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Vestibular syndrome in dogs – the most important behavior tips

Vestibularsyndrom beim Hund - die wichtigsten Verhaltenstipps

Vestibular syndrome in dogs is a far more common condition in our four-legged friends than most think. After Snowy came down with vestibular syndrome at the end of October, I have already written about the condition. In the process, I have received many messages from dog owners whose dogs were also affected and who received little information about it at the moment of the disease and also could not research much information. They felt left alone and helpless. Reason enough that I compile all the important information about the disease and also helpful tips for dealing with vestibular syndrome for affected dog owners.

The most important facts about the vestibular syndrome in dogs I have already compiled in the first article. For your dog, the situation is very unpleasant. Everything is spinning and he no longer has any orientation in space. As a result, he staggers and falls. The dog can no longer stand on its feet. It would be comparable to a person being completely intoxicated.

How to deal with vestibular syndrome in dogs

But very important for dog owners in particular is how best to deal with vestibular syndrome in the situation and how to make life easier for your dog. Therefore, I have summarized important behavior tips for you here, with which you can support your dog.

Because one thing is clear: in the acute situation, you are initially overwhelmed and agitated and it is difficult to keep a clear head. If you know how to react properly and how to support your dog well, then it makes many things easier. Especially that’s what I took away from the situation. Like first aid, I knew exactly what to do. It is close to my heart that you too feel confident in dealing with illness.

After about 1-3 days, the symptoms will slowly begin to subside, but it may take a longer time for your dog to recover. Therefore, it is important that you know how to adjust your daily routine.

What the veterinarian can do for vestibular syndrome in dogs

Your veterinarian can usefully support your dog with anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications, as well as circulation-enhancing medications. Infusion therapy may also help.

After the vet visit – how to help your dog at home

Vestibular syndrome in dogs – rest comes first

First and foremost, your dog needs rest. A lot of rest. Your dog needs a lot of sleep now. Make sure he is well bedded. Many dogs like to lie quite close to the ground in the situation, for example, on a sleeping mat. If he sleeps in the dog bed as usual, make sure it has a low entry. This will make it easier for your dog to get in and out when he becomes mobile again, but is still wobbly on his feet.

Snowy had both options to choose from: a dog mat and a dog bed.She mostly preferred her dog bed and probably felt very protected with the cozy edge around it. Please also pay attention to the quality of the sleeping place. It should have a pressure-relieving mattress, so that your dog is bedded joint-gentle and also for the necessary pressure relief is provided. Otherwise, there may be bedsores. Also make sure that the sleeping place is located so that you have your dog in view. That way, you’re there when he tries to get up and can offer support.

Due to the fact that your dog lies down a lot, it is also important that he does not cool down, due to the immobility. Check regularly if it is warm enough.

But your dog must also keep moving

Now this sounds like a contradiction: on the one hand rest is important, on the other hand keep moving. How is that supposed to work? Additionally, you should mobilize your dog with targeted movement prompts. The goal is, since older dogs are particularly affected, that they do not become immobile. Have your dog physiotherapist show you how to do this several times a day

Assisted walking – move safely

Your dog is not able to walk safely on his own. He staggers and topples over. You should avoid this, as it can cause him additional injury. Still, of course, he needs to get out to do his business and should keep moving.

In acute cases, I recommend you just take a towel to help your dog walk. You put this under his belly and hold both ends in your hands. A towel is good because it does not cut under the belly and distributes the pressure. So you have a quick solution for a walker at hand.

There are also practical carriers, usually made of neoprene, which you can order on the Internet. Of course, you don’t have them at hand at the first moment, but you can order them and just take a towel until then.

But you should use it not only to pee, but also to walk a few steps every now and then. Assisted walking is what it’s called. It helps keep your dog mobile.

So you should encourage him to walk underneath several times a day. This helps prevent his joints from getting rusty and also mobilizes the cardiovascular system.

Feeding from the hand

As already described, your dog is nauseous and everything is constantly spinning. That’s how it feels when he’s supposed to eat out of the food bowl. Hand-feeding dogs with vestibular syndrome has been shown to be effective. I would definitely recommend that to you as well.

Drink enough

Make sure your dog is drinking enough. The risk of dehydration is great. Especially when your dog vomits, he loses a lot of fluid. Also, because he lies down a lot and can’t go to the water bowl on his own, you should offer him water more often.

Anti-slip in the house

Your dog is now having a lot of trouble with every step. Every step is associated with uncertainty. You can give him a lot of relief by making sure he only moves on non-slip surfaces. Sure, you can’t just carpet the entire house or apartment. But you can temporarily line the areas where your dog usually moves around a lot with non-slip runners, for example, or yoga mats.

Avoid walking on stairs

Your dog should not climb stairs. The lack of spatial awareness means that dangerous falls are inevitable. When your dog is more mobile, you should support him with a towel or a carrier. This gives security.

Dog carry

At first you think to yourself, you just carry your dog. If possible, however, you should avoid this. It has been proven to increase the feeling of dizziness.

A tip for the night

Darkness also increases the feeling of dizziness enormously. Therefore, I recommend that you leave a light source on for your dog for the night. This allows him to rest better. And as we have learned, rest is the most important thing in vestibular syndrome.

As you can see, there are many ways to help your dog cope well in everyday life if he has vestibular syndrome. In another article, I’ll put together some more exercises you can do to support his recovery

Has your dog also had vestibular syndrome? How did you support him? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments! Do you have any questions? Then feel free to leave me a comment too!

You liked my article? Then feel free to share it with other dog lovers!

All the love,

Yours, Tina Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs Vestibular Syndrome in Dogs

Is your dog showing the signs of age? Walks are getting shorter and he often lets himself fall behind? Your dog often seems tired and exhausted – many movements are difficult. Does he often seem stiff-legged or wobbly on his feet? But you want your four-legged friend to be by your side for a long time to come, and as fit and mobile as possible. Even in old age he should be agile and with a lot of joie de vivre at your side. Here you learn to actively help him build muscle and become more flexible. For more


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