Vertigo in Dogs

Vertigo is a condition associated with a variety of health ailments in dogs. It is best described as dizziness without movement. Although vertigo is not a common symptom in dogs, it can be an indicator of a larger health issue and should not go ignored.

Vertigo is a condition associated with certain health ailments in dogs.
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What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo, in the most general definition, is dizziness. In humans, the condition is described as a feeling of movement when no movement is actually occurring. The condition affects dogs in the same way. Vertigo is usually a symptom of a larger disease or health problem, rather than an isolated condition.

Vertigo is dizziness.
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How to Spot Vertigo

Vertigo cases vary greatly depending on the severity. It can be severe and cause dogs to lose balance and fall. When the vertigo is severe, it can cause vomiting from the loss of equilibrium. In more mild cases, vertigo will cause the dog to walk like he is intoxicated or stumble for a few steps. Vertigo in dogs is likely to go unnoticed in mild cases, since episodes can be brief and intermittent.

Vertigo can cause your dog to stumble when he walks.
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Vertigo can have an endless variety of causes. Most often, vertigo in dogs is contributed to indigestion or liver problems. Overeating or being malnourished can result in vertigo in some cases. Hazardous chemicals or other products of the dog's environment can trigger vertigo episodes. The condition causing vertigo can be as severe as a major neurological problem, such as a tumor, and as mild as an overly tight collar reducing a dog's air supply.

Vertigo can have an endless variety of causes.
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The only way to treat vertigo is to treat the cause. This will require a visit to your veterinarian to figure out what's going on with your dog's health. Before going to the vet, take note of any changes in your dog's behavior. Monitor his food intake and write down any unusual behaviors or changes in environment. Your vet will likely ask questions about your dog's diet, exercise and past health problems—have this information handy. Once the cause of the vertigo has been determined, whether through testing or physical examination, your vet will recommend a course of action to treat the causative condition.

Treating vertigo requires you to treat the cause.
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The best way to prevent vertigo in your dog is to keep him in the best overall health you can. Make sure your dog gets adequate exercise and a properly balanced diet. Schedule regular checkups with your vet and write down any behavior that seems out of the ordinary or causes you to question if your dog is feeling right. Address these concerns with your vet at your dog's next appointment.

The best way to prevent vertigo in your dog is to keep him healthy.
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