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We have a 12 1/2 year old Male golden rescue. We have had him for 8 1/2 years and he has been relatively healthy most of his life. He takes normal medication for his thyroid and some arthritis medicine as well.

He goes the vet regularly and has blood work done a couple times a year. He eats Fromm and a mixture of rice/green beans/chicken for his meals with fish oil and glucosamine.

I came home for lunch as I do daily and checked on him and let him out to go pee and no issues at all ( this was around 11am Friday). He was normal and active and had no issues and he ate and peed and pooped after breakfast.

About 30 minutes into my lunch he started to get what I would call baby giraffe legs and had trouble standing and looked completely lost/disoriented. I thought it was a seizure and immediately tried to get him to stay on our carpet and lay down and keep him safe. He stopped and was able to get up and lay by our fireplace ( on the tile he enjoys). He then got up about 10 minutes later ( he was restless the whole time) and came into the kitchen where I was and laid down for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes he started to have his standing/walking issues and tried to go outside. I feared he might be dying and trying to find somewhere to lay down and die. I called our vet immediately and she had me bring him in. He threw up in the car and was nervous.

We got him into the vets office and he appeared to have steadier and calmer breathing etc. The vet immediately came in and diagnosed it at Vestibular.

She gave him an anti-biotic shot, stuff for nausea, and told us to monitor him.

Yesterday he couldn't stand or get around without my assistance and I carried him outside every 4 hours to use the bathroom and to get him up. I laid on the floor next to him last night and miraculously at 6am he was standing on his own and woke me up.

Today he can stand on his own ( still a bit shaky and unsure of himself) and he can walk short distances outside on his own. I have been letting him rest as much as possible today.

Is this normal or should I expect setbacks with this? IS there anything to monitor to make sure it doesn't happen again?
 

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Hopefully it will resolve in 3-4 weeks. It will be on & off and hopefully with time he will get back to himself. Since he will have nausea&vertigo problems, he may not drink & eat normally. Which of course first of all dehydration and loss of electrolytes. If the situation worsens, always recommended to treat him at the vet.And for this period, prepare him snacks that he loves most. He will have less appetit. Keep strong big boy. You are panicked at the moment but it will be all Ok. Thank you for rescuing and being next to him. Big big hug to him
 

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Hopefully it will resolve in 3-4 weeks. It will be on & off and hopefully with time he will get back to himself. Since he will have nausea&vertigo problems, he may not drink & eat normally. Which of course first of all dehydration and loss of electrolytes. If the situation worsens, always recommended to treat him at the vet.And for this period, prepare him snacks that he loves most. He will have less appetit. Keep strong big boy. You are panicked at the moment but it will be all Ok. Thank you for rescuing and being next to him. Big big hug to him

thank you!


He is actually drinking and eating identical to how he was before the issue. His appetite and water intake are both extremely strong and haven't changed. I'm hoping he is the exception to the rule?


How should I monitor him while at work? Kennel him until I come home for lunch?
 

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I am not sure if you should kennel him. I would suggest to place him to an area /room which is covered with wall to wall carpets so that he does not slip if he looses balance. Since he is old we wouldn't like him to hurt himself and deal with another health issues. And caged dogs have more difficulty to vomit if they are confined and he will feel frustrated.
I am very happy that he drinks and eats as before which is a very quick advancement:)))
 

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thanks!
It couldn't have happened at a better time wise... I was able to stay home the rest of Friday and spend all weekend with him. My family is in from out of town and one of them will stay with him for part of monday as well. That helps for sure!
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your sweet boy. There are some threads that have information which may be of help.

This one has a description of things that I did when my girl Merry had Vestibular Disease
https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-health-anatomy-physiology-breed-standard/474010-total-inability-stand-w-vestibular-disease.html

Put Vestibular Disease in the search box in the banner at the top right to see other threads.

Sending love and hugs



Thanks!


Well Mack is going back to the vet tomorrow. It seems some of his symptoms have returned.


He has the head tilt and loss of balance sometimes and general lack of unsureness of himself.


I will update if there is anything new to report.
 

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How did yours turn out with everything? My 13.5 yo lab Sunday night started this. And I kept saying, “Oh gosh. You look like a drunk sailor” and she was splaying too like a baby giraffe. And if she leans too far to the left she’ll start to fall over. She had nausea and won’t touch her kibble since Monday. Had a few bites then on Monday night. From what I understand they may not feel like eating? She’s drinking more than she normally drinks though, which I guess is good so she does dehydrate. She’s on Cerenia for nausea and she’ll eat some hand feed eggs/bananas/chicken. But again no kibble. She does ear infections in both ears, so we are treating that too. I keep thinking of what my vet told me last year w/ my golden when she had cancer, “When they stop eating their food and only the good stuff we worry.” But the vet who saw her didn’t seem to phased by the fact she’s not eating.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How did yours turn out with everything? My 13.5 yo lab Sunday night started this. And I kept saying, “Oh gosh. You look like a drunk sailor” and she was splaying too like a baby giraffe. And if she leans too far to the left she’ll start to fall over. She had nausea and won’t touch her kibble since Monday. Had a few bites then on Monday night. From what I understand they may not feel like eating? She’s drinking more than she normally drinks though, which I guess is good so she does dehydrate. She’s on Cerenia for nausea and she’ll eat some hand feed eggs/bananas/chicken. But again no kibble. She does ear infections in both ears, so we are treating that too. I keep thinking of what my vet told me last year w/ my golden when she had cancer, “When they stop eating their food and only the good stuff we worry.” But the vet who saw her didn’t seem to phased by the fact she’s not eating.

Well he tries to act the same, but his balance isn't anywhere like it was.


He still eats like normal, drinks a little less water, but loves his treats. He gets short walks every once in a while.


I think he will have the head tilt and slight uneasy balance for the rest of his life.


When he went back, he got more antibiotics and that seemed to help a bit.


Good luck with your golden! hopefully antibiotics help her as well!
 

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Well he tries to act the same, but his balance isn't anywhere like it was.


He still eats like normal, drinks a little less water, but loves his treats. He gets short walks every once in a while.


I think he will have the head tilt and slight uneasy balance for the rest of his life.


When he went back, he got more antibiotics and that seemed to help a bit.


Good luck with your golden! hopefully antibiotics help her as well!

Thanks. It’s been about a week. Head tilt is pretty good. Balance generally good. She almost took my arm off two evenings ago to run towards rabbits. Labs and rabbits lol. She’s still iffy on the kibble. I slipped it in the other day and she ate it. Then I did it again and she wouldn’t touch it. However, I bought “packaged” cheese instead of $6 a pound deli cheese and she won’t eat anything with the packaged cheese. It’s been a mixture of eggs, bread, meat protein and cheese. Did some chicken and rice and now she snubs her nose at that. I’ve been giving her freeze dried raw mix ins and she takes those. I’ve decided I’ll probably have the first dog to go back to the vet next week for vestibular syndrome who will have gained 3 pounds. We are also dealing with the double ear infections and a cyst that burst and got infected, so I’m learning what it’s like to have a senior dog! Lol. Aka busy. Leaving her w/ my dad for three nights because I’m taking my golden to a specialty show this week.
 
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