Neurological problem on dogs

Animal: Dog
Breed: Border Terrier

Pet Symptoms: Our Border Terrier keeps having periods where he stands still and lifts each of his paws in turn as if walking in slow motion but doesn’t go anywhere. Before he does it he is unsettled he’ll sit down then get up and move somewhere else before sitting down again and then eventually he’ll hide and then it starts. They can last up to 5 minutes before he carries on as normal as if nothing has happened. We have videoed him doing it.

Our Advice: This sounds like it could either be a behavioural problem, or a neurological problem. It may be difficult to discern the difference, especially if it’s not happening frequently. It would be worth seeing your vet to check him over and ensure there are no obvious problems and possibly run a blood test to ensure he has normal red and white blood cell numbers and types, as well as checking internal organ health and electrolyte levels in the blood.

If symptoms persist but the exam and bloods are clear, then the next step may be to see a neurologist and discuss imaging to look at the brain/spine – the central nervous system basically. Sometimes dogs with early stages of epilepsy can have unusual behaviours, but that doesn’t mean this is what is happening with Murphy.

If you can identify any triggers these may help when you see the vet too – make a note of what time of day he has these signs, how long they last (if they become shorter or longer than 5 minutes), how frequently they occur and any other signs or symptoms too as these may help to define the condition and in some cases aid in diagnosis too. Take this information and the videos you have with you to show the vet as they can be very helpful as part of the consult.