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My dog had a seizure....Help! Causes of Seizures in dogs?

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My dog had a seizure....Help! Causes of Seizures in dogs?
  • Causes of Seizures in dogs? What are signs that a seizure has been triggered?
    Okay the vet can't see her today but has her set up for an appointment.

    My Terrier mix is a year and a half old. (She is believed to have Jack russell Terrier and Chihuahua in her but we don't know what else.)

    She is about 21 lbs.

    Today she had what I learned was a seizure.

    Here is what happened:

    We were sitting here on the couch. I got a phone call and I'm about to hang up after about 10 minutes and next thing I know my terrier is trying to get behind me.She then lays down on me almost like she just collapsed. She was shaking like shivering or scared and she is now in my lap, ears back all submissive. She kept looking up eyes fixed on something I thought me. And I couldn't get her to calm down.

    Her breathing became rapid, and then as the shaking slowed down she began to pant hard. After the shaking stopped she tried to get up but laid back down again. A minute or 2 later she got up and went to the corner and she won't leave that corner. I know she is scared. I'm scared too.

    The whole episode lasted maybe 2 minutes. But it seemed like forever.

    The first time she did this, I thought she was spooked, it didn't last as long and then she went over to the corner as she did now.

    The second time I got suspicious.

    This time I was pretty sure what happened so I called my mom immediately.

    She currently has a dog that has seizures and she had one in the past that did.

    She suggested to call the vet but her vet told her there wasn't much he could do to treat her dog. But her dog is really really small, 4 lbs.

    Anyways she confirmed what Sasha did is exactly what godiva does.

    So Now I am terrified, I'm just waiting for the vet visit.

    I'm scared to leave her, what if it happens again and I'm not here.

    And I keep thinking, why her? Why my dog? Why my special girl?

    I'm so scared right now. I don't know who is more scared at the moment.

    Anyways thanks for the insight you can give.

    Again we have an appointment but he can't see her today.

    She is the sweetest, calmest, and happiest dog in the world

     please keep her in your thoughts and prayers

  • Do a quick search - there's a TON of seizure info already on this forum.

    As far as a vet visit - you need to go AS SOON as the seizure finishes for blood work, etc. Going several days AFTER a seizure is not as good.

    What was going on each time? You need to keep a journal and find out WHY she's having the seizures. New cleaning products? New soap? New food? What kind of food is she eating now? There are TONS of triggers for seizures - but do a search here on the forum, you'll find out a LOT. After just 2 seizures - I WOULD NOT medicate. How far apart have the attacks been?

    I had a seizure pup. And there are many others on here that have or have had seizure dogs.

  • I have a seizure dog too -- Ms. Kee Shu (the peke below).  The problem is the meds (phenobarbitol and potassium bromide) are pretty darned hard on the body -- and often it takes more and more of the drug to control it as they age.

    If at all possible, please try acupuncture **FIRST**.  Often between acupuncture and Chinese herbs you can avoid the drugs all together. 

    This isn't weird stuff -- A lot of vet schools are now teaching acupuncture.  The U of Fl at Gainesville teaches acupuncture and Chinese herbology in their vet school program.  I've heard several of their vets speaking in seminars and they say "Don't put a dog on drugs if the dog if seizing less than 4 or so times a month."

    Seizures are scarey things.  The biggest deal is that you have to stay calm.  By remaining calm you can then talk the dog thru the seizure.  You can help them ride it out and not be scared. 

    They are scared after a seizure and often very hungry and very tired.  There are several of us on here who have seizure dogs.  We try to be suppport for each other.

    One of the things you CAN do is make a list of anything you can think of over the past several weeks that exposed this dog to **ANY** kind of chemical.

    In your list include time, date, specifics about "place" where the dog had the seizure (right down to what corner of the room they were in, if there were any windows or lights or sounds you could see or hear).   

    One friend of mine has a dog she bathed in a Hartz shampoo -- the dog seized about 20 minutes later.  Sometimes they can seize again later from the same trigger event. 

    ANY chemical is suspect.  Anything from a shampoo, conditioner, flea preparation, heartworm medicine, anything you put in the food or water or on them.  It can be something you've used on this dog many times -- but include it in your list because sometimes it can be a minor variation in a formula or simply that *this* time it was a problem.

