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Waking Sudden Onset Aggression: Any New Info?

almcneil

Puppy
They have not specifically diagnosed her yet, they suggested OCD, but also called her the most unique case they have ever seen. I have only met with Luescher's resident, but at our follow up next week he will be there. They offered to give her an MRI for $2000 to rule out neurological problems, and that is unfortunately way out of our budget. I suggested to them that if she is the most unique case they've seen, they ought to treat her for free to use her as a study tool! :(

They said "tremors" may be a side effect of the Prozac, but I'm not sure if these wincing behaviors classify as tremors. She has also become more sensitive to sound and lost her appetite... but her rage episodes are gone, so it's a trade-off we may have to deal with. We also don't have to give her the Valium at night anymore because she sleeps through the night with no episodes. They have suggested starting her on anti-seizure medication, but why should we change the medicine if the Prozac seems to be working? As "anti-medication" as I am, I must admit that it has helped.
 

aprotopo

Big Dog
Do you have videos of her other ocd-like behaviors that you wouldn't mind posting here? I was just talking to my friend/lab mate about your dog and we would really be interested in seeing the circling and sucking behaviors that you previously described. Thanks in advance!
 

Mardi

Puppy
Sometimes the side effects of the prozac go away after a while. You could also ask them if they think they could try a slightly lower dose with her, or even another SSRI (the class of drugs that Prozac is in) to see if she will have fewer side effects with another medication. It can take a while to tweak the meds :-)
 

Hucklebutt

Banned Back Yard Breeder
the wincing is very strange, ive never seen a dog do that either, she does seem in pain or very uncomfortable, thats very sad! im happy to hear though that she wont bite when she is having those fits, but the wincing is very concerning.
 

Mardi

Puppy
Could it be that the wincing is the equivalent of nervous tremors and tics that the drugs sometimes cause in humans. Do you think she is physically uncomfortable, or do you think it's a discomfort/disorientation/puzzlement at her own inability to control her muscle movements? Again, might be worth asking about if other SSRIs (Luvox, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft) would have the same advantages without the side effects. If you have time, you way also want to go to "Google Scholar" and have a look at some of the abstracts from Karen Overall and also put in various search terms like "idiopathic aggression" or "SSRI use in dogs" to see if anything of interest comes up. The people at the bull terrier neuro Yahoo list http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/BullTerrier_neurological_disorders/ may also have first hand experience about cutting down side effects or switching drugs. And, I would definitely be asking them seriously if they would do an MRI for their own research purposes...it's not unheard of and maybe Dr. L could approve it :-) I agree that if the episodes don't re-occur, then why put her on an anti-seizure, but if she does not attack you, then would it help to try an anti-seizure drug alone, and not with the SSRI? These are just some things that come to mind when I think about if she were my dog....And all worth bringing up with the doctors, esp Dr. L. If you're crazy like me, you go in with a written list of questions LOL
 

almcneil

Puppy
Roxy had her follow-up appt yesterday, and we think we have a diagnosis. The neuro department sedated her and performed an EEG on her by inserting little needles in her head and testing her brain waves (ugh, sounds horrible, I know). It showed normal brain activity until she started to rest and relax, and then the little lines would go up and down showing activity. They were also able to trigger the wincing and tensing-up behavior by shining a flashlight on the ground--which is weird, because the wincing hasn't started until she started Prozac.

They think it is a psychomotor seizure disorder and are going to put her on phenobarbitol in addition to her Prozac... So we will try that for a few weeks and see what happens. They say this is a lifelong diagnosis, and so I hope that we have pinpointed the issue. I want to contact the breeder and inform them, but I'm sure they will ignore this email just like the last.

What gets me is that if it is a seizure disorder, why is it that we can scold her or snap her out of the rage episodes? You can't "snap" humans out of seizures, can you? ...

I will post a video of her circling and spinning behavior soon; I just keep forgetting.
 

