Your dog hops off the couch. They stumble around and eventually fall right over on their side, unable to stand up. It’s scary. What could possibly be wrong with their balance?
First of all, there are a lot of serious issues that this can point to, but that is not necessarily what it means!
Before you panic, here are some causes of loss of balance to consider:
- Cramps This is one of the most common reasons your dog is going to be tripping and slipping all over the house. If your pup gets comfortable and relaxed, then this problem should pass before long. A cramp can last for awhile, but it usually goes away within a few minutes. This is a likely cause if they just laid down after a long play session. Playing tug of war for thirty minutes and then laying down, it’s like doing two hundred crunches and then collapsing in your chair before doing a cool-down session.
- Their leg fell asleep Yes, this can happen to dogs, too. If they sit or lay in a way that slows or cuts off blood flow, they can wind up with that numb, tingly feeling we all get when we sit down on a hard chair for too long or lay on our arm in a funny way.
- Ear Infection Balance is handled by the inner ear, that’s how we know when we’re laying down and when we’re standing up straight. You’re going to need to get some medication to deal with an ear infection, but it is likely to clear up within a couple of weeks.
There are plenty of other reasons your dog might be stumbling. Maybe they’re just tired, maybe they stepped on something and their leg hurts, maybe they got dizzy from chasing their tail for three minutes straight. Dogs get dizzy for many of the same reasons humans do, so it might not be as serious an issue as it seems.
If the problem is none of the above, you might need to call Veterinary Emergency + Critical Care to determine how best to proceed in treating the issue, but it’s likely to clear up within a couple weeks of proper medication.
That’s not to say that it definitely isn’t a serious problem, but you should give it a few minutes and see how they feel after a little rest and petting before you panic. If the problem persists, then you’ll definitely want to take a trip to Veterinary Emergency + Critical Care in Las Vegas.
The sooner you address neurological or nervous system issues, the better. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious, but if it is, then there may be options available for treatment.