    Look also at chemicals in your home/apartment.  Did your yard or apartment get treated for bugs?  Did the city fog for mosquitos, did your neighbor fertilize their lawn (ASK).  The dog doesn't have to walk on it or touch it -- just scent alone that travels on the air can do it.

    Have you recently sprayed air freshener or used a plug in freshener or used anything in the air or on the floors to clean or make things smell night.  How about your own cologne?  What did YOU do just prior to the seizure. 

    IN particular do you clean with anything with pine in it?  Is there pine near your home/apartment?  (pine can be a trigger)

    It's hard to even think of such a list -- but write down what comes to mind and then add to it as you think of other things.

    When was the last time the dog went to the vet?  Had vaccines or anything there?

    What's blooming around your home or apartment?  Anything new? 

    If you write down anything you can think of any time the dog seizes it can help you determine the trigger.

    But honestly?  The biggest thing that can trigger seizures is stress.  Anything going on in your life?  A breakup?  Job trauma?  anything that has you particularly upset or stressed? 

    Your stress can translate to the dog in such a huge way. 

    When the dog comes up to you (often they are very clingy or act fearful or nervous before a seizure) set what you're doing aside and sit down and just reassure the dog that you're there and it's all O ... K ....!!!!  Smile -- don't act nervous or worried.  I often sing (no I'm not good -- but I have songs for each of my dogs with their name in them -- just any kiddie song that I can put their name in) and that's something I routinely use to calm them. 

    You might pick up some valerian tincture at a health store -- preferably one that's non-alcohol (mostly because it's sweeter and tastes better than the alcohol one).  But that works fast and can sometimes help to calm them and avert a seizure. 

    IF the dog begins a seizure you can actually even rub some valerian tincture on the gums.  It will actually help. 

    If you can get to a health store that sells Newton Homeopathics they have a good formula:


    It's for fear and nervousness -- again, you can give it if you even *think* the dog may be headed for a seizure, or you can pull up the lip and just squirt it on their gums DURING a seizure.  It will help.

    Another that might be easier to find is Chamomillia -- another homeophatic.  It's in the little blue Boiron tubes (30C-- that's a measurement of 'strength' in a homeopathic) -- and for a dog like this I would tell you to dump the entire tube into a plastic ziplock bag and crush all the tiny pellets with the edge of something hard.  Put the 'dust' in something airtight and if she begins to seize literally just put a tiny tiny tiny amount (like no more than would have made 3-4 of those tiny pellets) in between her gum and teeth (you probably won't get IN her mouth). 

    Those little blue dispensers are a pain -- they are made for a human to hold in their teeth and tip your head back and "twist" so the pellets fall into your mouth under your tongue.  Nice for a human, but tough to give to a dog.  But homeopathics work great -- won'd react badly with ANY drugs.

    Mostly, I'm going to tell you to find a vet who does TCVM -- traditional Chinese veterinary medicine -- that's acupuncture and herbs.  Chinese herbs are strong -- they will do pretty much exactly what pheno will do but without the side effects.

    http://www.tcvm.com is the website of the Chi Institute.  They are a qualifying agency for TCVM and on the left hand side there is a "locator" that will help you find a vet who does TCVM in your area.

     If you want email me and I can answer any questions you might have.  (my vet actually teaches for the Chi Institute so I'm fortunate that I know a lot of these vets and I've had awesomely good experience with them).  Honestly it's not as expensive as you might think given the testing that a neuro vet will likely do.  But he quality of life can be so much better without the drugs.

    Don't get me wrong -- if you *have* to do pheno or potassium bromide (kBr) it's very very successful with many dogs.  It's not something that is fatal -- you just learn to deal with them.

    Unfortunately in this life bad things happen to good people and good dogs.  But we just learn to deal with these things and let them make us stronger.  Out of my four dogs THREE have had major problems.  And they do fine. 

    Good luck, but don't be afraid, ok?

  • I was actually talking to Dr. DiNatale last night about one of the other seizure dogs on the forum -- and she told me to make sure to tell ANYONE that ***BEFORE*** a dog is put on ANY seizure med they absolutely must do bloodwork on that dog to test the liver function.

