er eyes.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Thank you for your question.

The odd rapid movement of her eyes is called nystagmus and is usually referred to a problem of the vestibular system. This is a body system in charge of controlling the balance and spatial orientation.

Diseases affecting this system can be peripheral (outside central nervous system) or central (originates inside the central nervous system).

A vestibular disease can result in signs such as loss of balance, head tilting, circling, staggering and nystagmus.

The peripheral form of the disease is much common than the central one.

Among peripheral causes idiopathic (means without any underlying identified cause) peripheral vestibular is by far the most commonly seen in general practice. Usually the improvement in idiopathic form is quick and sometimes the signs disappear completely after few days.

Most cases improve quickly with supportive care and treatment.

I would recommend to take her to your veterinarian for a consultation if she does not improve in the next 12hours. Your veterinarian will then understand if the vestibular disease is likely, if it is peripheral or central and will give most appropriate treatment.

Regards,

Dr. Orioles

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Degenerative myelopathy is a condition that affects the nerves in the lower spine. It causes weakness, gradual paralysis of the hind legs, incontinence, and can sometimes even affect the front legs. Most dogs with degenerative myelopathy develop symptoms at around nine years old.
In addition to being less active, many dogs at this age begin to develop digestive issues, kidney problems and other conditions that can benefit from diet modification. Only your veterinarian can accurately assess your dog`s needs.
Potential causes include inner/middle ear infections, intoxication, strokes, tumors, infectious or inflammatory diseases (meningitis), idiopathic vestibular disease (also called “old dog” vestibular syndrome), or other less likely causes.
A spinal stroke results in a rapid onset of clinical signs—usually weakness or paralysis in one or both hind legs, although front legs also can be affected. Depending on where the FCE occurs, one side of the body may be affected more than the other.
There are foods available, such as Hill`s® Prescription Diet® b/d® and Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets NC NeuroCare™, that have been shown to help cognitive function in older dogs, which may be the best choice for your dog.
Dogs who have hip dysplasia may sway back and forth when they walk. They may also have a bunny-hopping gait or may stand flat on their back feet. All of these potential gait issues are related to the pain they feel when they suffer from hip dysplasia.
Age is just a number, but distance isn`t.

Your older dog may begin to struggle with longer walks. The key is to make your walks shorter, but more frequent. That way, your four-legged friend is still getting regular exercise, but you aren`t tiring them out all in one go.

The average lifespan for medium-sized dog breeds is 10 to 13 years, with some breeds living even longer.
Even if your dog is considered senior, you`ll still want to give them at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Because of their age, exercise might need to become shorter but it`s still necessary to make sure they`re getting the required stimulation. Choose low-impact activities. Go on walks, not runs.
My dog is acting drunk and wobbly suddenly – what should I do? It is called ataxia if your dog is suddenly off balance and walking around as though he`s had one too many cocktails. Ataxia is the medical term used to describe an uncoordinated gait in dogs.
Vestibular disease is the main reason why an older dog may experience a sudden loss of balance and an inability to stand or walk normally.
In the case of a stroke, your pet`s brain sends incorrect signals to their body. For example, your pet may not be able to respond to your spoken directions. Instead, he may move in a directionless fashion and seem to be walking in circles. He may appear as though he is drunk and be unable to walk in a straight line.
Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
There are a number of specific physical tests that can be carried out to evaluate the functioning of the various components of the nervous system. These include tests of various reflexes, muscle function and control, and posture and gait. Laboratory tests are often needed to diagnose the specific problem.
Dogs that have hip dysplasia will sit on the side with the affected leg extended to the side, instead of sitting square with both legs tucked under hips. Additionally, dogs with bad hips might also have trouble sitting normally and they usually just flop to the floor like they are very tired.
Weakness in back legs of dogs can be caused by a variety of things, including myasthenia gravis, heart problems, anemia, hypothyroidism, and Addison`s disease.
Hip dysplasia can occur in any breed, although it is more common in larger dogs. Dog breeds prone to hip dysplasia include bulldogs, golden retrievers, Great Danes, Labradors, mastiffs, pugs, rottweilers, and St. Bernards. Because canine hip dysplasia is hereditary, there is no cure.
Breeds at risk

Any breed of dog can develop hip dysplasia but it is much more common in medium to large breed pedigrees including Labradors, German Shepherds, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Newfoundland.

Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and duck are all great options—though remember to always remove bones first, as feeding cooked bones can pose a serious risk to your dog.
Hip dysplasia should not shorten your dog`s life at all. As long as it receives treatment and is well taken care of at home, any dog with the condition should go on to lead a full and active life. Problems only occur if the dog eats too much or discomfort prevents them from exercising enough to keep their weight down.
Pain, joint looseness, lameness, and loss of muscle mass are also possible. If you suspect that your dog is showing signs of canine hip dysplasia, the first step is to consult with a veterinarian.
Take a new approach to exercise

“In fact,” she says, “I would encourage shorter, but more frequent, exercises over a long exercise duration for most senior dogs—for example, a 10-15-minute walk in the morning, a 10-minute walk in the afternoon, and a 20-30-minute walk in the evening.

