Dear VetBabble: My Older Dog is Twitching and Acting Nervously, Could This be a Seizure?
Fellow pet parents, we have received a concern that may strike a chord with many of you. An owner of a 9-year-old Basenji mix shared with us that their furry friend has started to twitch and act nervously while lying down. The dog’s eyes also twitch and he appears startled. The concerned pet parent has noted that although dogs may sometimes twitch in their sleep, they suspect it could perhaps be more serious, such as a seizure. Let’s explore this important health issue together.
Identifying Possible Seizure Symptoms in Dogs
First and foremost, it’s crucial to know that a twitching dog might merely be experiencing deep sleep, rather than a seizure. However, if your dog’s behaviours match some of the symptoms below, a consultation with a vet would be wise.
Pay attention if your dog’s limbs move as if he’s paddling or swimming. Consider, too, whether all four limbs are affected. If these symptoms occur repeatedly, or if the peculiar behaviour seems excessive, it may be a sign of seizure. And while some dogs might experience a single seizure and never have another, other dogs might need further examinations. You can educate yourself further on seizures in dogs here.
Possible Explanations to Unusual Dog Behaviours
There can be numerous reasons for changes in your dog’s behaviour or symptoms such as twitching or nervousness. As dogs age, they may begin to exhibit symptoms related to conditions associated with ageing, such as Old Dog Syndrome or Vestibular Disease. Brain tumours or epilepsy are also potential causes of seizures. Any changes in your dog’s behaviour warrant an appointment with your vet to diagnose the underlying issue.
If your dog has access to potentially toxic substances, his symptoms could also be a sign of poisoning. So it’s crucial to contact your emergency vet immediately if there’s a chance a toxic substance is involved.
Could it be Fatigue or a Sign of a Different Health Issue?
While more serious conditions should not be ruled out, the symptoms could also be less dangerous. Your pet could be experiencing unusual fatigue, or might even be suffering from a urinary infection if they’re frequently peeing on the bed. Or perhaps your dog might be uncomfortable due to arthritis or other ageing-related conditions.
It’s also important to consider whether your dog is acting lethargic, which can be a sign of various health problems. Visit this link to better understand if your puppy is just tired or might be lethargic.
In all cases, our best advice is to consult your vet to get a clear diagnosis. Your vet has the knowledge and tools needed to identify the root of these issues and to ensure your furry friend’s health and wellbeing. Remember, it’s better to be safe and seek professional advice rather than worrying and potentially missing out on a crucial diagnosis!