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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23736
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My sheltie acts like he is spooked by something,but there is

Customer Question

My sheltie acts like he is spooked by something,but there is nothing to spook him.He will walk like he needs to escape,and he's a little unsteady at times. This has happened about 3 times in a month.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

Anne, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner.

The episodic nature of his behavior and unsteadiness should have us consider partial seizures (also called psychomotor seizures) which 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 is associated with a change in mentation (mental status) and/or behavioral abnormalities. Sleep is the most common post-ictal (post-seizure) symptom. Mark your calendar for these event and for just what you witnessed. See if you can video and event. This is a good example of where a picture is worth 1000 words. Kirby's vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if Kirby 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 he suffer another event within 24 hours of a prior 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. He 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 or, less commonly, adult onset epilepsy. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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