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Dr.Fiona, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  Small animal medicine and surgery - 16 years experience in BC, California and Ontario
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Seizures in yorkies? What could be done and what can be the causes?

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I think my yorkie had a seizure. he is almost 5 years old. he was on the couch trying to roll over slightly shaking and couldn't do it. i picked him up and he was shaking i just pet him and talking to him. he just looked very scared. i put him on the floor he tried to move but was shaking alittle and could not move. this is the first time. then he was finally able to move after a few minutes and went by the door so i let him outside where he was running around. he seemed fine before i left for work and i gave him 2 treats that he gobbled up like he normally does. does this sound like a seizure or could it be related to his blood sugar?

When this happened, how many hours had it been since he last ate?

How long did the whole event last?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He last ate last night. he doesn't eat much, likes treats more. he eats beneful. It lasted a few minutes. He did have water around 715am and had this about 745am
possibly 12 hours since he had eaten?

I'll give you a link to a few youtube videos that show seizuring dogs, so you can compare.

Do any of these look like what your little guy was doing?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

i think #3 but he was fighting to try and roll over and stand up. just had a scared look in his eyes. i did stand him on floor and give him a small treat.

i kinda think it was a seizure but i remember yorkies get low blood sugar so that is why i gave him the treat bc he is very fussy with his food.

What you are describing with your little dog really does sound to me like a seizure.

Seizures can be caused by a large number of different things. Some of these things are things INSIDE the brain, and some are by things OUTSIDE the brain. Examples of things inside the brain are infections and trauma (a recent hit on the head), and epilepsy. Examples of things outside the brain are low blood sugar and certain toxins.

The way we determine what is causing the seizures is to start with checking to see if this is caused by something outside the brain. This is done by taking a blood sample and running a number of tests. The vet would check your dog's liver and kidney function, check for diabetes and test her for various parasites (which can migrate through the brain and cause problems).

If these were all normal, your vet might suggest further testing aimed at seeing what is going on inside the brain. These tests might include a CSF tap to get a sample of the fluid around the brain, and/or an MRI of the brain. Many owners find these brain tests prohibitively expensive, and may elect to attempt treatment without test results. In that case, the vet would make a tentative diagnosis and start treatment (such as phenobarbital if epilepsy were suspected or prednisone if an inflammatory condition were suspected).

With a sudden onset of seizures in a dog of this age, my top consideration would be that he had a seizure due to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This fits with his small size, the length of time since he last ate, quick recovery and willingness to take treats right away. Hypoglycemia in dogs can cause weakness, wobbliness, lethargy, a drunken gait, glazed eyes, and even seizures and coma if it is severe enough!

Here is more about it:

After the dog has recovered from a seizure (usually this "post-ictal phase" lasts less than an hour), he is back to his normal self.

I'll give you links to more information about seizures:

Other possibilities are epilepsy and GME (an inflammatory condition).

Here ie more about epilepsy:

and about GME:

Often, when seizures start if they are due to epilepsy they are many months apart, and start getting closer together very slowly. We generally treat an animal once the seizures are closer than one a month.

Here are some ideas on how to keep him as safe as possible during a seizure, if one happens again:

The other thing that I should mention is that it would be very helpful to your vet if you were able to video tape an episode! It really helps to be able to see the whole patient during an episode, but also to see his face and jaws and eyes during the episode.

Start a seizure log. Note in it the date, time and duration of any seizure. Note the position of the dog (on his right side, on his left, on his belly, etc), and whether or not he urinates or defecates during it. Note how many hours since he ate, and also whether there has been anything different or stressful in the week prior to it (visitors, a move, renovations, etc).

Again, I suspect this may have happened due to your little guy having low blood sugar. The treatment for this would be to give him sugar/honey or corn syrup by mouth if this happened again, and to avoid it by making sure he eats more often.

It would be prudent to carry a small container of honey (like they have in restaurants - little tiny containers of honey or jam for your toast that you peel to open) when you take him out. If you carried a honey tub with you, you would smear the honey on his gums, and tongue if this happened again.

So, if he were my dog, I would do the following:
- keep a seizure log
- try to video tape an event
- carry honey

- if he seizures again, please see your vet for a check up and blood tests

So... that would be my approach! I hope that answers your questions?

If you need more information, just click on reply and I will be back to provide it!

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

thank you i hope i did that last part correct

You did! Good luck with your little bean!