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why does my blind dog walk in circles

As a lot of you know, my 10 1/2 y/o Maggie has been blind for over 4 years (SARDS). She has always done amazingly well at finding her way around the house. She has started just going around in circles at times the past couple of days. The only way she will stop is if I stop her. She also seems to not follow sound. We snap our fingers to get her to follow us, and now she actually goes in the opposite direction. She also will not go down the step to get outside.

I have to lift her down. She does not have a head tilt, but she does do a lot of swaying with her head. Kind of reminds me of when I would watch Stevie Wonder sing. We also think that she is having trouble smelling. She loves dead cicadas and she can no longer find them even when they are right in front of her nose. Also having trouble finding a treat in my hand. Her regular vet is off on Thursdays, so I am waiting until Friday to take her so he can see her.

A lot of her symptoms remind me of vestibular disease, but she doesn't have the classic head tilt. Maggie did do some large circles in the yard on leash back in May. We had just lost Bessie and we attributed it to stress and not being able to follow Bessie when she was out in the yard. It only lasted a few days and was only when she was outside on her lead going for walks.

I guess I am just a anxious Mom and will probably need some hand holding until Friday.
I think this is kind of normal for blind dogs, though I don't know what triggers it. I have seen various posts on this board about it. My own dog, who is almost 17 now, and had been bllind for about 5-6 years, started doing the circle thing about a year ago. It could be senility issues, or perhaps deafness has caused her to become more disoriented, or who knows.

It does kind of make you crazy to watch it. Sometimes I pick her up and put her in her bed or bring her to her water bowl and she seems like 'Oh, that is what I was looking for! ". One (perhaps) good thing about it, is that she gets exercise doing it instead of just lying around. I actually think it keeps her in better shape to walk alot, even though it is in circles!

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