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Strange seizure like episode in beloved dog... what could it be?

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  • Strange seizure like episode in beloved dog... what could it be?

    Something strange and scary happened a little bit ago with my 5 year old spayed female Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Brass. She's my heart dog and my son just loves her.

    I was in the house/tackroom part of our barn with our son (right by the door opening that is just covered with a blanket to keep the drafts out--whole building is heated. I didn't notice anything happening. I had MAYBE heard a few thumps but that is not abnormal. The dogs are always snuffling around things and DH had been working in the hallway/aisleway. So I thought it could be him.

    Anyway, DH had been outside and came in and immediately started saying stuff to his dogs (who came in with him) and mine. I heard scuffling at this point and went to look. Brass was on the ground sort of propelling herself forward with her hind legs. She didn't appear to have real control over any of her limbs. Her face got all scraped up on the concrete. DH grabbed her and unhooked her collar, in case it had tightened somehow. It hadn't. He held her down to stop her from doing more damage to herself (she'd really traversed the aisle quite far/frantically). She laid still (propped up) panting and wagging her tail. Within a minute or so we let her up and she got up under her own power and walked to her kennel with us. She was a little wobbly at first but then seemed fine. Left her in there for five minutes or so and then let her out and offered her water. Seems to be moving fine. She is a little subdued.

    DH described it as though she was hit on the head very hard. He actually thought he startled her when he opened the door quickly and she might have knocked her head on something.

    She had been fine moments before when DH left to go outside. She has never done anything like this before, and never had unexplained scrapes on her face either from an incident that could have gone unnoticed.

    I googled seizures in dogs and the one video I watched didn't look anything like what she was doing.... but I know NOTHING of this. The video I watched was heartbreaking. I'm not sure if bringing her to the emergency vet is a good idea at this point or if they could do anything.... or should we just observe her?

    DH and I wracked our brains and can't think of anything that she could have gotten into that would have caused this. She was in her normal environment doing her normal doggy thing. There is no poison or chemicals that we can think of. Since we have a toddler son we are very careful about this.

    Thoughts? Suggestions of what to do or look for? I'm at a loss. Don't even know what to plug into google...

  • #2
    My dog has seizures like this. They often, almost always, happen when he's been startled awake. He looses coordination, stumbles, is "absent". This generally last a short time then is back to normal. He does not have the classic fall down and paddle with rigid limb/ grand mal seizures. You may want to google absence seizure, petite mal seizure or focal seizure..
    Lisa

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    • #3
      Any chance she got kicked in the head?
      ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
      Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

      "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by idlemoon View Post
        My dog has seizures like this. They often, almost always, happen when he's been startled awake. He looses coordination, stumbles, is "absent". This generally last a short time then is back to normal. He does not have the classic fall down and paddle with rigid limb/ grand mal seizures. You may want to google absence seizure, petite mal seizure or focal seizure..
        Lisa
        Thanks, I'll google that... I suppose she could have been startled awake... It would be the first time this happened, but I guess everything has to start somewhere.


        Originally posted by Kryswyn View Post
        Any chance she got kicked in the head?

        Good thought, but nope. No horses on the property yet. :-)

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        • #5
          Are you feeding Beniful dry dog food?

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          • #6
            My dog (Cocker Spaniel) has what I call seizures, but the vet says they are not 'true' seizures. Mine starts to stumble around, picking her feet up really high and has a big hump in her back, kinds looks like she is about to take a poop. She starts shaking all over and is just really disoriented. If I see it happening, I just grab ahold of her and wrap my arms around her until it seems like she is over it. She also tends to pant and just kind of stare into space while it's going on. Afterward, she acts perfectly normal, like nothing happened. I would say that over the past 4 years, she has probably done this at least a dozen times. According to my vet, they are not true seizures, since she is up and still somewhat walking around. My vet thinks (guesses) that she has brain lesions. She said I could take her to a specialist and get brain scans and all kinds of tests done. It would cost a fortune and even if they found that it was lesions, there is really nothing that can be done about it. In the interest of my dogs sanity and my not very large wallet, we decided not to do all that testing and just keep an eye on her. They are very random and we can't figure out if something in particular triggers them. Since it truely only seems to bother her when it's actually happening, I'm not going to let it stress me. She is 9 years old now and 99% of the time acts like a rotten little puppy! As long as she is happy and keeps wanting to chase her blue ball, then I'm happy! I guess that she could have one while we are not home and fall off the bed or something, but I just lump that into the same catagory of "my house could burn down while I'm at work". We don't have any steps in the house, so I don't have to worry about that. And it seems that when she starts having an episode, she actually tries to find us and can't really walk too far while it's happening, so if it happens while we are outside, I know she isn't going to go far.
            I guess I just look at her quality of life. As long as she is happy, I am happy. If it really started to happen frequently, we would take the plunge and get the testing done. But until then....

