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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32846
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My old dog has suddenly started with a sort of twitch when

Customer Question

My old dog has suddenly started with a sort of twitch when she drinks her milk in the morning. She has a loose tooth and I thought it might be that. Now though she twitches when there is a sudden noise like a cupboard door banging or if I drop a pen on the wooden floor. It is not a twitch like when someone makes you jump it is more of a nervous twitch through her whole body. 3 days ago she also went lame on her back leg whilst out on a walk. I don't know if the two things are associated. I am resting her for her leg and giving Metacam but don't know what to do now.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. The "twitch" you're seeing is likely to represent a simple partial seizure (previously called petit mal) which is defined as focal or asymmetric sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body (e.g., facial twitch, chomping of the mouth). In most cases at Rosie's age, the etiology of such seizures resides intracranially (within her skull) such as brain tumor. Extracranial (outside her skull) etiologies such as a poorly functioning liver that is intoxicating her brain (hepatoencephalopathy) are considered as well.

Rosie's vet will want to perform a diagnostic panel of blood and urine tests in an attempt to rule out an extracranial etiology for the seizures. If nothing untoward is found, an intracranial etiology is assumed and MRI might be necessary or presumptive therapy with an anticonvulsive drug might be prescribed if these seizures exascerbate in frequency or severity. I don't believe that her lameness is related to these seizures although it's not outside the realm of possibility. For example, a ministroke - transient ischemia attack - could affect Rosie's mobility.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.