This is my first time posting on these forums after I found this awesome website. Kudos to the creators and awesome people I see helping everyone out 🙂 I was hoping I could get some advice/opinions on my own dogs situation.
Lindsay is a 14 year old Chihuahua, and we’ve had her since I was a little girl. In all this time she’s never had any real health issues, so about a month ago when my mom found her having a seizure in our hall way after eating, we we’re extremely scared and rushed her to the vet immediately. Our vet was awesome and took Lindsay right in to get some blood work going and to do all the normal work up stuff. She came back and told us Lindsay had perfectly normal blood work, blood sugar was in normal range, and even ran a Valley Fever test just to be safe (which came back negative as well). With all this done and Lindsay acting her normal self, we took her home and chalked it up to a freak event.
However, two weeks later, the same thing happened. But we saw some interesting things for about 20 minutes before she had the seizure itself. The best I can describe it is she was twitching or jumping as if something had scared her. At first I thought it was hiccups even. The only thing I can really connect these two events is that she ate right before. We’ve fed her the same food forever, the Honest Kitchens Force rehydrated food. Since these two seizures we’ve seen her do these twitches and jumps again after eating but if I take her and pet her she curls right up to me and naps (as always), no seizures following. Also, we’ve been trying since the last seizure to feed her a little more frequently than before but in slightly smaller amounts (so instead of feeding her at 3, I feed her at 1, then again at 5 instead of 8, and so forth). She hasn’t had one since but as I mentioned she does jump or twitch still. Any ideas?
Thank you all.
What you describe sounds like seizure activity, pre-ictal, ictal and post-ictal. At age 14 your dog is elderly (even for a small breed). It may be idiopathic, or age related.
I doubt if your vet would recommend extensive testing and x-rays at her age to rule out brain tumor. As the treatment options may be limited anyway. I would focus on care and comfort. I agree that feeding 3 or 4 small meals a day works better for a senior than 1 or 2. I would add a little water to her meals. Walks/exercise as tolerated. I would discuss medication options with your vet that may decrease seizures. I would avoid vaccines for this dog due to the diagnosis of a neurological disorder. Discuss these things with your vet, don’t be afraid to ask him to call you when he has a minute, make a list of your questions and have it ready. She may do better on a bland diet, however, her neurological issues may not be diet related.
Thanks for the response, anon. Today she had another seizure, similar behavior as before with the twitching/jumping. It was also shortly after eating once again. I just worry about her when the seizure is in effect even though I’ve begun to read about them more, I think I’ll call the vet to ask a few questions even if it’s just to put my own mind at ease.
Yes, definitely, do that, but, have the vet call you back when he has a minute, rather than discuss at length with a vet tech.
There are medications that can stop the seizure activity and make her more comfortable.
I had a dog that was on a daily low dose of phenobarbital (seizures started at 9 months) he lived till old age. He was not sedated and did not have a change in personality. He was a happy dog.
PS: The general rule of thumb was, if they are having more than 1 seizure a month, they need meds. Discuss with the vet. Maybe this has changed, and there may be other medication options now (other than phenobarb).
Even on meds they can have break through seizures, but, they tend to be mild.
The next time the dog has a seizure, if you can, time it and write down what you observe so that you can describe to the vet. Even better, if you can record it on your smartphone or whatever and e-mail it to your vet…
Hi, I have a nearly 14 yo labradoodle who started having seizures 18 months ago. He had had random dizzy spells where he lost balance for a year before that. At first the vet told us it was vestibular disease, then later a brain tumor.
He is on Pexion for the fits and Valium to help between doses.
I have had a major break through in the last two weeks, realising first of all that chicken would bring on a seizure within twelve hours. We stopped feeding him chicken. We bought expensive dry dog food and it helped slightly. He would have bad and better days but never without ‘twitching’ as we call it.
The other day I gave him the leftover pasta noodles that had a tiny coating of bolognese sauce on them. He wolfed it down ……that night and next day NO Twitching AT ALL! Gave him BBQ beef next day and back to twitching.
We are now giving him high carb diet thinking the proteins are not being metabolised easily and it has made an incredible difference. I am wondering if I can get rid of the Pexion and will ask the vet next visit.
I have arrived at these conclusions myself by watching his reactions to these foods and only googled it this morning to find that food allergies can cause seizures. Would have loved the vet to perhaps explored this option, and am wondering what all the money and information I had given him was for!
The decrease in seizure activity is most likely in response to pexion and the valium (anti-epileptics). I would not stop meds unless under direction of the treating vet.
The reason the vet didn’t explore the option of food allergies causing your dog’s seizures is that based on my knowledge, that it would be extremely rare for this to be true.
The vet addressed the issues that would cause seizures in an elderly dog. “All the information and money” you gave him was so he could determine what testing to do to diagnose your dog and prescribe treatment.
It may be best to keep his diet simple, maybe even a little bland, as certain foods, preservatives and chemicals may be actual triggers.
PS: There is a lot of inaccurate information on the internet, and even if you find some helpful information, it is not specific to your dog.
Hi anon101′ our dog has been on the same dose of Pexion for 18 months and Valium only when his symptoms become strong. It is only the change in diet that is different and it is now 4 full days free of all small seizures and twitching. We are very pleased to have unravelled this mystery but miffed our observations and questions were not taken seriously, in fact dismissed. Love our vets but thinking sometimes we need to keep searching ourselves when we have suspicions the diagnosis is not correct.
