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Heidi has vestibular syndrome #349342
11/16/18 10:51 PM
11/16/18 10:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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San Jose, California
I haven't been on the board for a while but came here last night because Heidi was having some major weakness in her hindquarters and having trouble walking. I thought it was just her weak hindquarters getting worse. Well, later in the evening, she collapsed in the kitchen (on the wooden floor) and then when taking her outside, she was really unsteady, wobbling, running into the walls, and having major problems walking.

Thank goodness, Debbie had loaned us Halo's Help 'Em Up harness, which was a godsend in helping her get around last night and today. Heidi also developed a head tilt and an eye twitch on her left side. After checking the Internet, I was sure it was Vestibular disease/syndrome and our vet thought the same when we took her there this morning. After checking her thoroughly, she prescribed Baytril in case it was an ear infection (which Heidi has had in the past) and Meclizine for the dizziness. The poor girl is still unable to walk on her own and isn't wanting to eat or drink. She's been sleeping a lot but when she's up, I can tell she is confused and nervous about what is happening to her.

I took her to the vet yesterday because of an eye problem (her eye has a white cloudy cast to it and the third eyelid is drooping down. The doctor said it could be an infection and gave us ointment for it. The bad eye is also on the left side, but the vet didn't think it was related.

Does anyone have any advice or tips for me? Everything I've read has reassured me that in the majority of cases like this, things should improve in around 72 hours and she should be back to normal in about 1-2 weeks, but it's still really sad and scary to see her like this. She's 13 and has been in really good health otherwise (other than the weak hindquarters).

Last edited by Karin; 11/16/18 10:52 PM.

Karin and Dave

Heidi, 13-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349343
11/17/18 12:08 AM
11/17/18 12:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 9,074
Wisconsin
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
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Wisc.Tiger_Val  Offline
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I am sorry to hear that Heidi is having problems. I can only give you human information. Meclizine is like Dramamine used to treat Vertigo and Menieres disease. It may also make her drowse. Anything that throws our old dogs off is so much harder for you and them.

Sending HUGS


Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349344
11/17/18 01:07 AM
11/17/18 01:07 AM
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middleofnowhere Offline
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I have nothing practical to offer, but I hope that she does recover soon and you have much longer with her in good health.

Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349345
11/17/18 01:25 AM
11/17/18 01:25 AM
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Massachusetts
Braverhund Offline
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Oh my Karin, Iím so sorry you and sweet Heidi are going through this. I havenít experience with this, but wished to say Iím sending positive thoughts and vibes for Heidi to recover and bounce back very soon!


Patti
Frauchen von:

Grimm van den Heuvel, "Donnerpratzen"
Smokey The TeddyLion, DLH purrbuddy

Dir gehŲrt mein Herz
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349346
11/17/18 02:25 AM
11/17/18 02:25 AM
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Mary Jane Offline
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I can only help by sending good wishes to you both. With 13 years behind her, Heidi got through a lot, I'm sure. I am really sorry to hear that she recognizes her difficulty but hope it can be dealt with.

MJ

Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Mary Jane] #349347
11/17/18 03:24 AM
11/17/18 03:24 AM
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SeanRescueMom Offline
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I am not familiar how Vertigo is treated in canines but I developed it approx. 4 years ago. The doctor(s) I have talked to do not recommend meds because it doesn't solve the problem caused by crystals/calcium build up in the inner ear. They suggested Vestibular Function Therapy but, of course, that is for humans. I'm sorry I can't be more help. I hope you are able to get to the root of the problem for Heidi and she gets some relief soon.


Sean - 1998/2014
If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart I'll stay there forever.
Carleton DOB unknown
Neely - 2003/2015
Gizmo -2008/2011
Neeko -1991/2005
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349353
11/18/18 04:35 PM
11/18/18 04:35 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,374
SF Bay Area
Cassidy's Mom Offline
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Karin, our vet gave Sneaker both an antibiotic (don't recall which one), and prednisolone as an anti-inflamatory. I think it took at least a month or two for her to be back to normal, so don't be concerned if Heidi isn't better in a week or two. Hopefully by then you'll at least see some gradual improvement.


