Vestibular Canine Syndrome

@jetred - This is not common in only Basenjis... it is common in all elder dog breeds with age... As far as the detached retina, not usually something that happens with Vestibular.. says much for having eye exams with a Vet Ophthalmologist at least every few years along with blood work up for a senior panel... I do not believe (I am not a Vet) that this is something that happens with Vestibular that I have ever seen or heard happening

last edited by tanza

Not a vet or a vet tech but if it’s vestibular that’s the inner ear it could be from water sweat or just a bug that he picked up if it continues definitely see need to see the vet

My last Basenji suffered a vestibular syndrome episode at age 13 and it was scary. I definitely thought she had suffered a stroke but my vet diagnosed it on the phone. The circling lasted for about 2 days although the head tilt stayed a bit longer. She recovered within the week and went on normally for an old gal. About six mos before we had to put her down, she passed out from extreme HBP (who knew about that?) but the wonderful emergency hospital was able to bring her back and gave her several more great months with me. Not sure if the HBP was related to the vestibular but you might want to check that with your vet.

As I already emailed Kembe privately - We had very similar symptoms in a 13 year old, round in circles, head on one side, wobbly, glazed eyes, so I called the vet out late on Saturday night. He was a locum, on weekend night duty, not our regular vet and he asked if he could try a steroid shot into a vein. He said he would come back next morning - no charge - if it didn't work. He seemed pretty confident.

We agreed. The shot was administered and the vet carried a large, heavy crate up to a spare bedroom so the patient could be kept away from the rest of the pack, in the dark and quiet.

Next morning the whole house shook as the 'patient' rattled his cage so it rocked from side to side and shouted "I want OUT !! Why am I here ? BREAKFAST is NOW !!"

So I let him out, he raced downstairs, ate his breakfast with gusto - and lived another 18 months or so. No recurrence.

This is the only case I've experienced in what is now almost 40 years of Basenjis and it was terrifying. I have subsequently had vets administer steroids to elderly dogs for various reasons with great success.

last edited by Zande

We took in a 12 year old rescue Basenji, a wonderful little chap and very good natured who fitted in easily with our little pack (another male Basenji and a female Lurcher). A few years later whilst on holiday in Wales, Fergus (our rescue) had a funny turn whilst on the beach. We took him to a local vet who diagnosed vestibular disease. We cut our holiday short and took him home and he got through it but forever more his head tilted to the left which gave him a peculiar gait and overall strange appearance, however, it didn't shorten his life and he carried on in his odd looking way to the age of 17.

Hello - I’d like to thank everyone who responded and commented about the Vestibular Canine Syndrome and their experiences. To update you - I brought Kembe to the Vet yesterday morning but due to restrictions with the Corvid-19, I could not go in with her. The vet gave her an acupuncture treatment and prescribed a Chinese Herbal medication called External Wind. I immediately noticed that Kembe’s body was not as rigid and stiff - she seemed much more calm and relaxed. We came home and she slept for about 4 hours -and was able to do her “basenji sleeping curl”. When she woke up I could see that her eyes were much more focused - and her face didn’t look disoriented and confused. She was able to stand although still a little wobbly but she didn’t fall over and was not stiffly leaning her entire body to the left. She seems to be slowly improving each day so I am now hopeful she will make a full recovery. The doctor said it could take a few weeks but he was confident that she would recover because the prognosis for this disorder is good. The comments on this forum not only provided me with information from owners previous experiences with Vestibular Syndrome but also gave me reassurance and hope. Thanks again for your helpful comments.

So happy to hear that your girl is doing better. Sending her much love from 'Senji land!

My old girl Ibis had this - just realized that after reading this thread. She was over 16, we took her to the vet to help her across the rainbow bridge. I do remember him saying there were things he could do for it, but letting her go was best.
tanzab, after reading about the light being shone in the eyes and the movement, I'VE HAD THIS TOO!
My right ear was screwed up after my car accident (big hit in the head), and I was dizzy. The treatment was the 'Esply maneuver." The rocks inside my ear got dislocated so this Esply guy figured out a maneuver that moves them back to a part of the inner ear where
they don't have any effect.
The person knew which way to turn my head based on my eyeball jumping on the side that had the problem.
I had never heard of such a thing, but so glad there was a nonsurgical way to fix it. It was kind of a complicated process of movements, so I don't think it could be done on a dog. I do remember, a few weeks after my treatments, I woke up in the morning and felt like I had to go left. Weird. They gave me some papers that kind of explained the process, so I did a couple and I was fine. Luckily, has not happened since.

We are all very happy for you, RugosaB. Its wonderful that you found this 'alternative' therapist.

Hopefully there will never be any recurrences.

If anybody's interested, there's a you tube video showing this, but the name is Epley ( I spelled it wrong earlier)

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