Yesterday my 12+ year old mixed breed dog was diagnosed with vestibular disease. Before going so far as to get an expensive cat scan her vet has prescribed Prednisone (steroids) and Primor (antibiotic) in the hopes that it is an inner ear infection, though he fears it may be something more sinister.

She is now behaving about as well as can be expected, as she is still eating and drinking, and still enjoys a patting and will wag her tail on my approach, however she is obviously in discomfort and disoriented, especially during the night.

As of last night she has begun to refuse to cross the tile floor in my house, which means I have to carry her to take her outside. An act that clearly disorients her even further causing her to squirm and kick.

What can I do to keep her comfortable, especially during the night beyond leaving lights on for her? Also, what is the best way to transport her outside? Covering the tile floor with rugs and towels seems to have no effect.

  • how big is the dog, how much does she weigh? Mar 2, 2015 at 11:27
  • She was 57lbs as recorded at the latest vet visit.
    – rheone
    Mar 2, 2015 at 15:05
  • That rules out my idea of using a pet stroller : ( Mar 2, 2015 at 15:41
  • Thankfully I can easily carry her, the issue is her discomfort and vertigo from being manually moved.
    – rheone
    Mar 2, 2015 at 15:44

3 Answers 3


There are many good articles about the occurrance, symptoms and treatment of IVD online, google "Idiopathic Vestibular Disease". I just encountered it for the first time with my 14 yr old Golden, and it was truly frightening. Fortunately, she is improving. With my vet's approval, I've been giving her Dramamine, 1mg/pound of her weight, twice a day, and that has been very helpful. My vet also gave her a shot of an anti-nausea at the outset of symptoms, but the Dramamine has been enough to manage any residual nausea, and also has the effect of "turning off" the vestibular system that is having issues with motion and balance. (see Vetinfo.com). I plan to keep her on Dramamine until her systems level out. I also spread yoga mats on any smooth floors for her traction and that's working well and is a low cost solution. This also seems to help with the eye-foot link that has been impacted and it has helped with her reluctance to walk on those surfaces. Lastly, I read that she needs to relearn her balance and they do that through their feet, so I am walking her for several short walks a day on varying surfaces and moderate terrain and that seems to be accelerating her recovery. Hope this helps!


When I had a cat with vestibular disease my veterinarian prescribed some type of anti-nausea medication that had a small effect. I don't know if there's something similar for dogs, but talk to your vet and make sure the vet knows how uncomfortable your dog is and the trouble you're having getting her outside.

Good luck, and I hope it's an ear infection that's easily taken care of!


I am currently helping my 14 yr old dog with IVD. She was prescribed the Rx meclizine 25mg 1-2x da. You can get meclizine OTC meds in the form of Dramamine. Check it out on Google. It will take some time to get through this, it has been one week for us and things have improved. You might try using a towel under the belly or harness of sorts to give your dog some stabelization. Good luck, it might take a while.

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