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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4995
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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How do you know the difference between a seizure and "head

Customer Question

How do you know the difference between a seizure and "head bobbing?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 10 months ago.

Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet today. Since I can’t physically exam your pet, I may need to respond with several follow up questions so I can best help you. Remember there is no limit on how many questions you can ask to in order to clarify any information I have provided regarding your pet. I just have a few initial questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? How long has the behavior that your are describing as a head bobbing or a seizure has been going on for? Any other symptoms that you are noticing?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He is about 6 yrs old, we adopted him 1 year ago. The first time it happened, was about 2 months after adoption. It would happen @ once a week. The worst was @ 6 months after , he was having several a day, lasting from less than a minute to up to about 5 minutes. We changed his food thinking it might be from his diet, and it stopped for a while. It has recently started again, keep in mind, it is not a full seizure, only his head shakes, like someone nodding yes, I will send a video if it would help. He is able to walk and climb stairs during an incident. Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 10 months ago.

Sorry I was offline when you responded. Thanks for the additional information. It would be great if you can send a video. Dogs in fact can have head bobbing and it be considered a seizure. These type of seizures are called focal seizures because they are focused on just one part of the body. It typical involves the head. But sometimes it can involve a limb or other major muscle that can have episodes of involuntary movement. Whether it needs to be treated or not just depends on if interferes with functioning of their daily routine activities. If it does then treatment involves using an antiepileptic drug such as phenobarbitol to see if they can be decreased.

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