What can cause leg severe leg spasms, jolts like little electric shocks, and lip smacking, more or less at the same time, and usually at night when trying to go to sleep?
Type of Animal: basset hound
Name of Animal: Bert
We've been to our vet, had an exam, taken x-rays, and found nothing. We're trying Benedryl at night now to see if it will help. Vet says we might try Phenobarbatol next.
Hello. Thank you for asking your question. My name isXXXXX will try to help.
How long do Bert's spasm last?
Do they only happen at night?
When he is having a spasm, can you clap your hands, or call his name, and get him to stop?
Spasms are off and on, sometimes for hours, preventing sleep for both of us. He'll just drop off, sleep a bit, then the leg kicks, waking both of us. Weds. night he was also experiencing the little jolts, as though he'd just been zapped with electricity. He moans a bit, too. Occasionally, I see a spasm during the day, but not often. Mostly, he sleeps with no problem during the day. I have not tried clapping, but I certainly call him and he cannot stop it. He looks profoundly sorry that he cannot. He is not unaware. I doesn't seem like a seizure to me, but I don't know.
It does sound like a seizure to me.
When dogs are having a seizure, you can not talk to them, or clap your hands, and get them to stop.
There are many kinds of seizures.
Some dogs lick the walls or the air.
Some dogs run in circles.
So have grand mal seizures where they fall down, paddle the legs, chomp the teeth, and loose bladder or bowel control.
Most likely the phenobarbital, or another anti-seizure medication, will help his symptoms.
I know you had x-rays done. I just want to make sure you had blood work done as well. Low blood sugar, low calcium, acute kidney disease, toxic ingestion, infectious disease, and tick disease can all cause the activity you are seeing and seizures. So blood work would be a good idea to rule these things out.
I hope this helps.
If you have additional questions, please click "reply." Thanks
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX I do appreciate it. It might be a seizure, but I do want to stress that Bert is conscious. Sometimes we just sit, exhausted, and look at each other, as though wondering what to do. And his leg spasms and real kicks (when he is next to me, I am the kickee). He has had recent blood work done, though I'm not sure what all it would have shown. I thought I'd try you, because after the Phenobarb, the next step would be a neurologist, and there isn't one within 100 miles. Of your possibles, I was mildly interested in ticks, because we do walk outside in wooded areas every day and he does get ticks.
It is a myth that they loose consciousness, or pass out, during or after a seizure.
Some dogs may loose consciousness but in general, they are just weak, and out of it, after a grand mal seizure which is the worst kind.
As I mentioned, there are many kinds of seizures.
It would be a good idea to have him tested for tick borne disease. A couple of drops of blood are needed and the test can be run, in house, in about 20 minutes. So you should have the answer right away. If he is positive, then he could take an antibiotic to resolve it.
You could try giving him pain medication and a muscle relaxer. That would help if he has a pinched nerve.
From what you are describing, it does sound like a type of seizure.
I think it would be worth it to drive to the neurologist.
They are used to seeing cases such of Bert's and should be able to give you an answer.
14 years working as a full time veterinarian
Hi Susan,I'm just following up on our conversation about Bert. How is everything going?Dr. Gabby