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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28573
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My dog had s preventative vaccinations early in aug. 3-4

Customer Question

My dog had his preventative vaccinations early in aug. 3-4 days later he had hives and swollen eye (huge) so we took him back to vet, they gave benedryl, and it cleared. 3 days ago, he started losing his balance, wobbly etc. Took him back to vet bold work, said hes mildly anemic and gave us vitamins. Yesterday morning, hes worse, constant jerking, bad balance. Took him back to vet (different one) and they gave him antibiotics, and something else. Today, he continues to get worse, even while sitting on his pillow, he is spasming.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
blood work
I was told he has upper respiratory infection, his ears are clear. Looking at the symptoms of distemper, there seems to be some clues but his demeanor is good.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you clarify for me which part(s) of his body is spasming? Is it a sporadic myoclonus - sudden contraction of a muscle group such as a facial twitch or limb jerk? Is it a constant repetitive myoclonus - constant rhythmic jerking, usually of one limb every 1 to several seconds; it may involve several limbs or muscles such as the diaphragm or masticatory muscles. Does Doogle's history (adopted as a stray, e.g.) suggest that distemper should be considered?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have had him since a baby. It doesn't seem so much like spasms but resembles someone with Parkinson's disease. He stumbles and loses his balance as well. He has been fine until he had multiple vaccinations around 10-12 days ago. I can send a video if you would like, which will show his movements. Even as he sits on the couch, he lunges back and forth and wobbles uncontrollably in a constant manner.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. I would very much like to see a video. You'll need to upload it to an external site such as YouTube and give me the link to it. Please don't mark it as "private". "Someone with Parkinson's" suggests tremors. Do they worsen with activity and resolve with sleep?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is much worse standing or trying to walk around. Breaks my heart to see my buddy like this. Banfield (petsmart) said he was fine and gave me some vitamins for slight anemia. The second vet said it seems almost like a cerebral issue and gave me antibiotics/antihistamine for a secondary upper respitory infection. Suggested a brain scan in Richmond VA, about 90 min from our home.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the excellent video. It demonstrates an episodic postural repetitive myoclonus. The tremors are episodic and may be confused for focal seizures. They're often precipitated by excitement or particular head positions and tend to abate at rest. There's a characteristic "yes" or "no" movement of the head ("no" appears to be the case with Doogle) and normal consciousness. Mentation and gait usually remain normal during episodes. These tremors are considered idiopathic (unknown cause) but the proximity to vaccinations shouldn't be ignored.
An immune-mediated systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) has been recognized following vaccination which can take many forms. One of those forms is an encephalopathy (brain disorder). Therapy is directed toward reducing the inflammation in Doogle's central nervous system and this is done by administering an immunosuppressive dose of prednisone and then tapering that dose to the lowest effective one. Consultation with a specialist veterinary neurologist (please see here: would be prudent but if that isn't possible I would see how such a dose of prednisone affects Doogle. Please feel free to share our conversation with Doogle's vet.
Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your findings. Can an ordinary vet prescribe the prednisone that you recommend?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
it's a common and inexpensive drug. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I sure will thanks for the help. I will see if I can find an open vet in the am.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're quite welcome.