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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5160
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I'm ***** ***** We have a female pug who is almost 13 years

Customer Question

Customer: I'm ***** ***** We have a female pug who is almost 13 years old... this past year she's lost her hearing... I think her sight is going (significantly enough)... there are mornings when she doesn't want to eat (unheard of before)... so at least 3 nights this week she screams in the middle of the night. it sounds awful.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: My husband has gone to her b/c it's been in the middle of the night. It happened again just now with her sitting next to me. She was unresponsive briefly Head back like a stroke (she had a few before) but this is happening so often now. I'm really worried about her.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We also have an approx. 7 YO female pug that we rescued about 4 years ago. The younger pug (Ginger) has helped keep the older pug (Emma) lively, and it's a contrast. In some ways Emma seems good and moments of greatness, then in other ways she seems to be struggling (stepping inside and outside, sometimes losing bladder control, disoriented, hesitant, etc.)
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

There are three different considerations in such a 13 year old. The first are transient ischemic attacks (TIAs/mini strokes) as you mentioned. The second are complex partial seizures. The third are syncopal ("fainting") episodes. All can cause vocalizing, a change in mentation (mental status), and behavioral abnormalities. It can be a challenge differentiating one from the other but in general, syncope describes a sudden loss of consciousness and muscle tone, usually without motor activity and without postictal (post-seizure) signs such as disorientation, ataxia ("drunken sailor"), and finally sleep; in other words, a fast and complete recovery is expected. Syncopal episodes last less than a minute (otherwise fatal), whereas seizures may last several minutes. Clues of a cardiac problem - heart murmur, arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) - may be present in syncopal dogs.

Has her vet been apprised of these events? A thorough physical and neurologic exam is in order. Particular attention should be paid to her heart. A heart condition might be addressed in a conservative manner by specific heart drugs. Seizures are usually addressed with anticonvulsive drugs. Strokes have no specific therapy.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.