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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all! I thought I would repost regarding Chaplin's situation to see if I can get any new insight. Chaplin has been back to the vet, but unfortunately without any answers! The vet seems to be torn, because she says that these "episodes" do not really fit many seizure descriptions. These are the things that I have observed, however. I have noticed that he has begun to scratch A LOT more than he did before. Also, I found some dry skin/irritation on one of his inner thighs. He seems to scratch the side of his head often and sometimes rubs his head on the ground. In regard to his head jerking movement (see prior post/video) he has been doing this more lately (probably around 30+ times a day). I have researched and watched videos of other dogs having focal/partial seizures...and I am just not convinced. BUT...what I did notice today is that he seems to do this movement anytime that you kinda apply pressure to under his head/tracheal area..or if he buries his head in say a blanket or something. SO...what I am wondering is if it could be related to a tracheal problem...possibly triggering a muscle spasm reaction when touched. If not, could touching a dog in a certain spot elicit a seizure??? I am simply at a loss....I switched his food from what the breeder had him on (purina one) b/c it contains corn and corn meal, both of which I was advised not to provide to chihuahua's?? He is now on Natures choice with chicken and wheat. Has anyone out there ever experienced this with their dog. He is approximately 13 weeks old.

Thanks
attached is the video. Watch closely at 35 sec and 40 sec...this is the jerking head movement I am referring to.

 

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Has he had any vaccines lately?

What about flea or heartworm meds?

Could he have gotten into anything like xlitol or some household chemical?

This is really a mystery. We had another chi on here awhile back who had some of the same symptoms with the head bobbing. It was much more severe than Chapins. She posted about the problems and then disappeared so I have no idea what happened to the dog or what kind of diagnosis was ever had. :(

Could this be something as simple as mites? When they crawl around in the ear, they could be causing him to shake his head. If there is a small infestation, he may not do the outright ear digging and scratching that would obviously point to an ear infection or to ear mites. I would assume the vet checked for that.

I don't know if the dry skin is related. You could do an omega 3 fatty acid oil like salmon oil. That won't hurt and might help.

I would probably switch to a food clear of all grains just in case this is allergy related. Merrick has a good one called BG (before grains). Taste of the Wild does a good grain free. There are others as well I can't think of off the top of my head since I don't feed kibble.

I don't have anything to really back up my suspicion, but my gut feeling is that this is neurologic. You may want to consult a canine neurologist if you want to get to the bottom of it.

I hope others have ideas for you. Keep us posted.
 

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I am thinking inner ear? like something is in there and irritating ?
Can you see any muck inside the ears? like grey or black stuff? Mites?
 

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Thanks! Um yeah he has had all 3 puppy series shots and also his rabies vaccine! I really have no idea what is going on and it is starting to stress me out. The only nero specialist we have here is pretty far away and is like 100 or 200 just for a consult...The oddest part to me is that I can cause him to do this movement just by touching his neck....I am not a specialist in neurology, but I have not read anything about eliciting seizures by touching the dog???? Anyone?
 

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just a long shot, you havent somehow gotten water in his ears? whist bathing perhaps?
 

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Oh Tracy, that video of the choc chi was horrible to watch :( I wish we new what happened to the poor thing.
 

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No I haven't bathed him since I have only had him for about 1 and a half weeks. But oddly enough when I went to the breeder to first visit with him I noticed this head movement there, but I wasn't sure of what I was seeing, for he was kind of off in the distance and I didn't think to say anything then, stupid me I know! The breeder did however say that he had just had a bath a few days prior to that and then she bathed him again like 5 days later before I picked him up. I just do not understand why in the world I can cause him to do this by just touching his neck....my question is...does anyone know if seizures can be brought on by just touching an area of the body????

in regard to that video...THAT IS REALLY SAD AND DISTURBING!!! I have never seen a dog do that to play!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
YES I can touch him on the neck, or say if he rests his head on my arm he will do this. If I pick him up in the air and my fingers are near his neck he will do this. If he buries his head in a blanket or he lays his head down on the ground I have seen him do this, BUT I have also seen him do this by himself (sometimes I will crack his door open and watch him without him knowing to get a better idea of this and I have seen him just standing there and jerk his head....but almost ALWAYS I can get him to do it by touching his neck a certain way.

I haven't seen anything from his ears...they look completely clean and have even cleaned them with a solution rinse from the vet!
 

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This is really mysterious, and I'd agree with Tracy that it really sounds like a possible neurological issue. I haven't heard of seizures that could simply be brought on by touching a specific body spot, but there are neurological issues, other that seizures, that might be causing the head wobbles. Do you know how old he was when he got his first round of vaccines? Had he gotten them before the first time you saw the head wobbles at the breeder's?
 

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Has your vet checked for Hydrocephalus? Zoey has hydrocephalus, she has 'mini' type focal seizures here is a video of her doing so, most often it's just tiny head jerks & eye blinking:
I can actually induce seizures in Zoey by pushing on her soft spot/molera, (discovered that by mistake a long time ago, so we are VERY careful with her now) Are there any neurological Veterinary specialists near you? Any Veterinary teaching schools? That would be my suggestion. Does your vet have access to an MRI? Has your vet xrayed your puppy to check for defects in the spine/neck?
 

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Also I would get him off of the Wheat in the diet, grains have been known to induce seizures in dogs that are prone to seizures. Avoid corn or wheat.
 

