View Full Version : Wobbling eyes

11th January 2012, 09:14 PM
I dont know if anyne can help me with this query, I bought my puppy TK after doing alot of research and I really thought I had found a good breeder, I saw all the paperwork, saw the parents, all the scans etc etc, did everything right and to be fair to the breeder they did everything right on their part, however after having TK home for a couple of days I noticed that his eyes were wobbling, particually when looking in a certain direction and it did not do it all of the time. He was, as expected nervous, so I put it down to nerves to begin with, then after a week it still had not settled even though he seemed to be settling. I took him to my vet and discussed it with her and she was really worried. She didnt seem to know exactly what it was but that it probably wasnt good.

To cut a long story shot, TK is now nearly 5mths old, he is fully settled with us, no nerves now, however his eyes still wobble terrible, the vet still does not know what it really is, it does not seem to affect him in anyway, his eyesight seems fine, balance is fine, he is in no pain but none of us know why it is happening. She does not really want to do any invasive testing on him unless he displays some other type of symptom, so I am just wondering if anyone has ever experinced this or heard of it or know what it could be and if it is a precoursor to something more lifethreatening. The vet is thnking that it could possibly lead onto one of the life threatening problems that cavvys have but she is just really unsure, when she first examined him she suggested we had him put to sleep but there is no way I would do that, he is not in pain and whether he has 3 years with us or another 3 months I want him to enjoy it and I want to have it with him.

11th January 2012, 09:30 PM
Can you describe in more detail what this wobbling entails? does it happen in both eyes?

Kim N
11th January 2012, 09:31 PM
Does it look like this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nystagmus

and this one explains it more in dogs. http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/neurological/c_dg_nystagmus#.Tw3_q6X86sY

Just some thoughts

Kim N
11th January 2012, 09:41 PM
There lots of vidoes on you tube. Looks like it can be verticle or horizontle.


11th January 2012, 10:09 PM
I would ask for a referral to a neurologist. Worse comes to worse you meet your local vet neuro, not a bad thing when buying a cavalier.

I certainly would not have him put to sleep if it isn't inconveniencing him. Plenty of animals live very happy lives with quirks like this.

11th January 2012, 10:13 PM
I'd be looking into something neurological since this breed has so many neurological issues. Can your vet refer you to a neurologist? My one Cavalier would have episodes of rapid eye movement during SM pain episodes. He would refuse to move and his eyes would blink and flicker all around very rapidly for several minutes. Or as mentioned above Canine Vestibular Disease can cause Nystagmus.

Does your pup scratch a lot? Rub his head? Tilt his head? Stumble? Have balance problems?

12th January 2012, 12:26 AM
Sounds like nystagmus.

12th January 2012, 04:09 AM
Yes definitely get a neurologist to check him out. It certainly sounds like nystagmus. I treat humans with vestibuar issues and nystagmus is something I see frequently. Now determining if it is of central or peripheral etiology is something the neuro vet can help you figure out.
Perhaps as someone mentioned it is just a "quirk". I had a cockatiel (well still have, he lives with my mother) that I acquired as a child who constantly twitched his neck, the vet said he had neurological issues and that he would probably die soon. Well it's been 26 years and he is still going strong, so one never knows with these things

Please do post an update when you get a chance.

12th January 2012, 08:40 AM
Hi, yes it does happen in both eyes

12th January 2012, 08:43 AM
It kinda looks like the wikipedia one but alot faster, it does not happen all of the time, it's almost as though they are vibrating, I am scared for him, in the future will it mean a shorter life span? I am def going to ask to be referred to a neurologist, I think I have known that it was prob something like that but didnt want it to be if that makes sense, I just wanted it to be a 'quirk', I am concerned that my vet does not seem to have known what this all is, is this normal?

Kate H
12th January 2012, 09:56 AM
Can't help with the eye problem but just wanted to say that unfortunately even the best breeder can't guarantee a healthy puppy - in any breed, not just Cavaliers. I have a friend who is a really good and careful breeder of Cavaliers, but was devastated when one of her puppies developed a very serious eye problem and had to be put to sleep. Nothing hereditary, just bad luck. Buying carefully, as you did, can minimise the possibility of problems but unfortunately can't completely eradicate them. Hope you can sort the problem.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Love my Cavaliers
12th January 2012, 01:51 PM
A trip to the neurologist is definitely called for. One of my dogs has pretty frequent periods of nystagmus associated with a damaged vestibular system from SM. She started with the nystagmus at a young age, but I had no idea what it was related to and put it off to a "quirk". It soon became associated with a head tilt and balance problems, and much further on down the road she was diagnosed with SM. I hope that is not the path for your little one, but I would say, get to a neurologist sooner rather than later. And welcome to CavalierTalk!!

12th January 2012, 04:46 PM
I'd be alarmed at having a vet who would suggest putting down a dog when there's not even any diagnosis yet! :( In addition, there is a clear line of recommended testing for this symptom -- I don;t understand why she hasn't tried testing for things like hypothyroidism for example, or had him go for a scan etc. Personally -- I would get a new vet.

The vet also should have suggested a referral to a neurologist, given that she does not know what this is, you are anxious to know what is going on, and your pup needs a diagnosis. A specialist can help give a diagnosis Or honestly -- a good vet should be able to, too... depending on the cause, but nystygmus isn't that rare. Again, it is beyond belief to me, that a vet professional would recommend euthenising a dog, especially a puppy, on what is right now, something that is causing no apparent disability or pain and that hasn't been diagnosed. :yikes

So yes: you are absolutely right to start with seeing a neurologist to see what is going on.

Regarding the breeder: Have you discussed this with them? Any caring and responsible, truly health focused breeder will urgently want to know that this is happening and such information would also be very important for them in making future breeding decisions. A good breeder will also want to be there and support you and will be anxious to know the diagnosis etc -- and may give some financial help (and you may have a contract entitllng you to financial help).

Please let us know what a neurologist says. And don't overly worry until you know what you are dealing with. And get a new vet.