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My dog is acting drunk and wobbly

Let me first preface this by saying that I am in no way a veterinarian. Some of the information here is not meant to be taken as medical advice, and honestly, if your animal is sick or injured, you should probably take it to an actual vet right away.

Other than that disclaimer, let’s get started!
My dog (or any dog for that matter) may be drunk or acting like he’s drunk if he is:

Very wobbly/unsteady on his feet and seems to struggle to maintain a balance, even when just sitting down.

This could involve falling over when standing still, having trouble walking in a straight line, or avoiding sudden movements. He may tend to fall asleep easily but also wake up easily (even too easily).


Drinking excessively without showing other signs of intoxication, such as stumbling around or disorientation.

Either it seems excessive for the amount of time you’ve been able to observe him drinking, or it happens at an unusual time, such as only occurring while you are outside with him off-leash or not allowing water breaks during walks. He’s still wobbly after a few hours of not drinking.

my dog is acting drunk and wobbly
my dog is acting drunk and wobbly

What to do?

First, evaluate your dog’s general health and overall condition. If he can’t hold his balance or doesn’t seem like his normal self, it may be a good idea to take him in for a check-up.

This is especially important if any of the above signs are more extreme than might typically happen during playtime or when first discovering/addicted to water/dog toys.

As with humans, dogs who suffer from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes (excessive urination), arthritis (stiff joints), or severe neurological disorders (seizures) may act drunk much more often than normal, so those factors should also be considered.

If you’ve ruled out a physical problem, try bringing your dog to a vet to see what they have to say, or simply take some time off work and just keep an eye on him yourself.

A common cause of temporary drunkenness is the ingestion of too much water – especially if the animal has been doing this for an extended period of time (not allowing breaks during walks) or only getting small amounts at a time (via automatic watering bowl).

This can be fatal over time because dogs can become easily dehydrated when this happens over a long period of time, so get it checked out as soon as possible!

If your dog does seem fine physically but is still acting drunk, try limiting his consumption and see if that helps with the symptoms.

If your dog is very young, elderly, or otherwise has a hard time drinking less water than he’s used to, then you may want to consider getting him checked out anyway, just to be sure nothing is going on that could cause long-term problems.

Still, concerned after visiting the vet?


There are some other things you can try at home for short term relief of his symptoms:

First off, make sure you aren’t feeding your dog too much salt!! Most commercial dog foods contain an unnaturally high amount of sodium (think: MSG), and this will make your poor pooch drunk much more quickly!

Lots of people forget that dogs are carnivores and need meat in their diet – not grains and veggies like many pet store employees will try to tell you (truly, it’s heartbreaking).

Many dogs do just fine on a homemade diet of raw meat and bones, but if you’ve been feeding your dog commercial kibble, you might want to switch over or at least look into some lower-sodium alternatives.

I know how hard it is for people to feed their dogs something other than what they’ve become accustomed to eating themselves.

6 Reasons Why My Dog is Acting Drunk and Wobbly?

1- Your Dog Has Vestibular Disease:
Your dog has a condition called “vestibular disease.” This is the most common reason for your dogs’ drunken behavior.

It is also known as disequilibrium syndrome, which means your dog’s equilibrium system is not functioning correctly.


2- Your Dog Has Nausea:
Another cause of your dogs’ drunken behavior might be nausea caused by motion sickness or food sickness.

Motion sickness occurs when your pet gets sick to their stomach because they are moving around in a car, boat, or plane too much.

Occurrences such as this can lead to bouts of nausea and vomiting for your pet that makes them act drunk and wobbly. Food poisoning often affects new puppies and causes them to get very nauseous and vomit what they ate last night.


3- Your Dog Has Ear Infections:
If your pet starts acting drunk and wobbly, a common cause might be an ear infection. If they are shaking their head excessively from side to side, this is very likely the reason behind it.

You should better take your dog to the vet if this becomes a frequent occurrence because such infections can spread from one ear to another, causing greater damage over time.

If not treated properly on time, severe cases of head shaking may also lead to brain damage in your dog. In particular, dogs with floppy ears are at higher risks of ear infections than those with pointy ears.


