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Drunk Dog?

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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Ramsay, MT
Well, not really, but my wife and were awakened this morning to one of our dogs standing up, shaking his head and falling over. Never seen anything like this, but we got out of bed to see about him and he couldn't take more than 4 or 5 steps before stumbling and falling. He's old, about 15, and deaf, but he's always been very agile and relatively active, border collie-x. He doesn't appear to be in any pain, not panting, whining, yelping, or any of thing of that sort. And he seems to be pretty alert.

The only symptom we can tell is he stumbles and staggers around. It's gotten better the long he's been awake, but still obviously unbalanced, staggers like he's drunk. Seems like every so often he shakes his head (not inordinately so) but loses his balance and hits the deck every time.

Ever see something like this?
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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border collies have the MDR1 gene and not as tolerant to some things, your pup could have gotten in to something. It could be neurological. I would be taking your pup to a 24/7 vet.
 

Brian in Montana

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Ramsay, MT
Seems to be getting better rather than worse, so at this point the plan is we're just going to keep an eye on him today. Somebody will stay with him all day and if he takes a downturn we'll get him over to the animal hospital in Bozeman. Otherwise, we'll get him in to see our usual vet tomorrow morning. I've got a feeling it's an inner ear thing, but it is pretty tough to say.
 

Westxhunter

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Apr 26, 2020
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Me and my dog would have a beer now and then, when they are older, a bit of beer helps with the arthritis....My friends dog accidentally got drunk on a beer that was dropped and she liked the taste. Yes it happens lol. side note, they I had three that lived to 17. Not hunting, but little dogs.
 
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MITCHMO

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May 19, 2016
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560
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Lake Michigan
My dog did the same thing. She was old and deaf as well. It’s something that old dogs get and the vet can give them pills to help but not fix. It usually goes away sometimes but. An come back. Ours did not. But our dog only made it another 6 months or so. It also happened to my brothers dog when she got old. I’ll see if I can figure out what it’s called.
 

MITCHMO

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May 19, 2016
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Lake Michigan
I asked my wife what the vet called it and she said “old dog vertigo”. Gee thanks honey, super helpful.

So I’m sure there’s a technical name for it but I’m not sure what it is.
 

Cheesehead

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Dec 6, 2017
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Had that with a lab and it was deemed an ear issue. Used droplets from the vet and the behavior ceased. Good luck with the pooch
 

shannerdrake

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Feb 14, 2017
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392
Location
Indiana
Had the same issue with my old lab, it was vertigo and cleared up in a couple days.

This reminded me of another issue. That same dog had progressive paralysis and first started losing use of his front paws, then his back and eventually both legs. I was carrying a 110lb dog outside for potty breaks. I took him to one vet who advised we put him down and assumed he had had a stroke. Took him to another vet and who had interned in college in the south in "coon dog country" and said she thought that he had "coon dog paralysis" which is a temporary condition brought on from a raccoon bite. That night, I checked our apple tree on a hunch and there was an aggressive boar coon up in the tree eating apples.

Long story short, it worked it's coarse over about a month. He steadily got worse for two weeks and then steadily got better for the next two. I share this story anytime I hear of a dog owner dealing with neurological issues.
 

Brian in Montana

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Jan 20, 2017
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Location
Ramsay, MT
I believe they called it "Vestibular Disease", but basically it is old dog vertigo, the way it was explained. Poor old Charlie was in very bad shape yesterday morning, but he got some IV fluids, nausea meds, and a couple of things. He definitely seemed more like himself this morning. Still staggering around, but wagging his tail a little, and he's eating.

Bad thing though, he had pancreatitis a few months back and the vet said that's returned. So anyway, special diet again for a while along with some anti nausea meds for the vertigo. I'm afraid he is about on his last leg. Kinda sad. My oldest daughter was only about 2 when we got him, she's 15 now. None of our kids can remember a time when he wasn't around. Going to be very hard when he finally gives up the ghost.
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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I believe they called it "Vestibular Disease", but basically it is old dog vertigo, the way it was explained. Poor old Charlie was in very bad shape yesterday morning, but he got some IV fluids, nausea meds, and a couple of things. He definitely seemed more like himself this morning. Still staggering around, but wagging his tail a little, and he's eating.

Bad thing though, he had pancreatitis a few months back and the vet said that's returned. So anyway, special diet again for a while along with some anti nausea meds for the vertigo. I'm afraid he is about on his last leg. Kinda sad. My oldest daughter was only about 2 when we got him, she's 15 now. None of our kids can remember a time when he wasn't around. Going to be very hard when he finally gives up the ghost.
Thanks for the update. I hope your pup recovers quickly.
 
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AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
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1,360
Location
interior Alaska
My vet keeps a couple fifths of everclear at his clinic.
He used to use it for dogs that have injested anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) before Antizol was on the market.
Everclear was given intravenously. If within the first 6 hours after ingestion and BEFORE kidney failure develops, it can prevent the development of kidney failure in dogs. The downside is a hungover dog.
 
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