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Constant licking and twitching

  1. #1

    Constant licking and twitching

    My 8yo Jack Russel/Pug mix Joey has experienced increasing symptoms over the past 2 years. When relaxed or trying to sleep, he is constantly licking himself, the furniture or the air. Some part of his body twitches at least every 30 seconds - could be his leg(s), facial, jaw, or head muscles - often so strongly that he can't sleep because it wakes him up. He sighs often and the in-breaths are unsteady/trembling. Every few weeks he has what seems like a mini seizure with jaw trembling, ears back, and stunned for 30 seconds or so. When outside he ravenously eats grass.

    We originally thought it was gastrointestinal related as he would occasionally vomit bile on an empty stomach in the morning and there are often noises coming from his stomach. Historically he has eaten many things he shouldn't, but we are better at keeping him under control now. On recommendations from vets, over the last 2 years we have tried:

    6 different foods. Elevating his food dish. Switching to 3 smaller meals/day from 2 meals. Famotadine and omeperazole at different times of the day for different lengths of treatment. Probiotics and digestive enzymes. Feeding him a snack in the middle of the night. Simethicone for gas. Cerenia. Tums. Zylkene to try to help his anxiety in case that was the cause. Cannabidiol treats. Multivitamins. Increasing his zonisamide seizure medication dosage (he has a history of seizures - none since 2014 until this year when he has had 3). Multiple rounds of blood work and urinalyses. Visit neurologist and internist. Ultrasound of abdomen.

    Nothing has had any significant or lasting effect and all vet visits have checked out. Most vets we have visited don't seem to think anything is wrong because they don't see the symptoms when he is in the office (not relaxed) and physically they can't find anything wrong. Here are video compilations of the symptoms:


    Everyone is at a loss. I know Joey is at best always uncomfortable, but might also be in pain. Dogs are not supposed to twitch and lick constantly!

    What could this possible be? How can I give him some relief? Thank you so much in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    take a video when he is doing it and bring it to your vet, he an see what he does and maybe have an answer for you as to why or what is causing it.

    yawning could mean he's not getting enough oxygen

    the licking his mouth suggests stomach upset.

    Dogs can take pepsid ac, you might try that, it can't hurt
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Western NC
    I would get him to a vet immediately. I'm sorry to be rude but please get him to a vet quickly.


  4. #4
    Thanks. We've been to the vet many times over the last few months. All 3 vets in my office have no idea. A neurologist (who saw an abbreviated set of videos) said his exam checked out fine. I don't take the suggestions as rude! I've just already done it and it has been useless. Which is why I started posting this all over the internet, hoping the hive mind would know something my local people don't.

    A vet replied to my post on another site this week that says he thinks the twitching is indicative of seizure activity. "manifestations of complex partial seizure (also called psychomotor seizure) which is described as abnormal focal or asymmetric sensory or motor activity affecting any part of the body"

    I am calling my regular vet this morning about an increase in his existing seizure medication to see if that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    If they suspect seizures they will give you phenobarbitol to help control it. Also when he starts if you put an ice pack in the middle of his back this will help bring him out of it. If he gets really bad they will give you valium to put in his rectum. Sometimes it takes a combination of things to keep it under control.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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