When Deb Hipp noticed her 17-year-old dog, Toby, was having a hard time getting up, she thought he might just be having a bad day. He had experienced problems with mobility before; however, when Hipp tried to rouse him again later, she noticed Toby had a noticeable head tilt.
Alarmed, Hipp rushed Toby to the veterinary hospital. After a thorough exam, Toby’s veterinarian put Hipp’s fears to rest with a diagnosis of canine idiopathic vestibular disease, which is sometimes also referred to as “old dog disease” or “rolling dog syndrome.”
The diagnosis came with a hopeful prognosis that proved to be true: Toby fully recovered within several days.
What is vestibular disease?
The vestibular system is made up of organs and canals located within the inner ear. According to the Vestibular Disorders Association, “the vestibular organs provide the brain with vital information about body position with respect to gravity.”
The word “idiopathic” indicates that a cause has not been determined.
“Just as with some people who experience vertigo, we don’t always know what causes this condition,” said Patrick Mahaney, VMD, owner of California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, Inc. in West Hollywood,...