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Dog having seizures- any vets about?

(38 Posts)
SirVixofVixHall Sun 24-Jul-16 19:29:46

My initial thread here
Am posting this new thread too, as maybe someone will have some knowledge of this.
So upshot is my dog, aged 2, was bitten by an adder four weeks ago. She was critically ill, partly because although she saw a vet promptly she presented atypically so it wasn't obvious until the next day what had happened. She spent nearly a week on a drip, on steroids, 3 diff antibiotics, and an antihistamine. She was also on opiate pain relief which continued for a while after she came home. She's now just on an antibiotic . She's been sedated every few days to have her bandages changed as there has been tissue damage to the limb and it is still very raw. When she came home from her sedation on Tuesday she didn't seem great. On Friday she didn't seem great post sedation either. She then had an odd choking episode, we assumed she was choking on a biscuit at the time, but within a few hours she went on to have two seizures, again we missed them as we were in bed, heard thumping about and came down to find her foamy mouthed, thought perhaps panic at being in her (hated ) cone, but took her in to the vet first thing on Saturday anyway, vet thought she seemed fine. Then at half past two yesterday she had a major seizure while I was with her, it was extremely distressing, i thought she was going to die. (She has a congenital heart condition which made me panic even more, but really it was terrifying). Took her to the vet, she ran bloods, all normal. We were told to keep her quiet, no walks, nothing stimulating (she'd been playing with a doggie friend when the first cough/frothy/chokey episode happened). We have to sleep next to her in case she fits again and not leave her alone, obv. She is meant to be having another sedation and wound re-dress on Tuesday but we are obviously worried sick in case the frequent sedations are a factor. Will speak to the vet tomorrow anyway, but I'm posting as sometimes someone on here may have some specialist knowledge . Adder bites can cause seizures but seemingly only in the first few days? I am so frightened she will start to fit again and be left brain damaged or dead. Thank you to anyone who has got through all this!

SirVixofVixHall Sun 24-Jul-16 22:02:33


TheoriginalLEM Sun 24-Jul-16 22:09:51

oh i remember your furst thread. poor girl

not a vet but work in a vets. The only advice i can offer is that if she does have another seizure , turn the light off and keep her safe and wuiet - don't restrain her other than to prevent injury. Also don't talk to her or stroke her as she is coming round as any stimulation at this time can prolong the fit.

Hopefully she wont have any more. The blood tests would show if there had been any damage sustained as a result of the fits so the news is encouraging. hang on there xx

SirVixofVixHall Sun 24-Jul-16 22:54:39

Thanks for that advice. The vet did say to keep her quiet, but not to not talk to her during a fit etc, so that is really helpful. I was panicking so much that she might just die (recently held my mother as she died, it is all a bit hard to cope with at the mo) that I was calling her name, trying to get her to come round and be present. While trying to get hold of DH and the OOH vet. When she staggered to her feet (after lying on the floor twitching and foaming, choking on saliva), she was just thrashing round the room, knocking over things, she wet herself, and then she was wildly barking. It was absolutely terrifying to see her in such a state, esp as she has aortic stenosis, so her heart is under extra pressure anyway. Thank you so much for posting. I should say that I really like our vet, but sometimes someone else might have seen something before and have something helpful to say.

pinkbraces Sun 24-Jul-16 22:57:36

I remember your thread, sending you good vibes as have no advice.

SirVixofVixHall Sun 24-Jul-16 23:03:15

Thank you pink, good vibes gratefully received!

FiveShelties Sun 24-Jul-16 23:11:55

I remember your thread too. I had a Sheltie who developed epilepsy and was on medication to control the seizures. It is so horrible to watch - I just used to hold her to keep her safe. She went on medication, and hardly had any seizures for around 5 years when they returned.

Not sure if medication would help your dog but mine suffered no side effects from it. I hope she does not have any more - the vet always said it was worse for the owner than the dog. Mine hated all the clean up after as she always wet herself and slept a lot following a seizure.

SirVixofVixHall Sun 24-Jul-16 23:20:42

We are in wait and see mode at the moment, so I suppose medication will be considered if she keeps fitting. She has had the adder bite and then so much treatment over the past four weeks, it is a lot for a body to deal with. My dds are really stressed. At bathtime DD1 was crying and saying "I just want it to be over and to know that I don't need to worry any more". She is waking in the night at every sound worrying that it could be Vixdog having a fit. We had a family funeral last week, it has just been the most stressful few months of my life!

FiveShelties Mon 25-Jul-16 00:13:57

What a dreadful time for you - I do hope she is ok and things start to improve for you and your family.

SirVixofVixHall Mon 25-Jul-16 11:49:10

Thank you. Still not had another fit. Will be talking to our vet today as we're v worried about her having another sedation tomorrow.

