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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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My dog Bear, German Sheppard mix, is a rescue dog, found in 2006 the v

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My dog Bear, German Sheppard mix, is a rescue dog, found in 2006 the vet said he was more than 1 yr but less than 2yrs old. He is approx. 9-10 years old. He claps his mouth open and shut rapidly, and his body shakes. He whines at times during this episode as well. Our other dog, border collie/lab mix, seems fine while this is going on. We have looked to see what could be causing this but cant find anything. We thought anxiety, but it comes out of the blue. What could be causing this? in addition, he licks/bites the same leg raw. We have bandaged him up, cone collar until its healed. Then he will redo it allover again. please let us know,[email protected]
Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear that Bear isn't feeling well. What you are describing sounds like partial seizure activity, and it may not be within his control to stop what he's doing. I'd highly recommend a neurologic examination by a veterinarian at this point to pinpoint the cause of these signs and make sure they aren't evidence of something more serious.

About 80% of dogs that show seizure activity are epileptics, which is something that can start at any stage of life. These dogs often benefit from anti-seizure medication and can do very well for long periods of time. The other 20% have some kind of infectious, inflammatory, or tumor-based disease. Some of these can be controlled with medication; others cannot.

I suspect that the leg chewing is related to the mouth clapping-- dogs that are merely anxious often won't do that severe of damage to their legs. I'd really recommend a neuro exam and I think this could potentially be addressed with medication.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your prompt reply. I just wish to have more info....


  1. Is it possible for these "seizures" to be only, at most, 3 times since 2006? The most recent one being less than a month ago?


Could the following be triggers? Either Seizures/Leg chewing?


  1. In Jan 2013 we had to put our feline friend Newman down. He was 11 years old; a blood clot in his nerve at base of tail splice. Newman never came back home with us. Bear knew him from 2006 (7 years) and they got along.

  2. Mid-spring 2013 I brought Bear in to see the vet, off regular visit schedule, because he has 2 "lumps" under each of his armpits. The vet stated they were not "attached" so more than likely are fat tissue deposits.

  3. Bear had been living in the same home from Feb 2006 - Aug 2013. In July 2013 we would bring him and our other dog to the new house while we got it ready so they could get a "smell" for the place. In addition, possibly help with the anxiety of moving. Once we moved in, it seems that that's when the chewing/licking began.


We thought it may be anxiety from moving. We played classical music during the day while gone to work, my husband visits mid-day everyday.


The sores; we have bandaged him up giving him Benadryl for itch, for minimum 1 week until it is healed to where the skin is pinky/white again. Now, he has started again, same leg, different places. Now there are mini spots the size of an eraser on a pencil, about 3 of them. They are red and almost look like "bloody spot" in his hair.


  • I have changed his food to Senior food (Sept 2013) he is given 2 cup serving bowls twice a day once at 7am and next at 330pm. At times his breakfast is still there by noon. I only give them Lamb & Rice formula food, as chicken and organic formula foods seem to rich as they have diarrhea the whole transitional period.

  • I have given him (and continue to) give him Benadryl 1 tablet once daily.

  • I give him senior multi-vitamins 3 tablets (1 per 20lbs) he is approx. 70lbs

  • In damp weather I give him 1-2 dog-aspirin tablets and I notice he "bounces" in his steps when I do that.

  • He is outside in the yard more than 1 hr a day and is free run in a 190x50 size yard, he plays with our other dog or us if we start he will reciprocate.


If you need any other information please let me know.



Bear was found in Feb 2006 in -40 C weather. I opened my door, he came in I gave him some water and then he layed down on my floor. I opened the door to see if he would go home, he went out went pee and cried at my door to come back in, and hasn't left since :) His paws were frostbit that day, so now we watch the weather and how long he is outside in cooler periods.