painful cramping of right side of neck/face area. equilibrium problems
At noon last Monday, my nearly 16 year old dachshund-pug X suddenly started screaming in pain for no apparent reason. The right side of his face, neck and front looked "cramped" and he had problems with his equilibrium but stopped screaming when I held him. We took him to the emergency clinic by which time he was perfectly normal again but they were clueless, stating it could have been any number of things, we need to continue observing him and call should it happen again. The suggestion that he may have bloodclots came up. Thursday morning at 1 am he had another episode that lasted a bare 10 minutes and involved the entire front end to cramp up, loss of equilibrium and tenderness of his right side neck/ear.. he looked as if he was having a stroke, and we called the clinic but the treating Doctor was not available until 6pm. Calling then we scheduling an appointment for 2pm Friday (today) to have bloodwork done. At 9pm Thursday he had another episode, so we rushed back to the clinic where another doctor checked him out, did bloodwork, took urine and measured his bloodpressuer, which was 190. She suggested it might be Cushings but everything I've read on it does not implicate symptoms like these sudden bursts of painful cramping and screaming. He has had 4 episodes of varying lengths and intensities and it always affects the right side of his neck and ear. He seems to have difficulty shaking his head as if that may be painful. When he does not have an episode, there are no problems touching his neck or right ear. On December 8th he was put on APO-Theophline LA 100mg because he had been coughing everytime he got excited or stressed, Metacam because they suspected arthritis and Amoxcillin for a toothinfection. He does not appear to have an ear infection. On December 14th, he fell down the basement stairs but seemed perfectly fine afterwards, with no tenderness anywhere. Can you please help me as I am not 100% convinced the painful episodes are caused by small blood clots?
It's possible the fall he had has caused some injury. It could even be muscle-spasm (which can be excruciatingly painful, as the muscles grip up and trap nerves) He might be one of those who doesn't show injuries immediately (I know because I'm like that. I can hurt myself, feel very little, and then days later get the kick-back!)
But I don't know -obviously if that's the case or not. I don't want to go against what your vet is saying, as I'm not a vet and don't know your dog.
You could post your question on the Ask a Vet Expert Forum here if you like? You will get a good professional response. To find that -scroll down this page till you get to "Related Expert Forums" (down on the right) and click on "Animal Health General"
I don't know how quickly you might get an answer at the moment because of it being holiday time. But I'm sure it won't be long until you get a reply.
Thanks for the feedback! The vet has him on muscle relaxants now and some pain killers and taken him off the Theophline as apparently they were ill- affecting him and aiding the problems. Also the blood work came back negative so the Theophline side-effects were mimicking symptoms from Cushings it would seem, I dunno. He does have some kidney disease but whats causing the painful cramping is still anyone's guess. I will check with the Ask a Vet tomorrow :) Thanks!
Theophylline is a weird drug. As far as I know (and I have some experience of it as it was given to my husband for asthma treatment years ago) -the most effective dose is very very close to the toxic dose! It is also a "Xanthine" drug, and as such, is related to caffeine.
I do hope you find a solution to what is troubling your dog and he starts to feel better soon!
My saint Bernard has similar episodes. Only without the vocal. One side of his body cramps up, his jaw is clenched, and his walk is very unsteady. (although if it's happening and we aren't in the same room he can walk to me). It does not seem to be painful, just uncomfortable and confusing to him. We have also had all the lab work done with no results. Our vet asked me to film it, but I never remember until it's over. It was suggested to us that it may be a form of epilepsy, but the medication can kill the dogs liver, so we did not presue an answer. He is extremely happy and healthy otherwise. We just try to make him comfortable when it's happening.
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