Ataxia in dogs isn’t an illness, but rather a sign that your pet has some kind of neurological problem. In this case, the symptoms are visible and can be seen in physical changes related to mobility and the ability to move around.

Your pet’s uncoordinated movements can be caused by an injury, such as a strong blow or trauma from a fall, or may even be the result of being run over or attacked.

Diseases of the brain or affecting the cerebellum may be another major cause. This is due to the fact that they affect the organ that modulates nerve impulses and controls body position.  The vestibular system or the spinal cord are other key points that can also cause ataxia if compromised.

These are some of the symptoms of ataxia in dogs:

  • Nausea and vomiting associated with loss of balance.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Head tilting, one ear lower than other.
  • Mood changes.
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Strabismus or abnormal eye movements.
  • Incoordination and lack of control of their limbs.

What should you do when the first signs of ataxia appear in your pet?

If you start to notice the appearance of these symptoms in your dog, you should go to the vet immediately. The vet will carry out a thorough physical exam to stabilise your pet.

Treatment based on complete rest, antibiotics and pain killers prescribed by the vet may be effective, although in severe cases surgery will be required. It’s important not to self-medicate your dog, as many medications could make the illness worse or even camouflage the cause.

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