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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My nearly-14-year-old Shih-Tzu recently has begun to have what

Resolved Question:

My nearly-14-year-old Shih-Tzu recently has begun to have what appear to be seizures. He loses muscle control, writhes on the ground yelping in pain and loses bladder control. We have not been able to walk him for the last two days because of this. At first we thought it was the Cholodin we'd been giving him, so we stopped and then resumed, reducing the dose from 1 pill a day, which the vet recommended, to 1/4 pill a day. He has been completely off Cholodin for two weeks. Are they seizures? What to do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Candy replied 6 years ago.

Hello and Thank You for contacting JustAnswer


I am so sorry this is happening to your boy, I too am owned by a shih-tzu so I can imagine how heartbreaking this is.


Can you tell me how many times this has happened?


How long are they lasting?


When was his last blood work?


Any other odd behaviors or change in eating or drinking

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Aren't they the sweetest? This has happened at least half a dozen times about a week apart. They seem to last for about a minute. After he is comforted I pick him up, rinse him off and put him in his favorite armchair to rest. He's been blind for a couple of years so he's not exactly running around the house any more. He's been losing bladder control more often for maybe the last year. I don't know if he's been "punishing" me for leaving him alone during the day or if he's having the same issues w hile I'm away. Sometimes he seems to be very "tender" around his chest area and yelps when we pick him up. I then try to pick him up rear legs first with little pressure around his chest. He does have a heart murmur for sure. His last blood work was...well, I'm not sure. I am looking at his tooth extraction 9/9/10 but before that there was a geriatric exam 8/20/10 but I don't know if that includes blood work.
Expert:  Candy replied 6 years ago.

They really are the best, XXXXX XXXXX 4 dogs but he by far is the one who owns my heart.


This really does sound like seizure activity.


When senior dogs develop seizures they are most commonly caused by a problem with the liver, kidneys, diabetes or changes in the brain.While these are the most common causes often no actual cause can be found and all we can do is try to manage them.


It depends on the individual vet as to whether blood work is included in the senior exam. They should have also done blood work before his tooth extraction as the kidneys and liver are the organs responsible for filtering the anesthesia.


If he has had around 6 episodes a week apart this would be fairly close to the time of his tooth extraction so I would ask if blood work was done then.


Once a pet begins having seizures and they have more then 2 in a 3 month period anti seizure medication is often warranted.

Here is more information on seizures


I would suggest calling your vet and having him seen as soon as possible. It is very important to try to prevent any additional seizures as these can lead to permanent damage to the brain, dangerous elevations in body temperature and can eventually lead to a seizure that he is unable to come out of. Your vet will do blood work to see if any of the above problems are the cause and may recommend medication such as phenobarbital to control the seizures.


I really hope your boy is ok, please let me know what the vet says if you have him seen.

Please reply back if you have additional questions or concern.


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