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Siezure -- Caused by ??

1698 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Maggie
A brief background: My Chi is a female, 3-1/2 yrs. Old; she has had 1 litter 15 months ago; she loves to eat way too much so I had her on a diet using Iams Overweight Dog Food for the last 6 months. To keep her weight down, I give her 1/8 cup in the morning and I let her steal a few bites of Iams Small Bites when I feed the others. Her weight is perfect even though she acts like she is starving. She has more energy, bounces & plays more and seems happier. The only set back is that she is constantly shedding--her coat is still thick and shines.

Last night out of the blue, my passive poodle and she got into a spat. I have no idea what over since they were both laying quietly on the couch. They began to fight which I stopped immediately, taking the poodle out of the room. She went back to lay on her pillow quite upset. Within 5 minutes, she went into a breathing fit--heavy vocal breathing; then her body began to shake uncontrollably; her muscles tightenened up, her eyes went blank, her tongue hanged out of her clinched jaw--my husband pried open her jaw just enough to put his finger in to prevent her from biting off her tongue; mucus began to pour out of her mouth; her head continuing now to jerk over her back facing her tail. We immediately called to the vet for help, the vet's reply was that there is nothing she can do, it was an epilepsy attack and meds for same is more harmful than the attacks themself.

Not liking that answer, but it may have been true, I grabbed my Tomlyn's Nutri-Stat (simular to Tomlyn's Nutri-Cal) and rubbed it on her teeth and gums since she could not open her jaw and I also didn't want it to choke her. After 10 minutes, she began to calm down. I gave more on her tongue since her jaw began to relax. Soon she began licking the stuff. Now I do not know if this helped her one bit since I was panicking, willing to try anything to help her in her time of need. After 30 minutes, she seemed disorented, nervously fast-pace walking around the room trying to get out where there was no way to ignoring the dogie door and gate where she normally exits. After 1 hour, her eyes looked as though she was home now and she was back to her old self, eyes were alert and she seemed fine. However, immediately after the attack and after her odd behavior that followed (mentioned above), she clung on to me, insisting to lay in my arms the whole evening--she normally prefers to sit on her pillow on the couch instead.

Has anyone experienced this with their Chi? Was this a hypoglycemic attack? Or is it the beginning of Epilepsy? Any advise or suggestions from anyone who knows about this and experienced this with thier Chi? Thank you.
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My Fynn had a seizure only once when she was about 1 year old, she is 5 yrs old next week and hasnt had one since, vet said it can happen as a one off.
I've had limited experience with seizures but I'm appalled at your vet's response. :shock: Please insist that your vet or preferably another one see your dog as soon as possible, at least to do blood work. It is absolutely not true that the meds are more harmful than the seizures themselves. Why on earth would people put their dogs on anti-seizure medication if that were true??? :? Either he misunderstood you or you misunderstood him or he's an idiot. Just my opinion.

My Lily had an extremely mild seizure last October, her first in the 2+ years that I'd had her. I took her to the emergency vet (because it happened on a weekend) where they examined her, did blood work and told me there was, in fact, nothing that could be done AT THAT TIME. The blood work turned up nothing unusual, but at least I knew that.

I was told to keep a diary to document any further seizures (time of day, duration, description of her symptoms and reactions, etc.); if a pattern were to emerge, then they could determine if medication would be required. She has had two more seizures since, each about 3 months apart. I had blood work done again after the 2nd seizure, even though I knew it was probably a waste of time and money (but I'm as overly protective of Lily as any owner could be :lol: ). Still no meds are indicated after three seizures in total.

It's very possible - and it certainly seems likely - that the fight with the poodle did more severe damage than you imagined. I'd want her looked at regardless of what that vet is telling you. That's just me... but you seem like such a responsible and loving owner, I would be surprised if you didn't agree. There are several (maybe numerous?) causes for seizures and you need to rule out as many as possible going forward.

One thing my regular vet told me and this gave me enormous relief... I asked if Lily could still live a long and healthy life with epilepsy and she said, "Not only that, but she could live a long and healthy life without even needing medication."

I know other members here will check in and offer their advice and I hope you'll stick around awhile. This is a great forum, full of practical advice and moral support. Please keep us posted.