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Kat the Horse View Post
              Are you feeding Beniful dry dog food?
              No. She's fed Fromm's "Pork and Applesauce." Someone else mentioned that the Beneful is causing issues?

              Originally posted by dsedler View Post
              My dog (Cocker Spaniel) has what I call seizures, but the vet says they are not 'true' seizures. Mine starts to stumble around, picking her feet up really high and has a big hump in her back, kinds looks like she is about to take a poop. She starts shaking all over and is just really disoriented. If I see it happening, I just grab ahold of her and wrap my arms around her until it seems like she is over it. She also tends to pant and just kind of stare into space while it's going on. Afterward, she acts perfectly normal, like nothing happened. I would say that over the past 4 years, she has probably done this at least a dozen times. According to my vet, they are not true seizures, since she is up and still somewhat walking around. My vet thinks (guesses) that she has brain lesions. She said I could take her to a specialist and get brain scans and all kinds of tests done. It would cost a fortune and even if they found that it was lesions, there is really nothing that can be done about it. In the interest of my dogs sanity and my not very large wallet, we decided not to do all that testing and just keep an eye on her. They are very random and we can't figure out if something in particular triggers them. Since it truely only seems to bother her when it's actually happening, I'm not going to let it stress me. She is 9 years old now and 99% of the time acts like a rotten little puppy! As long as she is happy and keeps wanting to chase her blue ball, then I'm happy! I guess that she could have one while we are not home and fall off the bed or something, but I just lump that into the same catagory of "my house could burn down while I'm at work". We don't have any steps in the house, so I don't have to worry about that. And it seems that when she starts having an episode, she actually tries to find us and can't really walk too far while it's happening, so if it happens while we are outside, I know she isn't going to go far.
              I guess I just look at her quality of life. As long as she is happy, I am happy. If it really started to happen frequently, we would take the plunge and get the testing done. But until then....
              Thanks for sharing your story. She's OK now and I'm giving her extra pats. Lately she's gotten the short end of the attention stick (kids can do that) but one of my New Year's resolutions was to spend more time with her.. had been slacking but now I know I need to be on that. :-( Guilt.

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              • #8
                Google Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome and see if this is what you saw. My Golden Retriever has has two episodes that look exactly like this. After the first I took her to the vet, but they found nothing on exam or tests. Vet said probably seizures, but she was never out of it during the episode.

                Good luck - I hope you find an answer to your puppies issue.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by ddb View Post
                  Google Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome and see if this is what you saw. My Golden Retriever has has two episodes that look exactly like this. After the first I took her to the vet, but they found nothing on exam or tests. Vet said probably seizures, but she was never out of it during the episode.

                  Good luck - I hope you find an answer to your puppies issue.
                  Going to do that now. She didn't seem out of it to me, just scared.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm no help, just wanted to say I hope she never has another one! And kudos for an awesome name for a Chessie!

                    I hope you figure it out and she's totally fine!
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                      I'm no help, just wanted to say I hope she never has another one! And kudos for an awesome name for a Chessie!

                      I hope you figure it out and she's totally fine!
                      THANKS! I hope she's totally fine too. Will call the vet in the AM. So far everything I've learned says just to observe her. I'm hopeful it is isolated. And thanks, I love her name. :-) She's an awesome dog. (OK. SHe has her Chessie Issues. But she's really a great dog. And LOVES DS. And he loves her. He's 20 months and is always saying "Brass. Lick." LoL.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Our dog started having seizures nearly a year ago now.

                        It started at 1AM. We took him to the ER vet and they gave him some meds and told us to follow up with our regular vet in the AM. I stayed up most of the night (er, morning) with him after we got home. About 7 hours later, he had another one. Each one was a grand mal seizure (urinating/defecating on himself, foaming at the mouth, "fly-biting", unconscious, etc). Took him to vet, answered the questions, and we put him on phenobarbital. Roughly 6 weeks later he had another one and so we increased his dosage. This happened roughly 2 more times. The seizures always seemed to happen on a Tuesday night. We ended up changing his dosage to 1 gram every morning and 1.25 grams/night with 1.5/night on the weekend. It works and he has been seizure free for 6 months now. If he does too much during the day without naps, then chances are good that he will have a break through seizure the next morning.

                        I did make dietary changes as well - I switched his food and treats to grain free/preservative free. I wanted to go raw, but I have anxieties about doing so.

                        Because we were able to control it with meds, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He is four year old. With most younger dogs, it is epilepsy and not a tumor.

                        I know how awful it is to watch your dog go through this... it is very stressful for you and the pup. Many jingles that you can figure it out! Hopeful she will not have another one.

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