Disoriented Dog

The causes and treatments of a dog’s disorientation.

Note: Take precautions to avoid being bitten if the disoriented dog becomes aggressive.


Trauma: Blow to the head.

Infectious disease: Distemper, leptospirosis, rabies, or diseases that cause meningitis or encephalitis. Note: Never handle a dog who may have rabies. If possible, without touching the dog, confine him in a room, pen, or yard and call your local animal control for assistance.

Toxicity: Ethanol (alcohol), ethylene glycol, or anticoagulant rodenticides (warfarin).

Tumors: In brain or nasal passages (with extension into brain).

Congenital abnormality: Hydrocephalus, hepatic encephalopathy (due to abnormality of the blood vessels in the liver).

Drug reaction: Antihistamines, ibuprofen, or aspirin.

Nutritional disorder: Magnesium deficiency.

Miscellaneous disorders: Cognitive dysfunction.

What to do: If necessary, restrain the dog to prevent injury. If the dog is severely disoriented, has been injured, or has other signs that seem to be worsening, take him to a veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. Have a family member or friend call ahead to let them know you’re coming. Otherwise, call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment. If you’re not sure what to do, call your veterinarian or emergency clinic for advice.

Disclaimer: DogChannel.com’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

1/22/2013 3:51:57 AM

I am just trying to learn as much as possible so if any thing happens to my dog I will have some knowledge and be able to repond responsibily.

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madolyn   Palmdale, California

10/21/2012 3:59:26 AM

my dog has not mated before, 2 yrs ago May 2010 we had house remodel and we had to go to a hotel for a few weeks to stay, we returned home 3 or 4 weeks later I cleaned the house mop the floors from the work that was done on the floor area so he wouldn't lick anything that might be on his body or paws, One night we were asleep i woke up to go to the bath room when i return back to bed he was licking himself i told him to stop he did I was watching tv and he was starring at the wall i called his name he wouldn't respond I called his name again still nothing so I got up turn on the light he never turn his head I woke up my husband to tell him something was wrong with the dog when i look his penis was out and he was looking at me but couldn't move at all I got scared and started crying I call the animal hospital they told me to bring him in to get checked out, They kept him over nite but didn't find anything wrong after that everything been fine with him until this morning on Oct 21th 2012 this happen again he was licking i told him to stop as always he do this time again his head was up starring I called his name he didn't turn so I got up to check to see if he was ok he tried to look at me but couldn't then I look at the bed it was wet his penis was out again I tried to wait to see if would snap out of what ever that was going on with him, He 's 71/2 yrs old shih tzu. Can you pls tell me what is going on with my baby very worried, waiting to hear from u soon

Thanks Mady

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Jo   West hills, CA

11/19/2011 7:28:47 PM

Trying to learn reading everything. My dog came to me 3 am very disoriented and anxious. Had his coordination maybe a little week no ataxia present. Have not found anything present that he may have gotten into at home. Any chance he inhaled something on his walk?

He was rushed in given IV fluids for 36 hours with charcoal. It took him 72 hours for full recovery. Any idea what happened?

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janet   bethlehem, PA

9/17/2010 4:24:15 AM

great information, thank you very much

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