4- Your Dog Has Hyperthyroidism:
Hyperthyroidism is caused when there are high levels of thyroid hormone in your dog’s body. This condition prevents them from regulating their temperature, which is why they are very sensitive to touch and sound.

They feel hot or cold at all times and hence may start drinking a substantial amount of water because they do not know when to stop themselves from doing so.


5- Your Dog Has Diabetes:
Diabetes can cause your pet to have a constant thirst for water which makes them act drunk and wobbly over time.

Due to the fact that diabetes affects your pet’s immunity power, you should better take him immediately to the vet if he is experiencing frequent bouts of head-shaking accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea as well as unusual cravings for food.

You shouldn’t try any home remedies without first consulting a vet.


6- Your Dog Has a Brain Tumor:
The most serious reason listed here is a brain tumor, which causes your pet to suffer from chronic head shaking at all times accompanied by loss of sense of smell and taste as well as recurrent vomiting and diarrhea.

These are pretty obvious symptoms that you should immediately look into if you see them in your dog despite the fact that they feel very comfortable drinking water every once in a while.

As soon as you suspect something might be wrong with your dog, make sure you take him for an immediate diagnosis because such tumors can spread over time, taking over various parts of the body one after another until it reaches a stage where it becomes incurable.

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my dog is acting drunk and wobbly

What is Vestibular Disease in Dogs?

Vestibular disease can be caused by various factors, and it is important to understand that the way in which this condition is caused and its symptoms are not uniform.

This means that while some cases may have specific causes, others might not have a clear one because of which there is no chance for you to know what made your dog get sick.

What Causes Vestibular Disease?

There are different reasons why your pet might be affected by the vestibular disease, although they all revolve around the fact that the tubes on each side of his ears are damaged somehow or another.

As long as these tubes aren’t working properly, the chances are high that he will develop this particular illness. There is also a chance for other parts of your dog’s body to be damaged as a result of vestibular disease.

If left untreated, this condition can also lead to brain damage which is why it is important for you not to ignore even the slightest signs that your dog might have this illness.

Symptoms

The most common and obvious symptom of vestibular disease is head shaking. Your pet will start showing symptoms if he has been suffering from this problem for a while.

You should better take him to the vets if he starts doing so because having ear infections doesn’t always mean that there are other problems associated with it that need treating as well.

Some dogs tend to show increased sensitivity to temperature, whereas others have increased sensitivity towards touch or sound. This reaction continues until their bodies learn to adjust in order to cover up for the fact that their vestibular system is not working properly.

my dog is disoriented, unbalanced, and confused

It is important to understand that disorientation may be the result of other health issues as well because it can also be caused by the way in which your dog’s central nervous system functions.

The symptoms of both vestibular disease and canine dementia are identical for a lot of dogs, which is why you should better try addressing your pet’s problem before deciding what is actually happening.

Degenerative myelopathy and disorders that involve the spinal cord can also cause disorientation, so if you see these signs in your pooch, there might be more wrong than just his ears or central nervous system.

Effects on Other Organs

If left untreated, the vestibular disease can have effects on various other organs as well, like your dog’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and heart.

Dogs who suffer from this condition for extended periods of time are more likely to have these problems than those who get treated right after the very first symptoms start showing up.

The only difference is that while untreated dogs can develop chronic kidney failure or diabetes as well as cardiac arrhythmia, the ones that receive adequate treatment on time might not.

How Can I Treat Vestibular Disease?

The vestibular disease doesn’t always cause lasting damage, so you shouldn’t worry if it doesn’t seem like your dog’s body has gotten used to his new condition yet.

In most cases, vestibular disease disappears once your pet gets used to a new reality in which there is something wrong with his ears and vestibular system.

However, there are cases when it doesn’t go away on its own. If that is the case for your beloved pooch, you can be sure that he will not develop long-term problems as a result of this condition, but it might take him a while to get better again.

What Can I Do?

