Vestibular disease arises spontaneously, and, often, resolves itself in the same way. For the most part, vestibular disease is a treatable condition, and many dogs will make a full recovery within 2-3 weeks. However, can it kill a dog in certain cases?
Can Vestibular Disease Be Fatal to Dogs?
Vestibular Disease in dogs can be the result of a variety of medical conditions, such as inner ear problems, brain tumors, collar-related injuries, or nervous system dysfunctions. There is often no clear trigger or underlying issue that can be found: this study found that vestibular disease did not have a specific cause in almost 70% of dogs diagnosed with the condition (the most prevalent cause was “otitis media and/or internal” (ear problems) for about 26% of dogs with vestibular disease).
In rare cases the cause of vestibular disease might be something more sinister and so a dog’s prognosis in this situation might be worse. Dog’s that suffer from vestibular disease as a result of a tumor, trauma or poisoning may be in a more critical condition
Although it isn’t the vestibular disease itself that can kill a dog, the other effects of these causes could result in a dog’s death. In this case, vestibular disease is simply a result of a more serious condition that could be fatal to your dog.
Should You Euthanize a Dog With Vestibular Disease?
In extreme cases, if a dog is suffering from vestibular symptoms that are so severe that they affect your dog’s quality of life and stop them from enjoying normal day-to-day activities, then that may also be a reason to have them euthanized. However, while the symptoms of vestibular disease may seem alarming, causing owners to wonder if they should put their dogs to sleep to end this suffering for their old friends, it is important to keep in mind that most dogs will make a full recovery in a matter of days or weeks. Read more about this in our guide to vestibular disease in dogs.
How Long Can Dogs Live with Vestibular Disease?
This will depend on the cause of the vestibular disease. Dogs with idiopathic vestibular disease or an ear infection may make a full recovery within 2-3 weeks and continue to live a normal healthy life. However, dogs that develop vestibular disease due to a trauma or a brain tumor might have a shortened lifespan because of this; exactly how long their life expectancy is will depend on the severity of the trauma or the type of tumor present.
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