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There’s a condition that affects old dogs called Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. The symptoms are scary. Your dog is unsteady and may even fall over. He circles in one direction. His head tilts and his eyes dart back and forth, up and down or even rotate in a circle. He won’t eat because he’s nauseous and might be vomiting.
As bad as these symptoms appear on the surface, the good news is that Idiopathic Vestibular Disease is a short term condition that improves in about a week.
Vets don’t really know what causes it. The vestibular system controls balance so when something goes array in the old dog’s vestibular system, their balance is compromised and that’s what leads to the odd behaviors listed above.
However, these symptoms are not exclusive to Idiopathic Vestibular Disease so if they don’t go away within a few weeks, then it could be something more serious. The safest route is to ask your vet to run some diagnostic tests. But don’t immediately think your old dog is suffering from some life-threatening disease. If these symptoms come on quickly it’s most likely Idiopathic Vestibular Disease.