My dog keeps going around in circles.

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Barked: Fri May 18, '07 1:58am PST 
I own a 15 yr old Jack Russel who is now completly blind,has only a few teeth left and know he is walking around in a circle always to the right.The vet says he has a nurological problem,she said it might be a form of dementia.
She has suggested that he can be put on a drug called Anapril. I will need to talk to her some more about this. Has anyone heard of this medicine and does it have mild or strong side reactions?

spotted me- didn't you?
Barked: Fri May 18, '07 2:38am PST 
There is new technology to help us keep our pets alive for a long time. The key to remember is, are we keeping the pet alive for their sake or for ours? Sooner or later we must all go to the happy hunting ground. I knew a man that had a dog that he had brought over from Germany when he was stationed there. The dog could not help but go around in circles. He made the decision to do whatever was necessary to keep the dog alive. It became painful for the man because the dog had to be confined to keep him from falling down. I have always thought that if a pet appeared to be happy then by all means do whatever is affordable and necessary. Your dog would not want you to be emotionally stressed by watching him go slowly downhill mentally or physically. I truely feel your pain and wish your dog the best!!

spotted me- didn't you?
Barked: Fri May 18, '07 2:39am PST 

Edited by author Fri May 18, '07 2:43am PST


Rudy- 1994-2008

rub the butt- please.
Barked: Fri May 18, '07 3:42am PST 
whoa - back the truck up there...things may not be too far gone.

You shoudl get your dog to a vet as it sounds as if he might have vestibular disease:

from this site:
"This syndrome is not a life threatening condition, nor should it even be called old dog vestibular syndrome because young dogs have also contracted it. However, in most cases old dogs are seen by veterinarians with this condition more often.

Time is a major factor in old dog vestibular syndrome. Recovery time depends on the afflicted dog. Eventually the animal teaches itself to compensate and overcome old dog vestibular. Rest and quiet are required during this recovery time, and it’s important to keep the dog in a well lighted room. If possible, avoid carrying the dog, or, if this is unavoidable, lift the dog slowly and smoothly and hold the pads of it’s feet while airborne. Lifting and moving it through the air disrupts the dog’s sense of orientation. Keeping the dog’s feet firmly on the ground with it’s eyes on the horizon helps regain it’s balance. This condition is sometimes misdiagnosed and dogs who could have recovered have been euthanized because the condition appears so severe. It is important to note that there are no warning signs, which may lead to the conclusion that it is a stroke. Fortunately most dogs will be spared this affliction. However, if your dog does contract this disease, it is comforting to know that it is not fatal and recovery is merely a matter of patience and tender loving care. Please note that a serious inner/middle ear infection—which can occur without the customary smelly ear—has the same severe and frightening symptoms. An infection can usually be cured with antibiotics and the dogs have a complete recovery. Drugs that might be used to treat old dog vestibular syndrome include Cholodin Tabs and Winstrol V. As always, check with your vet."

My dog daycare lady's eldest dog resently had troubel with this and is slowly getting better.
This is not to say that all caes will improve, but your vet shoudl be able to tell you about your options, if this is indeed the trouble.

Good luck!

You wanna piece- of me?
Barked: Fri May 18, '07 9:34am PST 
Your poor dog!

Blindness can cause circling because dogs try to orient themselves and create a mental map of where they are.

I'm not trying to worry or upset you but there are other reasons for this behavior:

Blindness and circling can also be a sign of brain issues such as a lesion, toxicity either from a toxic substance or organ disorders such as liver disease, vestibular disease, parasitic infections.

Vets are usually really good at recognizing vestibular disease, so did your vet talk to you about this or say that it's been ruled out?

If so, unless you want to get MRIs and other tests to determine the cause, Anipryl is a good first step. Side effects are increased thirst (and increase urination), pacing, panting, upset stomach. Most dogs do fine on it. It can take a few weeks to really see improvement.

If your dog starts having seizures or rapidly declines in quality of life issues (eating, being able to walk, incontinence, responding to you), then it's clearly a brain issue and not getting better.

I really hope the Anipryl helps! Please keep in touch and let us know how Scotty is doing!