One other thing... I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I know how terrifiying it is to see something like that happen to your baby. I think you handled it very well.
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I grabbed my doggy first aid book when I read your post. What happened to your pup sounds a lot like what happened to Cooper when he had a hypoglycemic episode a few weeks back, but he was out in 105 degree heat and hadn't eaten all day when his occurred.

Briefly, this is what the book says:

Seizures can happen at any age. Injury to the brain short-circuits the nromal activity of the nerves, so the pet loses control of his body. Brain injury can happen from a thump on the head, low blood sugar or low blood calcium, poisons, or kidney/liver problems. First aid can help your pet recover from a seizure, but for a first-time seizure, you'll want your vet to examine your pet the same day, if possible. If seizures last more than 5 minutes, take him to the vet immediately.

Things to do during a seizure:
Keep him cool. Seizures burn calories and a pet can overheat.
Reduce stimulation. Outside noises or sights can prolong a seizure. Don't talk to or touch your pet during the seizure except to move him to safety. Dim lights, turn off any TVs or radios and cover your pet with a sheet to shut out outside stimulation, then wait for him to come out of the seizure.
Give him Karo syrup or honey, rubbing them on the gums.

Follow up care:
If the seizure is short and it was the pet's first, your vet may not prescribe drug therapy... then they go on to describe what meds can be given to dogs with epileptic seizures.

I agree with Rachael... I would take your pup to the vet and insist on at least a blood draw. OR take him to the emergency vet, if you have one in your area and since it's a long weekend - in the states at least.
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Since you said your pup is over weight, I'd be more inclined to think diabetes or thyroid.

But hopefully it's not either. I would definatly find another vet and get her checked out extensivly.
Ms_P said:
Since you said your pup is over weight, I'd be more inclined to think diabetes or thyroid.

But hopefully it's not either. I would definatly find another vet and get her checked out extensivly.
The puppy WAS overweight but apparently that is now under control: "Her weight is perfect even though she acts like she is starving." I just didn't like that vet having such a cavalier attitude about such a horrible situation. I don't get it at all. :?
The cause of seizures could be alot of things but this episode sounds like it lasted a little while so i would absolutely be taking my dog in for tests. One of the causes is related to Cushings disease. My little Tiffany died from Cushings but for approx 5 years prior to her death she had to take medication for the seizures. I learned that the seizures are one of the symptoms associated with Cushings, along with obesity, a "pot bellied pig" appearance, a "pad" of fat along the back, extremely dry, itchy skin, and symptoms of hyperglycemia. The vet who you talked to sure didn't give you very professional advice in the my opinion. :)
:wave: Oh my God, what an awful thing to go through. Thank God your baby is better. The friend that gave me the Chi pup (Zoey) and her mother (Molly), had the same thing happen to the other pup from the same litter, Zoey's brother. He said it was hypoglycemia and they pumped him with sugar water because that was the only sweet thing they had. He said he left his home for a short period of time and when he came back, he found the pup lying on the floor with his head touching his back. I told him to make sure the pup eats every two hours even if he has to force feed him a few bites at a time, I've had to do that before with pups that won't eat and they catch on real fast.

