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boxer: companion..breeder..people, malnourished, corn allergies…

Customer Question
Please help me and my...
Please help me and my furry companion.

History: I have a boxer that will be 3 in September. He came from a breeder (not the best) had no socialization, fear of people, malnourished, corn allergies, and a few others. Last Tues - Fri I was out of town and when I came home he was acting distant from me. I figured it was the cold shoulder from being gone. Sat morning we got up and he seemed better. Next thing I knew he threw up twice and it was like an egg on the floor. Very gooey and bright yellow. I rushed him to the vet and he took an xray to make sure he hadn't swallowed something. All clear. His gum color was good, he was responsive and alert. He was due for his Lepto, bortertelli (SP Wrong) and the other not Rabies. So... the vet gave him those plus something to stop the vomiting and a shot a "pepcid". On home we went.

Next: 6 hours later I heard his collar rattling and looked to see his head shaking. Not knowing I rushed him to the ER Vet thinking he had a seizure. He had one episode in the car on the way. Once at the vet he wasn't doing it. They did an EKG, full panel of blood work and all came back good. I stayed in the room on the floor with Dobby (my pals name) for 5 hours with nothing happening. So, thought it would be safe to go home. Just 10 minutes later at home he did it again. Back we went with two more episodes in the car. They kept him and gave him fluids but said he never did it. They tied a bell to his neck so they could hear but my theory is he was laying on the bell preventing it from moving. I picked him up Sunday went home and about 15 minutes in it started again. So I started a log book:

Sunday: All episodes happened while he was sleeping some would wake him up and then you'd hear his collar. Others he'd stay sleeping and unless you were staring at him (which I was) you'd miss it. He have 5-6 episodes back to back each lasting between 9-22 seconds. He's eating, drinking, pooing, peeing, tooting and alert. So, thinking I can handle this. In my research I think he may have Idiopathic head bobbing syndrome.

Here comes Monday night: All day he did not have one head bobbing episode. He slept a little, went outside, sat by the door, barked at the mail man, went for a car ridge (his favorite). Then it was bed time and he was laying on the floor in an odd position after scratching his ears and back. I called him several times and no reaction, walked passed him, no reaction, got next to him on the floor and usually he'd lick my face. Nothing. So I got nervous that this is more as I've heard that many think there is a link to the shots. He's started really licking his chops, smacking last night and still today. He is really sleeping hard. I know he's been through a lot but the sleeping is so deep, he's kicking, twitching, huffing. Also, for a dog that day in and day out has whinned for no reason that has stopped completely. (I know I should be thrilled)

I am seeking a vet locally in Denver, CO that is more familiar with the Boxer breed. My gut says there is something more than just the head bobbing syndrome. Are any of these issues know to be from the shots? I read several places that others also didn't experience this until after getting the shot.

Your help mean a lot to me!

Fearful Boxer Mom,
Denver, CO
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog
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Answered in 40 minutes by:
6/15/2010
Dog Specialist: Karen Purcell, Dog Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
Karen Purcell
Karen Purcell, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 945
Experience: Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1992
Verified

While idiopathic head bobbing is possible with Dobby, I'd be much more concerned about localized epileptic seizures. Head bobbing is not associated with the deep sleep you are also noticing. These are very common in Boxers and normally start showing between 2-4 years of age. After a series of seizures, the dog is exhausted and will sleep very deeply. The fact that his bloodwork was completely normal also goes with a diagnosis of epilepsy, ruling out toxins or organ malfunction.

To see a good overview of epilepsy and treatment, http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/Resources.html

Given the mild nature of his episodes, he certainly does not need treatment at this time. In any of my patients, the next step is the episode log you are already keeping on his behavior. In the event that his episodes become more severe or last more than 60 seconds, he needs to see a veterinarian to consider anti-seizure medications, especially if he is having trouble with his eyesight, balance or perception after the episode occurs.

 

I hope this gives you some guidance,

Dr. Karen

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