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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My dog who is almost 15 has been twitching on the right side

Customer Question

My dog who is almost 15 has been twitching on the right side of his body. It's worst when he's laying down trying to sleep. When he's awake and you touch the side of his body, it twitches, but when he lays down, his right side and front paw twitch. He's
on prednisone for a neurological condition so I don't know if that could possibly be related to the twitching. He fell off the bed about a week ago and also has some new moles growing in on his back. Either way, it's concerning to see him twitch like that.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Hello. I apologize that no one has helped you sooner. My name is ***** ***** I just signed in and saw your question. I would be happy to help. Can you tell me what neurological condition he is on the pred for. Did your vet refer you to a neurologist or is he being treated by his regular vet? Other then the twitching what if any other symptoms is he having?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He's being treated by or regular vet who thinks he has a form of meningitis that responds to steroids. No other symptoms other than he's been not sleeping much at night but that's not new. The twitching just started a few days ago.
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. Can you tell me what symptoms he was having and what tests were done that lead to a diagnosis of steroid responsive meningitis and how long has he been on the Pred?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No specific tests but he responded to it right away. He's been on it for 2 years now without any problems.
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.
Having been a Shih-Tzu owner for more then 20 years I can tell you with certainty that this breed is predisposed to spinal issues including, compressed discs, disc herniation and disc degeneration. When there is a problem with the disc it can cause pressure on nerves and even on the spinal cord itself resulting in muscle twitching. Steroid responsive Meningitis normally only requires treatment for 8-10 months rarely do we see life long treatment needed. Not that it could not be just something that we do not see very often. Used this long Steroids can cause problems such as Cushings disease, Diabetes, liver/kidney disease just to name a few. What I would suggest is having a consult with a veterinary neurologist to make sure that there is not something going on in the spine or even in the brain.A Neurologist specializes both in problems with the spine and brain so they have more advanced knowledge on treatment options and diagnosis. I would also want to get new blood work done if it has not been done in the last 3 months as problem like Cushings disease can cause muscle twitching. As for the not sleeping at night I would discuss a condition called Canine Cognitive dysfunction with your vet. This is similar to dementia in humans and will normally cause altered sleep patterns and other odd behaviors at night. There is medication that can help with this. I would ask your vet for a referral to a neurologist if for no other reason then to have them review records, give him a good exam and offer an opinion on what they think may be going on as well as discuss the steroid responsive Meningitis. They may suggest advanced imaging such as an MRI to get a look at both the brain and the spin. I hope this helps give you some direction. Please reply back if you have additional questions.Candy
Expert:  Candy replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?


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