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Why Is My Dog Falling Down?

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Dog Loss of Balance: Common Causes and Treatments continued...

Stroke. Strokes in dogs are fairly uncommon. But they do happen. A stroke can be caused by many things, including blood clots, hemorrhage, head trauma, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and even migrating worms. Symptoms of stroke in dogs include loss of balance, head tilt, circling, falling down, and loss of vision.

Treating stroke involves managing the underlying problem and preventing additional strokes. It also includes caring for the aftereffects of a stroke.

Tumors. Brain tumors are common in older dogs. They can also happen in younger dogs, especially boxers and Boston terriers. Brain tumors can lead to a loss of balance, as well as a host of other symptoms.

The exact symptoms depend on the tumor and its location. They may include seizures, behavior changes, changes in appetite or thirst, signs of pain, head tilt, swaying, a wide stance, lack of coordination, head tremors, flicking of the eye, and pacing. Treating brain tumors may involve chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and other care.

Other Reasons for Loss of Balance in Dogs

Any process which causes inflammation of the brain -- referred to as encephalitis -- may cause a dog to lose its balance. Encephalitis can result from tick-borne diseases, fungal infections, protozoal infections, and many other causes. Other signs include fever and depression.

Your vet can help you and your pet share a long and happy life together. If you have any questions about your dog's health, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about your concerns.

WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Audrey Cook, BVM&S on June 25, 2013
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