Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seizures In Your Pet

This is the sad story of a seizuring Chihuahua dog that died because of brain damage.  Several weeks ago a midnight call came from a lady that said her little dog had a seizure several weeks ago and had recovered from it.  However, this day the dog had begun having seizures at noon which continued almost constantly since they started.
            My first reaction was, this is bad!  When seizuring becomes constant permanent brain damage will occur unless the seizures are promptly stopped.  It might be hopeless but I had to try to relieve the little dog’s suffering.
            Sure enough, when the dog arrived 15 minutes later it was in status epilepticus, a constant seizuring state.  It was immediately injected with two drugs that are used as anesthetics.  The dog promptly stopped seizuring and was hospitalized for observation for the remainder of the night.  The next morning it was clear the seizuring had resulted in permanent brain damage!  The dog was now blind.  It could stand and walk but when it blundered into a corner of the cage it could not get out of the corner.   It just remained standing in the corner.  It could not eat or drink but was sent home with the admonition that further care would be futile.  He died two days later.
            Seizuring can be a sign of serious brain disease.  If your pet has a seizure contact your veterinarian promptly for advice on how to proceed.  If the pet has more than one seizure in an hour it should be placed on medication to prevent further episodes.  Letting the seizures continue without control in the hope that they will stop without care creates the risk of permanent brain damage.  Also, please be aware that syncope, fainting, as occurs with some heart conditions, can be confused with seizuring but requires different treatment.  Let your veterinarian help you and your pet differentiate between the two conditions.