Cava 1/6/18

Keefer 8/25/05

Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18
Flyball: ONYX, TF-III

Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08
Forever would have been too short

Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Cassidy's Mom] #349366
11/18/18 10:46 PM
11/18/18 10:46 PM
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Posts: 2,133
S
Shilohsmom Offline
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I'm so sorry to hear about Heidi having a hard time. I read a little about Vestibular syndrome and it seems to be the worst the first 24-48 hours. After that she should show some improvement which can take as long as a couple of weeks. If she's not eating or drinking she might require IV fluids for awhile.

Since she is having a hard time getting around I would bring her water bowl to her several times a day. This is what I do for Eli. I'm glad she's on meds for an ear infection as it seems that causes this in many cases.

She might enjoy a little chicken and rice.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Please let us know how she's doing.

Last edited by Shilohsmom; 11/18/18 10:47 PM.

Rosa

Proud Mom to Kody and Sasha
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh, Shoshi and Eli
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349389
11/19/18 11:04 PM
11/19/18 11:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
Old Hand
Karin  Offline OP
Old Hand

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Thank you for the comments, advice, and well wishes! Heidi is getting a little better every day. She is not stumbling around as much as she used to and doesn't fall down when she does a full body shake or turns a corner. She's definitely wobbly though and needs us to guide her. She is extra needy too and even in the deepest sleep, if I sneak out of the room to do something, she'll rush around the house trying to find me! (which is not good because she could fall or run into something). Thank goodness Dave has the week off.

Heidi is also having some stomach problems and the eye problem that I originally took her to the vet for doesn't seem to be getting better. Poor Dave has the awful task of putting ointment in her eye. She really hates it and wrinkles her nose, shows her teeth and has even snapped at him. I really don't think she would bite him, but she definitely is a bit grumpier and has less tolerance for these sort of indignities now that she's a little old lady!

In any case, I think she's going to make a full recovery. Our vet said that she may retain the head tilt, but luckily, it's not that severe. She told us that some dog's heads go perpendicular and never get back to normal!

Thank you again for all the support!

[Linked Image]


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 13-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349394
11/20/18 01:56 PM
11/20/18 01:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 9,074
Wisconsin
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
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I am glad to hear that Heidi bear is doing better. groovy party


Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val] #349395
11/20/18 03:41 PM
11/20/18 03:41 PM
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Shilohsmom Offline
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Thanks for the update. She looks amazing happyboogie

I'm so glad she's recovering well. I know what its like to give meds when they don't want to take them. Everyday Eli locks his jaws when I give him his meds. Sometimes I get bit but I know he doesn't mean to bite me, he just doesn't want to take pills anymore.


Rosa

Proud Mom to Kody and Sasha
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh, Shoshi and Eli
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349411
11/24/18 08:19 PM
11/24/18 08:19 PM
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Posts: 19,585
Northern CA
MaxaLisa Offline

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I'm glad that she is getting better. I haven't dealt with this, so have nothing really to offer. I would make a trip to the chiro, but I do that for almost everything.

If the eye isn't getting better, sounds like you don't have the right meds?


MaxaL (aka LisaT)

Jazmine, mini-mix, 10/18/2011
Max-n-Indy
Max, 5/2001-2/2012, RIP my partner, my Regal Boy
Indy, 5/1997-10/2010, RIP my friend, my teacher

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Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349442
11/28/18 01:02 AM
11/28/18 01:02 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 11,742
Albuquerque, NM
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out
Kayos  Offline

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Albuquerque, NM
Hoping she continues to get better. Glad to see you here!


