Jump to content
BC Boards
Sue R

Elderly dog's possible seizure?

Recommended Posts

I'm hoping some dog friends can help me here - this morning, on the way back from the old dogs' shorter walk, I think Megan (who will turn sixteen in fifteen days) had a seizure. She's never had one before that we are aware of. Right in front of me, as we were standing while Shana gave treats to her horses, she fell down on her side, with her neck strongly contracted back, and lay there paddling her feet. She lay like that for a few moments, her feet stopped paddling, and then either she or I eased her head back to a more normal position, where she laid for another minute or two, initially whining as she breathed (not a "throat whine" but a "nose whine"). She stopped the whining and lay there a bit more, then rolled up on her chest, where we let her rest a couple of minutes before she got up with a little help from me, and we walked home. She acted on the way home like absolutely nothing had happened (and I've heard that dogs that have seized can do just that, walk off like nothing ever happened).

One of two things happened, I believe. Either she had a seizure or another dog bumped her rump and it knocked her over, and she hit her head on the road when she landed and/or had the breath knocked out of her. However, I did not see or notice another dog bump her - I thought they were all pretty stationary when this happened but I could have missed something. Or, less likely but possibly, her hind end gave out (which is not usual for her - it is her front end that occasionally fails) and she fell and hit her head.

Can anyone with experience give their opinion or advice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a seizure to me, Sue. We had a dog when I was a kid who had them. And I've witnessed them in humans several times. A spoonful of ice cream or honey, (anything that will go down the throat easily and is high in sugar) can help after the seizure is over. Blood sugar goes way down, and the sugar boost helps them feel better, sooner.

Sorry to hear that Megan is seizing. Scared the you-know-what out of me when I saw my dad have one, I was about 12. 

Recovery in humans, at least, is pretty quick. Hope Megan is feeling like herself!

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no! I hope she doesn't have a repeat episode.

 

Sounds like a seizure to me also. What you describe is very close to the grand mal seizures that Natt used to have. Natt's seizures were a bit stronger, and she didn't come out of them as rapidly  as Megan.

It can be very difficult to determine an exact cause for seizures. Based on Megan's history, it could be related to her age or her kidney issues.

Did you check to see if the pupils of her eyes were flicking back and forth? If so, it could be a seizure related to a vestibular incident. Although my understanding is that the dog may be unsteady on his/her feet for a period of time afterwards. Torque recently had a vestibular incident. I did not witness a 'seizure', but he was stumbling a bit on his feet all of a sudden, and when I brought him to the vet, she showed me his eyes slightly flicking back and forth. He was fine after a couple of days.

Sending positive vibes to Megan for a non-occurrence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have anything useful to add. I've only ever witnessed on known seizure in a dog and that one was, well, not the place to go into it now. Because I'm replying to wish you and Megan the best going forward.

One thing I will add is that if this had been my dog, I'd be looking into CBD oil, which is supposed to be good for seizures as well as many other things like arthritis. I'm seriously considering giving it to my own older guy (~12.5-15, though I think the lower end of this) just because.

Sure hope it was a fluke and that it'll never happen again.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Megan could walk ok after a brief rest it wasn't vestibular. Shonie had that and she had to have a harness on all the time. She gradually got better, over about 4-5 days, I think.

Ruth & Gibbs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is her heart? While I agree that it sounds like a seizure, my 16 1/2 year old Dachshund, Maggie, had what appeared to be a seizure but turned out to be congestive heart failure. She did have a heart murmur, but when the ER vet told me it was CHF, I was a bit taken aback. It looked very much like you describe and, to me, like some sort of seizure.

My Whippet began having occasional petit mal seizures many years before Maggie had her episode. I remember thinking it odd that my vet ordered Doppler imaging of his heart after his first seizure. Of course it wasn’t his heart, but after Maggie’s symptoms of CHF, I understood a bit more why my vet wanted to rule out a heart problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for replies! 

Doubt vestibular has anything to do with it - no eye movements or other eye or balance issues that would indicate that. 

She has had a mild heart murmur for about three years now. I had her scheduled for a tooth cleaning and that's when that was discovered, shortly after she was diagnosed with the kidney failure. 

Her kidney values have stayed reasonably consistent, with only a gentle trend towards worsening, over the 3 1/2 years since her diagnosis. I have had her on a home-prepared diet, following guidelines from the Yahoo group k9kidneydiet. 

I just got home a few minutes ago - she has been fine all day. Fingers and toes crossed that it's just a one-off but I know that could be wishful thinking. 

Again, thank you all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No advice from me, but I want to say I hope that she recovers fully and that the incident is not repeated. I would be terrified if that happened to my dog, and I am sorry that she and you experienced that. Here's hoping it was a one time thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fingers and toes crossed but so far she has not had any other episodes. 

She is having a bit of digestive issues today (diarrhea this morning, and a sluggish appetite occasionally lately, but I'll chalk that up to the long-standing kidney failure) but that seems to be resolving. 

We love them to get old because we hate to part with them, but old age comes with its own problems. Meanwhile, she'll be 16 on Sunday and is still doing quite well - she's an active, happy, and contented dog, and who could ask for more? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much to add, but I had a dog once who had three seizures (that I'm aware of) that were very similar to what you describe.  They happened with no warning, lasted maybe a minute or two, and when they were over they were over.  She just got up and walked away like nothing had happened. All three seizures happened when the dog was between the age of 2 and 4, and I never witnessed another one after that, although given how quickly she recovered, she could have had other seizures while I was at work that I wasn't aware of.  The first one occurred while we were on a walk, and the other two occurred in the house.  I thought to offer her a little food after the second and third seizure, and she was ravenous - I didn't know about the effect of seizures on blood sugar at the time, but have read about it since, so as Ruth suggested, you might consider carrying a small packet or two of honey with you just in case. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sue, I have been around a lot of seizures.  Three of my own dogs had them.  Two were mild and didn't cause any problems.  And Joey has been good since going on meds. 

All the really old dogs that I have taken care of that had seizures died within a few hours.  It wasn't the seizure that killed them.   It was something fatal that triggered the seizure. 

So I would think that since your dog recovered quickly and has been doing well since is a very positive thing.  May have just been a thing.

With old dogs it is just day to day.  I am always grateful for every day they are still with me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2018 at 1:43 PM, Sue R said:

 

We love them to get old because we hate to part with them, but old age comes with its own problems

This is so true. My Kit will be 17 in December, assuming she makes it to there. she is having a lot of trouble with her hind legs, although every morning she is perky and wants to go for her walk and play tug. As the day goes on it becomes more difficult for her to get up. It is, indeed, a very bittersweet time when the dog you love gets to this point. Best of luck to you and Megan, Sue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×