Mardi

Puppy
I *think* when they say a "seizure" disorder, they don't mean a seizure per se, but that the disorder is located in the same part of the brain that seizures originate and that the neurological mechanism is similar. So it may or may not respond the same way as what we think of as a "seizure." That said, I think this is good news! They were able to further identify the problem! Please keep us posted, and I'm sure your story would be welcome on the btneuro list at Yahoo, at the very least to give hope to people whose dogs may experience the same symptoms.
 

almcneil

Puppy
Spinning 1: [video=youtube;FpHMI8d4RF4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpHMI8d4RF4"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpHMI8d4RF4[/video]
Spinning 2, she paces with her toys like this for minutes at a time: [video=youtube;mnPzyQDkGdA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnPzyQDkGdA"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnPzyQDkGdA[/video]
Nursing behavior, the vet says they've only seen this in cats but it could be a compulsion: [video=youtube;9jc_MhjvpAI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jc_MhjvpAI"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jc_MhjvpAI[/video]
 

Hucklebutt

Banned Back Yard Breeder
wow those are weird, though i have seen worse spinning behavior, my friend has a bullie that paces and spins and paces and spins and when i came over and started petting her she started barking and spinning and barking, the dog wouldnt sit still and just paced out side in over 100 degree heat without stopping, i wad quiet surprised. I saw another dog spinning more fast and more intense. her spinning is more calm than what ive seen. ive also heard about the nursing behaviour so to me, thats not too bad.
 

aprotopo

Big Dog
It looks as if she's not in any pain or discomfort when she does this, which is good! I heard that in many of these cases, the dogs are crying and miserable, but can't seem to stop themselves...
 

almcneil

Puppy
I just thought they were one of many cute quirks that she has, but when I showed the videos to the vets, they said "Uh oh." It's not a detrimental behavior in my mind, but she has decreased in doing it since she has been on the medication. We just call her a prancing show dog when she does it. :) I'm thankful she doesn't spin in fast circles like I have seen in other cases.

And I took the nursing behavior as her being taken away from her mom too early or something, but I don't know since I got her at 7 months old. The vets also called that a compulsion.
 

CelticKarma

Good Dog
How old is she now....The turning in circles video looks like normal play, unless she is doing this for hours on end and you cannot stop her.

Not sure about the nursing behavior, I have grown dogs that use these same paw movements when chewing a raw bone but there is no sucking. Is she sucking in the video it is hard to tell....

The video of her asleep could be dreaming, how often does she do this? Mater dreams all the time and he even lays on his side and runs all legs going full force, he barks and growls in his sleep, and much like your dog if I touch him or say something to him he stops. My vet told me it was normal so I have never given it another thought....

---------- Post added at 08:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:23 AM ----------

Sorry just read her age....
 

almcneil

Puppy
The nursing behavior, she just pumps her paws and holds it in her mouth. She is definitely not dreaming in the rage videos; that was just one example of when she does it -- she is wide awake every time. Sometimes she does it out on her chain, sometimes in her chair or kennel, and other times when she is just sitting there. Like I said in earlier posts, they ran an EEG and could test her brain activity and diagnosed it as a psychomotor seizure-- definitely not a dream. Since she has been medicated, she no longer does it.
 

aprotopo

Big Dog
I just thought they were one of many cute quirks that she has, but when I showed the videos to the vets, they said "Uh oh." It's not a detrimental behavior in my mind, but she has decreased in doing it since she has been on the medication. We just call her a prancing show dog when she does it. :) I'm thankful she doesn't spin in fast circles like I have seen in other cases.

And I took the nursing behavior as her being taken away from her mom too early or something, but I don't know since I got her at 7 months old. The vets also called that a compulsion.

I'm glad the medication is working so well, except that I'm very critical of vets lumping a ton of behaviors into one "disorder", instead of seeing each behavior as itself and treating them accordingly. It's as if they're hoping for one magical drug that will cure all. Sorry, this is my behavior analysis perspective coming through...
 

Hucklebutt

Banned Back Yard Breeder
[h=6]So today at work I had a very surreal experience. Well I work at Petco and in the grooming department but I was bored so I went out on the floor and started putting new items away, a very nice couple asked me about an item and I began to talk about it with them, I asked them what kind of dogs they had and one was a Shar Pei and one was in fact a Bull Terrier! So we started having a good conversation about bullies and they expressed to me a concern they've been having with there 3 year old neutered male bull terrier. They told me every night when he's sleeping he wakes up, his eyes roll in the back of his head and he full out attacks anyone he's near, and of course I knew right away what they were dealing with. It was by a coincidence that I happened to be out there and it was very awesome that I was able to shine some light on there problem, I told them what they were dealing with was SOA and I told them to join some forums (yahoo bull terrier neurological) to get better insight on what health tests to have there vet conduct and what meds they can get him on, they were so VERY appreciated and it felt awesome to be able to help them and talk with them. I hope they can help there bully out because they love him and are willing to do whatever it takes.[/h]