Just like senior citizens need more sleep, an older dog sleeps a lot when compared to their younger counterparts. On the higher end of the scale, a senior dog can sleep up to 18-20 hours a day, says Dr. Rossman. She estimates that the lower end is probably around 14-15 hours per day.
In all sizes, mixed-breed dogs have an average lifespan of 14.45 years while purebred dogs have 14.14 years. “Larger dogs can live from 7 to 10 years while smaller dogs can live from 13 to 16 years. bigger dogs tend to age faster than smaller ones.”

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I have a 13 year old pointer mix, after a 2 mile walk she had difficulty standing up on her back legs, and also this odd rapid movement of her eyes.
ANSWER : A. Thank you for your question.

The odd rapid movement of her eyes is called nystagmus and is usually referred to a problem of the vestibular system. This is a body system in charge of controlling the balance and spatial orientation.

Diseases affecting this system can be peripheral (outside central nervous system) or central (originates inside the central nervous system).

A vestibular disease can result in signs such as loss of balance, head tilting, circling, staggering and nystagmus.

The peripheral form of the disease is much common than the central one.

Among peripheral causes idiopathic (means without any underlying identified cause) peripheral vestibular is by far the most commonly seen in general practice. Usually the improvement in idiopathic form is quick and sometimes the signs disappear completely after few days.

Most cases improve quickly with supportive care and treatment.

I would recommend to take her to your veterinarian for a consultation if she does not improve in the next 12hours. Your veterinarian will then understand if the vestibular disease is likely, if it is peripheral or central and will give most appropriate treatment.

Regards,

Dr. Orioles

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. My dog has a hard time walking on his front legs. I was told he has nerve damage and he was walking on three legs now it seems to be both front legs
ANSWER : A. Problems with walking in the front legs can be caused by a large number of things. Arthritis in older dogs can cause joint pain and stiffness which may make walking hard. Nerve or muscular damage may also cause problems.

With nerve or muscle damage there is often a loss of muscle tone in the affected limbs. Limbs may look skinnier than unaffected ones, and may lose overall muscle mass. In some cases, treatment for pain or soreness may help improve symptoms some. Depending on the severity of the damage, some dogs may recover while others have permanent damage.

It may also be that if your dog was putting all his weight on one front leg to help the other, that the good front leg is now stiff and sore. Restricting exercise, giving a supplement to help joints and bones and following your veterinarian’s recommendations for care can all help your dog to feel a little better.

Q. Weak, discharge from eyes, swelling on right eye, does not want to open eyes. What is wrong?
ANSWER : A. If the discharge from the eye is green or yellow in color, it can indicate a secondary infection. Swollen eyes can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies to infections, to injury to the eye itself or surrounding areas.

It is best to have your pet’s eye examined by your local vet. They will most likely wish to place a stain in the eye that can check for damage such as cuts or scratches. An ointment can then be given to help reduce inflammation, pain and take care of infection.

Until you can get to the vet, be sure to not let your pet scratch or paw at their eye as this can make things worse. You can also use a warm wet washcloth to gently remove any debris and allow the eye to open some, providing relief. However, if symptoms worsen, or the swelling travels to the face, head or neck, it may indicate a serious allergic reaction which should be treated immediately.

Q. Does an indoor cat need to be vaccinated every year?
ANSWER : A. In practice, I recommend a feline combo vaccine every year, but will generally start administering every 3 years once they have had their kitten vaccines and 2 additional yearly vaccines. Rabies, is required yearly by law, and if kept up to date can be good for up to three years also. Based on the age of your cat I would give a yearly feline combo and rabies, and then boost the combo again next year.

Q. Hello, golden retriever who is 7 years old; her 2 front legs are giving up on her, she cant do stairs/walking and she slips when she trys.
ANSWER : A. It is possible that arthritis, or even a nerve or joint issue in the front limbs is causing them to weaken and be hard to walk on. It is best to schedule a checkup with your vet to look for any more serious causes to the issue which may be treatable. Supplementation with a joint supplement may also help relieve any pain or swelling that may weaken the legs or make them harder to walk on. Until you can get to the vet, you may want to place a towel gently under your dog’s chest to use as a sling when taking her out to the bathroom to make walking easier and preventing slipping and injury to the body when going in and out. Moving her objects such as food and water downstairs along with bedding and toys may also help to decrease the amount of stairs she needs to climb to get to these objects.

Read Full Q/A … : Causes of Limping in Dogs

Q. What can be given to dogs to stop the brown draining around dogs eyes? I was told tetracycline would work.
Thanks
ANSWER : A. Eye leakage is normal in some breeds of dogs, especially those that are more “bug-eyed” types. This eye leakage is just normal tears coming from the eye which can stain lighter colored coats. Unless there is an infection it does not need to be treated with antibiotics. Signs of infection usually include drainage that is thick or goopy and is yellow or greenish in color. Dogs with infections may also want to keep the eye closed, or may paw and scratch at it.

For plain tear-staining. Tear-stain wipes can be used around the eyes to remove the stain and bring the coat back to natural color. If infection is suspected, it is best to have your vet take a look at the eye prior to placing any medications in it.

Q. I have a 13 1/2 year old Shih Tzu. How old is he in dog years?
ANSWER : A. It’s used to be that dog years were 7 years to every 1. Now it normally around 5 years to every year as long as your dog is healthy and kept up with vaccines. So he’s about 68ish in dog years.

Read Full Q/A … : Shih Tzu Age