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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30273
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I believe my 18yr old dog has had about s 5th mini stroke

Customer Question

I believe my 18yr old dog has had about his 5th mini stroke but this time it is 2 days later and he is still pacing, circling and whining. Wondering if he is in pain or it is just residual from the stroke
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Shep, Emma. Aimless pacing, circling, and vocalization are symptoms pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of encephalopathy (brain disorder) affecting the forebrain - cerebrum and/or thalamus. Transient ischemic accidents (TIAs/mini-strokes) and brain tumor are likely at Shep's age. True stroke is more likely to cause vocalization, a profound change in mentation (mental status) such as coma or obtundation, and seizures. Whether or not pain is associated with Shep's current behavior is unknown but he needs to be quieted lest he exhaust himself with this persistent behavior. His vet might prescribe a sedating benzodiazepine such as clorazepate or clonazepam but I fear that you may have to made a difficult decision if we can't stop Shep's behavior this time around.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.