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Dr. Christian K.
Dr. Christian K., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10146
Experience:  12 years of veterinary experience in canine surgery, medicine and behavior
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My 7 year old Chihuahua has started having seizure like episodes.

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My 7 year old Chihuahua has started having seizure like episodes. They are very rare. She is alert the whole time and they last about 2 min. Her head shakes and her body gets all tense and tighten up. It seems to only happen when we spend all day outside. How concerned should I be?

Dr. Christian K. :

Hello. This is Dr. Christian. I'd like to help.

Dr. Christian K. :

How long has she had this problem and how often are the episodes occurring?

Customer: she had the first one in May and the second one a week later. the third one was in July and now this is the fourth time. but she had two today about a half hour apart which is new
Dr. Christian K. :

Ok. Thank you. Has she been an otherwise healthy dog? Does she take any medications?

Customer: very healthy and active, no meds ever
Dr. Christian K. :

How does she act afterward?

Customer: she rests for about 5 minutes then is up and running and acting like nothing ever happened
Dr. Christian K. :

That definitely sounds like a seizure. At this age epilepsy is the most common cause. My worry is the same as your right now since she has had 2 tonight. Continued seizures can cause brain damage and overheat the body. If she has another tonight then take her to a veterinarian tonight rather than waiting. Quick treatment can prevent more. Epilepsy is the most common cause of seizures. Epilepsy is a chemical imbalance in the brain and occurs at a young age. Unfortunately there is no test to diagnose epilepsy. There are other possibilities such as infection, liver disease, and blood sugar problems so blood work is usually recommended to make sure none of these are the cause. Monitoring for more seizures may be all that is necessary. In severe cases medications are required. I definitely recommend having her checked by your vet tomorrow.

Customer: when it happens, she's aware enough to try to come find me trying to walk the best she can. I thought when a seizure is happening, they shouldn't be fully aware of their surroundings?
Customer: she is completely aware and awake during the whole thing
Dr. Christian K. :

There are two types of seizures. Grand mal seizures are the ones most people know where they lose awareness and the whole body stiffens. Petite mal seizures are more mild and would fit what you are describing. That brings up a good point though. When an episode occurs make sure to video it so that you can show your vet exactly what is happening. That will help tremendously.

Customer: ok, so it probably has nothing to do with eating grass right? because the pattern is us spending the day outside and her eating a lot of grass. she only eats grass when i'm outside with her which is rare. she is mainly indoors
Dr. Christian K. :

I don't think the grass is the cause but all the activity and excitement of being outside could lead to a seizure.

Customer: that makes sense. ok, i will call tomorrow. thank you for your help
Dr. Christian K. :

You're welcome. Good luck.

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