What is Dog Vestibular Disease?

Vestibular disease is a disorder of the vestibular system. The vestibular system, including the central vestibular system brain and the inner and middle ears of the peripheral vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining body balance. If there is a problem with the vestibular system, the dog will experience a sudden, non-progressive loss of balance. The main manifestations symptoms include: head tilted to one side, unstable walking or even unable to stand, lateral/vertical/nystagmus, loss of appetite or vomiting, and salivation. Impaired vestibular balance may be caused by a variety of reasons, including but not limited to middle/inner ear infections, drug toxicity effects, trauma, tumors, hypothyroidism, etc.

Peripheral Dog Vestibular Disease & Central Dog Vestibular Disease

The vestibular system is a complex nervous system. When diagnosing, you first need to determine whether the problem is the central nervous system or the ear (peripheral vestibular system). The peripheral vestibular system is mainly the inner ear, including the vestibular receptor, ganglion, and the vestibular division of CN VIII. The Central Vestibular Part are the vestibular nuclei in the brainstem, vestibular divisions, flocculonodular lobe, fastigial nucleus, and caudal caudal horn cerebellar peduncle.

Because diseases of the central vestibular system occur in the cerebellum or brainstem, the affected dogs often exhibit other symptoms that affect the cerebellum or brainstem, including proprioceptive deficits, hemiplegia, generalized paralysis, decreased mentation, and other Cerebral nerve damage symptoms, etc. The inner ear is physically close to the facial nerve and sympathetic nerve, so there is facial paralysis or cervical sympathetic nerve paralysis (Horner’s syndrome) when the peripheral vestibular system is affected. Vertical nystagmus, nystagmus that changes direction depending on the position of the head, and nystagmus in different directions in both eyes are often considered as symptoms of central vestibular system problems, but they are all doubtful. In addition, the frequency of resting nystagmus in animals with peripheral vestibular system lesions is statistically much higher than that in patients with central vestibular system lesions.

It should be noted that the above situations can provide a basis for diagnosis, but the absence of any situation cannot be used as a basis for excluding the diagnosis. A Central vestibular localization can be ruled in, but not ruled out.

Causation of Dog Vestibular Disease

Common causes of peripheral vestibular diseases include otitis media, nasopharyngeal polyps, ear tumors, inner ear trauma, congenital vestibular system defects, hypothyroidism, and ototoxic drug effects. Common causes of central vestibular disease include tumor, inflammation, hydrocephalus, thiamine deficiency, metronidazole toxicity, cerebrovascular disease, etc. Unexplained vestibular disorder is usually an abnormality of the peripheral vestibular system.

Prognosis and care of cat vestibular diseases

Unexplained vestibular disorders usually have a good prognosis, and symptoms usually resolve spontaneously within 72 hours. Bias and difficulty in movement usually improve within 7-10 days. The vast majority of patients recover within two to three weeks, and a few will leave sequelae such as head tilt and walking sway, but usually do not affect the quality of life of pets.

Sick dogs are usually given intravenous fluids to supplement the water loss caused by vomiting and not eating.

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