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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28494
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My shihtzu is 15 & has suddenly started having strange tics

Customer Question

My shihtzu is 15 & has suddenly started having strange tics & appears as if something is poking her face she acts like she's running into something
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  brisadog replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I can help you with your question today.
If you throw something along her line of vision, such as a cotton ball, does she react as though she sees it?
Does she respond to your voice?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She acted like she was running into something & it was poking her face
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'll follow up for Dr. Susan for you. The facial tics and withdrawal motions indicate simple partial seizures (previously called petit mal and now also called psychomotor seizures). These are most likely due to an intracranial (within the skull) encephalopathy (brain disorder) such as brain tumor at Coco's age. We also consider less common extracranial (outside the skull) etiologies such as a poorly functioning liver intoxicating the brain (hepatoencephalopathy).
Coco's vet will need to perform a thorough physical and neurological exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests. If nothing untoward is seen in such testing, an MRI is recommended but I would find such imaging circumspect at Coco's age. If her symptoms persisted, I would be more likely to prescribe an anticonvulsive drug such as levetiracetam or zonisamide.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.