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Q. I have a 15 yr old dog he goes down then in a few minutes he is up going again spells are getting more often

Answered By
JESSICA L DESROSIERS

A. If your dog is stumbling or falling over, it may indicate either a weakness in the legs (such as a nerve, joint or muscular issue) or a possible neurologic problem. If the falling spells are happening more often, it is best to seek out a senior wellness exam with your veterinarian to check for any issues that may be causing it. If he falls over or becomes unconscious, has other signs of neurologic issues such as circling, head tilt, confusion, etc, or is unable to walk, then seeking veterinary care sooner is best.

Answered By
DR. CHRISTIE LONG, D.V.M., C.V.A.

A. I would second the idea that your dog needs to see a vet, but I would add that what you are describing could be "syncopal" episodes, or fainting spells secondary to heart disease. Dogs with advanced heart disease often have trouble getting enough oxygenated blood out to their limbs, so they'll appear to have a fainting spell - it's very common to see when they become excited, as the demand for blood and the heart rate increases. There are medications that can improve cardiac output and help with this problem, but your dog's condition needs to be assessed overall, a prognosis determined, and a treatment plan initiated.


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