My husband and I woke up this morning to our 3 year old terrier/poodle mix totally lethargic and hardly able to move. We watched her for a few minutes hoping that things would improve but they didn't. She was stumbling around and was weak in the legs and looked like she was totally distant. We called our vet and he had us bring her in. By the time we got there she was almost back to normal. He told us she most likely had a seizure so he took blood for testing, gave her a shot of diazepam and sent a few pills of phenobarbital home with us. He explained that there could be many causes of seizures and we should probably expect to see another sometime in her life. I was scared to death having never saw anything like this. He said that in our town of 20,000ish there are about 300-400 dogs that have seizures, so it seems to me that it is a pretty common thing?!? Does anyone on here have a dog that experiences seizures? What are some of the things they are triggered by? If you treat them for it on a regular basis, what kind of treatment do they receive?
Your vet only gave you a couple of pills? Did he say whether you were to pick up more when they ran out? Typically most vets do not put dogs on Pheno right away, after only 1 seizure. Usually they wait and see if they become more frequent and then put them on Pheno and a liquid medication called Potassium Bromide. If your dog is going to stay on the medication permanently now you will need to have bloodwork done every 6-12 months to check liver functions. Pheno can have side effects to the liver if used long term.
Watching a dog have a seizure can be a scary experience for many people. There isn't much you can do while they are going through it other than making sure they are in a place where they cannot hurt themselves, keeping your hands away from their mouth because if they should bite they will not realize it and will not let go. Most seizures last between 30 - 60 seconds. During this time they can become incontinent so you may want to have a towel or something close by for clean up purposes. After the seizure is over they may be disoriented for awhile. Most dogs snap back rather quickly, some dogs take longer and it can depend on how long they seizured for.
When your dog starts to seizure I would recommend making a note of the time it starts and the time it ends. I would also mark it on a calendar. If your dog is only having a seizure once out of every 6 months then I am not sure I would medicate him. If the seizures are more frequent, like 1 a month then I would. You also want to note the length of seizures because if the dog is going beyond a minute, the body's temperature starts to rise. Thats where the most danger lies in having seizures. As the bodys temperature rises, internal organs start to fry and eventually fail. Brain damage can also occur with prolonged seizuring. Cluster seizures are also dangerous. Thats when they have mini seizures back to back for extended periods of time. If you notice that, he needs to go to the vet right away. If he is prone to those you vet can give you several syringes with Valium in them and you can give the valium rectally to stop the clusters. Your vet will tell you how many to give and at what time intervals to give them depending on his history. Another good reason to keep a journal of his seizures.
As far as triggers go its hard to say. Stress and Anxiety seem to be the trigger for some dogs, but they don't necessarily have to have a trigger to cause a seizure. Your dog is young so I wouldn't suspect a brain tumor. Usually older dogs, who have no history of seizures, brain tumors are usually the culprit.
If your vet decides to keep him on the Pheno on a regular basis you will also have to have a Phenobarbital screening done at least once a year. Probably 1 or 2 the first 6 months he is on the medication to make sure that the level of Pheno in his system is correct. This screening is done in addition to the normal organ function bloodwork done every 6-12 months.
Maybe some day your dog will be lucky like mine was and be able to be weaned off the Pheno and remain seizure free. I have only seen that happen 2x in 23 years though so its pretty rare that it's possible to do that.
The vet gave us 10 pheno pills to keep on the shelf. He told me to only give one to her after the first seizure to prevent any cluster seizures that may follow. I am supposed to keep track of and report any other seizures. He explained that this could be a one time thing or it could become a more frequent thing or there could be certain triggers. I already keep a doggy calendar where I document anything that goes on with the dogs--medically, silly, or otherwise. Sounds strange maybe, but our dogs are our life.
One thing I am still wondering this afternoon is that he said to expect that she would be pretty sleepy today from the diazepam and to expect her to be a bit wobbly on her feet, but she is very weak in the hind legs to the point sometimes she can't even get of the sit position. Is this from the diazepam or could it be another symptom from whatever happened this morning?
She ate, drank and went outside to go potty just about 30 minutes ago. I had to carry her out because she couldn't make it down the steps.
Ha! just as I'm writing this she jumped off the couch and jumped up onto the bed. Hopefully that is a good sign!
My husband had a golden retriever with epilepsy when I met him. It was very scary when she had a seizure, she was never incontinent, but we did worry about her biting or swallowing her tongue. They would last about a minute and she had them a few times a year. She lived a long, full life and other than the few minutes each year of being scared, we never would have known anything was wrong with her.
He is your friend, partner, defender, your dog. You are his life, love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
i'm sorry to hear that and i no it can be scary. my cousin had a chihuahua that had seizures quit regularly. his were caused from knocking his soft spot all the time.. and he eventually had to be put down. i'm pretty sure this isn't whats going on with your dog but you do have my sympathy it is a very scary sight.
my name is mimi and i have chihuahua named amber who is 4months old. i love her to death and she is my baby girl. i