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Seizures in dogs - Answered by Dr Van Lienden

November 27th, 2004, 10:59 PM
Hi! I just found this forum and am wondering if anyone would have any insight regarding canine seizures. I have a 12.5 year old Malamute who is in general good health outside of the regular maladies that come with old age. I just fed him some kibbles (human grade) with some leftover turkey and while he was eating he suddenly dropped to the floor and went into a fit that lasted about 30-45 seconds. He was upset for about 15 minutes afterward but then went back to his normal behavior and finished his meal. He has no history of seizures and I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and if so, what steps did you take? Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts/experiences!


November 27th, 2004, 11:51 PM
Please have him checked by a vet as soon as possible.

November 28th, 2004, 12:48 AM
Yes, I am planning to take him in first thing Monday, but I wondered had anyone experienced the same problem with their pet. If I had to guess, considering his age, I would say it is probably a tumor :( ...Of course I will have the vet give his diagnoses. Thanks for your response.

November 28th, 2004, 05:28 AM
Glad to hear you are taking him to your vet tomorrow. It is not uncommon for a dog to have a seizure once or twice during their lifetime.
If the seizures come in quick succession then there could be a serious problem.

November 28th, 2004, 09:34 AM
A friend of mine has a 2 year old Akita... which has seizures just as you described. He was given a perscription which the dog was to take everyday for the rest of it's life, with huge side effects. He opted to go to a homeopath (sp?) vet, who gave him some natural medical type herbs, not sure what but the Akita has only had 1 seizure since and this has been over a 1 year period. I am just writing this to let you be aware of other options if it was indeed a seizure. I agree with taking him to the vet as soon as possible and then explore your options.

Bueller's Mommy
November 29th, 2004, 01:59 PM
My beagle has epilepsy. He had his first seizure at about 1 1/2 years old. We immediately called the emergency vet because we weren't sure what was happening to him - we thought he may have been choking. He was standing up, staring straight ahead and was sort of rocking front to back. They told us to bring him in and as we were rushing to the vet's office, he had another seizure. About $90 and a lot of tears later, we were told to bring him into our regular vet to have his bloodwork checked.

Our vet advised us to wait and see if he had anymore episodes before we had testing done just incase it was an isolated incident and he may have been into something toxic. 6 months later he had another seizure and then 2 more in the following two months. A typical seizure for Bueller involves his body becoming rigid, slight shaking or rocking, excessive drooling and his eyes often look like they're going to pop out of his head. They generally last anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Anything over 5 minutes and he should be rushed to a vet. After each episode he will seem drunk/disoriented for up to an hour afterwards.

Bueller is now taking potassium bromide and has been seizure-free for almost a year. It's an incredibly hard thing to watch your pet endure and there are a few support groups around if you're interested. Good luck with your vet visit.

November 29th, 2004, 04:03 PM
I owned an Bloodhound with Epilipsey and it is by no means a death sentence they can be treated with phenobarbitol and there is a homeopathic option as mentioned above.

November 29th, 2004, 06:08 PM
My Den-Den3 had epileptic seizures. He never had to take medication for it as his seizures were infrequent and not severe. We found that the calmer we were during a seizure, the milder the episode would be. I'm inclined to doubt that your dog is having epileptic seizures if he didn't have them prior. Usually, epilepsy shows up when the dog is much younger. I'm thinking something else is going on and agree he should be seen by your vet.

November 29th, 2004, 06:35 PM
After only one seizure I cannot fathom any vet useing medication at this point. Most vets want to witness a seizure first too ...sometimes a drop in glucose can cause one.

If a dog has a seizure and the owners rush to the vet, bloodwork will show something has happened or something "is" happening. If the owner waits even 12 hours...the bloodwork could be..98% of the time, normal.

A dog with epilepsy will have normal blood levels too. If they seizure only twice a year, no medication is needed. If they seizure more than twice a month or more frequent than they can still be controlled with medication. Usually as age sets in so will the episodes.
Phenobarbital is not a drug to fear, properly regulated doses can mean a full and happy life.

Many things can cause seizure's later in life...for instance a dog that suffered from canine distemper as a puppy and recovered. Treatments can vary.

December 2nd, 2004, 12:38 PM
Seizures in older dogs always warrants blood work: a CBC, biochemical profile, thyroid levels. Urinalysis is also important. Chest radiographs, ecg, possibly echocardiography and abdominal ultrasound may be indicated.

Whenever you assess seizures, it is important to notice if there is an extra-cerebral cause or a prinary cerebral cause. Liver, kidney, hormonal, neoplastic (cancer) and cardiac disease may all cause seizures. Brain tumors, whether in the brain or on the menegies (fibrous linings of the brain) may also cause seizures.

Epilepsy is an important cause and may be inherited or acquired subsequent to a major illness or a brain injury, such as a concussion. Inherited epilepsy is usually evident by the time the dog is 2-3 years of age. Ultimately, if this is a brain lesion, then MRI will be needed to confirm and map the extent of the probleml, and if indeed amenable to surgical removal.

Menigial tumours are very amenable to surgery. It is time to visit your veterinarian, and if possible a veterinary neurologist.

