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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28459
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Our 2 year old working cocker appears very anxious tonight

Customer Question

Our 2 year old working cocker appears very anxious tonight for no apparent reason. Never seen her like this before. Keeps looking up above her and licking her lips and snatching at things that are not there. She is quite warm and has a raised heart rate. Have been trying to keep her calm by massaging and talking calmly. Cooling her down with a damp cloth. She did have a bit of a fishy smell earlier but that seems to have gone.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
You've described "fly-biting" behavior in dogs which is still poorly understood. Behaviorists focus on the possibility that it represents an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Neurologists focus on the possibility that the behavior reflects seizures - simple partial seizures previously called petit mal. I'm in this camp. Ruby's lip licking and level of arousal suggests this type of seizure. Autonomic signs (e.g. salivation, vomiting, licking) are consistent with partial seizures.

I'n concerned that Ruby's warmth (hyperthermia?) and tachycardia (increased heart rate) reflect persistent arousal which if it persisted could cause heat stroke. Unless she remisses shortly, it would be prudent to have her heavily sedated or even anesthetized if necessary. Seizures that don't abate within 20 minutes may reflect status epilepticus - the state in which central nervous system arousal doesn't abate. This can be life-threatening.

Please give me an update on Ruby and respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.




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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ruby is now sleeping, so I will keep a close eye on her and hope that this was an isolated seizure. Thank you for your advice.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
That's good to hear. I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
May I have an update on Ruby, please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Ruby is absolutely fine and has not suffered any more episodes of fly biting. Hopefully that was a one off. Thank you for your concern.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank goodness. Thank you for taking the time to update me.

Please disregard the info request.

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