Background: Although the use of clinical reasoning has been evaluated for several neurological presentations, this approach has not yet been investigated for dogs with vestibular syndrome.
Methods: Two hundred and thirty-nine dogs presenting with vestibular syndrome were included in this retrospective study. Univariate analysis of variables (clinical history, signalment, clinical presentation and neurological examination findings) was performed. Variables with p < 0.3 were selected for logistic regression.
Results: Ninety-five percent of dogs were represented by eight conditions: idiopathic vestibular disease (n = 78 dogs), otitis media interna (n = 54), meningoencephalitis of unknown origin (n = 35), brain neoplasia (n = 26), ischaemic infarct (n = 25), intracranial empyema (n = 4), metronidazole toxicity (n = 3) and neoplasia affecting the middle ear (n = 3). Idiopathic vestibular disease was associated with higher age, higher bodyweight, improving clinical signs, pathological nystagmus, facial nerve paresis, absence of Horner's syndrome and a peripheral localisation. Otitis media interna was associated with younger age, male gender, Horner's syndrome, a peripheral localisation and a history of otitis externa. Ischaemic infarct was associated with older age, peracute onset of signs, absence of strabismus and a central localisation.
Conclusions: Discrete clinical features can be used to identify the most likely diagnosis in dogs with vestibular syndrome.
© 2021 British Veterinary Association.