Naturally, it is entirely possible that this seizure was a one-time event, however there is no guarantee that this is not the beginning of a trend.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

February 17th, 2005, 06:49 PM
My 9 year old shizu X has been having mild seizures for the past year. They are more like a severe "thunderstorm phobia" attack but for absolutely no reason. Now, in the past couple of weeks, she keeps us up most of the night (every single night) quietly woofing beside our bed. She doesn't want anything at all and we can't seem to find anything to comfort her or anything to help her settle and sleep. We are getting quite frustrated and very tired! We are still exploring out options as far as meds are concerned.

April 27th, 2007, 01:51 PM
Hi ,,, i just wanted to tell you who have dog's with seizures that a couple of years ago my dog was having them... scary to watch... the news had stated a link between the drops for dogs that we put on them to get rid of ticks and fleas and seizures... Well it was true. I never put drops (i think i was using Frontline) on him again and NO more seizures! good luck,, Pam

September 10th, 2007, 11:38 AM
My 11 year old female weimeraner has been having grand mal seizures. They started about 6 months ago and, they have been increasing in frequency until the other night when she had seizures on back to back nights. They only occur in the middle of the night. I am now noticing her having mild fainting spells during the day, like nodding of the sleep for a split second and just falling over. I have seen my vet and have done blood work with no answers yet. If anyone has ant suggestion it would be much appreciated.

September 10th, 2007, 12:36 PM
No personal experience but others who have dogs with epilepsy have recommended these two sites as helpful:

I am a little surprized that you haven't mentioned anything about your dog being prescribed medication for his seizures. Is there something in his bloodwork (or an MRI) leading your Vet to think the seizures are non-epileptic in origin ?

September 10th, 2007, 03:32 PM
hi, i just joined today and i needed to know if you know anything about neurological problems. i have a pup that i rescued from the road that has an issue with its hind quarters hopping up and down. we call her hoppy. her mother left her here, so i just put her in our fenced in yard. she will have nothing to do with us, yet. i am working on it, slowly. she seems to get worse when she is upset or scared. i watched her and she does it when she goes to the bathroom, also. otherwise, she seems very healthy. i will be worming her and my other two dogs, so that should take care of my dogs getting worms while she is in with them. they don't seem to pick on her or anything. thanks. cknipp

September 10th, 2007, 07:47 PM
Welcome to Cknip !

If she has a neurological or a musculo-skeletal problem causing the "hopping" you really don't have time to work with her slowly. It sounds to me like this dog needs a medical assessment by a Veterinarian asap.

July 26th, 2008, 12:15 AM
Our 5 year old shepard/basset cross started having seizures 6 months ago, only two in six months. In the last two days she has had 4 bad ones (scares the heck out of my wife and I) she just started taking Phenobarbitol, to help with the seizures. The owner of our local pet store suggested it would help to get her off of a food with grain in it. Does anyone know if that is correct or not? We currently feed her Purina Vetrenarian Diet Maintenace formula.
I will follow up with our Vet tomorrow and see what her thoughts are. I must say this is all very scary, we do not have any kids so our dogs our the kids.
Just joined tonight so hello to everyone

July 26th, 2008, 09:11 AM
Hi, KeishKayAll.

I don't have any advice for you except to post your question again in the food forum (at the top fo the page, click on "Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs", scroll down to "Dog and Cat Food Forum" and click on that. Start a new thread with the "New Thread" button you'll see at the top left of the listed threads.) A lot more members will see your question there and you'll get more responses.

I do know how scary grand mal seizures can be :grouphug: and I hope between the phenobarb and any diet changes, you can get them under control quickly! :goodvibes:

Welcome to the board.

August 3rd, 2008, 04:30 PM
Hi sorry to hear your baby dog ,has had the seizure that he had ,but i hope that he had no more. My german shepherd of 10 yrs had two isolated seizures within weeks of each other ,but then had collapsed after having another ,then continued to be followed by 4 more including a grand mal seizure.This may be way off ,from what is wrong with your doggy but i felt on the slight chance is wasnt i would tell you about my Tess's experience.
Her pcv (packed cell volume)red blood cell percentage was way too high(revealed by a specific blood works).Which meant that there was little room for oxygen to flow through her blood thus the seizures. This is known as erythrocytosis or polycythemia vera. The hard part was finding out what the cause was as it could have been tumour induced,there were also other possibilities but as it turns out tess's is from bone m arrow cancer,which sounds awful,and beleive in the begining it was very scary but so far tess's has had 7oomls of blood drained to reduce to pcv twice and remains on hydrea a form of chemo.BUT MY TESS IS BACK TO HER OLD SELF JUST NEEDS WEEKLY MONITORING AS ITS ONLY BEEN ABOUT4-6 WEEKS. This is a very rare disease diagnosed through a process of elimination,which is why every chance i get i tell someone about it.Just the same i hope your baby isnt suffering and that all turns out ok .

