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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23749
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog is not responding to things she normally and seems

Customer Question

My dog is not responding to things she normally and seems like she is star gazing. My husband told me she woke up last night screaming. I didn't hear her. Usually when he leaves for work she is barking her brains out and is very active , playful with toys,energetic. Today she is not like that. She feel asleep and woke up screaming it's like she's is lathargic. She was shaking earlier and looks like she is breathing heavier not by mouth but I can see in her body as she lays down which is what she spent 3/4 of the day. Please help me. Will see get better? Do you think it's a siesure. What do we do?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. I'll do all I can to help. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** is 13 years old
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lexi?
Customer: Not that I can think of.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

You do appear to be describing a complex partial seizure which I do see awakening dogs from sleep. This 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 which you're seeing today in the form of star gazing, shaking, and her change in breathing. Sleep is the most common post-ictal (post-seizure) symptom. Mark your calendar for this event and for just what you witnessed. Lexi's vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if Lexi 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 she 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. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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