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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30337
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My 14 year old yorkie pool Rosie started having seizures at

Customer Question

Hi Dr my name is ***** ***** 14 year old yorkie pool Rosie started having seizures at the end of July when she get excited. Even if I've been gone for only an hour she gets too excited can't breath and it happens some are more severe than others I try to get to her to calm her asap that does help. Yesterday the doorbell ran I have two other little dogs everyone was barking I look back and Rosie is seizing it is breaking my heart and I don't k ow what to do..I need some good advice thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Linda, I understand your concern at this time. Please describe to the best of your ability just what you're witnessing that you're describing as a seizure. How long does it last? How does Rosie act after the seizure and how long does she act abnormally after the seizure. Does she become incontinent? Does she lose consciousness?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Rosie starts getting disoriented her head goes down she makes a horrible sound usually her spine stiffens she falls to her side her body gets out of contol. Two times she was incontined it seems like forever. Maybe one to five minutes I hold her and rock her she has become unconscious not always she comes around dazed looks at me confused gives me a kiss I hold her until.she's stable her tail gets a snack and sleeps. Last night while she was seemingly sleeping her heart was pounding. Unconscious that I know of twice and pee twice..she seems to get weaker but she is still eating
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. You've described generalized seizures which were previously called grand mal. Brain tumor is the most common cause of these seizures in our geriatric patients. We also consider extracranial (outside the skull) etiologies such as a poorly functioning liver which is intoxicating the brain but I would expect Rosie to be quite ill in between these seizures if that were the case. Rosie's vet can perform a senior/geriatric diagnostic panel of blood and urine tests in an attempt to identify an extracranial etiology for Rosie's seizures and, if found, treat accordingly. MRI, however, would be necessary to identify an intracranial (within the skull) etiology such as brain tumor and I would find such advanced imaging inappropriate for a dog of Rosie's age.

You also have the option of treating in a symptomatic manner; in other words, instituting anticonvulsive medication such as levetiracetam or zonisamide. Our goal would be to minimize the frequency and severity of these seizures if only because too many dogs are lost during seizures. Phenobarbital is the most common of the anticonvulsives that we prescribe but I'd prefer the other drugs because phenobarbital is heavily sedative - at least initially - and often difficult for a geriatric dog to tolerate.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been on workman's comp and unfortunately do not have alot of money its so expensive. Can you recommend a homeopathic medication that would help to keep her calm without knocking her out. People have told me her time has come and I get it it is horrific watching her to through this. Do you think she is in pain when this occurs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have also noticed that her urine smells different more odor.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

No, I don't believe that a homeopathic remedy would even touch such severity of symptoms. No, she's likely to be unaware of herself or her surroundings and so pain perception isn't likely. An unusual urine odor usually indicates a urinary tract infection; some bacteria are urea splitters and when a molecule of urea is split, two molecules of ammonia are formed.

For alternative therapies you would need to repost your question and preface it by typing "I'm looking for a naturopathic vet...". I'm a died in the wool allopath.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. One more question if you were in my position what would you do? Am I just being selfish knowing there's not a lot I can do but I don't want to let her go.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

I understand your financial constraints. You're limited to seeing if an anticonvulsive drug is of value or having the final kindness performed. It sounds as if her seizures are too frequent to continue to "watchful wait" which is too hard on the both of you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for you honesty and kindness..this is so painful from here on out I will only have gold fish.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

You're quite welcome. I understand!

I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.