Health Conditions That Can Cause Your Dog To Lose Its Balance

When a dog suddenly starts falling down and having trouble walking, it can represent a major health issue. If your dog is acting this way and does not seem to be able to keep its balance, you should probably bring it to an animal hospital. There are quite a few health conditions that can lead to a loss of balance with dogs. While all the health problems that cause this issue are not extremely serious, others are. Here are some of the health problems that can lead to a loss of balance that your vet will look for.

Ear Infections

Just like people can get ear infections, dogs also can, and this is a common cause of a loss of balance. The inner ear of humans and dogs controls balance, and when the inner ear is infected, it can disrupt this normal process. Dogs that have non-erect ears or that have a lot of fur in their ears are more prone to developing ear infections; however, any dog can get one.

If your dog has an ear infection, it may have other symptoms too. For example, most dogs will begin scratching their ears more often when they have an infection. Their ears may also smell bad, and you may see a discharge coming from them.

Your vet will be able to determine if your dog has an ear infection simply by looking in its ears. If the dog has one, the vet is likely to treat the problem with antibiotics. You may also need to place ear drops in the dog's ears for a few days. Ear infections are not serious issues, but they do require treatment in most cases.

Trauma To Its Head

If your dog was in a fight with another animal, or if the dog took a hard fall or blow to the head, your dog may lose its balance. If you suspect this is the problem, check your dog over for signs of trauma. Even if you do not see any signs, your dog may still have gotten injured somehow, and a hard blow to the head can lead to dizziness and trouble walking.

When this is the cause of dizziness in a dog, it may be a little harder for the vet to diagnose. The vet will thoroughly examine the dog and may even want to take x-rays if he or she is suspicious of an internal injury. The treatment for this will depend on what the vet finds out from the examination, but the dog may simply need to rest for a few days in order to feel better.


While strokes are not overly common with dogs, they do occur, and a stroke will leave a dog very dizzy and unable to walk properly. In addition, when a dog has a stroke, it may also be vomiting or experiencing rapid eye movement. Strokes can affect dogs in many ways and can be very serious if not treated quickly.

A stroke in a dog occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off, and strokes are more common with dogs that are older in age. If you suspect that your dog may have had a stroke, seeing a vet is important. Your vet will listen to your dog's heartbeat to see if there are any irregularities with it. The vet may also take a blood test and urine test to determine if the dog had a stroke. The treatment for strokes in dogs will depend on how severe they were. If the stroke was mild, your dog should be able to recover fully.

If your dog has any issues that worry you, take it to an animal hospital in your area, such as Metzger Animal Hospital.