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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a call from my husband as I went on my lunch break that Ralphie was "acting weird". My husband had picked up the dog from daycare earlier that morning, about two hours before the episode. He was napping, but when he woke up he wasn't able to walk straight, confused. So I went home and witnessed Ralphie struggling to maintain balance, looking rather unsure of himself, stumbling. Absolutely not normal.

My husband explained that Ralphie had been napping on the couch, and then suddenly jumped up, kind of darted around the couch, leaning against it (we have a sectional) and then laid down next to my husband. My husband thought nothing of it at first, thinking that he was chasing a fly, but then he looked at his face and noticed his eyes were twitching rapidly, the pupils flying from side to side. He thought that was pretty weird.

My husband got off the couch and coaxed Ralphie toward him. Ralphie had difficulty walking a straight line and used the couch for support. My husband thinks he was tilting to the right. He called me and I went home.

When I got home Ralphie was happy to see me, of course, but I could tell he was a little...off. He pushed into me for comfort. I noticed he would "dip", like his knees went weak. His walking was slightly off, he would stutter to the right. But he was bringing me toys. He wanted to play. He did not want to lay down, or even sit. I called the vet and made an appointment, and while we waited he would just be standing there and doing the "dip" thing again. It seemed it was mostly his front legs that wanted to give.

We brought him to the vet (like, fifteen minutes after I got home), and by then he seemed mostly recovered. He did not want to jump out of the vehicle and I lifted him down, but when we got inside the episode seemed to have passed. He was taking treats, wanted to see the other dog there.

The vet did an examination and found nothing abnormal. They took him for a little walk, had him lay down and watched him get up. He did not stumble or drift off of a straight line. She advised us to simply watch him, as she did not think that any infection would get better so quickly. He had bloodwork done less than a month prior at his annual visit (clean bill of health), so she didn't feel that was necessary, she didn't think she would find anything. She said it might be a one-time thing, perhaps triggered by his recent stay at daycare, or something neurological that she would not be able to test for.

So, we're just watching for now and being hyper vigilant of anything even slightly abnormal, and really hoping this never happens again. Any thoughts?

For a bit more information, Ralphie is a 3 year old male Aussie/Collie mix. He competes in agility and is in very good shape, never had any sort of issues like this before. He's been boarded before, often for longer periods of time (it was 5 days this last time), and never come home with any problems other than a minor scratch.
 

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Wow that's scary! I'm glad he seems to be okay now at least. Did he get injured at daycare maybe? A concussion? I would call and ask if anything happened. Other than that I don't have any suggestions except try to get a video next time to show the vet.
 

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Scary for sure to watch a dog have trouble like that.

I think the vet visit and careful watchfulness is about all you can do a the moment.

I'd talk to the daycare about any chances he had a head or neck/spine bump or jolt out of norm.

Neuro issues in herding dogs always make me ask-- is hr MDR1 tested and had he recently had any medication or possible accidental ingestion of meds (for example, by eating manure from farm animals treated with ivermectin)

Seizures can be totally random by I have known dogs with epilepsy that was inexpensive to treat with daily meds to preveny seizures
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow that's scary! I'm glad he seems to be okay now at least. Did he get injured at daycare maybe? A concussion? I would call and ask if anything happened. Other than that I don't have any suggestions except try to get a video next time to show the vet.
Nope, not that I know of. They didn't say anything. But I'm sure they don't see 100% of everything all time even though they do have 1-2 people in there. The vet checked for concussion and other physical injuries, but everything was normal.
 

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It doesn't hurt to ask anyway. Pepper and Kane stayed in daycare for 3 nights this past weekend and Pepper came home with a huge gash on the top of her ear. They didn't say anything about it when we picked her up and I didn't notice until we got home. Even when I called to ask they weren't aware of anything but said they would check. They called back and said actually yes, there had been notes written down in a different book (different staff in daycare from reception). Thankfully it was just Kane who had nipped her (over a toy), but at least I know now what happened.
 

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The eyes darting side to side says vestibular, not seizure. Could be a seizure, but it's not classic seizure activity. It is textbook balance/vestibular symptom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ended up emailing them and asking if Ralphie had injured himself at daycare, and they don't recall seeing anything. There are absolutely no physical problems the vet could find. Not even a scratch. No signs of pain. If it happens again, though, X-rays will probably be on the list of tests to make sure it isn't an injury we can't see. The vet seemed doubtful it was any injury or infection, though, based on how quickly he recovered and that they couldn't reproduce the issue.

We did discuss issues with medication. Ralphie has been on the same preventatives since we got him, so she ruled that out. He has not been MDR1 tested, though. Is that something that can pop up randomly? He's on Frontline and Sentinel Spectrum. The daycare is not located near any livestock, its in the middle of town, so it's doubtful he got into any manure.

CptJack, yeah that's what I was reading a bit earlier when I googled the symptoms. I didn't know what to call the "seizure" until I read a bit more about it. I guess it should technically be termed a "vestibular episode", ha. According to my husband the eye darting didn't last for more than a couple of minutes, but the wobbliness lasted for the 20-30 minutes it took me to get home and the 15 minutes we waited until we packed up and went to the vet.

It's all scary and I hate not knowing what caused it. I just hope it never ever happens again.
 
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