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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, My 13 year old Dachshund just began exhibiting spasms or seizures two weeks ago. They only last two or three seconds each, but has several a minute when it is bad. It looks like a dog's response when it thinks it is about to get hit in the face. It can occur any time, but occurs almost violently every time she steps into a sunny area. Light does seem to be the biggest trigger, but sound and cool wind can trigger it as well. She cannot go outdoors during the day as it is completely debilitating. When this first started two weeks ago, she was very disoriented, confused, and acted as if she was in a strange house with strangers. She was smelling every corner, pacing, not sleeping, wobbly, almost falling at times. Yesterday, her personality almost fully recovered and had high energy, but outside was still a disaster. Today she is again rather disoriented and does not want to be touched.
We took her to our vet a few days after this began, and they had a wait and see position. I made videos of the episodes and continued to bug the vet, and he suggested brain tumor or stroke or who knows. Said we could drive to a vet neurologist, but the dog is 13 so probably not worth it. I tried sending the video to a vet neurology center in Los Angels, but they will not even look at it to say whether it is worth the 400 mile RT drive. I have a video, but I can't seem to upload it here.
If anyone has heard of anything like this and knows what could be causing this, I would like the hear from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Here is a link to the video: Seizures
I have gone to a second vet and they pretty much said the same thing. She is to old and has a heart condition so they do not recommend any testing which would require anesthesia. It is hard to see such a sudden onset of this disorder. Her life was about going outside to chase things, mostly shadows and bubbles. All that came to an abrupt end on June 6th. I hope someone has seen this kind of behavior and knows what it is.
 

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Don't know for sure where you live, but if the neurologist in Los Angeles, you mentioned, is in Tustin, We have been there and I can not say enough positive things about them. It is a very busy place, but certainly, in our case, was well worth the inconvenience of getting there. If you are interested in pursuing that message me, I can give you more details of who we saw etc.
 

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Don't know for sure where you live, but if the neurologist in Los Angeles, you mentioned, is in Tustin, We have been there and I can not say enough positive things about them. It is a very busy place, but certainly, in our case, was well worth the inconvenience of getting there. If you are interested in pursuing that message me, I can give you more details of who we saw etc.
I messaged you.
 

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Spasms are often times diagnosed as seizures. Slipped or damaged discs can look like a seizure.

A good neurologist vet should be able to guide diagnosis the right way. There's no real way to guess a seizure of spasm, need MRI.

Being an old dog "13" is not an excuse to say "it's not worth it". I would pay $2k for MRI at 13 just as I would do the same if dog was 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Spasms are often times diagnosed as seizures. Slipped or damaged discs can look like a seizure.

A good neurologist vet should be able to guide diagnosis the right way. There's no real way to guess a seizure of spasm, need MRI.

Being an old dog "13" is not an excuse to say "it's not worth it". I would pay $2k for MRI at 13 just as I would do the same if dog was 2.
Thank you for your reply. As an update, she had for the first time a full grand mal seizure last week. It lasted almost 10 minutes and completely unconscious. When she came too, she had all the usual post seizure symptoms, walking around, bumping in walls, not know who we were, etc. she recovered over night, and all symptoms were gone and she was back to being our normal doggy. We did start her on seizure meds and she is starting to show very minor spasms again, but nothing like before and she can go on walks again. We did see a neurologist a few days ago who was a little stumped and thought either some gene mutation or a brain tumor. They wanted 3,800 for an MRI but they couldn’t really give a good reason for the MRI since we put her on seizure meds anyhow. With her heart condition, she probably can’t undergo surgery. Thank you again.
 

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Thank you for your reply. As an update, she had for the first time a full grand mal seizure last week. It lasted almost 10 minutes and completely unconscious. When she came too, she had all the usual post seizure symptoms, walking around, bumping in walls, not know who we were, etc. she recovered over night, and all symptoms were gone and she was back to being our normal doggy. We did start her on seizure meds and she is starting to show very minor spasms again, but nothing like before and she can go on walks again. We did see a neurologist a few days ago who was a little stumped and thought either some gene mutation or a brain tumor. They wanted 3,800 for an MRI but they couldn’t really give a good reason for the MRI since we put her on seizure meds anyhow. With her heart condition, she probably can’t undergo surgery. Thank you again.
Did you get into the Tustin clinic? Which doctor did you see? I agree $3800 seems a lot. When ours had an MRI, which was four and a half years ago, it was as I recall, about $2400.00. What anti-seizure med is she on. Ours is on phenobarbital, and fortunately has had no seizures since we started her on it. The side effects from that medication can be difficult to deal with, but five months in, she is adapting to it, slowly. Our girl will be fourteen in January, but she still has a lot of good days, and loves life. As long as her quality of life is good, we will do whatever to keep her going.
 

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Yeah, MRI is not a path for surgery, it's just to see what the issue might be, and serves as a guide for meds.

Post grand mal my Frenchie was just hot and slow, she would lay in her bed until she had enough muscle to get up and move. Of the times she moved too soon she was weak, stumbly, and a bit confused. I tried to always keep her cool during and after a seizure (usually just a fan). Seizures can make their internal temps rise quite a bit.

After grand mal my Frenchie would then seek outside grass to do some business.

Grand mal means dog will be on lifetime of meds, and it's why I switched to Keppra that had low/no side effects on liver.

I don't think it's a gene mutation. More probably just a carrier of a gene for epilepsy. I have heard varying stories from vets, saying if seizures start early they can fade away as pet gets older, to, sometimes it just comes out later in life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I ended up going to Dr Higgins in Ventura which is a closer neurologist who could get me in sooner. The risk with the MRI is putting her under with her heart condition and age. The meds she is on is Keppra which seems to have increased her appetite. She is doing pretty good, but still has some mild 1 second jitters which can occur several times in a minute. Nothing like before when she couldn’t go outside. She seems to be in good spirits, not suffering, and enjoying life. We will also do whatever we can to keep her quality of life good for as long as possible.
 

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I ended up going to Dr Higgins in Ventura which is a closer neurologist who could get me in sooner. The risk with the MRI is putting her under with her heart condition and age. The meds she is on is Keppra which seems to have increased her appetite. She is doing pretty good, but still has some mild 1 second jitters which can occur several times in a minute. Nothing like before when she couldn’t go outside. She seems to be in good spirits, not suffering, and enjoying life. We will also do whatever we can to keep her quality of life good for as long as possible.
Glad you were able to get her in. Agree as long as she is a happy dog and not suffering, just keep trucking with her. Yes you are correct, an MRI requires does require a general anesthesia and there is, of course always risk involved. Ours was nine when she had the MRI, and she did ok, but she is now pushing 14, so not sure I would subject her to that, should it become necessary. Keep us posted on her progress.
 
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