If you don’t want your dog to suffer permanent damage, there are several things that you can do so your pet’s vestibular disease won’t affect other organs inside his body:

  1. Make Sure Your Dog’s Ears Are Healthy – Ear infections can only cause your dog to have the vestibular disease if they last for extended periods of time. A lot of dogs who have developed this condition suffered from ear infections in the past but were successfully treated for them. Cases of vestibular disease are rare so if your dog is one of those unlucky ones, make sure that this illness doesn’t get to a point where it affects his organs and makes him ill or, even worse, causes any brain damage.
  2. Provide Your Dog With Extra Fluids – Dogs who suffer from vestibular disease lose fluids at an increased pace because they tend to drink more than usual. Just like in humans, when dogs experience nausea, they tend to want to throw up, which means that their bodies need fluids right away. Most vets will recommend you give treats such as boiled chicken and rice along with water or smaller meals so your dog can digest them without feeling nauseous. Make sure that no food goes to your dog’s stomach if he is vomiting.
  3. Consult With A Vet – Even though vestibular disease might just be a case of the flu for your pet, it is important to have him checked out by a veterinarian in order to make sure that he is not suffering from something more serious as well such as an ear infection or brain cancer. After diagnosis, you will know what kind of treatment is required and whether or not your dog will need further health care after dealing with this condition.

Special Cases

There are some cases when treating vestibular disease won’t help at all and which require additional treatment if they don’t go away on their own.

If your dog starts vomiting a lot, his appetite drops for no apparent reason, or he develops diarrhea, you should take him to a vet immediately because these conditions might be caused by other diseases or disorders which can only be treated with medications that aren’t administered on an outpatient basis.

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my dog is acting drunk and wobbly

My old dog is acting drunk and wobbly and can’t move his head straight

He may have a brain tumor or seizure disorder. He needs to see a vet asap if possible. He may be suffering from what is called vestibular disease, which in dogs usually manifests in the form of dizziness and problems with balance.

If you really care for your dog, then take him to the vet. It could be something serious like an ear infection or cancer or even worse. This condition can also lead to diabetes, so make sure that your dog doesn’t develop chronic kidney failure.

What Happens?

After contracting this condition, dogs who don’t receive proper treatment might suffer permanent damage both inside and outside their bodies:

  1. Damage To The Ears – The fluid which leaks into the inner ear can lead to hearing loss as well as a permanent loss of balance. The good news is that this won’t affect his other organs or cause brain damage.
  2. Damage To The Brain – Vestibular disease can only affect the vestibule and semicircular ducts located inside the inner ear, which means it will not affect your dog’s ability to think properly, for example. If your pet develops any strange behavioral changes after contracting this infection, you know that something more serious might be going on.
  3. Damage To The Nervous System – Just like humans who develop certain conditions after contracting an infection, dogs might suffer from nervous system disorders as well and require additional treatment later on in order to make sure their health is in good shape.
  4. Damage To The Eyes – Like those who suffer from a concussion or brain injury, dogs might lose control of their eyes and start developing tumors.
  5. Damage To The Liver Or Kidneys – Most cases of the vestibular disease occur as a side effect of another condition your dog might have, which is why you should make sure that he receives the right treatment for other illnesses he might be suffering from as well such as brain cancer, liver disease or even chronic kidney failure…

my dog has developed some kind of imbalance in his legs and can’t stand properly anymore

If you notice any weird behavior from your dog after a short period of time, take him to your vet. You may think that it’s just a minor issue, but it could turn out to be something serious and life-threatening.

If your dog’s symptoms have lasted for longer than 10 days, you should take him to the vet immediately because he might suffer from a condition called vestibular disease, which causes disorientation in animals.

How Is It Diagnosed?

You don’t necessarily need a visit to the vet if all of these symptoms are going on inside your pet’s head as they usually manifest themselves in more physical ways, such as his inability to balance properly, run or jump.

Your best bet will be to take him to the vet even if he seems totally fine so that a professional can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe some treatment.

Ear infections or brain cancer might be what is causing your dog’s sudden imbalance, and you should make sure that you don’t put your pet’s life at risk by making him suffer through all of this if he doesn’t need to.


If your pet isn’t able to balance properly, jump or run but is acting totally normal, then you shouldn’t take him in because vestibular disease won’t affect his thought process.

