Posts Tagged ‘circling’


Vestibular disease or Vestibular syndrome is a debilitating disease that often comes on suddenly and  produces the classic signs of head tilt, dizziness and falling to one side or the other.   The pet may hold his or her head  tilted down and circle in one direction.  The dog or cat appears dizzy and often has a hard time rising.  The disease is seen most often in dogs, cats and rabbits but can also be seen in rodents.  It occurs more frequently in older animals but can be seen at any age.     Other common signs are jerking of the eyes back  and forth (nystagmus) and vomiting.    The symptoms of vestibular disease are in fact much like sea sickness.

Vestibular disease can originate either in the inner ear or the brain stem.  If the inner ear is the problem, the condition is known as “peripheral vestibular syndrome”.   If the brain stem is the location of the disease then the condition is  known as “central vestibular disease”.    It is not easy to distinquish between the two because the inner ear can not be visualized when examining the ear with an otoscope.     Peripheral vestibular syndrome is most often the result of an inner ear infection but can also result from a polyp or tumor.   Peripheral vestibular disease  can some times be detected with x-rays but in other cases an MRI may be necessary to distinquish between the two conditions.  Central vestibular disease, on the other hand,  involves the portion of the brain stem known as the “cerebellum” and may result from an infection,  tumor, or some other inflammatory disease.

Once the origin of the problem is determined treatment maybe as easy as oral medications while other times surgery may be necessary.  Additional medication may be necessary to reduce nausea and vomiting.   Of course, if a tumor is discovered then most likely surgery will be necessary.  How quickly your pet recovers depends on the underlying cause.

A condition very similar to the above described problem is known as “Idiopathic Vestibular Disease”.   The term idiopathic means a disorder that has no known cause.    It is most commonly occurs in older dogs and cats.   Fortunately, it carries a good prognosis.

Alternative/holistic therapies that can help a pet recover more quickly from the problem include acupuncture, “Cytokine therapy”, micro-current therapy, monolaurin therapy, and homotoxicology.   For more information on holistic health care  visit


Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.   Visit us at

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties.   Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Beverly Hills, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Clarkston, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe,  Romeo,  Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint, Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio