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Ihave a Pekingese and he started having like a twitching in

his neck on the left...
Ihave a Pekingese and he started having like a twitching in his neck on the left side he is not as active as he was before this he doesn't eat as much eather can you tell me whats wrong or something
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
3/18/2016
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17,121
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand your concern for your fellow Diego because you are noticing him having muscle twitches on the left side of his neck.

Please do not give your fellow any more amoxicillin. In general oral medications alone will not successfully treat an ear infection in a dog. Unlike us their ear infections are in the outer ear canal, and systemic antibiotics don't penetrate the skin of the ear and waxy debris in the ear well at all, so they don't work very well unless the infection spreads to the inner ear. Also Amoxicillin has poor efficacy against the bacteria that are associated with ear infections in dogs. By using it you will only breed more antibiotic resistance.

If this only affected his ears or the area around his ear then an inner ear infection or an allergic type response would be a possibility too. If your fellow has signs of an ear infection (increased amounts of ear wax, red, sore skin and a swollen ear canal, foul odor) then he needs to see a veterinarian for treatment. The discomfort from an ear infection could cause muscle twitches and interfere with his appetite, but it would have to be a pretty bad infection to do so.

It is certainly possible with your description of twitching that your fellow is having petit mal seizures. These seizures affect a small group of muscles in a particular area of the body. They are not of the same significance as grand mal seizures (loss of consciousness, whole body, rhythmic, uncontrollable muscle contractions with possible loss of urine and stool continence) because the chance of body temperature increasing and subsequent brain damage is much less.

There are several things that can cause muscle contractions other than petite mal seizures. Infections, nerve damage or inflammation, toxin exposure, kidney disease and mineral (especially calcium) or electrolyte disturbances can all cause muscle fasciculations (spasms) as well.

I need to ask if you recently applied any topical flea medications or could he have been exposed to an insecticide? If so you want to bathe him thoroughly to remove as much of the toxin as possible with something like Dawn dishwashing soap and cool water. Do not use hot water or scrub his skin as that will increase toxin absorption. Some flea control products, especially the over the counter products with high amounts of pyrethrin type insecticides can cause muscle twitches in sensitive dogs.

Another possible cause of his symptoms is intervertebral disc disease. This is when the spongy discs between the vertebrae in her spine either prolapse or leak and put pressure on her spinal cord. This is quite painful and can lead to painful muscle spasms or if there is enough pressure then even paralysis can result. It hurts to bend their neck with neck disc disease, so perhaps bending over to eat is painful enough that he is reluctant to do so. Keep him very quiet, no running, jumping or bending over (elevate his food and water bowls to head height) and see his veterinarian for pain/anti-inflammatory medications.

If he seems to be progressing in symptoms and has a grand mal seizure (unconscious, unaware of surroundings, repetitive, uncontrollable whole body muscle movements with or without loss of urine or stool) then he should be seen by a veterinarian on an emergency basis today.

If his color is good and he is eating somewhat, drinking and behaving normally otherwise I suspect that he is stable but I do recommend that your veterinarian examine him and run some tests to determine why he is having these muscle spasms. I wouldn't wait too long to have him seen as some of the things that can cause muscle spasms (like toxins, electrolyte or mineral imbalances) can cause long term problems for your fellow and may be indicative of serious diseases.

If this is intervertebral disc disease it is very important to relieve the inflammation so it does not progress to paralysis. If this is secondary to high blood calcium levels then addressing that promptly so there is no organ damage and tissue calcification is best.

Since you have already started aspirin if it seems to help you can continue that for a few days. Aspirin does cause stomach and intestinal irritation and ulceration as well as clotting problems so should not be given for more than 2 to 3 days consecutively and should always be given with a meal. If you choose to continue to use it watch for lack of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stools or dark tarry stools and stop immediately if you see those. Do not use aspirin if your dog has liver or kidney disease or a history of a sensitive stomach or clotting problems.

The dose for aspirin is 5mg to 10mg per pound of body weight orally every 12 hours (about one half of a 325mg aspirin for a 25 to 35 pound dog every 12 hours or one low dose aspirin per 9 to 20 pound dog every 12 hours). Always give with a meal. Do not use for more than 2 or 3 days.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
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