My dizzy old dog ~ By Jessie, Practice Manager

Meet Ringo (AKA Wonder Dog). He is a 14 year old Australian Cattle Dog, who has traveled the Country, mentored many a rescue pup, and is, in general, made of pure canine awesomeness.

Ringo and his head tilt

One evening a few months back, Ringo was walking down the hallway of our home and seemed to slip on the smooth floor and scramble to regain his footing. He eventually got up, seemed none the worse, and continued on his way. The next day, we were all outside and Ringo was sitting in the sun. I called all the dogs (3 and that’s another blog altogether) to come in the house, and Ringo rose, staggered sharply to his left for about 8 feet and then fell flat on his side and was unable to coordinate his body to rise without falling back over.

Welcome to Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome: sad, frightening, and unpredictable, but usually temporary and manageable.

When we talk about Old Dog Vestibular Syndrome, we can get into some very clinical data such as peripheral or central vestibular syndrome, and other neurological details, but today we are just here to talk about Ringo, and what we experienced as the family who loves him.

Once Ringo fell that afternoon, his symptoms continued to worsen for about 24 hours before he seemed to stabilize. By then he was unable to walk without falling over, was vomiting from the nausea that comes from being dizzy, had refused to eat, and had a fairly significant head tilt to the left. He went through a phase of feeling a little panicked at the loss of balance and would try to fight it by moving swiftly, only to end up falling and flailing helplessly. Even though I have seen quite a few of our canine patients suffer from this syndrome, I wasn’t fully prepared for how disturbing it would be to try and manage my own dog.

Ringo was admitted to our hospital, placed on IV fluids,  nausea medication and also received acupuncture to help with his nausea. Once he was made comfortable, we performed a thorough workup including lab work, ultrasound and an extensive physical exam. When our doctors felt confident the symptoms could be attributed to Old Dog Vestibular Disease, we decided to treat him for dehydration and nausea, keep him safe and prevent him from hurting himself (in other words, no stairs, steep inclines or uneven ground), and support his body while it rested through the syndrome. As a side note, he has always hated to be picked up or carried, but since he has never completely returned to normal (he now has a new normal), he has learned to tolerate being picked up and carried with minimal grumbling.

It is now about 4 months later. Ringo still has a slight head tilt, and his balance never returned to where it was prior to the episode. But he navigates just fine on his own, even on stairs, although he does so carefully and we avoid them when possible. His appetite is good, and in general he has a good quality of life for an old man who can’t hear or see that well.

Over the years I have told owners many times, “I know it looks dramatic, but given a chance, it usually resolves”, just hang in there”. In the future, I’ll offer the same sincere words, along with a personal story about my dizzy old dog.

For more information of this syndrome click HERE


Boarding Tips For Pets – by Kat, Kennel Manager

boarding tips for pets

Let’s face it, most pets and their people don’t get excited about a boarding stay. However, with some helpful tips you can ensure that their stay is as comfortable and stress free as possible. Who knows, maybe after a few visits a boarding stay with us can be the next best thing to home.  Continue reading “Boarding Tips For Pets – by Kat, Kennel Manager”

New Product: Synovi G4


You may have noticed a new product on our lobby shelves. We have transitioned from the S3 chews to the Synovi G4 recently. As alway we are committed to your pet’s care and have provided some common questions and answers below to let you know why we feel this change is important to your dog’s health. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding Synovi G4 let us know and we will be happy to address your concerns.

What is G4?
This is not your mother’s glucosamine! G4 is a full spectrum joint supplement that targets inflammatory responders, offers synovial support and provides antioxidants. With the addition of natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Boswellia and Tumeric, the updated formula intends to strengthen joint cartilage, function and flexibility.

How long until visible improvement?
In most cases owners have been seeing an improvement in their pet’s mobility in 7-10 days. Even if you do not see immediate change in your pet’s mobility G4 is recommended as maintenance supplement aiding in slowing down the progression of arthritis.

In what form is G4 available?
G4 will only be available in chew form. Bayer guarantees that your dog will find G4 chews palatable or you can return it for a full refund.

My dog has food allergies, is G4 hypoallergenic?
Not at this time. The chews are chicken flavored but Bayer is working on a hypoallergenic version.

Did I just hear you say rewards program?
Um, no. But, yes G4 is part of the Bayer purchase-reward program. Buy 5 containers of G4 joint supplement and the 6th is free! Let one of our awesome client care coordinators know if you would like a punch card.

Homemade Carrot Apple Treats

Cookbook - Recipes
Cookbook – Recipes

Because today is national Pet Obesity Awareness day a healthy snack is in order and these are so easy make. Diesel loves these cookies! He earns half of a homemade carrot apple treat if he does not pull on his leash during his daily walk. But you could also uses these healthy snacks as a reward or way to encourage your pet’s compliance for at home dental care as suggest by Dr. Amy Tongue. Also check out our other recipe from the OVH cookbook.  Continue reading “Homemade Carrot Apple Treats”