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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:14 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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Exclamation Unusual Seizures

Hi! I have a 4mo chihuahua who is 3lbs. Two days ago she had a seizure. She was very weak, if she would sit up she would either fall to the side or her front paws would give out and she would fall forward, when she laid down her front paws would curve inward, and he entire body sort of wobbled. This lasted for about 3-4 HOURS. I brought her to the vet immediately the next morning. Her xrays and bloodwork came back negative and I was told to watch her over the next few days to see if another seizure would occur. So far she's been fine, but this morning my other chihuahua had a seizure! She is 10months old and abut 6lbs. I'll be taking her to the vet tomorrow. I'm not sure if it's because she's bigger than the other chi that she doesn't even try to hold herself up. She just lays there and looks dazed while she bobbles. Let me make it clear that neither of them "shake" they "wobble." Their noses were dry and ears straight back. I always thought seizure were NOT supposed to last more than a couple of minutes, but my mom's chi has meningitis and has seizures just like the ones I described my dogs having; however, the vet said that my dog definitely doesn't have meningitis. I guess I really want to know if seizures are so common in chihuahuas that all 3 chihuahuas in my family have seizures. Also, what could be causing these seizures if tests are negative? Could both dogs have gotten ahold of something and nothing show up on the tests? Please, my vet has me waiting to see if they occur again, but what can I do besides that... anything?
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:25 PM
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A question that comes to mind is, are your dogs related? And your mother's dog, is she related? The fact that both pups had seizures within two days of each other makes me think they may have gotten into something poisonous. Is there anything they could have gotten into? Cleaners, something in the garage/basement? Did you have a good look around (you might want to get on all fours)? What are they eating? Where do you store it? Do you know exactly what tests your vet did?

you get to the bottom of this asap.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:27 PM
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Oh, and did you call your vet back to tell him that your other pup had seizures as well? If not, please do so immediately.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:35 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
A question that comes to mind is, are your dogs related? And your mother's dog, is she related? The fact that both pups had seizures within two days of each other makes me think they may have gotten into something poisonous. Is there anything they could have gotten into? Cleaners, something in the garage/basement? Did you have a good look around (you might want to get on all fours)? What are they eating? Where do you store it? Do you know exactly what tests your vet did?

you get to the bottom of this asap.
They definitely aren't related. They came from different states. I've gone through the house and nothing is within reach of the the dogs. I don't even use cleaners on the floor, just a steam mop. They only have access to part of the house which is puppy proofed just for them. I've looked around outside. They aren't outside without me and I haven't noticed them getting into anything. They chew on leaves, sticks, and they get the occasional mushroom... but I haven't had mushrooms in my yard recently so I don't think it could be that.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:48 PM
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If it's meningitis, and it's not sterile, it can be passed from one dog to another.
You mean bacterial meningitis, Rgeurts? That makes a lot of sense. I guess a CSF tap is the only way to know for sure like with humans?

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Originally Posted by tillieplay View Post
They chew on leaves, sticks, and they get the occasional mushroom... but I haven't had mushrooms in my yard recently so I don't think it could be that.
In the meantime, I'd look carefully for mushrooms again. One of our dogs digs for them before they're taller than the grass so it's hard to see sometimes.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:56 PM
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Tillieplay, are they up-to-date on their vaccinations? Which ones have they received so far?
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:57 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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Thanks for all of the quick responses. Since it is dark and they will not be going outside again tonight I will search for mushrooms in the morning. Abbey is still lethargic and a little wobbly. I think she's finally falling asleep. They both will be at the vet again tomorrow. If they have gotten a mushroom... will they just recover from being sick if they don't get any more? Can the common mushrooms found in the yard actually cause seizures like this?
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by tillieplay View Post
Thanks for all of the quick responses. Since it is dark and they will not be going outside again tonight I will search for mushrooms in the morning. Abbey is still lethargic and a little wobbly. I think she's finally falling asleep. They both will be at the vet again tomorrow. If they have gotten a mushroom... will they just recover from being sick if they don't get any more? Can the common mushrooms found in the yard actually cause seizures like this?
We were told reaction to certain mushrooms can definitely cause seizures (we have a ton in our yard). And also that once the mushrooms are digested there's really not much they can do except monitor for dehydration etc.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 09:15 PM
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It sounds like Hypoglycemia to me, have a look here.
http://www.suite101.com/content/hypo...and-cats-a5598

I owned a small Chi" and used to show with a friend who breed and show them. She went close to losing her best male at a show due to this problem, he just went toppling off the table sideways, out of it altogether. If your little dogs are having to cope with hot weather it may explain why it's effecting more than one. Chi' exhibitors here usually have glucose powder with them at shows in case one of their dogs gets like this. They just add water and syringe it very carefully, in small amounts, into the mouth.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
You mean bacterial meningitis, Rgeurts? That makes a lot of sense. I guess a CSF tap is the only way to know for sure like with humans?


