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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog couldn't walk, started shaking uncontrollably ...

Resolved Question:

My dog couldn't walk, started shaking uncontrollably mostly on her head, and thick saliva started pouring out of her mouth. After about 5 minutes she threw up. Any ideas?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
When did this occur?
How was she acting before this happened?
How is she acting now?
How old is she?
What type of dog?
Did she only vomit the one time?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. K's Post: Just now. She was fine, begging for her dinner. She is lathargic and appears depressed. She is a 4 year old picaneese. Yes, only once did she vomit.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
If you hold her face in your hands and look carefully at her eyes, do her irises seem to be shaking back-and-forth rapidly, or are her eyeballs held steady?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. K's Post: steady
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
Most likely, the signs that you saw happen before the vomiting, were caused by the sudden onset of nausea. If you have ever suddenly vomited, you may remember the sudden sweaty, heart-racing feeling that you get beforehand and then you get a wave of nausea that can make your mouth water before you vomit. This is most likely what happend for your dog. Hopefully, she will not continue to keep on vomiting.
One bout of vomiting in a dog is nothing to get too overly concerned about. I would just keep your eye on her closely for the rest of the evening. Do not offer her anymore food or water tonight. If she makes it through until the morning with no more vomiting, then you can offer her a few tablespoons of water in the morning. If she holds this down, then offer her a few more about 2 hours later. As long as she keeps the water down, you can then offer her a few tablespoons of a bland diet. I recommend boiled white rice and boiled white meat skinless chicken breast, mixed 3 parts rice to 1 part chicken. If she holds this down, you can offer her another few tablespoons of it a few hours later. Slowly increase the amount of this bland diet that you are feeding her over the course of 24-48 hours. Once you feel that she is back to her normal self, you can gradually mix in her regular diet with the bland diet until she is fully back on her usual food.
If she does continue to vomit tonight (more than 3 more times), then she should go into the emergency clinic to be evaluated for dehydration and for an abdominal X-ray to look for signs of gastrointestinal obstruction.

I hope that this information is of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. K's Post: This happened once before in late December. She couldn't stand up. Was acting all of a sudden as if she were hurt. Tried to walk and fell on her side.    I held on to her and she was shaking profusely. I've had my Austrailian Shepherd for 11 years and it seemed very odd. Nervous, shaky, sure, but not to where it would incapacitate her from being able to walk or sit or lie down. Any other ideas?
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
Did she lose consciousness during this episode?
Did she lose control of her bladder or bowels?
Was she paddling her legs or chattering her teeth while laying on her side?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. K's Post: No and no. She clamped her jaw shut very hard, and it was as if her arms were curled up near her neck. My son has an involuntary motion disorder and the movement of her legs was similar. It looked like she was in alot of pain pulling her legs into her body one or two at a time.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 9 years ago.
Due to her lethargy and continued drooling after the episode that you are describing, it is possilbe that she had a seizure (on both occasions) and she is now in what is called the post-ictal phanse.
In a dog of this age, there are a number of different things that can cause seizures. They include:

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)--This can be due to a tumor called an insulinoma
Liver disease
Kidney disease
Electrolyte disturbance(Hypocalcemia)
Toxins (Lead, moldy walnuts, pesticides)
Brain tumors
Bacterial abscesses in the brain
Infectious diseases (Fungal, viral, parasitic)
Vascular accident secondary to kidney failure
Idiopathic Epilepsy (Seizures of unknown cause)

As you can see, the list is quite long. The first step is take your dog in to the veterinarian for a complete physical and neurological examination. The vet will want to run blood and urine laboratory tests to look for signs of low blood sugar, low calcium, kidney disease and liver disease. If all bloodwork appears to be normal, the next step would be an MRI of the skull to look for a tumor or abscess.
If no cause can be found, then it is assumed that idiopathic epilepsy is the problem. This is treated with lifelong medication with an anticonvulsant.

I am attaching a client information handout that I use in my practice concerning seizures in dogs. I hope that you find it useful.

Click Here

Let me know if you hav any further questions.

Dr. K

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