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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 10288
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My 6-year old Dachshund's head was slightly raised and s

Customer Question

My 6-year old Dachshund's head was slightly raised and his (open) eyes were rolled back into his head. This lasted for about 30 seconds.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb.
I recently came online and see that your question about Jake hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

It sounds as if Jake might have experienced a focal seizure or petit mal seizure.
Dogs can manifest symptoms as mild as staring off into space, fly biting (biting at things that are not there), involuntarily twitching of a leg or certain parts of the body...or possibly how Jake behaved.
These events would occur totally randomly and are completely involuntary.
These episodes also typically last < 5 minutes or for even shorter periods of time.

These kinds of seizures do not typically progress into grand mal seizures or epilepsy. They tend to remain as they initially present. They will continue for the life of the dog, in most cases.
I typically don't treat these dogs with anti-seizure drugs unless the episodes occur on a frequent basis (daily or possibly weekly).

As to the underlying cause in a dog this age, more often than not they are Idiopathic...meaning we can't find a reason for them. As a result, we are not able to prevent them.

Other possible causes (and this is just a partial list) include:

Head trauma

Ingestion of toxins or poisons (but the episodes usually last longer than a few minutes).

Liver issues

Brain masses...typically older dogs

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Topical flea/tick products (for some dogs)

Underlying cardiac issues resulting in hypertension.

I usually recommend that blood work be done to rule out the metabolic causes of seizure activity but explain to owners that additional testing such as an MRI or spinal tap might be needed to pursue other causes. Since I'm not entirely certain if this is what happened to Jake, I'd probably monitor for now to see if he has another episode

I hope this helps although, again, my profuse apologies for the delayed reply. Deb