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I found the thread of the other puppy on here that was having the head shaking/head bobbing. It was very sad and severe. I don't know what happened to this poor little puppy. But it might help you to see the video, etc.

http://www.chihuahua-people.com/chihuahua-pictures/55611-shake-shake-shake-shake-your-head.html
I think about this all the time! I wish she would update :( I get hooked on something and then want to know if it's ok or not :( Poor thing!


As for your little sweetie I don't know much about this subject but the ladies here have said some good stuff. I hope everything turns out ok for your little cutie pie. I know it is hard when we know something is wrong but cant' figure it out. I wish they could speak during these times ;) Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
CPRCHEETAH:

I watched the video and I am unsure what is defining the seizure? All that I really saw was Zoey blinking a lot? Did I miss something?
As far as Chaplin:
The breeder said that he had received two sets of puppy shots prior to seeing him for the first time and like I said he was jerking his head at that time (first visit with him, but wasn't too sure of what I was seeing). He then received his last puppy shot at 12 weeks and he received his rabies vaccine the day that I picked him up.
Yes, I am definitely at a loss with him. I have read about hydrocephalus online and he doesn't seem to have any of the symptoms except the muscle movements. He is not wobbly or losing balance....he did kind of shake a little the other day, but that was after he had, had two puppy play dates and was running and acting crazy all day (so I assumed that he had muscle fatigue or a drop in blood glucose). There is a nerology specialist about an hour away from me. I have contemplated making an appointment, but I have to have a vet referral first, correct? When I took him to the vet she said she wouldn't worry about it right now and just monitor him.
One other observation that I have made recently is when I have used a cleansing solution in his ears...he has not had as many episodes. I haven't used it in a few days and it seems that he has been getting worse! This may just me seeing what I want to see, haha.
Do you guys think that I should really try to get him to a specialist?

Thanks!
 

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CPRCHEETAH:

I watched the video and I am unsure what is defining the seizure? All that I really saw was Zoey blinking a lot? Did I miss something?
As far as Chaplin:
The breeder said that he had received two sets of puppy shots prior to seeing him for the first time and like I said he was jerking his head at that time (first visit with him, but wasn't too sure of what I was seeing). He then received his last puppy shot at 12 weeks and he received his rabies vaccine the day that I picked him up.
Yes, I am definitely at a loss with him. I have read about hydrocephalus online and he doesn't seem to have any of the symptoms except the muscle movements. He is not wobbly or losing balance....he did kind of shake a little the other day, but that was after he had, had two puppy play dates and was running and acting crazy all day (so I assumed that he had muscle fatigue or a drop in blood glucose). There is a nerology specialist about an hour away from me. I have contemplated making an appointment, but I have to have a vet referral first, correct? When I took him to the vet she said she wouldn't worry about it right now and just monitor him.
One other observation that I have made recently is when I have used a cleansing solution in his ears...he has not had as many episodes. I haven't used it in a few days and it seems that he has been getting worse! This may just me seeing what I want to see, haha.
Do you guys think that I should really try to get him to a specialist?

Thanks!
I agree to try a new food, just do a little exploring there are plenty of great grain free foods and i'm sure many here could recommend one as we have quite a few allergy-prone pups around the forums. I know The Honest Kitchen makes one, but I haven't used it personally other than just a sample pack.

About the video, they were hard to distinguish but there were tiny head bobbles every so often and her blinking didn't appear to be controlled most of the time and I think that's what Heather was saying was a "mini" type focal seizure.
 

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There are other neurological disorders, other than seizures. Atlantoaxial luxation is a deformation of the cervical spine vertebrae which can cause head bobbing.

Atlantoaxial Instability (Luxation)

It's really hard to pinpoint because your little guy doesn't seem to fit many of the symptoms you would expect with some of these disorders.

But we can all assure you that his behavior is not normal. And because of that, I would want to find out what was going on. If nothing was found - then so be it. But at least it was investigated. Does that make sense?

Do you have pet insurance on him? I don't think this is something that is going to go away, and it could possibly get very expensive, so that might be something you could look into.

You could call the neurologist and tell them the symptoms and ask if they will see him without a referral and what the approximate office call cost would be and go from there. Perhaps he would even look at the video before seeing him?

What a mystery.
 

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I don't want to be an alarmist but I just did some searching and found some disturbing information. A liver shunt can cause head bobbing.

Before you see a neurologist and shell out big $$$, perhaps you could have a bile acid test done at your vet. It's a simple fasting blood test and will tell you the status of his liver. If it's fine - then great - you've ruled it out! But it could explain his symptoms and if so, you need to know so you can treat it. (Medications, diet, surgery in severe cases).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone! Yeah I thought that a liver shunt could be a culprit, BUT I had a dog that had to be put to sleep without a definitive diagnosis, but they suspected a liver shunt (Yorkipoo)...about killed me to have her put to sleep :(
Chaplin really doesn't fit many of the symptoms of this.
I completely agree with everyone...it doesn't seem normal, but I really do not know what to do. I suppose the best option is to see a neurologist...but I called and they said he must have a referral to see them. My vet said that she would not go there yet, but to monitor him. I do trust her, but I do not want to continue waiting if there is indeed something really wrong. After speaking with the breeder and informing her of this odd behavior, I am questioning her professionalism (lets leave it at that :). I do not feel like I have a ton of options.
Yes, he needs a specialist care, but I am not in a financial situation to provide continued neurologist care :( Like I had mentioned before I had a yorkiepoo that I spent nearly 2,000 on without luck and Chaplin was a gift, sort of to move on from the trauma of losing "Sophie".
Bad luck with dogs??
 
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