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Samuel Peck
Samuel Peck,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 306
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian at Meadow Hill's
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My dachshund male just started having seizures,first was at

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My dachshund male just started having seizures,first was at 7pm and another at 12. First tim he's had them
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is the dachshund's name?
Customer: oscar
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Oscar?
Customer: previous vet that he goes to said he had a slight heart murmur but he has never shown evidence of symptoms of it before

Greetings, I’m Dr. Peck, a small animal veterinarian in general practice. Hopefully I might be of some help. One moment while I reply…

Disclaimer: This communication is for discussion purposes only. Without seeing an animal in person, a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship does not exist, and therefore I am unable to diagnose, prognose, or treat. Any comments made during discussion here are based on the information provided and are simply my thoughts regarding what I’d be considering were this type of case presented to me in person. The BEST recommendation for ANY veterinary-related concern is to seek veterinary assessment in person with your local veterinarian.

Can you tell me how old Oscar is?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Oscar is 7 years old
Customer: replied 28 days ago.
He is an un-neutered dog who has always been very active and loves to play fetch non stop. He has never had a seizure before to our knowledge. He has been perfectly healthy until now

Ok.

A rule of thumb for dogs and seizures regarding possible causes involves their age. We call dogs that have seizures for no known reason "idiopathic epileptics", this is what most people are referring to when they use the term epileptic. This is opposed to having an underlying cause for having the seizures, examples including a brain tumor, infection, autoimmune disease, liver failure or shunt, etc. The rule of thumb used is that most "idiopathic epileptics" begin having seizures when they are between 6 months and 6 years of age. You may find some varying ages for this rule of thumb, but it's called a rule of thumb for a reason...

The point is, dogs younger than 6 months presented for seizures are concerning for things like infections, or a liver shunt. Dogs presented that are older than 6 years for seizures are concerning for things like liver failure, or brain tumors. Dogs within the 6 month to 6 year range are more likely to have seizures as the primary disorder, "idiopathic" meaning we have no idea why they occur. But you can't definitively determine this without diagnostics. The rule helps discuss with owners how strongly we should be considering advanced diagnostics (e.g. MRI of brain, CSF tap etc.) to determine the root cause, vs. simply treating the seizures.

The point of all this is that at 7 years old we going to start to be concerned that this is a symptom of something else, vs. late stage idiopathic epilepsy, i.e. diagnostics should be considered.

...sending this, continuing to type up my thoughts...

If he is back to his normal self, it is fairly common for owners to wait until regular business hours to come in for a physical examination and discussion on what to do. If he is not back to normal / continuing to have seizures or other neurologic derangements, emergency assessment is warranted. Emergency assessment regardless is always the safest option if available and willing to pursue, when it comes to seizures, although sometimes they are normal by the time they're presented to us.

I would be suggesting starting with some routine labwork - a blood count, serum chemistry panel, and a urinalysis.

Depending on those results, we might monitor, treat with an anti-epileptic drug, and/or pursue other more advanced diagnostics - liver function testing, screening imaging, referral to a neurologist for advanced imaging (MRI, CT) and CSF tap / analysis are all common options.

Indications to start an anti-epileptic medication vary somewhat between veterinarians, but typically it is suggested to treat when cluster seizures occur (multiple siezures in one day, going into a seizure before being recovered from the last one), when seizures last a particularly long time / are particularly severe, or when they are occurring more frequently than every 4-6 weeks. So, often, their may be an initial monitoring period. I've certainl seen dogs presented for seizures than have them once a year or less- these types of cases hardly warrant medicating daily for under the typical current standard of care.

Consider going in on emergency or waiting until business hours if that isn't an option for you, and I'd suggest pursuing at least some basic routine labwork to assess internal organ function, and then discuss from there with your veterinarian what you'd like to do further.

Hopefully this discussion is helpful for you. I'll open it up for rating.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions, simply write me back! Otherwise, please be sure to kindly rate using the stars, so that I receive credit for helping with your question today (this is how professionals on this site are compensated for their time). Thanks! – Dr. Peck.

Samuel Peck and 3 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Peter,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Samuel Peck