'To love is to be loved'

"I would be unstoppable.If i could just get started" Furry logic

September 27th, 2008, 04:53 AM
it's 4 am and my dog has had, what appears to be her 1st seizure. since there is no vet emergency this time of day, i found this site and found it reassuring that we were assisting my beloved 2 year old dog to the best we could manage until a vet might be available in the next couple of hours. The dog hopped on my bed, started to shake, fell to the floor shaking violently - foaming at the mouth - loss of urine.....I am a 1st time dog owner and both my daughter and I were frightened, trying to keep our dog safe....when the dog snapped out of the seizure...the dog was snarling and snapped at us....of course she was frightened...she sat in my room for quite a while...she started to pace and would bump her head ...she indicated the need to go outside to defecate - she paced for a good hour ...then showed signs of her personality coming back into play...we provided water during this we were concerned with dehydration...the dog appears to be okay, just wish there was a means to take her to a vet...I even called the police to see if animal control could assist !!! The police officier even reassured me that I had done the best I could, reassuring me that no vet would be available until 9 am at best...with your shared information I know that my black lab dog & I can last at least a couple of hours more...thanks

October 18th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Hi there,
This is my first time using this website. I don't even know if I'm posting this in the right place or not :S I have a one year old dog. She is half chiuaua, half yorkie. Two days ago she was sitting on my lap, and she started shaking, but it was as though she was scratching herself. I couldn't exactly see her because a blanket was blocking my view. So I went on thinking she was scratching herself, until she poked her head out of the blanket. Right away I knew there was something wrong. Her tongue was sticking out, she tried to get off the couch, but she fell. Her hind legs were not working, and she was off balance and disoriented. I was terrified. I rushed her to the vet, she was much better by the time the doctor got to see her. From what I described, the vet told me it sounded like she had had a seizure.
They ran a blood test right away (so within 45 min to an hour of the incident), and everything seemed normal. The vet decided that she had not systemic problems.
Now she hasn't had any seizures since. She acts normal, eats fine, and pees/poos regularly. She is very playful. I don't know if I'm just obsessing with her behavioure or what, but it seems like she drinks water more than usual, and yawns a lot.
If anybody has any advice, comments, or suggestions, it wold be great if you could share them with me.
Thank you for your time !!

January 24th, 2009, 07:53 AM
We have an 8 year old female Malamute named Roxi who started having seizures about a year ago. The first one was incredibly frightening to watch (the all are actually) and we raced her down to the vet once it was over and he ran all the tests. After her blood work we placed her back in the car and as we were driving away she had another. Now to put this into perspective, she is 90lbs and these seizures are quite violent, so we turned around and the vet came out to the car with a tec and witnessed the entire event. Once it was over she was taken in and held for 48 hrs for observation.

During observation she had one seizure but of very short duration. Once the blood work was back and all checked out fine we met with the vet to discuss options. We were advised that we could send her to Saskatoon for an MRI (we live in Winnipeg) but that even if she had a lesion the treatment would be the same as if she had epilepsy, as an operation would probably be more harmful than not seeing that she was considered geriatric.

Currently she is on Phenobarbital (240mg per day) and will be until the levels in her blood are at a certain level and the vet plans to place her on another drug and slowly take her off the Pheno, as Pheno is toxic.

Since her first set of seizures Roxi has had four more grandmal seizures, the latest two being last night (she always gets them in her sleep and never when awake).

Whatís frustrating about this is, like most people, we are looking for answers and a permanent solution to the problem. Fact is, we donít think there is and this is something that we have to live with and are willing to. We have heard of others having their dog put down and it frustrates us when we hear that, as they are doing it not for the dog (they say they are) but for themselves because this is a very scary and tough thing to deal with, but honestly thatís what you get when you have pets, it is a responsibility, they are truly family.

What we have written here is no solution to your or anyone elseís problem but we just wanted to let you and others know that you are not alone. We have spent many sleepless nights waiting for Roxi to have another seizure and suffered with anxiety over this issue, but knowing we are not alone helps some.

Good luck and love your dog.

January 26th, 2009, 06:53 AM
Hello, I can relate -brown CA, Our 3 yr old, 125 lb German Sheppard Buck has had Grand Mal seizures for the last year now. They are getting more frequent- he's had 3 this month alone. We've been to the vet, had blood work done and everything seems normal. We were prepared to deal with it, live with it and just accept that our dog has seizures, but... The problem now is several times over the last 2 weeks, Buck has acted disoreinted, like he doesn't recognize us, gets scared, hides from us..I'm really afraid, he's got a tumor or a serious neuological problem on top of the seizures. It scares me...does anyone have any knowledge of this type of behaviour with seizures>? I'm calling the vet again, this am.

March 9th, 2009, 01:48 PM
My 3 month old Jack Russell was behaving strangely yesterday. Back legs didn't seem to work, weaving, weak, almost like a rag doll. Ran her to the pet hospital but by the time the vet saw her she seemed find. After reading this discussion I think she had a seizure. She had thrown up just a bit before the strange behaviour. She was so motionless on the way to the vet I thought she died a few times. Now she's her usual self.

March 16th, 2009, 09:24 AM
Hi. My family and I have a 14.5 year old dog named Monty. We got him from the PEI Humane Society when he was six months old. For the past 14 years he has been the best dog anybody could ever ask for. I love him so much, everybody does. We live a small community and everyone knows and loves Monty too. He has always been a friendly and outgoing dog....I don't think he has ever met a person he didn't love. Well, on February 3, 2009 Monty had to have a surgery to remove a tumor from his side. This was his first surgery and we were very, very worried. With him being 14, we weren't sure if he would make it through the surgery. But he came through it with flying colors and we were so happy. A week after the surgery he was just like a pup again. Loving life. Then, a few days later (February 12, 2009) things changed. He started having seizures. At first they were small and my parents didn't know what was wrong. He was having a lot of these small seizures....not just 1 or 2. The next morning I got a call from my sister who was crying, she and my father were on their way to the vet with Monty because the seizures had gotten worse and were violent. He went to the vet and was put on Phenobarbital. The next few days were a nightmare. His seizures were terrible. I witnessed only the small seizures, and I thought they were bad. Before the Phenobarb kicked in fully, he had 3 big seizures....biting his tongue, body thrashing against the floor and walls, loss of his bowels, etc. This was very traumatic for my family and especially for Monty. We were so close to having him put to sleep. And we were so heart broken. The thought of him not being around was very hard to handle, but seeing him in the state he was in was terrible as well. He decided to hold off because we knew it would take 2-3 days for the Phenobarb to work properly. And luckily within the next 2-3 days his seizures stopped. He started to look like himself again and we were relieved. Although he was in and is still is in a state of drowsiness all the time. He can't walk straight, bumps in to things, falls down, gets lost everywhere and it's hard to watch. He is a shell of the dog he used to be...but he's our best friend and we love him. But, on March 12, 2009 the phenobarb stopped working for him and he started seizing again. I took him to the vet rite away and got a blood sample to check his phenobarb levels. He was at a good level and we were allowed to increase his dosage. Now he is in worse shape than before, he can't get up the stairs, falls down, stumbles, get disoriented everywhere. He fell down the stairs last night. The time is coming for us to put him to sleep...I can barely even write those words. The thought of losing my best friend is really tearing me apart. I'm trying to think of how he must feel, scared and confused. But when I see him run to me and wag his tail and just to so happy I forget everything that's wrong with him. Deep down I know the time is near, but it doesn't make it any easier. He has a brain tumor, and the phenobarb will only stop the seizures for so long. He's basically been the only dog I have ever had and I love him so much. He's been my constant companion for 14 years and I can't picture life without him. It's going to be a very difficult time for me and my whole family. The thought deciding that he shouldn't live anymore is very difficult for me. It's helping me that I am not alone with this situation and is nice to talk about it.

March 16th, 2009, 10:54 AM
When the time comes, Carolyn, if you make the decision out of love for Monty, you can't make a wrong choice. When I feel like I'm keeping the dog alive for my sake, instead of his, then I know it's time.

Good luck with Monty. I know how very hard it is to make that final decision and my heart goes out to you and your family. :grouphug:

:fingerscr that Monty rallies and you won't have to make that decision any time soon! :goodvibes: You're in my thoughts and prayers.

July 6th, 2009, 06:21 AM
Probably posting in the wrong place; I'm new here. Sorry. Your post touched me & prompted me to write about our dear doggie:
Our seemingly young,healthy 4 yr old schipperke dog suddenly awoke from his sleep convulsing, stiffening up, shaking violently, foaming at his mouth, and acting vicious when handled to calm him down. When we were finally able to secure him, we headed over to the emergency vet for the first time. In between our own panic and getting lost, we noticed he had completely calmed down. We decided to take him home for observation. He's drinking excessively and has urinated on the floor twice. He appears better, but still not quite himself. He had got ahold of a toothpick and chewed it, so we were wondering if it could've caused the seizure? We're at our wits end! We will take him to the vet for a checkup asap. In the meantime, is there any information and/or advice any good reader could share w/us. The incident has been traumatic for him as well as us, and we're just so scared for him. He's still young so how could this have happened so suddenly? HELP!!!!:cry:

July 15th, 2009, 07:02 PM
your story really touched my heart since I've been going thru something similiar w/my 5 yr old dog recently. I still haven't figured out what caused the seizures; he had two 9 days apart and it was awful feeling so helpless. His blood work came back normal so I'm still up in the air. I hope you're able to pinpoint what is wrong w/your beloved pet. I wish I could give you answers but I'm still searching for them myself, but I will send My best wishes and good thoughts to you and hope he has no more seizures.

December 7th, 2009, 03:47 AM
my bugg, 2 years old, has had her 5th episode. she goes from full on playing to a small tremor, then stops moving around and her body wobbles, by now im all worried and hold her on my lap like a little baby, and she stays this way for 3 or 4 hours. I assumed this was a seizure because if you move your hand near her face she jerks away. shes not drooling, shes very dopey, seems drowsy, i end up cuddling her for a few hours while she sleeps it off.
there isnt an apparent link between the episodes, except that they happen at night, ive tried feeding and watering her which she will have none of and ive tried giving her sugar to see if its bloodsugar related, which i havnt seen any improvement.
i have taken her to the vet, which lead to nothing, because she was fine by then. ive given her rescue remedy, and after a while shes back to her old self, i dont think it was poison, because she was inside.
i realize this isnt the best way, but the descriptions arent very specific, and she is very young and healthy.

December 7th, 2009, 10:20 AM
If you can't get her in to the vet while she's having an episode, it might be helpful if you can get video of it, jovialj. Might give your vet the clues he needs to figure out what's going on.

:goodvibes: with your little one.

June 27th, 2010, 11:18 AM
My dog was perfectly healthy until he was 6. Then he started to take fits.
The first time ir happened we thought he may have been bitten by a snake or ate poison. He never frothed at the mouth or defecated. We had him at a vet with in ten minutes.
They couldn't work out what was wrong with him initially. We had him on a drip over night . By the morning he was his old self.

