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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Our dog has an enlarged heart and has seizures when she gets

Customer Question

Our dog has an enlarged heart and has seizures when she gets over excited which happens often when we come home.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Heidi age 14. She is currently on 5mg vetmedin and 2oomg Sam-e. We were hoping for something to calm her down.
JA: How old is Heidi?
Customer: 14
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Heidi?
Customer: Schnauzer weights 22 lbs
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.

Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that Heidi has been having these episodes when she gets excited - I'll do my best to help.

Truly, if Heidi has a bad heart, it's more likely that these are what we call syncopal episodes. A syncopal episode is different than a seizure - it's basically when the pet passes out because their heart cannot keep up with the increased demand for circulation when they get excited and the lack of oxygen to the brain causes them to lose consciousness. Seizures, on the other hand, are a true neurologic disorder unrelated to heart health and circulation. If the episodes always happen when Heidi is very excited, then it's much more likely to be a syncopal episode. It's important to differentiate the two because the treatments are entirely different. I would have your veterinarian re-check her heart and assess whether there is anything more that can be done to bolster her heart function, as this would allow her a better quality of life without passing out when she gets excited. Unfortunately, syncopal episodes indicate very severe heart disease and for some pets who have very bad hearts won't respond to treatment. If the vet does feel that the episodes are neurologic in origin, they can prescribe anti-seizure medication. If you can get video of an episode for your vet to see, that will help them make the diagnosis. In the mean time, it's best to avoid the trigger at all costs until she can have her treatments adjusted. Dogs with bad hearts are also at risk of sudden cardiac death resulting from arrhythmias - to some extent this is always the case no matter what medications they are taking - but it is something that I warn all of my cardiac pet owners that can happen.

Please let me know what questions I can answer for you.

~Dr. Sara

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Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara