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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My older dog has just started having very rapid eye movement

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My older dog has just started having very rapid eye movement and some tremors. She seems awake, but is not able to get up, and is not responsive to us. Is she having seizures? If not what could it be? She is a 17 year old Lab mix and I have noticed a decline in her this week, particularly.
Hi Byrd,
Can she move her legs at all...or are they completely unable to move?
For how long has she not been able to get up?
Has she had any vomiting?
For how long has she had the rapid eye movement?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
She has had the rapid eye movement for about 20 minutes now. She does not seem to be able to move her legs at all. She has not vomited today, but had llast night.
If you lift her lip and touch her gums above her teeth, are they wet, dry or sticky?
Are the color of her gums in this area the same as yours, or do the look different?
If you pinch the skin on one of her back legs...does she withdraw her leg or lift her head in response to the painful stimulus?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Her gums are pink and sticky. She does not respond to pinching.
She needs to go to the emergency room immediately. The rapid eye movement that you are referring to sounds like something called nystagmus. This can occur with a number of different conditions like chronic ear infections, encephalitis, geriatric vestibular disease, brain tumors, etc....If this, the vomiting, and the inability to stand were the only symptoms your dog was having, then I would say that geriatric vestibular disease or inner ear disease would be high on the list. However, because your dog seems to be paralyzed and is unresponsive when you speak to her...coupled with her apparent dehydration (the sticky gums), I fear that she has something much more serious going on. The higher likelihoods is an encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or a decompensated brain tumor. In order to really know what is the most likely, I would need to be able to examine her myself.

I recommend that you take her to the emergency clinic immediately. The vet will want to do a thorough physical and neurological examination, and will likely start your dog on an IV to correct her dehydration and some steroids to stop an inflammation that is occuring in her nervous system. Based on the exam and most likely some blood and urine tests, the vet will be able to tell you what the likely possibilities are.

I hope that this information is of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K
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