My springer is 12 years old and completely blind (eyes removed as a result of glaucoma) In the last couple of weeks she has had a couple of funny turns where she has wobbled over and seemed disorientated but then recovered and been fine. We took her to the vets who says she has a dicky ticker but that he thought it this was far more likely to be vestibular syndrome. Today she has been much worse. Titling her head, walking around as though she is drunk, occasionally falling over. Took her to the vets this morning and he said he is now 100% sure it is vestibular syndrome - although it could also be being caused by a tumour or infection (he has given her antibiotics just in case). Thing is though, he suggested that normally they have a really sudden onset and just collapse, unable to walk or anything. Suggesting that this is just a minor build up and she is quite likely to have a more serious episode soon. He has given her some medication to improve blood flow to brain to try and prevent that. She has not done that, just very wobbly and disorientated. I'm just looking for some positive stories really. Could this just be a slightly less serious onset and she could gradually just recover from this without ever getting worse? Hate to see her so confused, particularly when she can't see either. Anyone with any practical experience/ advice? She is the most remarkably stoic, brave and loyal dog anyone could wish for and we want to do the best by her.
My springer had this at about 12/13 years old, it was a relatively mild episode (similar to what you describe ) and she was given some medication although I can't remember what. She recovered and had another mild episode about a month later, lasted a couple of days and then never happened again. She lived until she was over 14 and died in her sleep.
Our old dog had this a few times between the ages of 12 and 16. It was really scary at the time and as he got older he was left a little more wobbly each time but he did make a really good recovery even from the serious attacks.When he was around 15 he had some physio sessions for his stiff joints and that really helped with the resulting tenseness around his neck and the head tilt.
I would think the total blindness would make it harder for her to "re-balance" but I would give her a bit of wait and see time. Fingers crossed - she sounds lovely.
Thanks so much for your replies. She is doing brilliantly. Is much better and has gone for a short walk today. Bit wobbly but being a trooper as always. Really hoping this is not a precursor to something bigger, sounds perfectly possible that it isn't from your replies. Thanks again.
Ahh that sounds great! Even if she does have a more serious attack don't panic! After one or two of his our dog could barely walk at all without keeling over for a couple of days, but did slowly recover. He just seemed totally bemused by the whole thing. If she is being sick with it the vet should be able to give her some anti-sickness meds, but time really is the great healer. We used a rolled up towel to support our dogs back end and very short lead when he was at his wobbliest. I think the flickery eye thing is what makes it almost certain it is vestibular. You'll be able to see the attack is finishing when she stops doing that - then she just needs to relearn her balance. Good luck!