The symptoms of vestibular disease are often so severe that they can create fear in the minds of pet owners. If your pup suffers from this problem, you know how difficult it is to care for your pooch who stumbles, leans on one side, circles, vomits, and collapses on the floor at times. When the pet’s world spins, eating becomes a difficult thing. However, proper supportive care often helps get your canine on the road to recovery.
In this guide, let us try to understand all you should know about feeding a dog with vestibular disease.
How To Feed A Dog With Vestibular Disease?
Vestibular disease is a condition affecting the brain and inner ear of a pet. A dog suffering from this disease loses its sense of balance and struggles to understand where its body lies in space. This gives it a sensation of leaning, rolling, and falling even when the body is standing still. The symptoms of the vestibular disease last anywhere from a few hours to up to 72 hours and sometimes persist longer up to a week. It is important to care for your pet during this time.
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms experienced by dogs with vestibular disease. It is common for pup owners to see them turning their heads away from food bowls during this time. They resist food and drinks as they struggle to balance and stay steady to be able to eat. However, there are some simple changes you can introduce to the routine and some effective medications that can help deal with a dog that doesn’t want to eat and drink.
Dog With Vestibular Disease Not Eating? Here’s What To Do
There are several simple tips you can try to help a dog eat and drink during an instance of vestibular disease. However, if your dog is vomiting or not in a position to hold its head upright, it is best to avoid offering food and drink. A pup can go multiple days without eating. It is advisable to wait until its situation improves than to risk vomiting and choking.
Offer support when standing
In the recovery stage of the episode, you want the pup to stand and eat. To make it comfortable, find a place where the dog can lean against while eating. Also, consider placing the food and water bowls at an increased height using a box, stand, or stool. Position it near the support and you can even support the other side with the chest and shoulder.
Make the meals more attractive
Try to make the dog’s meals appealing by adding some canned food or gravy and encourage it to eat while lying. Some dogs find it difficult to eat because of the symptoms, but the stage lasts for a few hours or days. Offer palatable food that encourages it to eat even when not feeling hungry. Make the food easy to chew by adding warm water or broth. You can also make meatballs out of canned food so you can hand feed when it is difficult to eat.
Give a good traction
Make sure your dog has a slip-free surface for standing, drinking, and eating. Avoid placing any blankets under the feet that could slide. Use rugs or yoga mats instead to provide padding and traction.
Home Treatment For Vestibular Disease In Dogs
Once your pup has been diagnosed with vestibular disease, you can use anti-nausea medicines to combat vomiting and spinning. Your pup may feel better from these medications and may feel like eating. Antihistamines like Meclizine suppress the symptoms of the disease but require a vet prescription before using them. Other effective medicines given to dogs with the vestibular disease include Maropitant and Ondansetron. These drugs can be used in tablet and injectable forms to deal with nausea and encourage the pups to eat.
Pet owners can also consider using supplements to ensure that the canine gets proper nutrition during the recovery stage. There are many products available in liquid form to be easy to feed. These supplements keep the pet hydrated and provide energy and calories. Every few hours, help the pup stand up and try to walk. Take it to the litter area and encourage it to defecate and urinate. Make sure it rests on soft, dry bedding. Most dogs improve within 48 hours though it can sometimes take longer, so the key is to be patient and do all that you can to support the pooch.
Natural Remedies For Vestibular Disease In Dogs
The onset of vestibular disease can be scary for most dog owners. While it is easy to get concerned about the worst-case scenario, most pups recover from an incidence of this disease with proper care and support. When affected by the condition, the dog feels dizzy and finds it difficult to hold the balance. You can make the situation easy by helping the pup lie down and making it comfortable. Avoid offering food for a few hours to prevent vomiting.
Give your aging dog homemade, nutritious food and the right supplements to increase its lifespan and reduce the risks of developing the vestibular disease. You can also support the dog’s long-term health and longevity by engaging either a physiotherapist, acupuncturist, massage therapist, or osteopath qualified for animals and seeing them weekly or monthly.
Can Old Dogs Recover From Vestibular Disease?
Vestibular disease is most commonly seen in senior dogs. While the exact cause of the condition is not known, old dogs can recover from it in a few days with proper care and treatment. The symptoms should be quickly reported to a vet who can prescribe medications to help with dizziness and nausea. Symptoms can last for a few days but you should watch for dehydration. If the dog gets dehydrated, it may have to get hospitalized.
You may have to support the old dog to go outside during the period to feel relieved. As the pet is traumatized, you should consider spending some time with it and comfort it in every way you can. The symptoms improve in a few days though some dogs take longer to recover. You should visit the vet in a few days to ensure everything is fine. Senior dogs can recover from the condition but need better care and regular follow-up with the vet.
It is certainly disheartening to see your beloved pooch stumbling around and denying food. However, vestibular disease is a condition that improves with medications, supportive care, and time. As a parent, only you can patiently work with your furry friend to figure out how to walk, stand, eat and drink.