Yep, bacterial, viral, parasite etc. Nookie monster has a "sterile" menigitis which he was most likely born with and it isn't infectious. And his is steroid responsive, so we are lucky with that

They are calling his idiopathic and think he may have an autoimmune disorder that is something similar to Lupus in a person.

The CSF tap is really the only test to diagnose it short of an MRI. And even with the CSF there is nothing that tells them it is meningitis as far as I have been told, only that there are "markers" such as eosiniphil cells that would indicate swelling (for sterile meningitis)
If it's bacterial or viral, I believe that would show in the CSF tap.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 06:00 PM
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i had a dog who had seizures from the dog food i was feeding they are full of perservatives and all kinds of chemicals. if you feeding any purina, iams, science diet , eukanuba these are very low quality brand with loads of chemicals and CORN based dog food. Dogs need better quality food like, merrick,wellness,evo, go,artimis, taste of the wild, blue buffallo. low quality food are full of food coloring, bht/bha. learn to read your ingreds list on the side of the bags. go check out some of these brands on the internet and look at the difference in ingreds list.


i had a choc lab since age 8 had mutiple seizures and 2 grand mals seizures, once i read about the food i was feeding i put my dog on quality food and took her off he phenobarbital and she never had another seizor again and she lived till 14 years old.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 03:38 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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I have both of my dogs on an all-natural food. I can't think of the name right now but corn isn't even one of the ingredients. I did research on all of that before I got my pups. Actually... she was on phenobarbital, but is now off of it and hasn't had a seizure since she was neutered. The vet thinks it may have been a hormal imbalance/problem. She hasn't had any shots since, which is one instance she would always have a seizure after so we'll see when she gets her rabies vaccine again if she has one or not. Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2011, 07:08 PM
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I'm so glad to hear she hasn't had anymore seizures!! Our Nookie has had a few more since the last post here. We were SO scared the meningo relapsed, but hopefully we have found one of the problems, his thyroid. He started losing hair, getting aggressive and his coat was very dull. We had his thyroid checked and it was low!! I can't tell you how happy I was to hear it (it's such an easy fix). He is now on thyroid meds. His coat has come back in thicker and softer than ever, the aggression stopped and he's shiny
We had problems with aggression and seizures again about a month ago. He had 3 that were 2.5 weeks apart each (very bad ones), so of course we thought meninigitis again, but had them check his thyroid levels, and they were low again. Since we've increased the meds, the aggression is now gone again and it's been 5.5 weeks since the last seizure

I have done a lot of reading on thyroid issues as they relate to epilepsy and it's very common for the 2 to go hand in hand. From what I know now, it's the borderline low to just below that have the most seizures, which is where he was the last time. We're hoping by monitoring the thyroid we may be able to keep the seizures in check

I have also started cooking their food. Our oldest boy, Thorin, has Malignant Histiocytic Sarcoma. They removed a lung tumor in March. We are debating chemo at this point. We had decided against it, but are reconsidering now. One thing with cancer is that carbs feed it. Kibble is horrible for that. Both our boys now get:

20 ounces cooked beef
10 ounces veggies (asparagus, green beans, peas, tomatoes, spinach)
3 ounces yam or sweet potatoes
2 ounces liver
6 ounces yogurt
1 egg one day and 2 eggs the next, alternating
Bone meal

I have to say I have really noticed a difference. I don't think I will ever feed kibble again. Even the best quality is horrible for them.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:29 PM
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Hi Tillieplay,
Have they done a CSF tap? Bloodwork and x-rays won't show meningitis. I have a Malamute puppy who is going through the same thing. They did all the blood panels, liver shunt tests (bile acid test), x-rays etc. with everything coming back "normal".

They didn't think ours had meningitis at first as he didn't display the common symptoms such as fever, neck pain etc. In fact, other than the seizures, he was clinically "normal". We went through several vets who all gave us differing answers and opinions as well as advising us to put him down. We finally found one who was willing to help. She did a CSF tap and the results came back with a high number of eosiniphil cells. At first they said it was Neospora and treated him for that. He had another seizure so they did titer testing for Neospora, Crypto and Toxoplasmosis, all negative. Which basically left meningitis. He has since had several other problems which I won't get into here, but he has been on a high dose of prednisone for 2 months and has been seizure free for almost 8 weeks on Monday

Seizures can be caused by alot of things, and in a puppy, it's rarely epilepsy. I hope they figure out what's going on with your 2. Good luck

If it's meningitis, and it's not sterile, it can be passed from one dog to another.