I agree about having blood work done, at least it will give you peace of mind. God Bless you, hope everything turns out well.
My Guinevere has had seizures since she was about 3 months old (she is now just over 2yrs). Her previous owner (my best friend) had her on meds till last year about this time when she decided to take her off (the meds can cause some serious side effects on their liver) she lowered the dose slowly and gave her the last dose in November. I have had Guinevere since April of this year and she has only had 2 seizures (one from a bump on the head, and another because my daughters big dog scared her). It is very frightening to be so helpless to help them. What we do for hers is try to remain calm (I know hard to do) take her to an area with limited stimulation, talk to her in a soothing tone (reasure her that its gonna be ok) and apply even, gentle message to the muscles most affected. And then of course lots of babying after she comes out of it. Guinevere is usually very clingy (especially with the person that talked to her most during the seizure) for about a day. Our vet is also one that has strong feelings about putting animals on anti seizure meds (and I tend to agree), but just to be on the safe side I would take your baby in for a checkup and just keep a diary of future seizures (she may never have another one) to look for patterns. Also be very aware of her head pulling back towards her tail as I have been told it is possible for them to injure their necks pretty easily (this is why we try to message the neck area if it is involved). Hope you and your baby are feeling better, my heart goes out to both of you :( [/color]
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I'm so sorry that happened. Seeing your pet have a seizure is such a terrible thing. The good thing is that they don't know what happened when they wake up, they just realize they are out of sorts and want to be close to you till they feel better. My Springer Spaniel had seizures for many years late in life and we never knew what caused them for sure. Vets won't usually put them on medication unless they know it's going to be an ongoing thing. It's unbelievable that they didn't want to at least run some tests though! I hope it was a one time thing, and she doesn't have to go through it again. :)
Chico has had seizures 3 times. The first time was due to a very careless breeder, hook worms, low potasium and low blood sugar. You should probably ask your vet to check your babies potasium and blood sugar levels to make sure that they are not too low. The second time, was one day I had just come home from work and I didn't immediatly pick him up like I usually do. When I finally sat down to pet him one of his front legs twisted and he slowly lowered down to the floor and wouldn't respond. I freaked out. I held him and stroked him and talked to him and he was fine in a few seconds. I then called my vet. The vet said that it is not uncommon for small dogs to have an occasional seizure and as long as they only happen occasionally and don't last more than a few seconds there should not be any lasting effects. The important thing to remember is to pet them and talk to them while it is happening and immediatly after. Dogs will sometimes think that they have done something wrong because they don't know what is happening to them and they will try to hide. You don't want them to hide because you need to watch and make sure that they don't have another seizure following the first one. So alwas make sure that you let them know that they haven't done anything wrong.
The third seizure happened when I was holding him and it was once again after I had come home from work and didn't immediatly pick him up. I think he gets over excited and sometimes it brings them on. He hasn't had one in over a year though.

I hope this helps.
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All 3 of Lily's seizures happened while I was holding her... in fact, while she was napping on my lap. None lasted more than 45 seconds and she was fine immediately after each one. Extremely mild but enough to scare the h-ell out of me nonetheless.
i didn't know epilepsy was so common in chi's. my latissima died of a very bad siesure when she was 6. she had epilepsy from the age of about 2, she'd usually have a fit when it was hot or she was on heat/season. it was always horrible to watch as you want to help but have to just let it pass. her fits were just as the rest of you have described she'd shake, froth at the mouth, curl backwards with her head close to her back and then be very disorientated afterwards. she had to be on medication as even if my mother forgot to give her 1 dose she'd have a fit that evening. i think now that the vet may have been too hasty to put her on medication and that she became dependant on it. the last time she had a fit it kept re-occuring so we had to take her to the vet, we thought it would be fine and he'd just give her a stronger dose. then the vet sedated her with a type of valium tablet and that was it she never came round again. as soon as the valium would begin to ware off she'd fit and he'd give her more. he told us it was too late and she wouldnt even recognise us. we went in to see her and she wagged her tail and tried to get up. it was so awful, my mum went mad and insisted we take her away. but she kept getting worse and worse. it is the most horrible thing i think has ever happened to us. we had to take her back in the end to put her down as she was suffering so much. if your dog starts to fit more often make sure you take her to a vet experienced in small animals. also the blood must be always monitored if she gets put on medication to see how much is in the blood (this was never done for latissime). so many vets give too much to small dogs they need only how much a kitten would need of a medicine. we think what killed lattie was a dose that was too strong of vallium. good luck i wish you all the best. latissima is my beautiful little black chi in my siggy. we still think about her all the time
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I just had another thought here....the spat your 2 dogs had..i believe the poodle could sense the impending seizure and this is what prompted the spat. Dogs will attack when one of them is acting out of the ordinary. For example if one of mine squawks because she got her foot stepped on, (for example) one of the others will jump on her growling aggressively.
I just had another thought here....the spat your 2 dogs had..i believe the poodle could sense the impending seizure and this is what prompted the spat. Dogs will attack when one of them is acting out of the ordinary. For example if one of mine squawks because she got her foot stepped on, (for example) one of the others will jump on her growling aggressively.
I think you're on to something there.
I am so sorry to hear of your little one's health issues...just a suggestion...never attempt to place something between the jaws of anyone having a seizure...canine or could receive serious injury from the jaw muscles in spasm. also you could cause harm to the jaw...just try and keep the patient safe during the seizure and afterwards when then can experience varying degrees of disorientation . I hope you consult with another vet , just for your own peace of mind.

I just had to say to all those who have replied, that I really appreciate all your advice and encouragement. It is nice to know that there are wonderful people out there willing to take the time to help others in need.

Thank you again.
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