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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16425
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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A few days ago late in the evening my dog (4 yo male Doberman)

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A few days ago late in the evening my dog (4 yo male Doberman) suddenly jumped out of bed, frantically ripped open the front door (he knows how) and ran outside. At first I thought he had some 'urgent business', but when he didn't come back for a while I looked outside and there he was standing in the yard, a few feet from the front door, looking scared. I called him but he didn't budge (very unusual!). I walked up to him and he turned around and ran away (even more unusual). After an hour or so he finally came back, stood in the hall, staring at me. After a while he went back to bed.
The next morning I woke up around eight and found the spot next to me in bed empty. Unusual again, because he always slips into my bed between six and seven in the morning. I got up to check at him, he was lying in his bed. I called him and he jumped up as if frightened, but followed me into the bedroom. He didn't come into bed with me, just placed his front paws on the edge. When I reached out to him he jumped back, again as if he were frightened of me, ran out into the hall. I followed him and found him standing on his bed, head and tail bent down, trembling all over. He started pacing from the one end to the other of the house, jumped on the settee, down again, into his bed, out again, laid down in one corner or the other, never for more than a minute or so.
Later that day he seemed to normalize, we often sit on the couch together, but he never slips into my bed any more. Still, every night he gets restless, running to and fro, doesn't go to bed before 11 pm (used to go at 8 pm). He doesn't seem to be scared any more though. When I am sitting by the desk he often comes and puts his paw on my leg or arm, whining.
His last check-up at the vet two weeks ago was inconspicuous, his gums look fine, healthy pink, he has good appetite doesn't drink more than usual, no excessive panting, no more urinating than usual. He seems to be defecation more than usual, but no diarrhea. I checked him all over and there don't seem to be any painful spots, though it's hard to tell with him, he doesn't show pain easily.
Any idea what that could mean?
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you with your dog today.

At 4 years of age, Damian is at the perfect age for signs of a seizure disorder like epilepsy to rear it's ugly head.

The unusual behavior that you're describing do actually sound like seizure activity. There are two kinds of seizures: the grand mal seizure (which is where the whole body tremors and the dog may lose control of the bladder and bowels) which are the most common, but there is another type called petite mal (or focal seizures) that only involve one muscle group and the dog doesn't lose consciousness or control of their bladder/bowels. These petite mal seizures can range from something called fly biting (where the dog snaps at invisible insects in the air) to staring at walls, to this sort of disorientated behavior like Damian showed.

From the sound of it...Damian could be having focal seizures.

If he were mine, I'd have her seen by his vet as soon as possible. They'll do a little blood work and see if there's something underlying that would cause these seizures. If you have a phone or camera with video abilties, then it would be a good idea to tape your boy during one of these episodes. Seizures are often hard to diagnose because the dog may not have one in the vets getting a video of it, they'll be able to see them and determine if they think it's a seizure. Once they determine that's what it is, they'll decide whether to get him on a medication like Phenobarbital or if they're going to just watch them for the time being.

I hope this helps.
Lisa and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Guenther,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Damian. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Lisa,


Thank you for asking, but so far there haven't been any new incidents, Damian is behaving quite normally. I had him sleep in my bed with me to stay on the safe side.

We went to the vet as you suggested, but all tests resulted inconspicuous. We don't have the results of the blood tests yet though. As soon as they are here, I'll let you know.



Thanks for the updates Guenther. I'll keep my fingers crossed for good blood work!!