Seems he is hypoglycemic.
It always seemed to happen after he had exercised a lot ,used a lot of energy or was excited. It usually happened over an hour after the event or sometimes even longer but he would always be resting when it happened. He had three fits in three months.

Next time he took a fit I gave him some honey, some bach rescue remedy to calm him down and a cold pack on the lower half of his back and just nursed him.. I was right onto it.

The fit lasted 10 to 20 seconds and wasnt as severe as the other ones because I acted on it right away.
The vet wanted me to put my beloved high energy foxy on valium. I wouldn't have that. Now I make sure he gets fed small amounts of low gi food( rice pasta meat oats etc,)and often and if he has really exerted himself a tiny amount of glucose or honey. He hasnt had a fit for a long time now.

June 27th, 2010, 11:53 AM
Welcome to the board, Cazzarrella!

We had a dog that had one grand mal seizure--happened in the middle of the woods after a long day of running. Although the vets were never able to give us a definitive answer about why it occurred, their guess was that it was hypoglycemia, as well. So after that we always made sure he'd eat a snack now and then when exercising and he never had another seizure :thumbs up

I think for these kinds of seizures, snacks sound a lot better than valium, on so many levels. :D I'm glad it works so well for your dog!

July 20th, 2010, 08:49 AM
I just took my dog to the vet this morning as he had a huge seizure. He was in status epileptis (seizure longer then 15 minutes). By the time we got him to the vet he had been seizuring for 30 minutes, it took the vet another hour and alot of drugs to get the seizure to stop. He is obviously still there being medicated but my big concern is that he could have brain damage, Anyone ever have this happen and I am right to be afraid that he may not be the same? My heart is breaking.

July 20th, 2010, 11:45 AM
Sorry you're going through this, shadowbaby. :grouphug: I'm afraid your best bet is to talk to the vet about this. He can best assess the possibility of brain damage. Medication can also cause changes in behavior, so there likely will be some adjustment period. But ask your vet about causes and prognosis. :grouphug:

Good luck with your furbaby and please keep us posted on his progress, k?

December 24th, 2010, 10:47 AM
It's been a while since anybody has replyed on this forum. I grew up with a black lab mix - I currently have an ACD mix. The black lab still lives with my parents - she'll be 14 this coming January. My dad just called me this morning and told me they had to bring her to the vet because she had a seizure this morning. She's never had a seizure before. They gave my parents some medication to give her if it happens again, but told them if she does have another seizure that lasts over 5 minutes that they need to bring her to the emergency vet located in the next town over. A little background on their dog..... like I said, she's almost 14 years old. She has had horrible skin allergies almost her whole life - where she gets these blisters, patches on her skin. For a period of time, she visited a skin allergist (for dogs) twice a week for allergy shots. A few years back - I would say about 3 or 4 - she got a horrible liver infection. Nobody could figure out where she got it or how she picked it up - she never leaves my parents' house or yard. She almost died from it, but recovered. She has never been quite the same since - and you can tell. She also has those fatty growths/tumors pretty much all over her. One is the size of a tennis ball and getting bigger. They don't cause her any pain though or limit her activities - she still runs, plays, jumps, etc. My parents elected not to have them biopsied because they didn't want to to run the risk of putting her under - given her age and fragility after the liver infection. A couple of months ago, she started falling down and had trouble standing and eating and her head tilted to the side. My parents weren't sure if she had a stroke - but the vet diagnosed it as Canine Vestibular Syndrome (vertigo/stroke of inner ear), gave her some medication, and about 2 weeks later she was better - except her head still tilts slightly to the right side.

Until this morning, she's been doing well. She has a healthy appetite, she plays, she's generally happy. Unfortunately, she's also almost 14 years old and I know deep down that the end is nearer than any of us want to admit. I wish she could outlive me, but I know that's not the case. We got her as a 3-4 week old puppy - her litter was found in a warehouse and all the pups were sick so they were taken from their mother to help them survive, and she's been the best dog anybody could ever ask for. Smart as a whip, a puppy til the end. I've since grown up, moved out on my own and have my own 1 and a half year old puppy. Because I don't see her on an every day basis like I used to, I have particularly noticed how much she has aged in essentially the past couple of years. She can't see as good, she's partially deaf, she's clumsy, and it's absolutely heartbreaking to watch. Now with the seizure thrown into the mix (on Christmas Eve - no less), I guess what I'm trying to do is prepare myself. I know that it's inevitable that my parents are going to be faced with a lilfe-changing decision sooner rather than later. At what point are you able to decide that it's time to end your best friend's life? I know that sometimes it gets to a point where you're keeping them alive more for your own sake than for theirs, but how do you finally make that decision? My family was an absolute wreck a few months back when she had the Vestibular Syndrome, thinking the worse - that she had had a stroke and that we'd have to put her to sleep because she couldn't even stand up on her own, but then she recovered from that.

I'd like to think this stroke was just a one time thing and that she'll go on to live another 14 years, and I guess only time will tell. I suppose I don't really have a question or answer to anything previously posted on this forum, but I just had to get my story out - it helps reading things others have posted. It makes you feel less alone.

I was not there to experience the seizure first hand, but my dad did mention that she was foaming at the mouth - he did not say that she had lost control of her urine or bowels though - so I am assuming it wasn't one of the really bad ones. They have to bring her back to the vet to get some things checked out later because she needed to fast for them, and my dad said that since the seizure and trip to the vet, she's been nervously pacing and won't settle down and rest. Is that normal? Usually when she gets home from the vet, she sleeps, but he said she is just very anxious. I'm nervous to go over there tonight with my own dog - I don't want to cause her any unnecessary stress. Would it be best to leave my dog at home on Christmas? If anybody still reads this thread, I'd appreciate any thoughts on the matter.
Thank you,

December 24th, 2010, 02:34 PM
Sorry to hear about your folks' dog, leeshie :grouphug: It's sad that they age so quickly :(

It isn't too unusual for a dog to pace after having a seizure--the brain activity is still settling back to normal. So that isn't too surprising. But, IMO, it probably would be a good idea to leave your dog home when you visit tomorrow, just to keep the excitement/stress level down in your folks' dog.

With luck, this will be the only seizure your mom and dad's dog has and your holiday celebrations will be incident-free! :goodvibes:


April 20th, 2011, 01:18 PM
today I found out my dog has epilepsy. We was in the garden at my aunties and suddenly he dropped to the floor, being tense, shacking and foaming at the mouth. he tried walking but his feet were curled and just kept falling over until he couldnt no longer. This went on for 20 minutes before we could get him to the vets. He was like this for just over 2 hours until the only way to stop it was too knock him out. Thankfully he hads finally stopped and will come home tomorrow. Their putting him on tablets for epilepsy. It was a horrible moment especially because this happened a year ago due to a reaction from an antiobiotic after his face ballooning after being stung. He's a strong dog after suffering from distemper as a puppy and being beaten resulting in his nerveous system being damaged and trouble walking. Fingers crossed the tablets work ok. I never knew epilepsy in a dog could be so bad until I had to witness this and believe people should be more aware.

April 20th, 2011, 01:57 PM
I'm sorry you and your dog are going through this, kirstybrady :grouphug: Please keep us posted!

April 20th, 2011, 02:13 PM
Hi kirstybrady,

I'm so sorry you are going through this with your furbaby. Are the vets just assuming it's epilepsy? Have they completed any tests to rule out some of the common medical conditions? A 2 hour long seizure is not at all common, and would either be cluster seizures, or Status Epilepticus. In either case, it's very severe and definitely could be life threatening. It sounds like your pup has been through a lot. One thing I would really be concerned about is the reaction to the antibiotic. Some antibiotics have been known to cause seizures and meningoencephalitis in both dogs and people. Does your pup have an immune system disorder? Has he ever had a reaction to vaccines (or had a recent vaccination)? Do you use flea/tick treatments? These are all causes of seizures in some dogs. One thing you mentioned was that his nervous system was damaged from abuse. Have you had any tests done to confirm that? Or is it just assumed by the way he acts? Also, has your vet completed a bile acid test to rule out a liver shunt or test for hypothyroidism? Both of those can cause seizures as well.

This is a copy of a web page I have bookmarked (I have a puppy, a little over a yr old now) who has an immune-mediated disease, most likely brought on by vaccines-or at the very least-severely aggravated by them. He as grand mal seizures, had meningoencephalitis and several other issues.

Meningitis is most often caused by an infection, (viral, bacterial or even fungal), but some drugs can also produce symptoms. These include:
Antibiotics--ciprofloxacin/Trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole/ amoxicillin/metronidazole/penicillin/cephaleixn
Immune system--OKT-3 monoclonal antibody/immunogobulin/azathioprine
Intrathecal (drugs injected into the spine)--methotrexate/cystine arabinoside
Uricosuric (drugs that eliminate excess uric acid)--allopurinol
Vaccines--hepatitis B/mumps

Read more: About Drugs That Cause Meningitis Symptoms |

Just a few things to maybe discuss with your vet. Good luck to you both :)
And please let us know how he's doing!

April 20th, 2011, 10:41 PM
Aww I am sad to read this. Best wishes for your pet

May 6th, 2011, 08:03 PM
i have a pitbull his name is Gus he is 3 years old.. i got him from a shelter out here in connecticut... i say a year after i had him he had his first seizure.. took him to the vet they said he was epileptic and they put him on meds which didnt work.. since then he has had seizures on and off for the past year i say one every 2 - 3 months.. i went on a work trip which he had 2 out of the 4 days i was gone.. and its been 3 months since then and yesterday he had one.. and today he had 2 more..which is the most he has ever had. im sorry im typing like this i am just trying to get this all out. i am still shaking because when i see it i start crying and it just hurts to watch i love this dog so much . i dont know what to do i have brought him to numerous vets which have just sucked money out of me and not given me an answer.. now my girlfriend lost her job and i am supporting the whole house and i am looking for a an emergency vet that will take some kind of payment option and am getting no help.. just looking for an answer if anyone could help me thank you

May 7th, 2011, 01:02 AM
Hi MyBuddyGus, welcome to the board :)
Sorry it's under such awful circumstance. Was it phenobarbital they had him on? There are a few differents meds for seizures, pheno is usually the first choice. I would say if the pheno didn't help, it may be something more serious than epilepsy. Does he have any other symptoms at all? How is his coordination? Does he seem to have any neck/shoulder pain or a limp? Has he had a fever? You said he came from the pound, so I'm assuming you don't have any history such as previous head trauma?

I have a baby with seizures as well. He had Meningoencephalitis, which is what started the seizures initially, but he now has scarring and a bit of brain damage, so he has them more frequently. He, however, showed no clinical signs of meningitis except the seizures, which we have been told by a couple of vets, is rare. It took a very caring (and smart) vet to test him for it. If yours only had one every 2-3 months, it wouldn't be necessary to put him on meds. But having several in a few days is bad. One thing I will say is that it's going to be expensive to find out what's wrong. The first thing I would do is a CSF tap if they continue. That would rule out (or, as in our case, confirm)Meningitis. Please let us know how he is doing and pictures are always welcome! Good luck to you both :fingerscr :pray:

July 29th, 2011, 01:57 AM
I am having the same problem....I have a 7 year old Chihuahua who is having seizures. The Vets have not given us anything for them yet. He is very overweight and I feel awful about it. He gained the weight after I got sick and couldn't walk him anymore. I can only walk with a walker and I do take the dogs for a walk, but it isn't far and its slow, but it is the best that I can do. I hired the little girl next door but he is scared of her and would not go with her...he tugged and tugged and I was afraid that he would get away on I am at my wits end. I have cut back on how much food he gets, but it is hard when you have more than one dog. What do I do?

December 15th, 2011, 06:47 AM
My Dachhond started getting seizures when two years old.
He is now six and still the problem exists.
Three months ago after two days of fits, he was placed in hospital where
his fits continued. His dosage of Potassium Bromide and phenobarbitones
were increased and he was give valium. After a few more days he returned home where he did not recognise me or his home.
Anyway, his increased dosage has been maintained since then, for three month fit free, until yesterday. He's had six episodes since then.
The medication is not helping to break this cycle of fits.
I should possibly get some valium for him and hopefully this will help to stop the trend, hopefully for another few months.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
(all required tests have been done on a regular basis, at great cost.)

December 15th, 2011, 05:42 PM
I have no personal experience, but I would check the thyroid values and see if he is hypothyroid, and also check for tick disease.

December 16th, 2011, 03:37 AM
The Vet has been testing the Thyroid and all he has ever come into contact with are fleas, not ticks, but thanks for the reply.

December 16th, 2011, 11:57 AM
There are things that you can do with the diet that can help seizures. I would pop over here: and have a homeprepared diet formulated. There's an extremely good chance that will decrease the seizures, and, with some dogs, they have stopped.

This is a pretty "thick" site, but there may be clues here:

December 19th, 2011, 07:07 AM
I have just visited another Vet for a "second opinion"
I was told that they have treated a dog with Epilim.
Result - no more seizures.
Anyone had experience with this medication on dogs?

March 12th, 2012, 04:03 AM
I'm afraid Potassium Bromide and phenobarbitones do not help.
His ceasures are becoming more frequent and harder to break the cycle once it starts. His mouth opens and closes in a snapping manner with sticky, frothy stuff oozing out his mouth, soiling bed, couch, carpet etc.

March 12th, 2012, 06:21 AM
Hi Boeriemore -

Sorry to hear that your dog is still having problems with seizures. One of my dogs has epilepsy, so I understand how difficult it can be.

My dog, Keely, has been on a variety of medications for her seizures. The first medication that she was given was phenobarbital. It took some time to get her to the therapeutic level, however, and we had to go to a specialist to get the correct information. The therapeutic levels given by the drug company are not always what a neurologist would recommend. We had to check her blood often to make sure she was maintaining the levels. However, we still did not have any luck with controlling the seizures. The specialist also gave us a rectal valium protocol to administer when she had a seizure in order to stop the clusters from occurring. We give her one dose during the seizure, then another dose 20 minutes later, and then another dose 20 minutes after that. You should check with your vet about the dosages, however.

Next, we added the potassium bromide. It had no noticeable benefits and it made my dog extremely stomach-sick, to the point where she was vomiting almost every day. The vet took her off of it very quickly.

The next thing we tried was adding levetiracetam (Keppra) with the phenobarbital. Like potassium bromide, this one is meant to accompany the pheno for dogs with refractory (difficult to control) seizures. She was on this one for about four months or so. We enjoyed a honeymoon period of two months seizure free in the beginning, then it seemed to make things exponentially worse. She was having seizures pretty much every week after that, which was much more frequently than before she was on the levetiracetam. We decided to abandon this medication as well.

Now Keely is on another drug called zonisamide with the phenobarbital. She's doing extremely well on it and there are little side effects. She hasn't had any seizures in three months, which is the best she has ever done. There is a study about the use of zonisamide in dogs that I read about... it had a fairly small experimental group, but about 58% of the dogs reacted favorably to the medication. And, for those who did, they seen an average 81% reduction in seizures. It gives me the impression that this is an "all or none" type of medication. It has been working for Keely amazingly, so I'm glad of that at least.

Anyways, good luck with trying to determine the next course of action for your dog! Please let me know if you have any questions... I feel like I'm getting very well-versed in canine epilepsy, unfortunately!

March 14th, 2012, 10:24 AM
Hi Serenamlambe,
My Dachhond has 1ml potassium bromide daily with one phenobarbitone in morning and one in evening. Yesterday the vet gave me valiums for him.
This did not break the cycle of ceasures. They seem to stop on their own after two days, then another two days for his behavour to normalize.
I am copying your post and sending it to my vet. Thankyou.

March 17th, 2012, 11:15 PM
I would go for the MRI. If she does have a tumour it is likely a miningeoma and they are usually resectable with little problem. The treatment is not the same as epilepsy (medication) but rather surgery. No need to lose a great pet so early on. Go see a doggie neurologist and see what can be done for Roxi.
All the best,

We have an 8 year old female Malamute named Roxi who started having seizures about a year ago. The first one was incredibly frightening to watch (the all are actually) and we raced her down to the vet once it was over and he ran all the tests. After her blood work we placed her back in the car and as we were driving away she had another. Now to put this into perspective, she is 90lbs and these seizures are quite violent, so we turned around and the vet came out to the car with a tec and witnessed the entire event. Once it was over she was taken in and held for 48 hrs for observation.

During observation she had one seizure but of very short duration. Once the blood work was back and all checked out fine we met with the vet to discuss options. We were advised that we could send her to Saskatoon for an MRI (we live in Winnipeg) but that even if she had a lesion the treatment would be the same as if she had epilepsy, as an operation would probably be more harmful than not seeing that she was considered geriatric.

Currently she is on Phenobarbital (240mg per day) and will be until the levels in her blood are at a certain level and the vet plans to place her on another drug and slowly take her off the Pheno, as Pheno is toxic.

Since her first set of seizures Roxi has had four more grandmal seizures, the latest two being last night (she always gets them in her sleep and never when awake).

Whatís frustrating about this is, like most people, we are looking for answers and a permanent solution to the problem. Fact is, we donít think there is and this is something that we have to live with and are willing to. We have heard of others having their dog put down and it frustrates us when we hear that, as they are doing it not for the dog (they say they are) but for themselves because this is a very scary and tough thing to deal with, but honestly thatís what you get when you have pets, it is a responsibility, they are truly family.

What we have written here is no solution to your or anyone elseís problem but we just wanted to let you and others know that you are not alone. We have spent many sleepless nights waiting for Roxi to have another seizure and suffered with anxiety over this issue, but knowing we are not alone helps some.

Good luck and love your dog.

March 18th, 2012, 09:28 AM
Hello again, Boeriemore -

I'm glad that you found my post helpful and it gives you a few more options to consider. However, adriennerosen may have a point... even if she was responding to a old post by someone else. Have you gone for an MRI? We saved up and did an MRI on our Keely, that's how we know it is most likely epilepsy. She didn't have any swelling in the brain and there was no noticeable tumor or brain damage. They also did a CSF test - spinal tap - at the same time and nothing showed up on that one either. Even though we didn't really get any answers from it, we feel better going the medication route when we know that there's not another underlying problem that needs to be addressed in her brain. Of course there is no way to know if we're doing the right thing, but the success with zonisamide is certainly making it seem that way.

Good luck to you & keep us updated on what your vet suggests next!


April 1st, 2012, 03:02 AM
Thanks, I will keep you updated once I have more news.

March 11th, 2015, 08:57 PM
Hello. I had a gorgeous blonde haired 9yr old 9 lb maltese. She was a vibrant .. hyper. High strung lots of barking dog. Up until this past Saturday night. Let me take you back about 3 months ago .. she had a 3 cm tumor removed off of her underbelly that they said was cancer but vets believed they got it all. Two weeks after surgery and stich removal we went to Florida for 3 weeks. She recouped nicely . Ran and played and chased other dogs. Like a new puppy again. . Came back to Ohio and a total of almost 3 months that she had surgery she had a seizure while we were gone and 12 hours later she had passed. .. we came in from a not out last Saturday night, I noticed her on the floor and her 8 yr old daughter kissy was on the chair. But Gigit want coming to the door like she normally does to greet me. I called her name . .. no response. I offered her a treat no response. . I then knelt down and looked in her face and looked like she was confused. She was wet in her face and shaking a little and weak. I then called or emergency vets office they said bring her in. They ran full blood work. No high sugars kidney liver heart urine all was normal. So put her on a saline drip she starts to jump . So Dr. Says he wants to keep her over night. At 730am that same morning she had a bad seizure Dr. Said. . He gave her Valium and phelebarbutraite (spelling) to calm her and said let's wait until Monday morning. She may sleep it off. 8am I got the dreaded call. Gigit had passed at 1130 the night before. Dr. Cannot figure out why. He thinks she either got into something (highly unlikely, I with them 24-7) could the stress from surgery and running to Florida cause her brain to just shut down? Or could have something bit her and caused this? Never had she had any seizures before. . I lost my beloved girl Saturday night 2015

March 20th, 2015, 12:48 AM
Unfortunately, you may never know :(

I'm very sorry for your loss.

May 27th, 2015, 08:30 AM
A typical seizure for Bueller involves his body becoming rigid, slight shaking or rocking, excessive drooling and his eyes often look like they're going to pop out of his head. They generally last anywhere from 2-5 minutes.

May 27th, 2015, 02:20 PM
I am sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure you did all you could. Unfortunately, when dogs start having seizures after age 5 it is most likely caused by a brain tumor. See: There is no way for you or any veterinarian to know this was happening unless a CT scan or MRI was done.