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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28526
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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He's has labored breathing, erratic behavior, he had an

Customer Question

He's has labored breathing, erratic behavior, he had an emergency vet visit heart, lungs, gums, and temperature was good, he was prescribed Valium to calm down and it worked well for a while but symptoms have returned and the same Valium is not effecting his breathing strange. What do I do he's a 11yr old American bull dog who weighs 100#s. Any ideas?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Coby
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Coby?
Customer: He did switch foods last night and that's when symptoms started. I did not think of this til after visit.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I believe We found the culprit we received a free sample bag of dog food from Sam's club and his episodes were after he ate that food we removed that food from his diet and the problem appears to be straightened itself out
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Can you clarify for me what "erratic behavior" consisted of? My initial thought was that Coby suffered a complex partial seizure (previously called petit mal; also called psychomotor seizure) which wasn't completely addressed with the diazepam (Valium). Complex partial seizure 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. I would be circumspect about his activity resulting from a food allergy.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
His erratic behavior including heavy breathing heavy salivating inability to relax for more than a minute without getting up nervously circling the room or going Into areas he typically did not go
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm home all day and was observing everything and after he ate the problems began we had a veterinarian visit and he prescribed Valium to calm the dog down and that workeduntil he had more of that food and the symptoms returned . After a double dose of Valium and being shut in to a room for a night he has returned to normal and I threw the food away
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. Seizure activity as described above should be an important differential diagnosis. I can't rule out a simple dietary indiscretion as you described, however. "Watchful waiting" makes sense at this time. If the behavior returns in spite of the food being discarded, you'll know to pursue seizure activity. If not, I never argue with success! Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Coby is having a repeat episode 2 1/2 Valium hasn't calmed down......worried what can I do??
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

He'll need to be heavily sedated with either IV diazepam to effect or IV phenobarbital. He's clustering which is defined as more than one seizure within a 24 hour period. This can presage status epilepticus - the state in which seizure activity doesn't abate until he'es either heavily sedated or anesthetized.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
He is an eleven year old American bulldog what would you suggest he means everything to me but I can't afford medical and can't stop time, he's amazing best friend and I don't want him to suffer
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

May I have an update on Coby, please?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I marked your new post as a duplicate so you wouldn't be charged twice. Your vet means well but can't rule out encephalopathy without a thorough neurologic exam likely to include MRI +/- cerebrospinal fluid tap and analysis. Many vets aren't aware that seizure activity need not look like a general seizure (what we used to call gran mal) during which my patient flails about and loses consciousness or a complex partial seizure (previously called petiti mal) which can look like gran mal but my patient doesn't lose consciousness.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
my veterinarian seemed 100% confident as to rule out any kind of seizures, he visited Coby while he was having 1st episode as he only does house calls....... Unfortunately we are not in a position financially for advanced testing. Despite his erratic behavior during episodes Dr Peters is confident his symptoms are non-life-threatening. I will research personally your suggested diagnosis and the symptoms associated with said condition. Thank you so much for your second opinion
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 months ago.

I understand your financial constraints. Ask Coby's vet for a prescription of diazepam that can be given rectally. We need to know how that benzodiazepine anticonvulsant affects Coby when given in that manner when he's symptomatic. 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.