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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Our 4 year old has had the shakes over he past 2 weeks.

Customer Question

Our 4 year old has had the shakes over he past 2 weeks. Rapid jerks of his head not full body.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that Baxter has been having these odd symptoms. Do you think it'd be possible for you to share a video? I think that would help me get a better idea of what you're looking at. An easy way to do this is to capture it with your cell phone and upload it to youtube or vimeo and share the link here.

Thanks and I'll await your reply.

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
This is the is the third time in 3 weeks. A good example he just woke up this evening and his head jerked - almost seizure like but he was self aware reacted to us no eyes rolling back in head eyes are slightly dilated - basically looks healthy but head is shaking rapidly for 30 seconds to a minuteVery needy lately wife is pregnant
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
no video maybe next time
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

OK - thanks for the extra info. It's good that it's episodic rather than all the time. Definitely keep your phone in mind the next time it happens (if it happens again) - that will help your vet tremendously if you end up there for more help.

It could be a partial seizure - usually I start with a full physical exam and a blood panel. He's just about the right age for the onset of idiopathic epilepsy. With epilepsy the physical exam and blood work is all normal, but we still need to look to check for infections, organ diseases, other neurological abnormalities, etc. If that's all clear and he's having fairly frequent episodes, the vet may discuss starting an anti-seizure medication like phenobarbital, zonisamide, keppra, gabapentin or potassium bromide.

Congratulations to you and your wife :)

Please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you

~Dr. Sara

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What causes the epileptic seizures. Could it be stress. We are currently changing food. 1/4 cup of new food a day currently. Basically 1/8 of days feeding. He receives long walks. Could it be wife's pregnancy?
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 11 months ago.

Epilepsy by it's definition is idiopathic, meaning that we do not know what causes it. It's a diagnosis of exclusion - meaning that we test for any other reasons for the seizures and if we can't come up with any, we call it epilepsy. Stress can make them more prone to having seizures, but it doesn't straight out cause the seizures. There's also no known link between epilepsy and foods. One could theorize that a food change or the impending changes in your home could be stressful and lead to a lowering of seizure threshhold making them more likely to seize, bit I'm really reaching - there's no research on that.

~Dr. Sara