Due to sensory dysfunction, ataxia in dogs refers to a loss of coordination or unbalanced gait. The loss of balance in a dog is just one of many symptoms that can indicate a serious nervous system problem. Ataxia In Dogs is a gait disorder characterized by uncoordinated movement and a loss of balance.

Disequilibrium is a condition in which a dog loses its sense of balance and may be suffering from a serious health problem. Ataxia in dogs indicates the presence of a lesion in the brain, inner ear, or spinal cord. The treatment protocol and likelihood of recovery will be determined by the exact cause of the loss of balance. Dogs with severe ear infections may lose their balance.

A dog lying down due to Ataxia in dogs infection

It’s important to distinguish between losing your balance and having trouble walking. The vestibular system is responsible for maintaining balance. The middle and inner ear, as well as several large cranial nerves and the brain, make up the vestibular system. The term “disequilibrium” refers to a loss of balance. Trauma, middle ear infections, cancer, and poisoning are some of the most common causes of disequilibrium. In older dogs, disequilibrium is more common.


Causes of Ataxia in dogs (Loss of Balance)

Different types of ataxia in dogs have different causes. By narrowing down the location of the lesion, the cause of the ataxia in dogs will be determined.


  • Trauma
  • Degeneration of spinal cord tissue
  • Blood clots
  • Tumors
  • Spinal abnormalities
  • Cysts
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Spinal Instability

Vestibular Syndrome

  • Cancer
  • Ear infection or injury
  • Poisoning
  • Infectious disease
  • Antibiotic exposure
  • Fungal infection
  • Immune disease
  • Inflammation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • degeneration of the nerves

Cerebellar ataxia

  • Cerebellar cellular degeneration
  • Hereditary predisposition
  • Cerebellar tumor
  • Cerebellar or skull abnormal formation
  • Brain infection or inflammation
  • Antibiotic exposure

Symptoms of Ataxia in dogs

Ataxia in dogs affecting the white dog

Some dogs with ataxia may show more signs of the disease than others. some of the common symptoms of ataxia include

  • Tremor
  • Dizziness
  • Circling
  • Nausea and vomiting as a result of balance issues
  • Loss of appetite due to nausea
  • Head tilt, which causes one ear to be lower than the other
  • Hearing loss
  • Changes in mental state
  • Behavioral differences
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Loss of limb coordination
  • Loss of appetite due to nausea

Diagnosis of Ataxia

A complete physical and neurological examination will be performed by your veterinarian. She might suggest blood tests, urinalysis, and diagnostic imaging to figure out what’s wrong with your dog. The diagnostic process for ataxia can be lengthy. Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s gait and, if necessary, assist him in walking or standing.

The gait of your dog can reveal a lot to your veterinarian’s trained eye about what is going on with your pet’s health. The evaluation will include watching your dog walk and possibly observing him attempt stairs, all while keeping your dog’s safety in mind. Other tests to consider are:

  • Plain and contrast radiographs
  • Myelography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Computed tomography scan

Treatment of Ataxia in dogs

The dog is lying down due to Ataxia in dogs syndrome

The treatment plan for ataxia in dogs can go in a variety of directions, depending on the location of lesions, the severity of the loss of balance, your pet’s age, and, if applicable, the underlying disease factor.

The unbalanced gait and coordination issues can be relieved by removing the underlying cause, which can be done through surgery for a tumor, chemotherapy, radiation for cancer, or medication for an infection. However, in some cases, effects will linger.

A dog who has lost his balance will require daily assistance to solve his problems. If he has tremors and finds it difficult to eat, feeding time can be a challenge. It will take longer to take him for walks, and he will require assistance with balance. It’s possible that medication for nausea and dizziness will become the norm.

With your help and the advice of your veterinarian, your dog can continue to be a great family pet despite these and other changes. If your dog exhibits symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian right away to determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.

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