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Dog walking in circles

Species: Dog
Breed: american spitz
Age: 11-15 years
my mother in laws dog just started acting real sick today he cant stand up or when he does stand he just falls to the ground, he is walking sideways hes breathing really fast and is very weak do you know what this could be hes also walking around in circles


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear it sounds like Reno is having some problems.

There are a few things that can cause symptoms like this. I am wondering though if he may have something called geriatric vestibular disease. The good news is that if this is what he has, then most dogs will recover. It may take a few days to a few weeks for him to totally recover.

We don't know why dogs get vestibular syndrome. It is similar to a stroke but usually not as devastating.

Some dogs can have these symptoms because of a brain tumor as well which would not be as good. It's also possible that he has an abdominal tumor such as a spleen tumor that has ruptured and is bleeding into his abdomen. If this is the case then the sudden blood loss from the circulation can cause extreme wobbliness.

However, the walking in circles is very typical of vestibular syndrome. It is a good idea to have your vet take a look to see if there is something they can do to help. Many dogs with vestibular syndrome will be nauseous so your vet can prescribe an anti-nausea medication for you.

I hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.