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My dog looks like he is having a seizure. He has had 2

Customer Question
My dog looks like...

My dog looks like he is having a seizure. He has had 2 tonight with in a few minutes and he has never had one before. He is a 3 yr old Ref Tick hound

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Seizures always look scary. Let's get you talking to the Veterinarian. What is your dog's name and age?

Hank and he is 3 years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: How old is Hank?

3 years old

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Hank?

He has never had a seizure before. He has been a healthy dog

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 18,825
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

There are things that we need to consider about Hank to help us figure out why he had these episodes.

Was he mentally aware during these episodes? Meaning did he respond to you talking to him?

Was he sleeping before this episode occurred?

Has he eaten anything different recently?

Has he been given any medications recently?

Possible toxin exposure?

Has he been his normal self recently? Eating, drinking, playful and active as usual?

These episodes could have been seizures.

Seizures are rhythmic, unintentional muscle movements which the dog is unable to control and often loses consciousness during. Many dogs will repeatedly have chewing and or paddling motions of their legs, drooling, be unable to walk normally, and in some cases can lose urine and stool control.

After a seizure a dog may be tired and a bit confused why they are and about the time period that they seem to have lost. They know something happened, but they have no memory of the episode. As you can imagine that is unsettling.

There can be several reasons for seizures.

The most common is idiopathic epilepsy. That means that we don't know why but a circuit of sensitive neurons in the brain gets stuck repeatedly firing. Epilepsy begins happening most commonly in dogs 6 months to 6 years of age so he is in the right age range for this to be the cause of his episode. We do believe that there is a genetic basis for dogs to have epilepsy as certain breeds (poodles are one) are more commonly afflicted and siblings will often have them as well. If mom carried some of the genetics for epilepsy she may not be affected. But if she bred with a male that also carried some of the genetics for epilepsy (and he may not have been affected either) then together if the wrong combination of genes resulted we could get puppies with epilepsy.

Other causes for seizures are viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal infections, toxin exposure, sensitivity to medications (like ivermectin in some heartworm preventions or certain types of flea control products), metabolic diseases leading to waste products building up and affecting brain chemistry, low blood sugar, hypothyroidism, or even granulomas or masses in the brain.

Most of the other disease processes that cause seizures cause other symptoms, those dogs are sick or abnormal other than the seizure.

If these were seizures I can give you some information about trying to decrease their frequency and severity in the future.

Some dogs with lower than normal seizure thresholds will seizure in response to being exposed to artificial colors, preservatives or gluten. So you might wish to feed him a diet without artificial dyes or flavors. Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets NeuroCare is formulated just for dogs that suffer from seizures.

Decreasing stress is also a way to avoid seizures so if you know an event will be stressful for him avoid it if possible. You can also use calming sprays such as DAP (dog appeasing pheromone) or pheromone impregnated collars to keep him calm.

Exercise should be kept at normal levels. Exercise is a great way to naturally relieve stress and increase positive endorphin levels in the brain.

In a patient with more than one possible seizure episodes I would have him examined by a veterinarian, check a biochemistry profile to look at organ health, a thyroid profile to make sure his thyroid function is normal, and a complete blood count. We do want to make sure there are no underlying problems. If he had only had one episode we could take a watch and see approach. But since he has had 2 seizure episodes tonight I would recommend he be examined on an emergency basis and start medication to prevent them. The reason for that is the likelihood of status epilepticus (one seizure after another) and possible brain damage is higher with multiple seizure scenarios and we wish to avoid that.

If his episode was more of a fainting or syncope episode (where he just seemed to collapse and lose consciousness rather than rhythmic muscle movements) then he may have a heart condition. Some heart arrhythmias can be triggered with excitement. When the heart beats in an irregular fashion blood flow is abnormal and the pup may pass out fully or just become very weak.

The emergency clinic veterinarian can also examine him for any heart rhythm abnormalities and recommend medication to help.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Hi,

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

Dr. Kara
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