Causes of Idiopathic Vestibular Disease
“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 as neomycin and aminoglycoside antibiotics. Ear cleaners and topical ear medications should never be flushed into the ear unless the entire eardrum is known to be intact, as they can easily damage the delicate structures of the inner ear.
Most cases of idiopathic vestibular disease are managed on an outpatient basis with supportive care and have an excellent prognosis. The symptoms usually go away on their own within several days of their alarming appearance, and most dogs are back to normal within a matter of weeks.