as the dog gets used to the sensation. Nystagmus can be profound in old-dog vestibular disease; a few days, or perhaps one to two weeks later, it's almost always gone. It is a reliable symptom: if there's nystagmus, it's vestibular disease and not usually a seizure. But you can see a drunken gait - ataxia - and other symptoms without nystagmus and it still could be vestibular disease.

Diagnosis is based on a description of symptoms, or better yet, actual observation of symptoms. When appropriate, a vet will do a CT scan or an MRI to see if there are tumors or brain swelling.

The type of nystagmus observed (horizontal vs. vertical) and the direction of the dog's head tilt (another common symptom) can help a neurologist differentiate between peripheral and central vestibular disease. Other issues involving the inner ear, or ear infection, will be ruled out if symptoms persist.

Treating central vestibular disease in dogs depends on the type and cause. 'We're pretty good now at removing tumors from the brain stem,' says Dr. Sturges. 'If there are inflammation and fluid, that can be drained surgically if necessary. We can prescribe antibiotics or an antifungal. When a vascular cause is suspected - a temporary or permanent lack of blood supply - vestibular issues usually get better on their own,' she says. 'Toxins are another possibility. Metronidazole [Flagyl] and a few other medications can cause toxicity, including vestibular disease *looks like this was the focus of your Dr.*; taking the dog off the drug and substituting another can resolve it.'

A sudden onset of acute symptoms and an absence of other physical findings usually mean perihperal vestibular disease. You and your vet may elect to wait a few days to see if improvement occurs before doing extensive diagnostics...

Some vets will prescribe corticosteroids to reduce swelling and antibiotics just in case the cause is inside the brain

Ultimately, the final diagnosis of old-dog vestibular disease is made by the self-limiting nature of the symptoms. According to Dr. Sturges, five to 10 percent of dogs who experience this problem may have additional episodes.

Unfortunately, like Meadow *the dog in this article*, many dogs with vestibular disease are initially misdiagnosed as having seizures. In some instances, unable to afford expensive diagnostics or consult a neurologist, the distressed owners put the dog down, fearing he or she has suffered brain damage and won't recover, or will suffer repeated seizures in the future. 'That's sad,' says Dr. Sturges. 'There's no reason to put them down. We don't often see brain damage in dogs. A seriously long seizure could cause damage, but don't jump to euthanize, even in cases of seizure,' she emphasizes.

Granted, sudden onset of vestibular disease can look like a seizure; the two are often hard to distinguish. 'A neurologist could maybe tell the difference,' says Dr. Sturges. 'An EEG to measure brain electricity and some other tests could help differentiate. But actually seeing the episode is the best way to diagnose. A video - everyone has cameras and video-cams these days - would be very helpful.'

For those who have never experienced vertigo, let me assure you: it's sudden, overwhelming, and incredibly frightening. You don't know what's happening, or why, and your brain seems disconnected from your body. Dogs must experience similar fear...

With vertigo, you literally don't know up from down. Remember white-knuckle rides on that spinning playground equipment? When you tried to get off, you'd stumble and fall to the ground, head still whirling. That's vertigo light. The real thing is more intense, longer lasting and much scarier..."

The section in quotes was taken directly from the article. Anywhere you see '...' is where I skipped ahead. The article title is called In A Spin, written by Rebecca Wallick and was in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of The Bark magazine. They don't really focus on younger dogs too much but hopefully the information was helpful to you anyhow. It seems pretty similar to what happened with your pup. Hope everything's ok!
 

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Any update on your girl?
 
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After all the vet checks it would not hurt if they dont' find anything they can cure then I would have a chiiro vet check her over. I would not it anyway witn stability problems.
 

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My first thought was also tick borne disease. I'd check those, in addition to the full blood panels.

Good vibes for your girl.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all that information, that was helpful.

They took blood and urine at the vet, did a thorough neuro and orthopedic exam (since she has been weak in the hind end for about a month now) and found no signs of neuro issues or pain, anywhere.
The vet said she is going to do some research, see what the lab results come back with and give me a call. Right now, she says peripheral congenital vestibular disease is top on her differential list, but like me, she wasnt sure if the dog would have short episodes of it, like my dog did.
Little Ezri is acting mostly normal but is acting more hyper (for lack of a better word) and anxious. Normally she hangs with us while we eat dinner, but tonight she went and hid under my husbands desk (which is somewhere that she never lays). So her behavior is odd, but she is not expressing neuro symptoms. I guess I will just wait and worry until I hear back from the vet. depending on blood results (she said liver might effect it) we will probably see the neurologist soon.
 

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One other thing I wanted to mention... do you know your pup's vWD status? I know it is somewhat rare to have a clinically affected dobe but Barcelona was a horrible bleeder and actually started bleeding into her lungs and joints. She would limp often because of this, especially in her back legs.
She had a myriad of issues though but I just thought I would mention it. Sounds like you are doing everything you can for your pup! Thanks for the update, keep us posted.
 

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One other thing I wanted to mention... do you know your pup's vWD status? I know it is somewhat rare to have a clinically affected dobe but Barcelona was a horrible bleeder and actually started bleeding into her lungs and joints. She would limp often because of this, especially in her back legs.
She had a myriad of issues though but I just thought I would mention it. Sounds like you are doing everything you can for your pup! Thanks for the update, keep us posted.
Mom was clear, dad was affected, so she should be a carrier but I have never had her tested to double check it. I will keep that in the back of my mind. thanks
 

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If there is no way that she could genetically be an affected bleeder then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Barca was bad, even by affected standards. She only produced about 7% of the vWD factor and that wasn't even remotely close enough to clot. She also had some trauma, she fell down the stairs, but even after a month she was still bleeding out.

Now I'm not sure which breeder you got your pup from, but the BYB who duped me with Barca told me that both parents were clear.... I was naive and didn't ask for copies of the results. So if you were only told that then I would get her checked. But if you have both copies of the parents' results or she came from a reputable breeder then I wouldn't worry about it to be honest.

Even if a carrier is stressed and they drop in vWD factor production, they are still usually above the 20% requirement for clotting.

Thank you for considering it though.
 

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HOpefully your girl is doing better, As a human who suffers from Vestibular (Vertigo) I know what I go through when I am having an attack and I can verbalize my thoughts. How scarry for your girl.
 

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HOpefully your girl is doing better, As a human who suffers from Vestibular (Vertigo) I know what I go through when I am having an attack and I can verbalize my thoughts. How scarry for your girl.
Thank you. Do you mind if I ask how long an "attack" normally lasts for you? I am having a hard time finding literature that discusses it.
 
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