Seizures in dogs


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My poor 7 year old shelter dog seems to be having, what I think are, seizures. At first she just kind of whined a lot randomly. I didn't think much of it as she makes weird noises anyways but it started to get worse (she could yelp and scream.) We took her to the vet who did a blood workup and said everything looked normal. She gave us some pain meds just in case my dog was having some sort of pain from an injury (the vet thought it might be her back.)

The meds seemed to work for a few days but it came back full blast. :( I think they might have helped because they kept her calmer (just a theory.) She began to do the yelp/scream thing again but started to get paralyzed while doing it and for a few minutes afterwards. She would just sit there on her side (laying down) staring off at "nothing" with her legs fully extended. She would squint her eyes a little and be totally unresponsive to anything. When she finally began to come back around she seemed very confused. She would lift her head and look around, then put it back down a few times and then stand/sit up, look around, and lay down again. She was acting like she didn't know what was going on. Yesterday she did it twice and today she did it 4 times.

We have an appointment for tomorrow, but do you guys have any advice? Any experiences to share?

If it helps to know any of this:
-she has food/environmental allergies that affect her skin.
-she used to lick at her skin (the allergies) but has now moved on to licking other stuff since we had to put a cone on her to let her skin heal.
-she used to eat Orijen or Earthborn natural formula but about a month ago we switched her to kirkland brand dog food. Both wet and dry (I think this might have something to do with it.)
-she also gets a little cooked meat and veggies/fruits
-she gets walked at least once a day for at least 30 minutes
-she has some ear problems
-she is some kind of terrier (18 lbs.)
-she steals people food/her duck jerky whenever she can and is a little over-weight as a result
-she does not have free access to food, but she always has water
-she has free roam of the house 24/7

if you have any more questions I will gladly answer them!

Thank you!
Those do sound like classic seizures. :( Nothing in her history really points to anything in particular. I can't say much for the kirkland dog food brand but usually diet doesn't have much, if any, correlation with seizure disorders unless it's some weird, unbalanced homemade diet. Epilepsy and other seizure disorders are actually fairly common (comparatively) in smaller breed dogs and typically manifest in middle aged dogs. The vet will be able to give you more answers and hopefully start a treatment protocol soon. Seizures can be scary to watch, but there's nothing you can do to help them except make sure they're in a safe area when it happens. Acting unusual beforehand and dazed and confused afterward is a hallmark sign of seizures - make sure you mention those to your vet.
We did on the phone. She just did it again except she stood upright for the first half of it this time. :( Then she kind of plopped down.

I am suspicious of the food because we know certain foods mess her up. I don't think it's a main factor, but I think it might be best if we switched her back to a higher quality food. At least to keep her body in tip top condition, you know?
Yeah there's certainly no harm in switching back to her old food, or another high quality food. I don't think kirkland falls in that category to be honest...

I hope she gets better! If her seizures get totally uncontrollable, really long or come in clusters in a short period of time you may not want to wait until the morning. A trip to the emergency clinic would be a good idea if she gets worse to prevent hyperthermia, hypoglycemia and metabolic acidosis from the muscle tremors. But that only happens when they get really bad. I hope that doesn't happen but just wanted to give you a heads up in case it does. I know seizures disorders are very unnerving and awful to watch!
Yes! they are very awful to watch. She seems better now, but we are prepared to take her if she does it one more time before the appointment.

The ingredients in the dog food looked really good for the price. I wouldn't call it low grade, but it's not really super high quality either. Chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients on the chicken one.
One thing you might do is try to take a video of a seizure to show the vet.

While you said that she has 24/7 access to water, you didn't indicate whether she seemed to be drinking. Just because the water is there doesn't mean she's drinking. I had a Golden Retriever who couldn't remember where the water bowl was. I used to have to lead him to it every day. You might want to keep track of water consumption (and, what comes out....both are important). Dehydration can cause or exacerbate seizures.
Oh she drinks. She drank a little less today than normal, but not by much. She still peed a lot today.
Sympathy Kara, our 7yo jack russel also has regular seizures, same thing you describe, blank eyed unresponsive, begins to shake, legs go stiff.
We've tried for ages eliminating things, change of diet, shampoos, worming meds etc
Just not able to pin it on anything specific.
Short of lifelong epilepsy drugs, there isnt much can be done.
I find making her lay down, and continually stroking her and talking to her helps keep her calm and lessens the duration and severity, I dont know why.
She tends to vomit after attacks.
Over excitement does seem to be one culprit, after lots of running about or play with our other dog, seizures tend to be common, so this is avoided as much as possible.
Signs of impending seizure include restlessness and sudden panting without exertion.

Im thinking theres a heart issue which leads to hypertension triggering the siezures in this case. (not heartworm)
Ours is also a house dog, its easier to keep her calm than allowing her to play rough rough outside all day.

P.S I forgot, Also notice after every seizure, she licks you like crazy. This is after drinking and inclined to believe its the salt in our sweat she is after. Perhaps low sodium in the diet may play a part? Though we never add salt, its something we will look into with the vet.
So, I researched this a bit...seizures are not uncommon in dogs (I wonder if it's more of a terrier thing?).

Ask your vet about medication to be given when a seizure seems to be on the horizon. Humans have "seizure dogs" who sense when a seizure is coming before the human and alert the human to take a fast acting medication to forestall or weaken the seizure. Perhaps you can learn to anticipate a seizure and minimize it's effect? Just a thought.
Sorry to hear that your dog is having seizures. My dog Bo (Miniature Daschund) has seizures but only if he gets pig product so he doesn't get anymore of that. I hope you can find the cause of the seizures and your dog will be alright!
So, I researched this a bit...seizures are not uncommon in dogs (I wonder if it's more of a terrier thing?).
Ask your vet about medication to be given when a seizure seems to be on the horizon. Humans have "seizure dogs" who sense when a seizure is coming before the human and alert the human to take a fast acting medication to forestall or weaken the seizure. Perhaps you can learn to anticipate a seizure and minimize it's effect? Just a thought.

Can affect any breed of dog, but as with a lot of conditions, there are certain breeds that are predisposed to it
Going by an episode of House this lady was having seisures because she was eating nothing but these packaged cheeseburgers and nothing else for years. She lacked all other essential nutrients and minerals. I'm sorry about your dog, I really hope they find out what's going on.

Side note: I wanted to comment on this a few minutes ago and it dissapeared so quickly from new posts along with others. What's up with that?
Aw, i'm sorry about your little doggie. My poodle mix also has seizures and it breaks my heart that I am not able to be with him... He is currently under my parents supervision but I think his were caused by heat. Hope your dog gets better!
I'm in the waiting room right now (on my phone.) She was perfect all day and she just did it for the vets. Perfect timing as I couldn't get a video tape of her. It was very sad especially since she was petrified when we got in the room anyways! They took her to the back for more controlled examining.
I hope they will be able to figure out the cause and if not, get the dog on the appropriate meds to control the seizures. Melatonin also helps with some seizures depending on the time of day/night the dog has them...BTW.
Does sleep have to do with seizures in some cases? If I remember correctly, it makes you sleepy (sleep hormone?)
WOW I hope she is okay.My sons little italian greyhound has seizures but they are so spaced out like one or two a year they dont want to put her on meds. She doesnt yelp though.She just freezes and then she acts like she is really dizzy and then she is okay.But she is usually very clingy for a few days after.

My moms rottie had seizures as well and they put her on phenobarbital, eventually her dosage was reduced so she took just enough to keep her from having them.She did fine too.
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