MY 18 MONTH OLD FEMALE ROTTWEILER HAS STARTED HAVING SOME TYPE OF SEIZURE.SHE IS USUALLY ASLEEP AND STIFFENS UP AND STARTS JERKING. SHE HAD ONE IN MAY, ONE THE FIRST OF JUNE AND JUST HAD ANOTHER THAT I KNOW OF. WHAT COULD BE CAUSING THIS? THE BREEDERS SAY THEY HAVE NEVER HAD A DOG DO THIS.
Type of Animal: DOG
Age: 18 MONTHS
Name of Animal: SADIE
WE JUST LEAVE HER ALONE.
Hello, I am Dr. Zoe, a licensed veterinarian here to help. This does sound like a seizure, which can occur during sleep. AT her age, epilepsy is certainly possible.
But also, at her age it is well worth looking for other issues that can cause seizure like liver problems, specifically a liver shunt (called portosystemic shunt).
There are other possbilities as well such as protozoal diseases (toxoplasmosis, neospora) or tick-borne diseases (like ehrlichia or lyme disease)...these should all be screened for which is lab work.
If you feel these episodes we suspect are seizures are worsening then anticonvulsant medication should be considered such as phenobarbital, keppra, or zonisamide. Okay, please let me know your questions!
(I do want to mention many of the things I recommended screening for are easily treatable, but portosystemic shunt is more complicated, if diagnosed).
I AM TAKING HER TO OUR LOCAL VET THIS AFTERNOON.
COULD THIS BE CAUSED BY ANY KIND OF FOOD ALERGY?
This is highly unlikely. If there was a toxin in the food like aflatoxin then possible, but this would cause very acute/sudden onset siezures and not have started several months ago. This suggests a primary neurological issue that is perhaps worsening.
PLease keep me posted on her progress and, of course, let me know if you have any questions after you see your vet!
12 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine