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The short story:
My dog Pablo began exhibiting odd erratic hyperactive behavior on Monday 21st. He did not respond to valium or Phenobarbital pills. He stopped being hyperactive but continued odd worrying behavior for 7 hours. It took an IV of Phenobarbital to finally sedate him. When he is awake he is rocking, clenching, swiveling and has been unfocused, unresponsive and inattentive.
Sometimes he loudly cries.
This has been going on for THREE days.
Our vet is not 100% certain on what caused this but he deemed it a seizure (or epilepsy).
We have been instructed to keep the dog sedated and unconscious for three days by administering phenobarbital in hopes that he will awaken on the 3rd day relatively healthy. Has anyone gone through this before? What caused it? Has anyone used a similar treatment? I have done some research and cannot find any similar stories!


The long story:
My dog Pablo is 1.8 lb 3 year old Chihuahua with no previous health problems.
Today is Wed. On Monday at 6pm my dog suddenly began having erratic behavior. He was hyperactive, needy and most alarming, he was constantly spinning in small circles counterclockwise. When he stopped spinning he began running back and forth between my lap and my mom's lap. All this went on for aprox 1 hour. Although eventually the hyperactive behavior lessened he was still overactive and strange.
He puked twice. Mainly white froth.
We called our vet and he recommend giving the dog Valium. We gave him 1/4 of a 10mg then 10 minutes later another equally 5mg. This seemed to worsen his behavior. Instead of the diazepam calming him, it seemingly amped him up.
For the rest of the night he was squirming. Sometimes he stilled when held.
Our vet then prescribed phenobarbital over the phone and at 10pm we administered 15mg orally. 30 minutes later he showed no progress and we were instructed to give him another and to continue to administer every 30 minutes if it was not taking effect. He took 4 orally by 12am and 1 anally at 1am.
He could not walk and would fall down. He would not eat or drink but I did put 3 droppers full of water in his mouth. At some point in the night he went from ok to worse. His head began rocking and slamming from side to side. He would not close his mouth, his eyes would not focus and he would not sit up. This was when we rushed him to the emergency clinic. By the time we got there is arms were rowing in the air as if he were swimming and his head was rocking. He was completely out of it and unfocused.
The emergency clinic was slow in response. They did blood test that showed nothing unusual. They eventually knocked him out by administering phenobarbital intravenously. Because we could not pay the $6,000 to have him brain x-rayed we proceeded to our normal vet who’s office was now open. On the hour drive to our vet our dog regained consciousness and began loudly crying (more like screaming that I have never heard before) he was also squirming.
He ate a jar of baby food and drank water from a syringe. He was put under again using phenobarbital.
Our vets final diagnoses was because of his age he most likely does not have brain cancer. An infection is plausible but most likely he ingested a toxin (did not see this occur, and not think of anywhere he might have ingested any chemical), or maybe because he is 3 (the age when dogs begin to show signs of epilepsy) he has scar tissue in his brain from a previous head injury (not sure if he has ever had one) and it was triggered.
He has had 2 hyperactive episodes before but they lasted 5 or 10 minutes and they were not nearly as scary as this and there was no continuous behavior or health problems.
Our vet has instructed us to keep the dog unconscious for three day to see if he will pull out of this and awaken without seizing. As of now, when he wakes up he is unfocused, he rocks his body and most the time crys loudly, he also needs with his paws like a cat.
 

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My Lexi had epilepsy for about 6-7 years. Having seizures maybe once a month and stress would set her off. Then about 2 years ago she had 15 grand mal seizures or so in two days. The vet prescribed a ton of pheno and basically everytime she woke up she seized. The loading dose was increased a ton. She wasn't completely knocked out, but between the seizures, baths (her seizures mean a big mess), and the pills she was really out of it. The seizures stopped on day 3.

She stayed on pheno about 8 months. Then, she got sick and although pheno levels good, her liver levels were bad. Thus, pheno no longer used. She has not seized since being taken off even during things that would set her off like a lot of company and walks. My vet thinks maybe allergies or the denosyl for her liver helped resolve seizure issue.

The big episode may have been caused by toxin that didn't show in blood or her being ill and setting her off. In some cases you don't know. Also, all dogs have different symptoms for seizures.

Wihtout upsetting you, when discussing seizures on a different forum, we noted that dogs with hydrocephalus usually seemed to have different seizures then the typically grand mal with epilepsy. My lexi always threw her head straight back. With hydrocephalus, it seemd the dogs spun more and always to the same side. This is more common in chihuahuas, but I think it presents at younger age. Has your vet mentioned anything or is this the first step and if issues persist the plan is the pursue further?
 

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Two questions
1. did you recently vaccinate your dog?
2. do you feed food or treats with dyes or artificial coloring?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Tech. My vet says that if he wakes up today and is still behaving odd/not getting normal/not responding to the pheno we will try steroids and that's the last thing we can try, end of the line :( . He woke up once today and was not okay, still rocking and crying and unfocused. Loosing hope here.
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Discussion Starter #7
No Dawn nothing like that. We lead fairly holistic lives. This is the first time he's had chemicals (pheno).
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