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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29992
Experience:  UC Davis graduate, emphasis in dermatology, internal medicine, pain management
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My 13 year old mixed breed dog has been having "seizures".

Resolved Question:

My 13 year old mixed breed dog has been having "seizures". When it happened last summer he came through it but was still walking slightly to the left for a while and then no signs were obvious. This has happened a few times. During the 'seizure" he pants, his eyes roll and he curls to the left. Today he started log rolling and was breathing heavily and his eyes were rolling and I had to hold him to keep him from hurting himself. He came through it after about 10 minutes (all other sessions were much shorter) and for a while he walked with his hind end dragging a bit but no leaning to the left. His sight seemed to be affected but responded quickly to my voice. Now he is back to normal and if I hadn't seen it happen, I wouldn't have known that he had had a seizure. He is a beagle mix and weighs about 45 lbs. At first we thought heat was the cause but we know that definitely isn't the case. Any idea what the cause may be? He is not suffering and is completely content now but I am worried as to what may come. His environment hasn't changed, he has not been exposed to any chemicals, no new food, nothing has changed.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Andy :

Hello

Dr. Andy :

Sorry to hear about this concern.

Dr. Andy :

Seizures are generally caused by:


1. Intra-cranial disease (something inside the head including infections, inflammatory conditions, and cancer)


2. Extra-cranial disease (anything outside of the head including organ problems like liver disease, infections, electrolyte abnormalities that can be caused by endocrine disease like Addison's, cancer)


3. Epilepsy (When there is no known cause despite all possible screenings tests including MRI and testing CSF fluid for abnormalities). Epilepsy "usually" has an onset of around 2-5 or 6 years of age, although it can start earlier or later.


 

Dr. Andy :

Unfortunately, due to age, I do not believe this is epilepsy related.

Dr. Andy :

So, what is the cause?

Dr. Andy :

Well, got to do at least some basic testing to at least narrow down if we think this issue is in the head, or if there is a organ problem, infection, inflammatory condition as the root cause that can be helped.

Dr. Andy :

Generally, vets will not jump to recommending a MRI.

Dr. Andy :

We start with a basic blood and urine test.

Dr. Andy :

What can tests tell you:


Chemistry Panel


CBC (complete blood count)


Urinalysis


 


 

Dr. Andy :

. A life-long medication like Phenobarbital or Potassium Bromide is considered when:


The seizures last for 4-5 minutes or longer, causing increased concern for brain injury


If they occur in clusters


If they are increasing in frequency


 

Dr. Andy :

Definitely, talk with your vet about also starting medication since the seizure events appear to be getting worse.

Dr. Andy :

Last thing you want is to get stuck in a situation when the seizure is not stopping and it causes brain injury.

Dr. Andy :

Better to treat more proactively.

Dr. Andy :

Good Luck

Dr. Andy :

If there is something I have not covered, just let me know.



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Dr. Andy :

May I be of any further help?

Customer:

They don't occur in clusters...not often (it has been months). The next step will have to be blood work, etc because this time it was alot longer and harsh.

Dr. Andy :

That is good.

Dr. Andy :

Yes, blood testing for sure.

Customer:

Thanks for your help!

Dr. Andy :

Medication still might become a situation soon, but the doctor will want the blood test first before starting any medicine.

Dr. Andy :

You bet


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Dr. Andy

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