    That MUST be done before the dog is put on pheno or any drug simply because pheno (or any seizure med) will raise the liver levels anyway and it's critical to find out what the blood was like before the dog was on the drugs so there is a basis for comparison.

  • Thank you everyone.

    I'll admit it was probably bad taking my mothers advice, to not take her in right away.   After talking to my husband we did decide to take her in on payday, which is monday.

    the funny thing is it happened at the same time of day that last time too.    I remember because the Cosby Show was on, she likes TV, loves it actually and I keep it on for her.    So each time was around 2pm.


    There are a lot of changes going on yes.   We just moved.  Nothing new.   I'm 15 weeks pregnant.   I've had to cut our walks down from 3 times a day to 2 times a day.


    Something I remember from last time and this time is they were cutting the grass around our apartment.   I don't know if they treated the grass or anything, apartments never tell you when they are going to be doing things like that.

    This last time she was on the couch when she seized, well actually on me.    The time before she was on the floor near the old couch.  (We don't have it anymore).     Then after its over she goes to the corner near our bathroom/bedroom and lays by the gate and sleeps.


    The first one was over 2 months ago, The Second one maybe a month ago.  And this one yesterday.    Had no idea it was a seizure until talking with my mom after it happened.    I just thought she got spooked.   I thought with a seizure a dogs body would severely convulse.  Not just go all shaky.   But I guess I was wrong.


    We are going to the vet monday.   Pay day.   They probably aren't going to be treating her with medicine anyways.  Um since it wasn't a grand mal it wasn't considered life threatening.  So they said it could wait.   My mom actually told me not to take her in because her dog isn't even being treated they just ran the tests.     But I'm taking her in next week.   If she has another seizure she goes in sooner.     We just paid 2 big vet bills on our poodle, he is 2 and was born with gastrointestinal issue and has anxiety which makes it worse.   So our funds are depleted at the moment.  They've been depleted since his first bought of pancreatitis a year ago.   So payday she goes in unless she has another seizure and then she goes in immediately


    We thought we dodged a bullet with Sasha but I guess we didn't.


    As far as cleaning chemicals, nothing new.   Windex, Pledge.     They aren't allowed anywhere near the bathroom when its cleaned.    She has been on pretty much the same diet since she was 10 months old.    The formula we changed about 5 months ago.   She is on California Naturals Herring and Sweet Potato.   Its better for our poodle.    And they were on California Naturals Chicken and Rice.   As far as shampoo, the same one she has been on her whole life, except we do occaisionally use a Hypo Allergenic shampoo for dry itchy skin.



    I do want to keep my dog off medication if at all possible, and I'm kind of afraid to take her in at the same time because they might insist on it.   She is so young though.      My husband and I will be taking her in Monday though, together

  • SHE SEIZED AGAIN about a half hour ago


    Okay I called our regular vet when this happened, ready to take her in, and he doesn't want to see her until she has had 4 seizures in a 30 day period.  He wants me to log everything that happens when it happens.   What she was doing, how long it lasts, what she had eaten.    Everything.  

    He says that will help know what triggered it.

    Strange he didn't want to see her after having 2 back to back.


    They also mentioned it could be trembling due to low blood sugar.   So set her out some food.


    Um this is really scary.   they said if it is seizures being that she is so young she may have been having them her whole life they just weren't strong enough to notice.

    If she has more than 4 in a 30 day period they want to run a test for epilepsy.



    Should I cancel the other vet appointment and stick with the regular vet that she sees and we know and trust?



    What happened was we were sitting in the living room and she got extra snuggly and tried to get behind me again.   I got up to make some toast and next thing I know she is on the ground trembling again.   Fully conscious, still walking around but acted terrified.


    I'm wondering if because she focuses so much on that tv if the flashes are triggering this?

  • As I said in my PM to you -- acupuncture has worked far better for my seizure dog and other friends' dogs.  A regular vet, unless they are a specialist, is very limited on what they can do other than prescribe pheno and get MRis, etc. done.

    Yes, a TV could cause seizures (so can lights, or anything else repetitive like a sound, neon flashing signs, warning lights, etc.)

    AFTER a seizure they are often VERY hungry and need something sweet to help the blood sugar.  megan - Slr2meg (Pirate's Mom) keeps Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream in her freezer specifically FOR the occasions her dog seizes.  They are also apt to sleep HARD afterward.