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Strange Episode

1194 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lulusmom
Pete is my lovely 5ish? terrier mix who we brought home last month from a rescue. He is such a sweetheart but something happened tonight that worries me.

3 weeks ago Pete slipped and fell down about 6 steps doing a full barrel roll. He scampered off to a corner and was shaking with his eyes wide. It looked to me like he had hurt his back legs so I called the vet immediately, while waiting for our ride the shaking stopped and he rolled over and stood up like it was nothing. He started walking around like nothing had happened and he didnt have any tenderness so we figured he just scared himself and we watched for signs of distress in the next few days and saw none.

Then just now he started hiding in the corner again and shaking with wide eyes. I sat with him for several minutes and it really seemed like he was in pain. Again after a minute or two he stood up and became his normal self again. I dont think hes injured himself since hes been with me all day. Aside from those episodes he seems completely fine, walking and playing, eating, affectionate... just his normal self. I'm not sure what to do... is a vet visit warranted? What could be causing this kind of intermittent pain without any obvious signs of injury? Since he seems okay I think I am going to wait til monday and definitely head in if there is any limping/tenderness/lethargy. I'm a little worried but I tend to be overprotective... am I right to be concerned?
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Yes, a vet visit is warranted. It's the only way to know for sure whether or not it's a physical issue.
Went to the vet today just to be safe... everything looks all clear but we will keep watching for signs of trouble.
Everything you are describing sounds exactly like my little Pomeranian, who has infrequent seizures. It's quite possible that your dog didn't slip on the steps but was experiencing a pre-seizure episode. Some dogs run and hide during this time and then the seizure hits. When the actual seizure hits, my dog gets a horribly fearful look on her face, with eyes wide open, staring straight ahead, hearing nothing. She will fall over stiff as a board sometimes but other times, she'll manage to stay upright but it's like she is paralyzed and in another world. Sometimes she trembles but sometimes not. She comes out of it as if absolutely nothing happened. It is very weird and very upsetting to watch. Fortunately, her seizures are very infrequent so I have not had to put her on seizure meds.

Stress can trigger seizures and most rescue dogs are under a great deal of stress. Going from the only home they've known to a shelter, then into foster care and then to a new home sometimes takes a heavy toll on them. I've pulled dogs and within hours of getting them home, they will start seizing. The last little chi I pulled was as friendly as can be, giving kisses and being my shadow but still with an undercurrrent of apprehension. The next morning, she suddently started whining, ran under the coffee table, started shaking like a leaf and within a minute she was in a full blown seizure, foaming at the mouth. This went in on for what seemed like forever so we ended up at the er. She had a bad tic that wouldn't stop so they gave her valium to relax her muscles. That bought us enough time to get her to our regular vet. She was eventually prescribed phenobarbital and is living a wonderful life with her adoptive family.

If you haven't already done so, I would highly recommend that you contact the rescue and ask them if they observed this strange behavior while Pete was in their care. I also recommend that if Pete should have another one of these episodes, you contact your vet immediately and let him/her know that you suspect Pete may be having seizures.

I've included a link below to information on seizures. You'll find a blurb on the pre-seizure phase which reads as follows:

Pre-Seizure Phase: The pre-seizure phase is commonly called the aura. Your dog may appear restless, pace, seek affection, salivate, whine, or hide. These signs occur just minutes before the actual seizure begins.

Bless you for adopting precious Pete and I wish you both many years of happiness together.

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