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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25650
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 16 1/2 yr old Rat, Terrier dog. He has just started

Customer Question

Hi.
JA: Hello. What do you want help with?
Customer: I have a 16 1/2 yr old Rat
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with the dog?
Customer: Terrier dog. He has just started having seizures about a month now. It only happens after he goes to the bathroom. He gets woozy and then falls over. He straightens out his little legs and lays there for about 30 to 45 seconds ans sometimes he will whin or just makes a little whimper. I try to catch him before he hits the floor. This is very unusual, but after it's over he will take his treat and then lays down. Have you ever seen anything like this?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the terrier's name?
Customer: Mackey
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Mackey?
Customer: He is up to date with his vaccinations and has a chip in.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Mackey. We need to clarify if these episodes are, indeed, seizures, or, instead, syncopal ("fainting" episodes). I'm leaning toward syncopy because seizures aren't expected to be so closely related in proximity to his eliminating. Eliminating may stimulate his vagal nerve which can slow his heart which may be unhealthy at his age. Mackey's vet will want to carefully auscultate (listen to) Mackey's heart paying particular attention to its rhythm. An arrhythmia (irregular heart rate) is a common cause of syncope.

While this isn't written in stone, syncope describes a sudden loss of consciousness and muscle tone, usually without motor activity (“thrashing about”) and without postictal (post seizure) signs such as disorientation, ataxia (“drunken sailor”) and sleep; in other words, a fast and complete recovery is expected. Syncopal events 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. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
That is exactly what he is doing. He's like out of it for the moment then he's back. I have also noticed he has a loud sound of breathing when he is laying down.I'm on a very limited income, I'm disabled. I made a phone call to his vet and with all the blood work and the visit, it's around $180.00 dollars. He is my late parents dog, so, if they put him on a medication, how long will he be with us until it's he time to go, I'm sorry to sound awful, but I really don't know what to do.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It's difficult for me to prognose accurately for you without knowing more about why he's syncopal. For example, if he suffers from a tachyarrhythmia (fast irregular heart rate) there are medicines that can help but I can't know how effective they might be; if he suffers from a bradyarrhythmia (slow irregular heart rate) only a pacemaker would be of value. I understand your financial constraints. At 16 1/2 years of age every day is a gift.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I,m trying to get touch with my sisters
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.