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2011/01/08 / Oliver Schmid

Canine Vestibular Disease (CVD)

Below some movie clips to show you the symptoms a dog displays if it has K9 (canine) vestibular disease. It is also known as

  • idiopathic (sudden onset for no know reason) vestibular disease
  • geriatric (old dogs) vestibular disease
  • peripheral vestibular disease

Vets refer to it also often Canine Stroke, due to the displayed symptoms. It is not a stroke (blood clod in the brain) as we know it from humans.

Causes for CVD can vary and are often unknown, but a few have been identified, like:

Most times the reason is unknown and there for makes treatment almost impossible.

WARNING!! The following movie clips may be disturbing to some viewers.

How to Treat Vestibular Disease in Old Dogs



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  1. peppersprayinfo / Sep 14 2012 09:27

    Vestibular Diease in Dogs and Cats.

    Our dog, a lab and greyhound mix, has been afflicted with this malady for the second time about 1.5 years after the first.
    The first time it was entirely debilitating and he became a quadriplegic zombie. He could not stand or drink or eat for about 24 hours. He was unresponsive and his eyes would dart back and forth continuously and unconsciously. After that period and a shot of steroids from the Vet he slowly recovered. We used a harness to hold him up to go to the bathroom. We fed him rice and broth to keep him hydrated. We stayed with him day and night to make sure he was comfortable and safe. Eventually the symptoms subsided and we got our friend back. He continued to show reduced symptoms for months.
    A few days ago he started to walk erratically and stumble a bit more than usual.
    He is 15 years old after all. Then he kind of fell into a wall which was similar to his former state, but not total. We quickly got him to the vet for a steroid shot the same day.
    He did get worse but not to the point of total collapse like before.
    We just needed to watch him more often and help him down the porch stairs as he was unsteady and fell every now and then. But he could eat, drink, and eliminate as normal with a little help to keep him upright and steady.
    He is now recovering and is back to maybe 70% normal. I can take him for short walks (10 min). I expect him to be around 90% in a week or so.
    I am also giving him a baby aspirin at the vet’s recommendation.
    He looks better every day.
    The main reason I wanted to post this is to let people know that the steroid shot, while not a cure, seems to have helped shorten and lessen the period of disability. I have not seen this mentioned before on the internet and maybe it can be useful to others where the cause of the vestibular disease is not known (idiopathic). Our vet ruled out ear infection and we have not scanned for brain lesions, but those are pretty rare, I guess.

  2. dave / Jun 9 2011 23:46

    Sounds strange, but by 13 year old lab had a sudden onset of vestibular disease about one month after his brother passed away (stress induced?). Anyways, I was eating tuna a few nights ago and I gave him some – and since his appetite has been weak, I gave him a can. He ate it like he had never eaten before. I gave him about four cans over about three days and the vestibular disease disappeared! Might be coincidence, but it would be good if anyone else could also try this and see what happens. It’s tuna in spring water.

    • Oliver Schmid / Jun 10 2011 00:14

      Hi Dave, I don’t think it was the Tuna. When my Karlee was still alive she had within 16 month 3 episodes of vestibular disease. None of them lasted more than 3 to 4 days.

      • dave / Jun 10 2011 00:20

        I would agree with you. He’s had it for about a month, and even with antivert he did not improve. I was just making an observation that perhaps someone else could try and see what the results were. I’m pretty darn sure though it’s coincidence, but thought I would share the coincidence in case someone else was at the end of treatment options. 🙂


  1. Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome | MYHEALTHCAREBLOG.NET
  2. Vestibular Disease In Dogs How Long Does It Last | Freelance Blog Writing

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