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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23806
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Dog is shaking and chewing his own tongue.

Customer Question

My 2 year old dog, Howie, is shaking. His jaw is twitching and he is chewing his own tongue. He is literally foaming at the mouth. He has been panting heavily as well. He has taken a steroid. He has been having trouble with anal glands according to bet last week.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.
You appear to have described 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. Sleep is the most common post-ictal (post-seizure) symptom. Mark your calendar for this event and for just what you witnessed. Howie's vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if he should be prescribed an anti-convulsive 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 Howie suffer another event within 24 hours of this 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 or, less commonly, adult onset epilepsy.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
He has not stop convulsing totally for 12.5 hours. Is a stroke a possibility? Left hind leg is limp and vision in left eye seems impaired at best.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

Stroke would be unlikely in a 2 year old. 12.5 hours of seizure is likely to cause irreversible brain damage. He's in status epilepticus as mentioned above and needs the attention of an on-call vet.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok thank you an on call vet is at the very least 2 hours away. We live in rural KY and no one is open on Sunday.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I understand your logistical constraints. Unfortunately, these dogs can't be managed at home. I would expect his being anesthetized, given supportive care in the form of IV fluids, and his vet hoping that when Howie wakes he'll be normal. Please continue our conversation if you wish.