Sometimes it takes months for a dog to stabilize on medication, however, you could ask your vet about doing a slow taper….. Discuss your observations, you may even be able to leave a message for your vet to call you back when he has a minute and get his opinion.
I must warn you though, as your vet will, the seizures may return. If that happens it may take months to stabilize him on medication, again.
Pexion is a very good medication (minimal to no side effects) to treat epileptic dogs. You are fortunate to have found something that works. Seizures are a neurological disorder, a firestorm in the brain. I would keep in mind that your dog is elderly, comfort is a priority.
Everytime I tried to taper my dog off of phenobarb, the seizures returned, so he remained on a low dose for the rest of his life, with no side effects.
Hi, all! Any updates on your seizure activity in relation to diet? I’m trying to pinpoint a dietary cause for my 12 year old wheaten.
I don’t think but of course I am not a doctor so I can tell for sure.
Maybe it was from a bad dream http://www.moj-sen.info/ because as the humans so the dogs can have.
I just posted this on another thread and figured I’d post it here too.
I thought I would share our experience. My dog Widgit started having seizures around age 3. The Vet said there was no particular cause and it is just epilepsy. We delt with the seizures for about three years. They were getting worse and we were on the verge of putting her on medication based on the vets recommendation. Then we noticed a pattern with certain treats we were giving the dogs. We had tried different foods over the years , and Widgit was a picky eater. We decided to get the best food we could and switched again. It has been over a year without a single seizure! I’m not saying that diet is a cure or that it will work in all situations, but I can say for a fact that dog food and treats were a trigger and maybe a cause for my dogs seizures, and better food and no processed and flavored treats have changed her life. The funny part was once we fed her her current food she loved it and gobbled it down. So her pickyness was probably just her not wanting to eat because it made her feel bad. A high quality diet without junk made all the difference for us, and I recommend changing your dogs diet for the better if they are affected by seizures, and to look for patterns associated with changes. Keep a seizure log, we did for three years and it was helpful. Like I said, once we switched food after seeing the pattern, Widgit’s seizures immediately stopped and she hasn’t had one. Good luck
I can almost 100% tell you that your dogs seizures came from the food you are feeding them.
My dog Horus ( Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix. Completely Shih in apearence) 5 years old at the time, was perfectly healthy. I had been feeding him Prina One dog food. At the time I was unaware of what Raw dog food and thought I was feeding a good quality brand of Purina. Well one day he just feel over and his body seized, foam started coming out his mouth, his eyes bucked out. I grab him up hysterically thinking he was having a heart attack. I was about to try CPR on him, when he snap out of it and jumped up, and began running around. I got online immediately and started searching for a reason by symptoms. I came to the conclusion it was a seizure and hoped it would not happen again. A few days went by and he had another one, but this time he began having them every 30 mins to an hour in between. I rush him to the vet. They administered phenobarbital and did blood work. His readings were normal with a slightly elevated liver, which the vet said could be the problem but he was not sure. I took him home with a prescription. The doctor said he would need these meds for the rest of his life. I didn’t believe him because that’s what they said about my daughter when she was one. The doctors gave her to high a does once and I pulled her off the meds. She’s 26 now and has never had another seizure, but I gave Horus the meds as prescribed. One day the thought hit me that it could be his food. I started researching the brand I was feeding him and discovered that Purina had several law suites against them for seizure related issues. I was stunned. I continued to research to find what I should be feeding him and found out the a Raw food diet was the best options for dogs. After more research on quality and the best brands I immediately ordered his Raw food. Over the next few weeks I whenned him off the meds. For the next 2 years he never had another Seizure.
Now 3 weeks ago I forgot to order his food and had to get a bag from the market. This time I got Pedigree until his food could arrive. Big mistake. 2 days into the Pedigree he began having seizures again. I rushed him to the vet emergency because he was not recovering from it. They just kept coming. They put him on Keppra and Potassium Bromide which did absolutely nothing to stop the seizures and later his normal vet told me vets sale this stuff to make more money. It does not work, and it’s way more expensive then phenobarbital. My vet gave him one shot of phenobarbital and started Horus on a regiment of vitimains, Enzymes and Amino Acids along with a suggestion to purchase a product called Vet CBD, which I got immediately after leaving her office. These along with the Raw food should help in his recovery. She also said that he may have some brain damage because of the severity of his seizure this time. It has now been 1 week and Horus has not had another seizure. I am still working on his recovery as I do think he may have suffered some brain damage as he will not stop endlessly pacing. He has a wonderful appetite and his blood work remains good.
With all this said, I do see that your pooch is on a raw food diet, but I would also suggest you get her started on supplements also. What she recommended was: Arthur Dex joint support for all animals given by weight of dog, Ultimate Daily Classic 1/2 pill daily, and Ultimate Selenium1/2 pill daily, All by a company called Youngevity which you can get on Amazon. The Vet CBD I’m not sure you can get. It depends on the state you live in. I’m in California and Cannabis is legal here.
I hope some of the info I left helps you in some way.
We have small mix breed and she had episodes about 1-2 times per week and found the raw food diet now we only feed high fat raw with freeze dried raw liver as treats it has been very successful she has episodes maybe once every couple months and when she does they are very mild relative to before ( her diet is mostly beef with 1 raw frozen chicken wing per week it with 80-90% calories coming from fat )
Wait, what recipe are you feeding? What you described sounds horribly unbalanced.
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