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cocker.gif (10105 bytes)Congenital Vestibular Disease

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There are a number of reasons a dog may have a head tilt. Dogs with a head tilt may also experience a loss of balance or walk in a circle. In general, head tilt is caused by an abnormality of the vestibular system which includes portions of the inner ear, nerves and brain which help the body maintain balance. The most common cause of head tilt is a middle or inner ear infection, or an infection or inflammation of the brain. Other causes include hypothyroidism, injury to nerves, cancer, toxic side effects of certain antibiotics, and congenital defects. Some older dogs develop a temporary head tilt from an unknown cause. This is sometimes called "old dog vestibular disease." Until your veterinarian determines otherwise, head tilt should be considered a sign of a serious disease, and veterinary attention should be sought as soon as possible.

2000 Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.
Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from PetEducation.com (http://www.PetEducation.com)
On-line store at http://www.DrsFosterSmith.com
Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208

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