As your dog gets older, they are more likely to pick up illnesses and complaints. While they may be just as likely to get common canine problems as when they were younger, they may also develop conditions that typically only happen in older dogs.
For example, if your dog is acting a bit oddly, then they may have a condition known as vestibular syndrome. How can you tell if your pet has this illness?
1. Balance Problems
Dogs with vestibular syndrome tend to have sudden problems with their balance. They may find it hard to stand up and to stay standing up.
Your dog may suddenly become very reluctant to get up at all if he or she is having balance issues. When they do stand up, or when you pick them up to make it stand, they may look a little dizzy. Your dog may be wobbly on their legs and may fall over from a standing position or when they try to walk.
Your dog's balance may not be so badly affected that they can't walk; however, you may notice that they are walking strangely. For example, they may walk in circles rather than straight lines. If they are circling, then they may stagger along rather than walking normally. Your dog may also walk holding his or her head down rather than up.
3. Head Tilting
Head tilting is another sign of this condition. For example, if your dog has vestibular syndrome, they may tilt their head to one side all of the time.
This may be a small or an extreme tilt. Often, the direction of the tilt is the direction a dog will fall in if they have related balance issues. They will usually lean to the side their head is drooping on.
4. Odd Eye Movements
Dogs with vestibular syndrome also often have odd and uncontrollable eye movements. For example, your dog's eyes may be moving around rapidly. These movements can be from side to side or up and down. In some cases, it may even look like your pet's eyes are going around in circles.
If you have an older dog with any of these symptoms, then call your local vet clinic for an immediate appointment. While some cases of vestibular syndrome clear up on their own, your dog may need treatment if the condition has been brought on by a different problem like an ear infection or if they may need help to manage their symptoms.