There are events in our pets having a slow onset and therefore underrated or considered normal effects due to the age and others with an acute onset that scare owners a lot.
In both cases it could be vestibulitis.
In the ancient animal a light staggering, unsteadiness in posture can be interpreted like a neurologic deficit or joint pain, and therefore underrated.
However the cause of such behaviors is inside the ear there the centre of balance is, just the vestibule.
It is a small structure made of orthogonal channels, positioned in the three direction of the space where some small otoliths roll. Thanks to this wonderful mechanism we can stand and not fall any time we move our head or a limb.
The structure is in direct connection with brain and cerebellum, eyes and pressure centers in joints.
Any alteration to one of the connected organs can cause a vestibular syndrome that will appear with vertigo. The animal will have disorientation until the real rolling, difficulty to stand, lightheadedness, nausea, vomit.
These symptoms could be confused with an epileptic crisis.
The clinic checks are obligatory, to exclude both cerebral neoplasm and a chronic otitis that can become medium. Or infections due to viral and bacterial causes.
In particular cases you will have to proceed with more complex and expensive examinations like magnetic resonance or TAC to check and find the cause.
Only with careful verifications you can find the correct therapy and above all soften the symptoms that are really bothersome and disabling above all for our animals.