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Vet help
Vet help, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2736
Experience:  12 yrs experience as a small animal veterinarian; 21 yrs exp. in the animal care field
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There! I have an old Pomeranian. She's about 14 now. I actually

Customer Question

Hi there! I have an old Pomeranian. She's about 14 now. I actually rescued her - I found her in a horrible, dirty condition, and she showed clear signs of abuse. She was afraid to be picked up, cringed if you got too close, started crying immediately when you got near her head, and barked and backed away whenever someone approached her.
She's a little underweight and sleeps for most of the day, but when she is active she is very active, and does a lot of barking. About six months ago we started noticing her having seizures, but they were few and far between. No loss of bladder, just paralysis and her limbs would become contorted in strange positions. Soon, they started occurring almost every day. We took her to the vet and the bloodwork and things they did didn't show any results. They wanted to do an MRI but as it was so expensive we opted not to. She stopped having seizures shortly after, and we have not noticed her to have one in months.
Now, however, she has a persistent head tilt, and I am worried that these things are related. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the time we took her to the vet, they also said that her seizures were not frequent enough to give her medication, as she would become very lethargic with it.
Expert:  Vet help replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
As your veterinarian may have told you, there are a few main causes of seizures:
- Toxin exposure- since she has had intermittent seizures over an extended period of time, this is not likely to be the cause in Baby's case.
- Metabolic disorders such as liver or kidney problems, diabetes mellitus, etc. The blood work performed by your veterinary likely ruled the majority of these out. A liver problem cannot be entirely ruled out without a Bile Acids Test. This is not part of most routine blood work, so you should check with your vet to see if this test was performed. A bile acids test can determine if Baby has an acquired liver shunt, which could result in seizures.
- Idiopathic seizures- these are seizures of unknown cause, otherwise referred to as epilepsy. It would be unusual, but not impossible, in a dog of Baby's age. However, most dogs with idiopathic seizures begin to have seizure activity between 2- 5 years of age, so it is far less likely that this is the cause of Baby's issue.
- Structural abnormality such as a brain tumor or inflammation or swelling of or around the brain. Older dogs like Baby have a higher likelihood of a structural abnormality.
Head tilt may be due to ear problems (inner ear infections, polyps or tumors, inflammation or damage to the ear drum, idiopathic or old dog vestibular disease), or brain issues such as head trauma, inflammation, or brain tumors.
The short answer is yes, the seizures and the head tilt could be related. Specifically, if both are associated with some sort of structural abnormality like a tumor or inflammation like meningitis.
The MRI and/ or a CSF tap (where cerebrospinal fluid is collected and analyzed) would be the best way to determine what is going on, but these procedures are quite costly and should be weighed against her age, your financial situation, and what the long term prognosis would be.