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It is not very likely that the licking at the paws and the "lizard tongue thing" is related to the seizures, but there is one possibility that these are mini-seizures - this would not be very typical though and that is why I don't think ti is likely. A good oral exam to see if there is something in the mouth that is not quite right and also close examination of the area she is licking to make sure there is nothing going on with the paws the paws would be a good idea. Licking at paws is a very common sign of allergies in dogs, but it would be unusual for a 12 year old dog to suddenly develop allergies, so it could also be a bit of a nervous habit.
The episode where your dog went limp does not sound like a typical seizure and I have to wonder if this was caused by something different than her "regular" seizures. Dogs can have episodes of syncope (fainting like behavior) that is usually related to the heart and that is more likely to cause a dog to become limp, rather than the stiff paddling that is usually associated with seizure activity. In general, irregular heart rhythms or inability of the heart to pump blood to the brain is what causes syncope.
Since she is now having a different type of episode than she has had in the past and is doing things that is new for her (the licking paws and the lizard tongue thing), it would be a good idea to get her checked out by your vet. At 12, she is considered an older pet, so they may want to do some blood work to make sure organ organs are still functioning normally. They may suggest some tests to better evaluate her heart, including a chest x-ray, an EKG (electrocardiogram to check heart rhythm) and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).
It is common for dogs that are prone to seizures to have those seizures become more frequent as the dog ages. If they reach an unacceptable level, medications can be started to help control these seizures, but it is important to make sure we are treating the right thing - if we treat this as a seizure disorder when it is really related to the heart, the medication won't be effective.
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It is because this last episode was different than her previous ones that I suggested looking for a different cause. It is common for owners to say the dog stopped breathing during a seizure when they really are still breathing, but it is not common for dogs to go limp. That is why this is different and makes it worth looking for other possible causes, including the heart related ones I mentioned above.
No, an infection of her gums would not likely cause seizures, but that could explain the licking behavior you were seeing. It could also explain the sneezing if the infection is quite severe. Some of the roots of the teeth extend into the nasal cavities so if they are infected you may see some sneezing. Also, more serious but less likely, a tumor within her nasal cavity could cause both seizures and sneezing. You would probably have noticed significant discharge from her nose if this was present though.
The original seizures you describe with the arched back, stiffness, loss of bladder control would be classified as grand mal seizures, so this is not really new. Seizures often become more severe and more frequent as a dog ages - The severity and exactly what a seizure appears as depends on exactly what parts of the brain are being stimulated by the excessive electrical activity in the brain (this is what causes the seizure) - a mini-seizure would be where only part of the body is affected - a facial spasm or twitching of one limb. A seizure in which the whole body is being affected such as the original seizures you describe is a grand mal seizure.
It is good that your vet did blood work on your dog, but that really doesn't evaluate if there could be something going on with the heart. Hopefully he listened carefully to the heart during the physical exam, but even that does not necessarily mean everything is okay. The additional tests I mentioned above to evaluate the heart would be a much better way to more completley evaluate this. If your dog continues to have episodes where she becomes limp as opposed to stiff, I would check into these tests further.
If you are not already doing this, it would be a good idea to keep a written record of any abnormal episodes that you see. Write down exactly what your dog did, how long it lasted, and if there was anything unsual going on at the time in her environment (construction in the neighborhood, particularly active play session, just anything that is out of her normal routine). Sometimes patterns will be seen easier if they are written down. It will also help to evaluate if the episodes are indeed becoming more severe or frequent.
Let me know if you have additional questions.
Our four legged friends are often much easier to love than some of our two-legged family members, so I understand where you are coming from:)
I mentioned a tumor in the nasal cavity as a possible cause of the sneezing and seizures, but if there was a tumor in the nose, these are usually malignant and there is nasal discharge that is pus-like or bloody, so that certainly wouldn't explain the seizures from 5 years go.
Tumors in the brain in dogs are often benign and very slow growing, so you do not always see other things such as you listed above. It would all depend on where in the brain the tumor is located. Often worsening seizures can be the start of a decline where a tumor is starting to put pressure on surrounding tissue. We always have to put brain tumors on the list of possible causes for seizures. Brain tumros would not be apparent by even the most complete blood work, as these require an MRI to detect them. This test is available for dogs, but is definitely not routinely done because it is very expensive and if they do find something, most the time there isn't too much that can be done. If you are interested in having this test done though, be sure to let your vet know as he should be able to make those arrangements for you. It most likely will require a referral to a speciality facility that has the proper equipment.
Many times prior to an anesthetic procedure, the blood work done is simply a mini-panel, but I do not know if that was the case with your dog. It is definitely a good idea to have a more complete chemistry profile done as they get older as this checks for more things than the mini-panel does.