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Dr. Amanda
Dr. Amanda, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 799
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian
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Probably 10 year old French dog. Starting gaining weight

Customer Question

Probably 10 year old French bull dog. Starting gaining weight recently. Has had a couple of seizures (one just now). Slobbering a lot and breathing very heavy all the time.
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?
Customer: Aggie
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Aggie?
Customer: Not that I know of.. We adopted her about 7 years ago. It appears she was used for breeding purposes before she was left at the pound where we got her. At the time we adopted her they estimated her to be around 3 years old.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.


My name is***** and I can help you tonight. I am really sorry to hear that Aggie is having seizures. What specific questions do you have?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Just trying to figure out what could be going on with her.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

Okay. Great. So her primary problems are weight gain and seizures?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
On top,of the other symptoms I listed I did want to she has been very lethargic for the last month or so. On top of the seizure we are concerned about her heavy panting and slobbering.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

Possible causes of weight gain include-

-too much food

-low thyroid

-Cushing's disease

Possible causes of seizures include-

-brain tumor

-low thyroid

-epilepsy (but weird to see late age onset)

-meningitis (immune system problem)

Possible causes of heavy panting-


-Pain (in her head or other places)

-heart disease

-lung disease

Possible causes of slobbering-

-difficulty swallowing (is she having any trouble eating or drinking?)

-Low thyroid

-dental disease


-nerve problems in the back of the throat area

If I was to put all of her symptoms into one or two diagnoses- I would consider hypothyroidism or a brain tumor as my first thoughts.

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

I was typing, sorry.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Didn't expect such a thorough answer.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
why the brain tumor? I get why hypothyroid and I was thinking along the lines of Cushing because my mother's dog had that and the heavy breathing was the same.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

Blood work to look for thyroid disease and Cushing's would be the first steps to take to ensure there is no metabolic problem to consider.

The next step would be a referral to a veterinary neurologist for a neurologic exam. They will likely recommend an MRI of her head and if that suggests a CSF tap (fluid around the brain collection) then they can do that too.

I suggested a brain tumor because she is an old Frenchie. The most common causes of seizures in old dogs is a brain tumor and these are even more common in Frenchies, unfortunately.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Oh..I didn't know that was common in frenchies.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

Yes, :-(

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What about the slobbering? She has never really none that before. I don't really think she is eating and drinking the way she should either but will have to keep a greater watch on it. My husband and I both feed and water her but I was thinking to tell him just let me do it so we can keep a more consistent eye on it.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

Here is a link about dog seizures-

The link talks a lot about using phenobarbital for seizure control. Very few veterinarians are using this drug anymore, there are better choices, like Keppra and Zonisemide.

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

The slobbering worries me because that means that she can't swallow her saliva properly. I would watch her very closely when she is eating and drinking as well and see if she is having problems with these activities as well. Picking up food, putting it in the back of the throat and swallowing it are all controlled by cranial nerves 9, 10, and 11 (at the base of the brain stem). If there is a tumor on her brain stem, this would affect swallowing.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Oh and another thing she has started doing that I forgot about (she is doing it right one and it reminded me) she does this cough, gag kind of snuffle thing. It kind of reminds me of when my cat gets a hair ball and is trying to get it up. Whenever really vomits though.
Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

I don't know if I could put that together with the other things, but low thyroid can cause weird intestinal signs.

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

I am going off-line for about 45 minutes to eat dinner with my family, but I will be back to chat more if you have any more questions.

I hope all of this helps so far.

Dr. Amanda

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

Okay. I'm back. What questions do you have?

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.


How is Aggie tonight? Any more seizures? Were you able to watch her eat? Was she having any problems?

Please let me know how she is doing? I was worried about her today.

Dr. Amanda

Expert:  Dr. Amanda replied 8 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Amanda