The other possibility is that he might have developed some form of brain injury after falling on the ground due to loss of balance, and this condition will eventually lead to a nervous system disorder that needs immediate treatment.

Also, check his eyes because tumors can develop there as well.

My Dog Has Vertigo: What Can I Do?

Take him in for an examination and ask your vet whether he needs any antibiotics to deal with the infection, anti-inflammatory medication to help ease his pain, and something for his liver if he has been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure.


Ask your vet about ear infections as well because they are quite common in dogs but usually go undetected until they have already caused some damage.

You can also find homeopathic treatments online which might be effective at dealing with both vestibular disease and its side effects but before you start using them, make sure you ask your vet about them so that he can give you a professional opinion on their effectiveness.

my dog is acting drunk and wobbly

Take Care Of The Problem As Soon As Possible!

If left untreated, this condition could lead to serious health issues later on in life, such as cancer, so make sure you ask a vet for help as soon as you notice something is off.

Your vet will take some blood tests and probably refer you to a specialist if the case is serious, but, eventually, it’s up to you to provide him with all of the necessary vitamins he needs in order to fix this balance problem which might be his main issue right now.

My Dog Has Vertigo: Telling The Difference Between It And Other Disorders!

Stress – Especially In Large Dogs That Have Just Been Adopted From An Animal Shelter
Eclampsia (Seizures Caused By Pregnancy) In Female Dogs During Their Last Trimester Of Pregnancy Or Right After Giving Birth; May Require Emergency C-Section To Prevent Maternal Death
Distemper -Causes High Fever, Lethargy, Loss Of Appetite And Other Neurological Problems
A Bacterial Infection Or Allergy That Affects The Inner Ear Or Brain May Also Cause Vertigo In Your Dog; If So, Check His Ears And If There Are Signs Of Inflammation (Such As Redness And Discharge) Then Get Him To A Vet Immediately!

My Tips!

Try to keep your dog away from the stairs and any other objects that he might hit his head on when you notice this imbalance. This will reduce his pain level, which should help him recover faster.


Make sure you feed him some extra vitamins and minerals, especially if he has been diagnosed with vestibular disease, because they can significantly help your pet to recover from his condition.


If an ear infection is what has triggered the loss of balance in your dog, then you should get prescription medication from your vet so that it doesn’t spread to other parts of his body.

If you suspect any brain injury, then take him to get a CT scan or MRI as soon as possible. #How Can I Speed Up The Healing Process?

Why is my dog acting dizzy and disoriented?

If you’ve just adopted a dog from an animal shelter, then it’s very likely that he has some sort of vestibular disease because dogs with this condition are usually given up by their owners and taken to the shelter where they keep them until they’re recovered.

If your pet is acting weird, take him in for a check-up as soon as possible!

Why Is My Dog Acting Dizzy?

Dogs can get dizzy after being exposed to high levels of sound or noise. Dogs love barking and howling, but too much of anything might have negative consequences.

So, if you’ve been taking him out for walks while driving through big city centers, then his ears will most likely start hurting at some point, and he will show signs of dizziness which is the first phase of this condition.

My Dog Is Acting Dizzy, Scared And Feeling Off Balance What Should I Do?

Make sure that your pet gets plenty of rest so that his vestibular system will have time to restore itself. Failing to do so might result in loss of balance which can be dangerous for dogs living on their own.

Don’t get very worried, though, because it’s a temporary state, and you should notice improvement within a few days once he starts resting.

How Can I Rest My Dog So That He Feels Better?

Get him a blanket or a bed and place it somewhere where there are no objects that could potentially hurt him if he feels off balance; then, just lay your dog there and leave him alone for a while.

Dogs usually recover from dizziness on their own but, if you notice that he can’t get up or that he’s feeling extremely uncomfortable, then take him to see his vet as soon as possible.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Acting Very Dizzy?

Make sure your dog doesn’t fall over when he gets up because it might make the problem even worse by causing more damage to his vestibular system.

As soon as you notice signs of dizziness in him, keep him inside until he recovers because this will prevent potential accidents out there such as bumping into objects, falling off stairs, etc.

Why is my dog stumbling and falling over?

Dogs get disoriented because of temporary loss of balance which causes them to stumble and fall over from time to time.

If you’ve noticed your dog acting weird, then follow these tips:
Make sure that your pet gets plenty of rest so that his vestibular system will have time to restore itself. Failing to do so might result in loss of balance which can be dangerous for dogs living on their own.

Don’t get very worried, though, because it’s a temporary state, and you should notice improvement within a few days once he starts resting.

What Should I Do If My Dog Won’t Stop Stumbling?

Get him a blanket or a bed and place it somewhere where there are no objects that could potentially hurt him if he feels off balance; then, just lay your dog there and leave him alone for a while.

Dogs usually recover from dizziness on their own but, if you notice that he can’t get up or that he’s feeling extremely uncomfortable, then take him to see his vet as soon as possible.

How Can I Make My Dog Stop Stumbling?

Make sure your dog doesn’t fall over when he gets up because it might make the problem even worse by causing more damage to his vestibular system.

As soon as you notice signs of dizziness in him, keep him inside until he recovers because this will prevent potential accidents out there such as bumping into objects, falling off stairs, etc.

Why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden?

Dogs get disoriented because of temporary loss of balance which causes them to stumble and fall over from time to time. If you’ve noticed your dog acting weird, then follow these tips:
Make sure that your pet gets plenty of rest so that his vestibular system will have time to restore itself. Failing to do so might result in loss of balance which can be dangerous for dogs living on their own.

Don’t get very worried, though, because it’s a temporary state, and you should notice improvement within a few days once he starts resting.


Don’t get very worried, though, because it’s a temporary state, and you should notice improvement within a few days once he starts resting.

How long does it take for dizziness in dogs to go away?

It usually takes only a couple of days before the symptoms start disappearing but, if nothing improves after four or five days, then you need to consult with your veterinarian.

It is also important not to wait until the problem gets worse by making sure that you follow up with him and make sure he doesn’t get into any accidents.


If you have a very energetic dog that likes to run, then it is best for you to limit his exercise and opt for more low-impact activities such as walking or swimming, which will make him feel comfortable until he gets used to the dizziness.

How Can I Help My Dog Recover?

As soon as you notice signs of dizziness in him, keep him inside until he recovers because this will prevent potential accidents out there such as bumping into objects, falling off stairs, etc.

If your dog isn’t moving at all and seems to have trouble controlling his movements, then take him to see his vet.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Acting Weird?

Make sure that your pet gets plenty of rest so that his vestibular system will have time to restore itself. Failing to do so might result in loss of balance which can be dangerous for dogs living on their own.

Don’t get very worried, though, because it’s a temporary state, and you should notice improvement within a few days once he starts.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Acting Strange?

Take him in for a check-up as soon as possible! There are many different factors that can cause dizziness in dogs, and if you notice such symptoms, don’t hesitate to take your pet to see his vet because it’s important to find an underlying reason for that problem as soon as possible.

Why Does My Dog Stumble When He Walks?

Dogs get disoriented because of temporary loss of balance which causes them to stumble and fall over from time to time.

If your dog is staggering around when he walks, then follow these tips: Make sure that the place where you let him walk during his exercise is completely safe; this will prevent accidents due to dizziness or fainting.

You should also pay more attention to his condition in case there are things in the environment that might make him feel unbalanced such as uneven pavement, slippery surfaces, etc.

Get him a blanket or a bed and place it somewhere where there are no objects that could potentially hurt him if he feels off balance; then, you should make sure that he lays down there and rests when you notice symptoms of dizziness.

Make sure that your pet gets plenty of rest so that his vestibular system will have time to restore itself. Failing to do so might result in loss of balance which can be dangerous for dogs living on their own.

Don’t get very worried, though, because it’s a temporary state, and you should notice improvement within a few days once he starts resting.


If none of the above seems to work, or if your dog is experiencing disorientation all the time, then ask your vet about other treatments such as anti-depressive drugs or surgery for vestibular system dysfunction.

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