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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24468
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Abby is our 5 y/o Golden, well cared diet control;

Customer Question

Abby is our 5 y/o Golden, well cared for with diet control; moderate exercise and emotionally pampered (what a great dog!)
She experiences whole body spasms. It appears that all skeletal muscles are involved. There is no "lead-up" to the spasm. Her eyes are open and fixed as long as she is in the space for spasms. They repeat about every 1-5 seconds and while I don't know if she has them when we are not watching, she can be easily distracted and the spasms end. There does not appear to be any alteration in awareness or activities after the group has ended. This may repeat once in several days or not for several weeks. I have never noted any negative effects due to these spasms..
What are they likely to be and is there a treatment that is necessary?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
We would need to consider a sporadic myoclonus - sudden contraction of a muscle group such as a facial twitch or limb jerk which may be benign or, instead, represent focal seizure activity. Involuntary muscle contractions are distinguished from a seizure in the following way: involuntary muscle contractions aren't associated with autonomic dysfunction (urination, defecation, salivation), they are associated with normal mentation, and they can be consistent with a described clinical syndrome of muscle contractions. In some cases, like patients with seizures, a patient with a clinical syndrome of involuntary muscle contractions may respond to an anticonvulsant drug trail. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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