Kathy

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Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349496
12/04/18 07:37 AM
12/04/18 07:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Just wanted to give everyone an update on Heidi: It's been about 2-1/2 weeks and Heidi is doing so much better than she was when she first had her attack. Sheís walking better, seems to be perkier, less stumbling/leaning, & has a good appetite. She barely has a heart tilt anymore and is back to many of her old ways. When this first happened, we thought we were going to lose her. I'm so glad that we didn't! Thanks for all the support and good wishes.

I wanted to pass along this great Facebook page called, "Vestibular disease in dogs support group." It's a really helpful page. It really is amazing how many dogs get this disease. It seems like most of them are 11 years or older. The sad thing is that a good number of dogs don't improve and either pass away or have to be euthanized, but many more survive and get back to normal again. It just takes time, patience, and loving care (and proper medical treatment).

https://www.facebook.com/groups/126232394099102/

Heidi has become even more of a velcro dog than she was before. She's never really been an affectionate dog, but lately, she wants to be near me all the time, preferably touching, and also wants me to stroke her ears all the time. It's very sweet.


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 13-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349497
12/04/18 07:47 AM
12/04/18 07:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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San Jose, California
Here she is resting at my feet, her usual place these days! wub

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 13-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349498
12/04/18 01:36 PM
12/04/18 01:36 PM
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Posts: 2,709
SeanRescueMom Offline
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So encouraging to hear the good news! thumbup She looks so content in the pics.


Sean - 1998/2014
If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart I'll stay there forever.
Carleton DOB unknown
Neely - 2003/2015
Gizmo -2008/2011
Neeko -1991/2005
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349500
12/04/18 02:04 PM
12/04/18 02:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 9,074
Wisconsin
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
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Wisc.Tiger_Val  Offline
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Karin I am so glad that Heidi Bear is doing better. She looks so content in the second picture.


Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349510
12/05/18 04:52 PM
12/05/18 04:52 PM
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Mary Jane Offline
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It's great to read this post and see improved Heidi (almost) in the flesh.

thanks,
MJ

Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Mary Jane] #349534
12/11/18 03:22 AM
12/11/18 03:22 AM
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Shilohsmom Offline
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What a wonderful update happyboogie I especially love the pictures of the lovely lady. wub I'm so glad she's made such a good recovery.


Rosa

Proud Mom to Kody and Sasha
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh, Shoshi and Eli
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!
Re: Heidi has vestibular syndrome [Re: Karin] #349630
12/18/18 05:31 PM
12/18/18 05:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
Old Hand

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Posts: 931
San Jose, California
Thank you for all the replies! I just wanted to give an update on Heidi. It'll be a month tomorrow since her vestibular attack and she is doing SO much better. She is pretty much back to normal again as far as the vestibular symptoms go.

The problem right now is that she has had diarrhea since the weekend. I kept thinking it was going away but this morning it was mostly liquid again (light brown, not black or bloody). She's been drinking a lot, still has a good appetite and seems OK, other than a bit listless.

I want to take her to the vet but I'm writing to find out what medication is safe for Heidi to take. On the Vestibular Disease Facebook page I'm on, I'm reading that what my vet will probably prescribe (Metronidazole/Flagyl) can sometimes actually cause vestibular problems. I looked online and found that Metronidazole can cause something called Metronidazole toxicosis, which can actually cause vestibular problems.

Can anyone recommend an alternative medication that I can ask for?

Here are some links that talk about Metronidazole and vestibular disease:

https://neuropetvet.com/toxicology/intracranial-dzmetronidazole-toxicity/

https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/head-tilt-in-dogs-a-clinical-approach/ :

"Metronidazole Toxicity

Metronidazole administration can cause central vestibular or cerebellar dysfunction in dogs, typically following chronic administration of doses that exceed 60 mg/kg q24h. Diagnosis is based on history and clinical signs. Treatment includes cessation of metronidazole therapy and supportive care. It has been shown that diazepam administration (0.5 mg/kg PO q8h for 3 days) significantly reduces recovery time in affected dogs."

Thanks for any recommendations!


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 13-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
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