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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30325
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Both our dods, small, have had an episode, one twice, the

Customer Question

Both our dods, small, have had an episode, one twice, the other multiple times, twice in the last few nights, where they scream and seem paralysed and stop breathing. We rub and rub and they eventually come back but are dazed and very unsteady for a while. It is terrifying and the scream is blood-curdling and always in the early hours of the morning, that we know of. Hasn't happened for over six months, now twice in three nights, only to the multiple victim.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Raggamuffin
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Raggamuffin?
Customer: He was attacked and nearly died three years ago, but our other dog, his son, has done it twice too.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Complex partial seizures (also called psychomotor seizures) are most likely particularly because these dogs are closely related genetically. Sleep is the most common post-ictal (post-seizure) symptom. Mark your calendar for these events and for just what you witnessed. Their vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if your dogs should be prescribed an anticonvulsive drug. Most of us will accept one mild (lasting less than 5 minutes, no thrashing about, no loss of consciousness) event monthly before prescribing such a drug. Should they suffer another event within 24 hours of a prior one - this appears to be the case - clustering is diagnosed and that may presage status epilepticus - the state in which seizure activity doesn't abate unless I heavily sedate or anesthetize my patient. They would then need the attention of a vet at your earliest convenience.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the type of seizures I see:

Partial seizures (previously called petit mal): focal or asymmetric sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body (e.g., facial twitching, chomping of the mouth); can be associated with autonomic signs (salivation, vomiting, defecation).

Simple partial seizures don’t alter consciousness. Complex partial seizures cause the same symptoms as simple partial seizures and also alter mentation (mental status) and/or cause behavioral abnormalities.

Generalized seizures (previously called grand mal) cause diffuse motor activity with loss of consciousness.

Seizures first arising between the ages of 1-5 years are usually considered idiopathic (unknown cause) epilepsy. Seizures arising after 6 years of age are often caused by brain tumor or, less commonly, adult onset epilepsy. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.