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What does a dog seizure look like?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Fynnigan

714700
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 12:35pm PST 
It's naptime so I had the dogs out. Getting packed for the weekend downstairs Fynny jumped up on my bed to watch. Out of the blue he started acting odd, sort of restless? He then jumped down and ran into him and Coopers gigantic kennel (also in my room) wandered around sort of frantically and then to my horror he flopped over, legs out and his head went sort of rigid, like tipped back? It almost looked like he was choking but he wasn't just eating or playing with any toys so I know that wasn't it. I ran over but didn't know what to do. I moved the ceramic water dish so he wouldn't hit it and tried to pick him up but his body was oddly contorted and he was whole body twitching periodically (not like in the movies the way a person having a seizure would typically violently jerk around). I was afraid I'd drop him so I left him down just petting him and praying whatever was going on would pass. Lasted maybe only 20 seconds or so. Then he stood up slow legs sort of out like he was afraid he'd fall. He looked terrified with his head down low, eyes open very wide. I tried to call him out but he just wanted to stand there. About a minute passed and he walked out onto my lap. A few minutes later he walked away like nothing had happened and resumed playing with Cooper down on the floor.

Was this a seizure of some kind? If it was do I need to get him to the vet like this very second or can I wait until parents pick up my daycare kiddos in a couple of hours? I don't want to scare everyone and rush him in if they're only going to tell me that's what it was and there's nothing they can do. If it was a seizure will it happen again? What should I do if it does? What causes seizures? How is that sort of thing treated? What would it mean for him long term if that's what it was?

Basically I need a lot of information here to help me decide how to proceed.

If it'll help further he's in amazing health. Never had a medical problem before despite being the result of a less than stellar back yard breeding. Eating wonderfully, pooing and peeing normally as always. I know he didn't get into anything poison wise and all the other boys are just fine.

Please help, I'm scared to death here frown
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Adam

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 1:29pm PST 
What a seizure looks like for dogs can reveal in many different ways. Some may not resemble a seizure at all such as Fly biting seizures. I can't say from your description for sure, but I'd suspect a seizure yes. What I would do is go to the vet for bloodwork because some seizures are caused by low blood sugar. Then I would have a camera ready to record the acivity if it happens again. You can show it to your vet and dogster too, and maybe someone (hopefully your vet) can help more.hug ETA: An afterthought, there's no medications or cleaners he could have gotten into right? Like no pills or antifreeze?

Edited by author Fri Dec 3, '10 1:31pm PST

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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 1:36pm PST 
In order for bloodwork to diagnose a low blood sugar seizure, the blood needs to be drawn immediately. Check on these forums... Another dog, Charlie, maybe, suffered a seizure recently and good information is written there. Good luck!
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Adam

Vaccine free- -Disease free- goes pawinpaw
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 1:38pm PST 
Toto when seizures are caused by diabetes can bloodwork show that? Just curious. When my dog had seizures, they tested her for a liver disease, thyroid disease and some other infections. I don't know about diabetes.

ETA: Oops sorry not to highjack this thread.

Edited by author Fri Dec 3, '10 1:39pm PST

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Fynnigan

714700
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 2:43pm PST 
Vet called me back. She thinks it was some sort of hypoglycemia attack. From what I gather that's a low blood sugar thing and could be due to any number of things including diabetes, pancreatic tumors, liver problems and a few other things I can't remember. My focus was on the part about it possibly being just because he's only eating once a day instead of multiple times. She told me with him being a small breed this might be his only problem entirely, and feeding him twice or even three time a day should stabilize the issue if that's the case. That obviously is my biggest hope.

She also thinks what he did may have been a seizure OR ataxia, more than likely ataxia because he recovered so quickly whereas a seizure would have left him very tired and lethargic. There's no way to tell for sure, but based on my description that's what she's guessing.

She told me this may have only been the first time I've caught it shock what with them being downstairs during the day while I'm up doing daycare so blood work asap is important to rule out anything serious. She said it was fine to wait until my kiddos go home as he's doing fine right now, but I have him upstairs until we can get rolling in case it happens again. She said I could rub sugar on his gums or under his tongue if it does.

Hopefully the blood work yields answers and an easy fix for him. I hope to never see any of my dogs like that ever again frown

I'll update ya'll when I hear back what's up, much thanks for the support!
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 2:55pm PST 
Adam... I think it would be either ruled out OR investigated further depending on the blood levels. The problem is that testing later doesn't give a true picture... Most people give the dog something to eat to make sure it's okay OR if they feel sorry for it after a seizure which would change the blood sugar values.
We have honey in our boarding kennel and have used it twice... once for a puppy with seizures from LOW blood sugar because he was too small and not eating right and the other for a diabetic Weim who was seizing due to low blood sugar from too much insulin. The puppy recovered almost instantly and NEVER had another issue with a food change and the Weim was okay as well. He belonged to the vet next door to us and was with us for daycare so we immediately sent him back to her after he stopped seizing. They actually stablized him with IV glucose, but we like to think we "saved" him with our honey. (Actually, it was the vets honey... she left it with us for him!)
Any of my dogs over the years with seizures were just victims of breed specific idiopathic epilepsy which was lurking in their genes... a couple of labs, a springer and a schipperke. All four could be traced back thru their pedigree. None were so frequent that I used any drugs for management. Two stopped seizing at about 7 years old.
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Luna

Lemme at 'em!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 3:03pm PST 
Fynny, feel better soon. Don't know what to tell you but I hope it's nothing serious.. hug
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Charley

Finally Seizure- Free!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 3:17pm PST 
Fynnigan, that sounds like a seizure. Did the vet actually see your dog or did you just call? Charley is always dazed after having a seizure. After a seizure, he gets a treat or some food because the seizures can cause drops in blood sugar. While its tempting to comfort and touch your dog during something like this, don't. Some dogs are aggressive after the seizures. You can talk to your dog, I just caution touching him.

I would keep an eye out in case he has more. If has another, you need to take him to the vets for a blood test and an examine.
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Dahlia

Gone, But Not- Forgotten.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 3:54pm PST 
Fynnigan, it is a scary thing to watch when you don't know what's going on.hug Blood work is a good idea-have them check the thyroid. I would suggest You do what I did. Look at your watch when you first notice your dog acting strange. It helps give you a time frame. ( I could time Dahlia @ 15 minutes-the actual hard seize was 3-4 minutes.)

Do a journal. Note the date, time, and any unusual actions or food eaten that day. Dogs are usually disoriented right before and after the seizure. Don't pick him up, just keep him calm & in one place. I like to talk quietly to my dog during & after, to keep her calm.

In our case, We never did meds, and she has been seizure-free for a year now. Check out The Shakers & Epileptic support groups here on Dogster. They've been through all types of seizures and can help you out a lot. Good luck! hug
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Bingley

Cookie Monster
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 3, '10 4:39pm PST 
Did your vet do blood work, or just going on assumptions? Bingley has only ever had one seizure (that I know of) and I took him to the vet (middle of the night, horrible snow storm, of course, lol) and they did blood work, but everything was normal. I still have no clue what triggered it.

@Adam, blood sugar levels show up in blood tests, so they would at least be able to tell if his sugar was high or low.

Hope you feel better soon, Fynnigan.
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