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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11369
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 9yo has been acting strange two nights in a row. It looks

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Hi! My 9yo ***** ***** has been acting strange two nights in a row. It looks like he's losing his balance/ lacks coordination and his vision is weird. This has happened a handful of times this year, but not frequently, like 3 months apart. 2 nights ago when it happened, it was also accompanied by vomiting 1 time and then peeing on the floor without lifting his leg, which he has never ever done. He sleeps it off, and then he's good as new in the morning.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the jack?
Customer: I don't think so, thank you! Sounds good thank you

Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I am not set up to do phone calls but would be happy to answer any questions you do have online. In order to give an informative and concise answer, it may take a few minutes before I respond back to you, so don't be alarmed if you don't hear back immediately. If you have not responded back in 10 minutes, it may be a longer before I can get back to you. I do have a couple more questions, though, to see if I can better assess your situation.

Does it look like his eyes are moving from side to side or up and down quickly during these episodes?

Does he tilt his head to one side or walk in circles during these episodes?

When was his last set of routine blood work?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Dr. John, Thanks for your attention.To answer your questions,
1. Yes his eyes are a bit shifty side to side when it's happening, and if I approach him quickly with my hand to pet him, he jerks back a bit because it looks like his perspective is off.
2. If I say "want a treat?!" he jumps up and off the couch as normal, but then as he is waiting for a treat, his back legs kind of give in and he falls over to one side. He's not really tilting his head to one side or walking in circles, but sometimes he would lift his head up and to the left.
3. I took him to the vet a few weeks back but they did not run any blood work at that time. The last time was 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
In my neighborhood here in NYC, they have been putting down quite a bit of rat poison. I also live in a neighborhood with a lot of homeless people who use drugs on the street and will drop needles/ bags on the street so I am concerned that he may have ingested something along those lines.

Thanks for the information. It sounds like he may be having an issue with vestibular disease. This usually comes from the inner ear or brain. The vestibular system is responsible for controlling balance. I cannot rule out that this may be some type of seizure, especially with frequency of when it happens and the fact that he is better the next day. The problem is finding the cause of a vestibular or seizure issue. With the vomiting, a vestibular issue is more likely. As far as vestibular disease goes, an inner ear infection, overdose of metronidazole (an antibiotic), head trauma, middle/inner ear tumor or polyp, brain tumor and an inflammatory or infectious condition around the brain (encephalitis) are all potential causes. Some of these can be causes of seizures as well. The most common cause of vestibular disease is termed idiopathic, which means no known cause. We see it in geriatric dogs (usually older than your JRT). We usually do not find a cause with it, but it resolves in 1-2 weeks on its own. This doesn't really fit the bill for it. A toxin ingestion is possible, but it would have to be something he is continually getting into. The only rat poison that will cause neurologic issues are those that contain the ingredient bromethalin, which causes brain swelling, but it usually does not come and go. The other rat poisons cause blood clotting problems. The first thing I would do is get some blood work ran by your vet. They may recommend some imaging, such as x-rays, an ultrasound or even an MRI or CT scan. If the issue happens again before you can get him to the vet, I would try to get it on video, so you can show them the incident. That will go a long way in determining if it is a seizure or a vestibular issue. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. Hope this helps.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH MY ANSWER, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get compensated for helping you, and we can still continue our conversation after rating. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Asking more specific questions usually helps a lot. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks so much. I'll head to the vet for some blood work now.

You are very welcome. Please let me know if you have any further concerns.

My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. IF YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH MY ANSWER, PLEASE RATE IT. Rating it is the only way I get compensated for helping you, and we can still continue our conversation after rating. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Asking more specific questions usually helps a lot. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.

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