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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24440
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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We have a dog, about 13 years old, who sometimes has strange

Customer Question

We have a dog, about 13 years old, who sometimes has strange symptoms. She starts breathing fast, puts her tail between her legs, and her hind legs start shaking. She also starts walking around the room like she doesn't know what to do.
She has always done this a little during thunderstorms, but lately she has been doing this when there is no storm. These symptoms come and go. Otherwise she is perfectly healthy. Weighs about 40 lbs.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
You appear to be describing a complex partial seizure (also called psychomotor seizure) which is described as abnormal focal or asymmetric sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body and which may be associated with autonomic signs, (salivation, vomiting, e.g.) and is associated with a change in mentation (mental status) and/or behavioral abnormalities (aimless pacing in this case). Sleep is the most common post-ictal (post-seizure) symptom. Mark your calendar for these event and for just what you witnessed. Her vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if your dog should be prescribed an anticonvulsive drug. Most of us will accept one mild (lasting less than 5 minutes, no thrashing about, no loss of consciousness) event monthly before prescribing such a drug. Should she suffer another event within 24 hours of another one clustering is diagnosed and that may presage status epilepticus - the state in which seizure activity doesn't abate unless I heavily sedate or anesthetize my patient. She would then need the attention of a vet at your earliest convenience.Seizures first arising between the ages of 1-5 years are usually considered idiopathic (unknown cause) epilepsy. Seizures arising after 6 years of age are often caused by brain tumor. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Hi Robert,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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