Seizures shouldn't last more than a couple of minutes, but they do. One thing you have to distinguish is the per-ictal phase, the ictal phase and the post-ictal phase. The ictal is the actual seizure where the dog will stiffen up, paddle it's legs etc (with a grand mal). With our baby, the pre-ictal consists of him shaking his head and foaming at the mouth. The ictal is a typical grand mal where he goes completely rigid, paddles his feet, cries, deficates, urinates etc. The post ictal varies and can last any where from a few minutes to a day or more, where the dog is shaky, unbalanced, confused etc. With our baby, the actual ictal phase has lasted as long as 3 and a half minutes. The longer the seizure, the more dangerous it becomes.
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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:41 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
Hi Tillieplay,
Have they done a CSF tap? Bloodwork and x-rays won't show meningitis. I have a Malamute puppy who is going through the same thing. They did all the blood panels, liver shunt tests (bile acid test), x-rays etc. with everything coming back "normal".

They didn't think ours had meningitis at first as he didn't display the common symptoms such as fever, neck pain etc. In fact, other than the seizures, he was clinically "normal". We went through several vets who all gave us differing answers and opinions as well as advising us to put him down. We finally found one who was willing to help. She did a CSF tap and the results came back with a high number of eosiniphil cells. At first they said it was Neospora and treated him for that. He had another seizure so they did titer testing for Neospora, Crypto and Toxoplasmosis, all negative. Which basically left meningitis. He has since had several other problems which I won't get into here, but he has been on a high dose of prednisone for 2 months and has been seizure free for almost 8 weeks on Monday

Seizures can be caused by alot of things, and in a puppy, it's rarely epilepsy. I hope they figure out what's going on with your 2. Good luck

If it's meningitis, and it's not sterile, it can be passed from one dog to another.

Seizures shouldn't last more than a couple of minutes, but they do. One thing you have to distinguish is the per-ictal phase, the ictal phase and the post-ictal phase. The ictal is the actual seizure where the dog will stiffen up, paddle it's legs etc (with a grand mal). With our baby, the pre-ictal consists of him shaking his head and foaming at the mouth. The ictal is a typical grand mal where he goes completely rigid, paddles his feet, cries, deficates, urinates etc. The post ictal varies and can last any where from a few minutes to a day or more, where the dog is shaky, unbalanced, confused etc. With our baby, the actual ictal phase has lasted as long as 3 and a half minutes. The longer the seizure, the more dangerous it becomes.
I know the vet plans to do more testing, but he's waiting for me to observe more seizures I guess. With my mom's dog, the vet put her on different meds instead of going through all the tests besides basic bloodwork and xrays. First, she was put on phenobarbitol for epilepsy. After a few months she was switched to prednisone and has been ALMOST seizure free for a year now.

That last paragraph was very informative, I guess I must not have seen the actual seizure maybe? Maybe I'm only seeing the post ictal phase? I have a written description of their behaviors. I just hope the vet diagnoses them before its too late.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:43 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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Oh and I don't think my mom's dog has meningitis that can be spread because she has a second dog that is completely fine.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 09:14 PM
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That last paragraph was very informative, I guess I must not have seen the actual seizure maybe? Maybe I'm only seeing the post ictal phase? I have a written description of their behaviors. I just hope the vet diagnoses them before its too late.
This is a pretty good page for describing the types of seizures and the three "ictal" phases. Also, if you can video one of the seizures for the vet, it would really help them to diagnose

http://www.dogseizures.net/
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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:01 PM
tillieplay tillieplay is offline
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Originally Posted by Rgeurts View Post
Hi Tillieplay,
Have they done a CSF tap? Bloodwork and x-rays won't show meningitis. I have a Malamute puppy who is going through the same thing. They did all the blood panels, liver shunt tests (bile acid test), x-rays etc. with everything coming back "normal".

They didn't think ours had meningitis at first as he didn't display the common symptoms such as fever, neck pain etc. In fact, other than the seizures, he was clinically "normal". We went through several vets who all gave us differing answers and opinions as well as advising us to put him down. We finally found one who was willing to help. She did a CSF tap and the results came back with a high number of eosiniphil cells. At first they said it was Neospora and treated him for that. He had another seizure so they did titer testing for Neospora, Crypto and Toxoplasmosis, all negative. Which basically left meningitis. He has since had several other problems which I won't get into here, but he has been on a high dose of prednisone for 2 months and has been seizure free for almost 8 weeks on Monday

Seizures can be caused by alot of things, and in a puppy, it's rarely epilepsy. I hope they figure out what's going on with your 2. Good luck

If it's meningitis, and it's not sterile, it can be passed from one dog to another.

