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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24470
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My chihuahua seems to be having night terrors. He is sleeping,

Customer Question

My chihuahua seems to be having night terrors. He is sleeping, then wakes up screaming for a few seconds and wakes up. They are happening more frequently now-sometimes 2 an hour. What can I do to help him?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help your dog. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Pedro 11
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Pedro?
Customer: Most of his teeth are falling out but otherwise he is healthy
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Rather than night terrors, Pedro's behavior is likely to represent sleep seizures which are most often complex partial seizures (also called psychomotor seizures) arising during particular stages of sleep - stages 1 or 2 (lighter sleep). Complex partial seizures are 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 are associated with a change in mentation (mental status) and/or behavioral abnormalities. Mark your calendar for these events and for just what you witnessed. Pedro's vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if Pedro 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 but Pedro appears to be clustering (more than one seizure within a 24 hour period) and that may presage status epilepticus - the state in which seizure activity doesn't abate unless I heavily sedate or anesthetize my patient. I would consider anticonvulsive medication at this time.Seizures first arising between the ages of 1-5 years are usually considered idiopathic (unknown cause) epilepsy. Unfortunately, seizures arising after 6 years of age are often caused by brain tumor. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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