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Teresa Jones July 20th, 2004 06:08 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 07:49 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 08:08 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 08:44 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 11:17 AM

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 04:38 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

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