Seizures shouldn't last more than a couple of minutes, but they do. One thing you have to distinguish is the per-ictal phase, the ictal phase and the post-ictal phase. The ictal is the actual seizure where the dog will stiffen up, paddle it's legs etc (with a grand mal). With our baby, the pre-ictal consists of him shaking his head and foaming at the mouth. The ictal is a typical grand mal where he goes completely rigid, paddles his feet, cries, deficates, urinates etc. The post ictal varies and can last any where from a few minutes to a day or more, where the dog is shaky, unbalanced, confused etc. With our baby, the actual ictal phase has lasted as long as 3 and a half minutes. The longer the seizure, the more dangerous it becomes.
HI! I was wondering if your dog had any other symptoms besides seizures for the meningitis?

I took Pixie to the vet Monday to get her vaccination. She had another seizure Monday night. She has no other health issues and is completely healthy otherwise. I called the vet yesterday morning and he has given her a prescription for Phenobarbital. This was his explanation: All of her blood work came back normal. The only way to diagnose unforeseen disease is further, possible painful, testing. He said the Pheno will help curb how often she has seizures whether it is epilepsy or not. Since her seizures are the only problem she's having right now she'll be fine. If other symptoms show up later on he'll re-diagnose her.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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HI! I was wondering if your dog had any other symptoms besides seizures for the meningitis?

I took Pixie to the vet Monday to get her vaccination. She had another seizure Monday night. She has no other health issues and is completely healthy otherwise. I called the vet yesterday morning and he has given her a prescription for Phenobarbital. This was his explanation: All of her blood work came back normal. The only way to diagnose unforeseen disease is further, possible painful, testing. He said the Pheno will help curb how often she has seizures whether it is epilepsy or not. Since her seizures are the only problem she's having right now she'll be fine. If other symptoms show up later on he'll re-diagnose her.
I'm very sorry to hear that tillieplay. He is doing exactly what the first few vets did to us. It's what I was talking about before. Instead of trying to figure out what's wrong, they just push them onto pheno. Our puppy had no clinical symptoms of meningitis whatsoever. Clinically, he was a perfectly happy puppy (except he had diahhrea alot ), which is what confused our vet. he didn't have a raised white cell count, he didn't have a fever or painful joints etc. The painful tests your vet is talking about are most likely blood tests and a CSF tap. Our puppy came through all of them with no problems at all.

One thing our vet did tell us is that alot of vets will look at the bloodwork, especially where the liver is concerned (the liver is a huge culprit for seizures in a puppy). She said the enzymes come back as not showing elevated in the blood so they assume all is well, but if your pup has a liver shunt and the liver is not working properly, the enzymes wouldn't be showing as elevated in the blood because the liver "isn't" working properly. The first test I would request is an Bile Acid test. It isn't painful. You basically have to fast the pup for 12 hours, they draw blood, then feed and draw blood again. if that comes back normal then the CFS tap is a good test. It's the only test that came back abnormal. If your pup has been exposed to parasites like neospora, toxo or crypto, there will be indicators in the CSF. The same with meningitis.

Good luck and I hope everything works out. Please let me know how your baby is doing
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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One thing I should mention is the cost. All the tests do not come cheap, at all. Most people probably wouldn't have spent what we have (and continue as ours seems to have an autoimmune disorder of some type which could be the cause of the meningits and encephalitis). We have spent just over $11,000 to this point

Alot of people do opt for the pheno to control the seizures, and if that's all you can afford to do, you just do the best you can
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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Oh... I just read you had her vaccinated the same day. Ours went 5 weeks without a seizure and was doing great! We took him in for his last set of vaccines+rabies and he seizured the next night

Hubby and I have often wondered if that may have had something to do with it. I have read several articles pertaining to vaccines and seizures. For some dogs, they seem to go hand in hand. Maybe ask your vet about that as well. Ours thinks it's just coincidence
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:10 PM
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One thing I should mention is the cost. All the tests do not come cheap, at all. Most people probably wouldn't have spent what we have (and continue as ours seems to have an autoimmune disorder of some type which could be the cause of the meningits and encephalitis). We have spent just over $11,000 to this point

Alot of people do opt for the pheno to control the seizures, and if that's all you can afford to do, you just do the best you can
my mom's dog has meningitis and encephalitis as well! she is now on steroids and she has been doing a lot better
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