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Dog Blog: Teddy’s Guide to Balance

Teddy, the audiology clinic’s resident “Pawdiologist,” is back with some dogs-eye insights, and this time, it’s all about balance.

Hello! There’s been a lot of talk in the clinic lately about balance and something called the Vestibular system. There’s a new human too called James who is really good at it and knows loads, so I’ve done some digging (I’m good at that) in his clinic to find out more.

Turns out that because you humans don’t have tails to help you balance, you’ve got something even cooler tucked away inside your little, bald ears – the vestibular system! It helps keep you steady on your two legs. Just like how I gracefully weave through the clinic without knocking things over (well, most of the time), your vestibular system is your secret to staying upright.

Now, if your vestibular is not working properly you might get the following things happen:

Dizziness and Vertigo: Ever felt like the room was going round and round like when Mummy puts our toys in the washing machine and we watch them? That’s dizziness. And if it feels like you actually are in the washing machine when you’re not, well that’s vertigo.

Trouble Staying Upright: If you find yourself stumbling, swaying, or taking unexpected detours when on a squirrel-chasing adventure, it might be a sign that your balance needs some help.

Blurred Vision: Are things getting a little fuzzy around the edges? Like my tennis ball? That’s another sign that something needs looking into.

Nausea and Vomiting: Motion sickness isn’t just for car rides when you are looking out of the back window like we do; it can happen when your vestibular system is a bit wobbly. If you’re feeling queasy without a clear reason, it’s time to find out why with some balance tests.

Speaking of balance tests, my little brother Buddy is quite the mischief-maker. He’s got a knack for lying behind our Mummy, Sarah, especially when she’s cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Now, that’s not a dig at Mummy’s balance abilities, but let me tell you, dodging around Buddy is a test even for the most graceful two-legged beings. We’re both eagerly awaiting the day when Mummy topples over him and drops the dinner on the floor.

And then there’s our adventures in running with Mummy. It’s a balancing act in itself! If one of us decides to take an impromptu break, Mummy’s chances of doing an unintentional somersault increase dramatically. And if we decide to go in opposite directions – well, let’s just say Mummy ends up looking like a maypole, with leads tangled and legs in a bit of a twist.

Hmm, maybe we should speak to James and see if he would like us to do our own balance tests on clients, like we do with Mummy?

(Edit) Sarah: Absolutely NOT!

Now, you might be thinking, “Why bother? I’ve got two legs; I can handle a little wobble.” But here’s the thing: your vestibular system isn’t just about staying upright; it’s about your overall well-being.

Preventing Accidents: A strong vestibular system protects you against unexpected spills and tumbles. It’s like having an invisible safety net whenever you navigate your (funny, upright, tall) world.

Maintaining Independence: Nobody wants to rely on others for basic tasks. Well we have to, we can’t open the food tub, but a well-tuned vestibular system helps you keep your independence, whether you’re reaching for treats on a high shelf or tying your shoelaces ready for walkies.

Enjoying Life’s Adventures: From exploring new places to stepping over naughty dogs behind you while you are cooking the dinner, a healthy vestibular system lets you fully enjoy life’s adventures without worrying about balance interruptions.

So, my two-legged pals, if you notice any of these balance blips, don’t wait for them to become a full-blown circus act. Visit our new human friend James, he’s angli-EAR Hearing’s Vestibular Physiotherapist, for a balance check-up and so you can trot through life with confidence!

Remember, a balanced life is a happy life. And now, I’ll go back to my nap – all this talk of balance has made me quite sleepy.

Until next time, keep your paws (and ears) in harmony!