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Help! What was this - a fit, a stroke, or....?

(10 Posts)
Tapirbackrider Fri 26-Apr-13 11:10:46

I have a gorgeous elderly male labrador, a wee bit hefty, and getting more arthritic with age.

He just had a weird 'funny turn' and I have no idea what the hell just happened!

He was lying quietly in the living room, when his head just popped up, started shaking from side to side, and his eyes were juddering about. As it continued his head started turning to the right somewhat but still shaking. It lasted for about 30 seconds, then he came 'out' of it, jumped to his feet and was full of beans confused

He's now lying in the garden casting a beady eye on the NDN's cat, but doesn't appear sleepy or out of it at all.

BastardDog Fri 26-Apr-13 14:06:58

Possibly a petit mal seizure? I've had an epileptic dog who had grand mal seizures and they are unmistakeable seizures.

I also had a dog who in my eyes had a stroke (kept falling over, dribbling saliva as one side of his face wasn't working), but I was told by the vet that dogs don't have strokes?

Your dog thankfully seems fine now. Dogs can become epileptic with age. Google petit mal seizures in dogs and see if that looks like what you saw. As I understand it vets don't medicate for epilepsy unless they have ruled out other possibilities and the seizures are happening regularly.

Disclaimer. I'm not a vet, just someone whose has some bad luck with different dogs health over recent times.

Tapirbackrider Fri 26-Apr-13 16:55:26

Thanks for the advice. I didn't know that epilepsy can develop in older dogs, and having googled it, it does seem the same thing.

From the symptoms given, this isn't the first fit he's had; dh has now mentioned that he's seen a couple of unusual episodes too.

I've got to pick up some arthritis meds for the hound later - I'll have a quick word with the vet and see what she says.

Dogsmom Fri 26-Apr-13 21:37:08

Have a google of Vestibular disease too, my old gsd used to have bouts of it, often mistaken for fits/strokes.

Tapirbackrider Sat 27-Apr-13 01:41:28

Thanks Dogsmom! smile

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Sat 27-Apr-13 01:46:19

It does sound more like a petit mal episode than a "stroke" (what we call stroke in dogs is usually vestibular syndrome, where they lose balance, their eyes move from side to side etc, and it usually lasts longer)

My old dog had these kind of episodes- head shaking, but he was concious and alert, used to sit beside me for reassurance and then be AOK in about 10 mins. I spoke to a veterinary neurologist about him after a lecturev (I'm a vet) and he said just to monitor it, possibly do some blood tests (I had- all normal) and only medicate if the episodes were becoming more frequent, which they weren't. hth

ThatVikRinA22 Sat 27-Apr-13 01:56:55

yep - seizure.

i would get him checked out by the vet - same thing happened to my boy and 4 days later he had a massive full blown fit during which he died.

He did have some heart problems though, and upsetting as it was, he was here one minute, gone the next.
i wouldnt mind going like that.

lotsofdogshere Sat 27-Apr-13 08:44:48

I'd also recommend you google vestibular disease. The rapid eye movement, head tilt and shake are all present in that. I thought our old boy (rip Milo) had a fit, but it was vestibular disease, which our vet diagnosed almost immediately he saw the dog, and described as "old dogs disease". Agree with Platyplus it sounds more like petit mal though, as vestibular disease doesn't pass quickly. My pals' old lab developed fits a couple of years ago, but at 13 continues to do well.

digerd Sat 27-Apr-13 10:32:32

I saw something similar on a TV vets programme. But this one looked really bad and a stroke was the most likely cause, but he recovered after 2 days.

Tapirbackrider Sat 27-Apr-13 20:14:49

Thank you all for your advice! flowers

We took him to the vets this morning; they've taken blood, given him a thorough check, and say that although he appears to be in good health, it is very likely to be a petit mal seizure that he had.

We'll get the results in a couple of days, and she'll let us know if anything untoward is found, and to let them know if he fits again, duration of fit etc.

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