Idiopathic Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Definition

Idiopathic vestibular disease, also called geriatric vestibular syndrome or IVD, is a non-progressive disturbance of the peripheral vestibular system in middle-aged and older dogs. The vestibular system regulates the body’s ability to orient itself in space, maintain balance, preserve posture and coordinate movement. It is intimately associated with a dog’s inner ears. What causes IVD is not known. Damage to the inner ear and abnormal production, circulation or absorption of fluid in inner ear canals have been suggested as possibilities, as have immune-mediated disorders. Affected dogs develop a sudden head tilt, jerky eye movements, dizziness, disorientation and loss of balance. They stagger, circle, collapse, vomit and are in obvious distress. The profound symptoms of this condition can incapacitate dogs and are extremely frightening. Fortunately, they usually go away within several days of their alarming appearance, although varying degrees of incoordination can continue for weeks.

Causes and Prevention of Idiopathic Vestibular Disease (IVD) in Dogs

“Idiopathic” means of unknown origin. The cause of canine IVD is not known. Lesions to the inner ear and abnormal production, circulation or absorption of fluid in the inner ear canals have been suggested as possibilities, as have immune-mediated disorders.There is no practical way to prevent canine IVD until the underlying cause is determined. Sensible steps to prevent dizziness in dogs include avoiding head trauma, ingestion of poisonous substances and overuse of certain medications, such

Symptoms of Idiopathic Vestibular Disease (IVD) in Dogs

Idiopathic vestibular disease (IVD) means that the vestibular system in a dog has gone awry for no known reason. The vestibular system is what gives people, and dogs, their balance, coordination and equilibrium. When dogs develop IVD, their equilibrium becomes disrupted suddenly, dramatically and without warning. The profound symptoms of this disorder can incapacitate the dogs and are frightening for owners, as well.Dogs with idiopathic vestibular disease suffer an extremely sudden onset of one or

Diagnosing Idiopathic Vestibular Disease (IVD) in Dogs

Dogs with symptoms of neurological deficits should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Definitive diagnosis of idiopathic vestibular disease (IVD) is usually based on ruling out other conditions that mimic its symptoms. This is called diagnosis by exclusion.Dogs with IVD often have normal blood work and urinalysis results. The veterinarian will obviously conduct a complete physical and neurological examination and take a thorough history from the dog’s owner. She will likely examine

Treating Idiopathic Vestibular Disease (IVD) in Dogs

Despite the acute onset and often profound symptoms of idiopathic vestibular disease (IVD), fortunately there are a number of management protocols that can help keep a dog calm during the typically short duration of this disorder. The goals of treating IVD are to relieve the dog’s symptoms and resolve the underlying cause of the condition, if it can be determined.During the acute phase of IVD, several different drugs are available to relieve nausea and vomiting

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