advice seizures


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I need a bit of advice. My father's 6yr old lab had a full on seizure yesterday. Perfectly healthy dog until now; first time ever. It was a full on, on its side with paws paddling in air seizure. It immediately empties its bowels, froths at the mouth and paces up and down relentlessly afterwards.
He took it immediately to the vets who basically did an initial physical and told him to return if it happened again. I would have expected blood taken for tests, etc but I'm.not a vet.
The dog had a fit at lunchtime today and another about 11pm tonight. My father phoned the vets after the lunchtime fit but the vet stated they were now closed and he'd have to wait until Saturday morning before bringing the dog in.
I know there could be many reasons for the seizures nor do I expect an identifiable reason, without testing. However, is there anything he could do to minimise triggers / causes for the seizures; minimise the occurrences? Just till he gets a chance to see a vet.



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So long as the seizure activity stops within ~10 minutes there is little to worry about. Just be careful around the dog as they can be confused and disorientated afterwards and not know you.

If the seizures don't stop then it does become an emergency. There is nothing the vet can do once the dog has stopped fitting. Sometimes we give drugs like diazepam (Valium) but there is no real evidence they prevent further fits from happening.

6 Years old is top end of idiopathic epilepsy onset, but still possible. The majority of epilepsy in young dogs is of unknown cause. It is not uncommon to have a dog have a single fit in its life. I generally wouldn't be rushing to do too much investigation after one fit, but generally would if they were ongoing and we were considering starting treatment.

When dogs have fits they often occur in clusters with multiple small fits in a 24 hour period - this counts as once bout of seizure activity.

There is little you can do to prevent further fits, but keeping the dog quiet is important. Fitting burns a lot of calories so allow the dog to eat and drink as much as it wants.

Good luck.


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I have seen this a few times and it was a hypo caused by low blood sugars. Basically a diabetic siezure. I'm not a vet but it's another possibility?


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I have also seen a dog of mine go into a fit and when it was checked at the vets and bloods taken it was due to the start of kidney failure.

375 mag

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My dogs suffered with having fits every now and again, he did not know who I was for 2days the vet seemed unconcerned about the fits and just said keep an eye on him he put it down to age my dogs 13.
I have seen this a few times and it was a hypo caused by low blood sugars. Basically a diabetic siezure. I'm not a vet but it's another possibility?
I have a GSP that does exactly that, they first started at 6 years of age and only happen when he is working, my vet suggested half a mars bar in the middle of the day when working hard, seems to work
though it's sometimes not quite enough,though chocolate is bad for dogs his reckoning was that there is actually not much chocolate in half a mars bar but they are high in glucose.

There are energy bars that you can buy for dogs and may be a better bet for the dog than the mars bar, but the ones I have looked at are not exactly cheap.


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You are correct - assuming the cause is low blood sugar. The pattern and time between the fits is far too long for it to be related to low blood sugar.


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Got a 10yr old black lab who has had something similar start when she was 5 or 6, more like the shudders, she's can't control herself and I hold her to stop her hurting herself. She is straight away back to her old self once it ends, 2 - 5 mins but it seems like forever when you are comforting her.

Happens probably every 6 months or so and could be stress, excitement or over exertion induced when I take into account what was happening around her. The vet did bloods within a couple of hours once but could only note she was a bit dehydrated and suggested I keep an eye on her.

Happened once on a shoot as we rested at lunch, luckily someone 'who knew' gave her some Mars bar which he carried for this eventuality so Red Dot's theory about hypos rings true.

Hope your father's dog is soon back to its old self. Chris.


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I have an Irish Water Spaniel on whom (he is a real person) I have spent a great deal of time and money trying to get to the bottom of a couple of episodes of seizure or fit. He is fine right now and despite a scan we cannot get to the bottom of it. I just accept it now. My missus is really, really good at spotting when he is about to start. He goes very stunard for a little while and takes a while to fully come out of it. Very worrying.


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Scotsgun, you don't say where you are in your profile but if you PM me I have a list of very good vets if you are unhappy with the one you have at present.Just a suggestion.


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No need. I'm more than happy with Armacs. Just a bad time when obviously the juniors are covering.

The dog went in for blood tests, etc and had another 3 fits in a 24hrs period. Each fit less in severity and time than the last. Blood tests clear (as expected) and no further fits .... fingers crossed.