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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23746
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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We have an 11 year old yorkie poo who seems to have just had

Customer Question

We have an 11 year old yorkie poo who seems to have just had a seizure. For about 20 or 30 seconds he was shaking uncontollably while lying on his side, unable to get up. His eyes seemed to roll to the back of his head. I picked him up & get petting him to calm him. When I first put him back down, it was as if he couldn't use his back legs well. I picked him up again for a few minutes, then when I let him back on the floor, he ran for his dog toy as if nothing happened. He has never had any other health problems
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Wrigley
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Wrigley?
Customer: No-- Other than this one episode he hasn't had any health problems at all
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Wrigley. You appear to have witnessed 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. Wrigley's vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if he 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 Wrigley 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. 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.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Have you ever seen situations such as this that were an isolated event-- never happening again?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Yes, but I always suspect that more events had occurred because we're not always home or awake. Because brain tumor is most likely I would expect more of what you witnessed. There are also extracranial (outside the skull) causes of seizures such as a poorly functioning liver or poorly functioning kidneys intoxicating her brain. Her being otherwise normal, however, would belie those disorders.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you