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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 27354
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 12 year old Maltese/Bichon is having a twitching of s

Customer Question

My 12 year old Maltese/Bichon is having a twitching of his back and his legs are jumping. Kind of like the RLS that I have. Can dogs get RLS? If not, do you know what can be causing this ? It is happening when he is awake just resting on his bed.
Submitted: 1 year ago via Vet.com.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

We do recognize RLS in dogs but it's transient and sporadic. If Maxxi is twitching while awake and the twitching has persisted for more than a few minutes, simple partial seizures (previously called petit mal) are more likely. These are defined as abnormal sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body. They can sometimes be associated with autonomic signs (e.g., salivation, vomiting). There's no alteration in consciousness with these seizures and dogs are normal between episodes. His vet will want to perform a thorough physical and neurologic exam on Maxxi. A video of this behavior can be very useful for his vet - and me if you could upload one to an external site such as YouTube and then give me the link to it. Remember not to mark it as "private".

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Maxxi. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin