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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30418
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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Dog has been having seizures around 4-6 per day. She is now

Customer Question

Dog has been having seizures around 4-6 per day. She is now heavy panting and very disoriented. She is not on medication, but should I taker her to emergency room?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Dixie and she will be 15 here soon.
JA: How old is Dixie?
Customer: almost 15
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Dixie?
Customer: All blood work, etc was fine. Her seizures started in May, but they have been steadily increasing over the last 10 days or so. It is taking her longer to recover and the heavy panting, and raspy breathing.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Dixie. She's clustering - more than one seizure in a 24-hour period and that can presage status epilepticus - the state in which her brain remains over-excited until I heavily sedate or anesthetize such a patient. Yes, she needs the attention of a vet at your earliest convenience. Both intracranial (within the skull) and extracranial (outside the skull) causes of seizures need to be considered. Brain tumor is the most common intracranial caus. of seizures in a 15 year old. A poorly functioning liver or kidneys are examples of extracranial causes. Diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests might identify an extracranial cause. MRI is needed to identify intracranial ones. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you. Yes, we ruled out all liver/kidney issues. We did figure it was likely brain, but given age was worried about putting her under for an MRI. The medication we had her on made her sick, caused blindness, and left her in a zombie like state all the time. Not sure how long we are looking at for her, but worried about quality of life with current state.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're quite welcome. Unless I were planning on performing brain surgery, an MRI is going to be of academic interest only. At this point either a smaller dose of the previous anticonvulsant or another one should be considered but I must admit that I'm concerned that her brain is too damaged by her frequent seizuring for any drug to be of value. Regretfully, euthanasia might be a kindness for Dixie. Please continue our conversation if you wish.