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LAST NITE MY DOG WOKE ME UP AS HE WAS CHEWING ON HIS LEG (I…

LAST NITE MY DOG...

LAST NITE MY DOG WOKE ME UP AS HE WAS CHEWING ON HIS LEG (I THINK). I GOT HIM UP AND HE HAD NO CONTROL OF BACK LEGS AND WAS TILTING TO ONE SIDE. WITHIN A HALF HOUR, HE WAS OK. DID HE HAVE A STROKE?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help your dog. What is your dog's name and age?

LOUIE IS A 12 YEAR OLD MINI POODLE

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is LOUIE?

12 YEARS OLD

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about LOUIE?

NO. HE'S A LITTLE BIT DEAF BUT HEALTHY IN ALL OTHER RESPECTS

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Answered in 1 hour by:
3/22/2018
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,273
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Good morning!
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I'm at work, so I can't talk, but I can type here.

There are three main considerations for Louie - a complex partial seizure, vestibular (balance disorder), and a stroke. Only a seizure is expected to come and go so quickly.

A head tilt and ataxia ("drunken sailor") are signs of a vestibular (balance) disorder in our pets. You may also see nystagmus - eyes flicking back and forth. Louie's vet would need to clarify if the idiopathic ("old dog") vestibular disorder has arisen (most common), a peripheral vestibular disorder involving his inner/middle ear(s)/otitis interna/otitis media) is present, or a more serious central vestibular disorder involving his cerebellum or brainstem exists. This will take a thorough physical and neurologic exam.

Dogs suffering from the idiopathic vestibular disorder generally have a good prognosis for recovery. Improvement is usually seen within a few days and dogs can normalize within a couple of weeks although some are left with a persistent head tilt. There's no specific therapy for these dogs but I might prescribe an antiemetic/anti-motion sickness drug if nausea is preventing normal eating and drinking.

I can't rule out simple vertigo which came and went quickly, however. That's not common but is seen.

Strokes usually cause more profound central nervous system signs - obtundation, coma - and my patient doesn't normalize for quite some time if at all.

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You may have witnessed a complex partial seizure (also called psychomotor seizure) which is described as abnormal focal or asymmetric sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body and which may be associated with autonomic signs, (salivation, vomiting, e.g.) and is associated with a change in mentation (mental status) and/or behavioral abnormalities. If consciousness is lost a general seizure (previously called gran mal) is diagnosed. Sleep is the most common post-ictal (post-seizure) symptom. Mark your calendar for this event and for just what you witnessed. Louie's vet will need all the information you can gather when deciding if he 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 Louie suffer another event within 24 hours of this one 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. She would then need the attention of a vet at your earliest convenience.

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.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
This is all very strange. He didn't seem like he was in any pain at all, and really didn't seem concerned about his condition at all. Within 15 minutes he went outside and peed and this morning he acts as if this never even happened. I was thinking maybe his leg just "fell asleep".Is there anything tha tI can do for him or feed him (supplement) that would help the ole guy out?

Our messages may have crossed. Please see my post timestamped 09:34 (my time). Please let me know if you can't see it and I'll repost it for you.

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Lack of control of hind legs indicates something more severe than "fell asleep".

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
In that case, as this appear to be a seizure - should I wait and see if another happens (while recording the date on this one).Is there anything I can give him?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
you are thinking brain tumor is more likely as he is 12 years old?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
again, he was not thrashing about nor did he lose control of his bowels. He just could not stand and was at a tilt for 15 minutes or so before he straightened out and walked somewhat normally.

Yes, that's just what I recommend your doing. It's too early to be considering dietary changes and supplements. We need a track record of Louie's behavior. Yes, brain tumor must be the most important consideration at his age. Thrashing about is consistent with general seizure (gran mal). This need not occur with complex partial seizures which you can review in my post timestamped 09:34 (my time). Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
One last question please. IF this is a brain tumor - (1) how often would you expect this to occur, and (2) IF this is a brain tumor, how long do you think Louie has to live?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
OR could this be an anomaly and never occur again.

That's very difficult to predict but seizures related to brain tumor are expected to increase in frequency and severity and my patients can be lost during a seizure. Yes, there's always a chance that this is a "one-off" event. That would be more likely in cases of adult epilepsy.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
ok - I suppose this is just a wait and see issue - and hope that this was a one time event. I am hoping that this is NOT a tumor. Epilepsy I could handle. But you know that we all love and care for our pets!

I understand! I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,273
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Dr. Michael Salkin and 87 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much for your help!!!!! Have a wonderful day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's a lot of wonderful! I'll give it my best! Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 33,273
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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