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Teresa Jones July 20th, 2004 07:08 PM

Elderly Dog and seizures - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
My dog, a 13 year old terrier cross started having seizures 5 days ago. After visiting 2 vets on Saturday (regular vet then emergency vet after seizures got worse ie. 10 in 2 days) , she spent 2 days in the vet clinic where they prescribed phenobaritol and sent her home. Our regular vet thinks this is a liver toxicity problem whereas the emerg vet thinks she may have a neurological disease. Either way she is home -- she is somewhat sedated and not her usual self.

My problem is that she is very constipated. She strains to go and has small, loose bowel movements which don't seem to satisfy her. She continues to try but nothing happens. She is eating and drinking. I normally feed her good food ie. Hills z/d allergen free food and the vet suggested I give her canned and so have been feeding her small amounts of Hills canned w/d.

I'm not sure what to do -- I think the constipation suggests liver problems but am not sure. Any suggestions.

glasslass July 20th, 2004 08:49 PM

Hopefully some of our other members will have suggestions. I just want to extend my sincere sympathies to you and your pet. It's heart-wrenching when our long-time companions run into this type of trouble. You feel so helpless. Please give her hugs and some for you too. :(

Lucky Rescue July 20th, 2004 09:08 PM

It's so difficult to see our beloved companions grow old and sick.:(

At 13, there may be more than one issue going on with your dog. Has she had blood tests to check on organ functions?

Sudden onset of seizures at this age could be just a symptom of underlying problems.

I hope her meds will make her feel better! If the diarrhea or constipation continues, maybe your vet could suggest a mild remedy.

Luba July 20th, 2004 09:44 PM

I agree with LR there could be an underlying problem.

Can you describe from the beginning what happens when one of these 'seizures' takes place step by step.

JKC27 July 21st, 2004 12:17 PM

When I was a kid we had a black poodle whe developed epilepsy, and she would have seizures regularily. I don't know if this would be that or not, but I remember that. She was only 5 years old at the most, but we had to put her down.

Good luck with everything, I hope all turns out well for all of you.

petdr August 4th, 2004 05:38 PM

It is important ro do the blood profile (complete blood count, biochem profile and thyroid levels). urinalysis and chest/abdominal x-ray films to start unraviling this problem. A MRI (brain scan) may be required to rule/out brain tumor.

There are two processes for seizures: metabolic and organic brain disease. The blood work, etc is to rule out metabolic disease(kidney/liver/infectious/etc), and the MRI is to rule out brain disease.

Cardiac disease can also cause seizures, and electrocardigram with ultrasound will be needed to characterize this problem.

As for constipation, I suggest Surfak (docusate sodium) and lactulose.
Discuss this with your vet and your pharmacist.

Dr. Van Lienden

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

mhikl May 27th, 2017 03:17 AM

Sudden Seizures at age 15~16
My elderly Corgi, Sadie, 16y 4mo has had about 4~6 seizures over the past six months, or so. The one today lasted nearly half an hour (who keeps time in an emergency) and then I rushed her to the vet; she was howling and carrying on~she's a Corgi and that means 'drama queen'. But I do not mean to make light of this.
We were there for nearly six hours; separated most of the time~I could hear her cry; but they said could be any dog~I know my dogs howl!
There were few clients/owners + dogs, at least 3 vets on, and it still took all this time. And I was not being briefed. My dog was away from me, she was alone, and I had no idea what was going on.
To make this long drama somewhat shorter, I now have 2 prescriptions to be given twice daily: Phenobarbital 30mg; Gabapentin liquid quantity 35.
total bill C$200. For so many hours, I didn't find the cost outrageous; just my and my pet's time was the prob.

(I have done my research for what to give/feed a dog to thwart seizures.) Maybe she has a brain tumour; Whatever. She is not in pain, she is hungry, she likes her food, she like it when I tease her (dramatic pretend spankings, walks, tickles, time spent on her when she is not sleeping <much of the day and all night>.
Vet says, and on line chat says; 'elderly dogs that suddenly get seizures may have brain tumour'. When asked, I said 'whatever would be the use to the dog or me for an x-ray. I would not be having her carved up at her age; and i do not need curiosity served!"
I will have my dear pet put down this summer or early fall; who knows? I love her, she needs me, she sleeps a lot; she loves her food and she grins like an idiot when we play our foolish games. She is happy.
Sadie has been on BARF since the day she turned 10 (6 years, 4mo, 7 days). All her siblings are dead, (last one croaked four years ago); so BARF seems to have worked:
Sadie's BARF diet (Lamb, some beef; heart main meat + tongue, some beef muscle, lamb rib and neck bone (chopped up by cleaver first) + brain, kidney, and other vital lamb organ; egg yolk (occasional whites cooked), one egg shell a day, (no fish~evil stuff, see Brian Peskin); occasional raw carrot, apple core~ otherwise, no veg, carbs etc.
Lastly: she lost the use of her hind quarters a year ago. Now I have a girdle thing, fashioned from leotard material, to hold her hind quarters up. She gets around with my help well enough. She drops her poops at night on occasion, but they are not squishy; being on the BARF diet. Not a big deal for me.
If it weren't for these seizures, I'd keep her going until she just didn't wake up. That's how my gran went, age 96. So why not my pet. But if the seizures happen again, as bad as this time, it will be her time. Hopefully, with the medication, and now the study I am doing to prevent them, maybe she will just die in her sleep.
Namaste and care,

hazelrunpack May 27th, 2017 12:55 PM

I feel for you, mhikl. We were in the same situation with our Ridge. She, too, was very normal and happy and eating and playing between seizures, but eventually, the seizures came too frequently (4 hours apart) and it was time. All you can do is cherish the time you have with them.

As for the time it took at the vet--did they do a series of blood panels? They might have run a number of them hoping to see changes in the bloodwork. But they sure should have kept you posted better on what they were doing!

I hope you get lots more quality time with Sadie! :goodvibes:

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