Neurological Symptom: Vertigo

Vertigo is the sensation of loss of balance. In humans, it may cause feelings of dizziness or falling. Animals cannot describe the sensation of vertigo, but their behavior indicates a disorienting, discomfiting experience.

dog cat vertigoIf your pet is suffering from balance issues, it may be an indication of neurological dysfunction. The Animal Neurology & Imaging Center (The ANIC) can help determine the cause of your pet’s vertigo and may have the advanced neurological treatment needed to remedy it.

How to Recognize Vertigo in Pets

Signs that your pet may be experiencing vertigo include:

  • Stumbling
  • Head tilt or turn (one ear may be higher than the other or your pet’s head may be turned to the left or right)
  • Circling
  • Inability or unwillingness to stand (your pet may roll instead of walk)

Pets with vertigo may prefer to stay in one place to minimize dizziness and disorientation. As a result, you may notice your dog or cat seems sedentary but not lethargic.

Possible Causes of Vertigo

Vertigo may be caused by neurological dysfunction or a neurological event, such as:

Vertigo may also be caused by an ear infection or ear disease.

Help for Your Pet with Vertigo

Vertigo by itself is not a life-threatening condition. However, the underlying condition causing vertigo may pose a serious health risk to your dog or cat. And any time spent suffering vertigo can diminish your pet’s quality of life.

The ANIC can help your pet get the treatment they need for vertigo. We perform neurological exams and advanced imaging tests (as needed) to determine if vertigo is a neurological symptom. If so, by identifying the cause, we can determine an effective treatment plan. If vertigo is the symptom of an ear issue, we can refer you to your regular veterinarian or another veterinary specialist for treatment.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. We can often accommodate same-day appointments, even for non-emergency cases.

Vertigo may be the symptom of a neurological disorder. If your pet exhibits signs of dizziness, contact us to schedule a neurological exam.

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