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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24359
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My 14 year old female Dachshund had her first seizure. I

Customer Question

My 14 year old female Dachshund had her first seizure. I woke up just after 2am to this horrid noise and when I turned on the lights she was seizing, foaming at the mouth and was unresponsive. I got on the floor with her and stayed there till she stopped seizing maybe 5 minutes or more from when I woke up. I made her stay still for another 5 minutes or so. When she got up she fell back down and stayed there for a few minutes. Her gate was wobbly but got better over time then she ran in circles for a few minutes. Then she started pacing the living room. We have linoleum near the front door and she's slip when she walked on that. After about an hour she got in her bed and went to sleep. When I left for work at 5:15am she was awake but just laying there. Everything I have read based on my experience today it doesn't sound good. I have left messages for my son and his father to keep an eye on her today when they are home. I don't know what questions to ask but I'm sure your reply will answer what I need.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Missy. You've described a generalized seizure (previously called grand mal) which can have an intracranial (within the skull) origin such as brain tumor or extracranial (outside the skull) origin such as a poorly functioning liver which is intoxicating the brain. Missy's vet will need to perform a thorough physical exam including diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests in an attempt to identify an extracranial etiology. If nothing untoward is found, MRI would be necessary to identify intracranial pathology but such advanced imaging should be circumspect in a dog of Missy's age with little benefit gained by identifying a brain tumor. Yes, you're correct, Missy's prognosis must necessarily be very poor. Seizures first arising at her age usually indicate brain tumor and subsequent seizures are likely to be seen during which she may be lost. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yea in hind site looking back some of her behavior which seemed benign at the time makes sense regarding the idea of a brain tumor. We have a gate that separates the front of the apartment from the back and a couple of months ago she started going up to it and knocking her head into it like she was trying to open the gate to get to anyone who was in the back of the apartment. She has a very strong bond with my sons father. More recently over the past 2 weeks she will do this even when there is no one there or run to the door barking when no one is there. My dachshund is what I call my faux dachshund because she is not a barker so this is abnormal behavior for her and it's quite recent. I have my son and his father looking over her today while I am at work looking for any signs. If there is anything else that I should look for or other information I should have together for talking to her vet please let me know.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

If she seizes again and the seizure doesn't stop within 5 minutes she should be considered to be in status epilepticus - the state in which her central nervous system excitement won't abate without her being heavily sedated or anesthetized by her vet. Otherwise, there are no special precautions or treatment necessary at this time. Please continue our conversation if you wish.