Just now everything was in order, but suddenly the dog lost its balance, fell on its side, or began to turn its head spontaneously. This situation will scare anyone. What could this be connected with and what should the owner do?
Causes of impaired coordination of movement
If your dog’s gait changes or the dog falls suddenly, examine it first. Perhaps the dog cut or twisted its paw? Or is it neglected arthritis?
Loss of coordination and loss of consciousness can be a symptom of severe anemia, infection, heat or sunstroke, poisoning, or severe helminth infestation. Perhaps the body is severely weakened after a serious illness, surgery, due to a lack of vitamins or severe stress. In all of these cases, the pet tends to have other symptoms as well – and you can guess what is happening to the dog.
It is normal for the dog to become uncoordinated while recovering from anesthesia or recovering from surgery. Set up a sleeping place on the floor to keep your dog safe. Avoid climbing onto sofas, armchairs, or other high surfaces to prevent the dog from falling off.
But what if a second ago the dog felt normal – and suddenly lost orientation in space and fell on its side? What if the symptom goes away on its own and then recurs? Most likely, we are talking about a disease of the vestibular apparatus or the central nervous system. You may have experienced otitis media, a common cause of poor coordination. And perhaps the reason is in vascular or infectious diseases of the brain, inflammatory diseases of the nervous system, or neoplasms.
Loss of coordination is a serious symptom that cannot be ignored. Contact a specialist immediately! He will examine the dog, conduct an examination, take tests and find out the exact cause of the disease. Further treatment will depend on the diagnosis.
Impaired coordination of movements in dogs
What is ataxia?
A condition where the coordination of movements of various muscles is impaired in the absence of muscle weakness is called ataxia. A common motor disorder.
Animals with ataxia make movements, but at the same time, they develop miscoordination. It’s not just about a hesitant gait. Almost all body functions are affected: movement, fine motor skills, the ability to make sounds, and even the process of swallowing. Ataxia can be life-threatening. In no case can you ignore this symptom.
Who can get ataxia?
No dog is immune from health problems. So ataxia can develop in pets of any breed and age.
Ataxia can be not only acquired but also congenital. Some breeds are more likely to show symptoms of ataxia. These are, for example, Mountain Dogs, Amstaffs, Chinese Cresteds, Bobtails, and many Terriers. Therefore, it is important to purchase a puppy from a trusted breeder who allows breeding only healthy animals with a good pedigree. This will minimize the likelihood of genetic diseases in the puppy.
Elderly animals are at risk. Coordination problems are most common in dogs over 7 years old. You should be alerted by muscle tremors, chaotic rotation of the eyeballs and head, squatting and collapsing while moving, stumbling on level ground, and disorientation.
If you notice at least one alarming symptom, immediately contact your veterinarian. Don’t wait for the condition to get worse.
How is ataxia treated?
Ataxia is not an independent disease, but a symptom. Treatment depends on the correct diagnosis and identification of the underlying pathology that a particular dog suffers from, its state of health, and individual characteristics. There can be no single scheme here.
In the early stages of the disease, drug therapy will help to overcome the problem. And there is a chance that the pet will need surgery (for example, for neoplasms or ophthalmic diseases). In any case, don’t panic. If you react quickly and provide competent care for your pet, he has every chance to continue a happy, fulfilling life.
Impaired coordination of movements
Prevention of ataxia
Only professional selection helps to prevent congenital ataxia in puppies. Therefore, it is important to purchase a pet only from a trusted breeder, having carefully read the pedigree of the puppy’s parents in advance.
Standard health measures can help keep your pet from acquiring ataxia. First of all, it is proper nutrition, regular vaccination and treatment against parasites, the optimal level of physical activity, and proper care.
Not everything depends on us – pet owners, but a lot. Let’s take care of our pets properly.