SirVixofVixHall Mon 25-Jul-16 22:41:55

We spoke to our vet earlier. She is giving it a lot of thought. Her initial feelings were that the seizures could have been due to the sedative, as she's had to have so many in such a short time. There is also the possibility that it could be down to a heart issue, the huge stress she's been under, and'/or the snake bite itself. The venom can cause heart problems, so I am worried it may have put a lot of strain on her already overloaded heart. The intial seizure happened when she was very wound up so perhaps too much adrenalin while she was recovering from the sedatives? I just wish we knew what the cause was. She needs a bandage change tomorrow. She's been taken off the antibiotics as she's been on them for four weeks, so she is vulnerable to an infection in the limb, and it needs to be kept clean and dry. Vet is going to try doing it without a sedative, but with DH or I present to try and calm the whole thing down. Am dreading it, as obviously I'm worried that she will get into her usual panic and that in itself will trigger a fit.

BridgetDoodle Tue 26-Jul-16 14:41:32

How did the bandage change go? I have just seen your post. So sorry for everything you and your poor dog has gone through. I am a vet but working I a country with no snakes (ireland) I have limited experience with adder bite I juries. What I would say it the sedation itself is un likely to have caused the seizures primarily but you would be super cautious with future sedation as some agents can lower the seizure threshold and cause further fits. Hopefully your vet managed to change bandage conscious, I know how stressful these situations can be. Best thing you can do is try to remain as calm as possible when with your dog in the vets as they really feed off your energy, especially the tone of your voice.

SirVixofVixHall Tue 26-Jul-16 15:31:47

My doggie is an Irish terrier. Our vet felt perhaps the sheer quantity of sedation she has had, in combination with the bite plus lots of other drugs, may have triggered the seizures? She had an odd drooling/frothing but not fitting episode at 5 or six months after a sedation with not the same drug, but a related one.
Anyway she got through the bandage change with no sedation! She wasn't happy, she was stressed and needed muzzling as always, but she wasn't as stressed as last time they tried it. Possibly because she is a little bit more healed now, but also the vet gave her some accupuncture, which really did seem to calm her enough for the bandages to be sorted out. She's sleeping now, she didn't seem overly stressed coming home, she was much more relaxed than usual (also we have in the past had to leave her there, whereas this time DH stayed with her). She's been more her normal self over the past 24 hours, on Sunday she still didn't seem quite right, I suppose still recovering from the fits.
Bridget how would we know if she had suffered any permanent brain damage from the seizures? Thank you so much for posting btw.

BridgetDoodle Tue 26-Jul-16 16:56:20

I'm so glad it went a lot better for you all today! Acupuncture can be wonderful.
I think the outlook regarding permanent brain damage would be quite positive, she hasn't suffered too many seizures as yet (I know personally it will seem like too many already!) and you would already be seeing the effects- change in behaviour, in coordination, etc. the only time I have experienced brain damage following seizure is when they go into a state called status epilepticus when essentially they have to be anaesthetised to stop the fit. So a long way off from your doggie. The state after a seizure is called the post ictal phase and that's probably where she was on Sunday when she wasn't herself.
The only concern I would have is that there may be a potential co morbidity causing the seizures and the adder bite and consequential complications have unearthed it as such, could also be why she reacted badly to previous sedation. Unfortunately only time will tell whether it will be an ongoing issue or not. Just focus on the positives, you have come a long way already!

SirVixofVixHall Tue 26-Jul-16 19:07:09

She has aortic stenosis (congenital) could that be a factor? She has a grade four murmer because of the as, but she has been scanned twice (as a puppy when we first got her, so at 9 weeks, and then again just before being spayed, at about 15 months) The heart has been stable so far, but it is a year since she was last scanned.

BridgetDoodle Wed 27-Jul-16 02:17:18

Seizures are not associated with aortic stenosis, more commonly laboured breathing or 'fainting'. If mild enough most dogs can live with aortic stenosis with no consequence on their life which is good news for you both 😀
I would try not to focus too much on the cause of the seizures too much at this time, there is so much going on that could complicate any diagnosis, but concentrate on getting her wound healed and back to normal. Then once that is sorted if still have partial/full seizures then a possible neurology investigation/referral (depending on availability of services at your practice) might be indicated. Keep me updated, I'll be thinking of you x

SirVixofVixHall Wed 27-Jul-16 12:41:11

Thank you so much. I will keep you updated. She had tissue necrosis at various points on her foot and leg, so that is naturally taking a while to resolve. It is all looking better week by week, but she has several patches that are still raw. At least she didn't lose the leg though, which at one point looked like a possibility.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 27-Jul-16 12:48:33

Oh and I think we have been v focused on the cause of the seizures partly because we very much want to avoid triggering another one. I can see that what you say is sensible advice, logically it is pointless to try and fathom out the reasons now, with so much else going on. I have been terrified of being on my own with her at home, as I found the seizure so traumatic. I really thought she might just die, choking, at my feet. I'm grieving the recent loss of my mother, and the loss two weeks ago of my uncle, so it has been a ridiculously stressful few months. I've been looking for the reassuring knowledge that x causes y therefore if we avoid x then y won't happen, and I see that is is not really possible for anyone to give me that reassurance now, that we need time to pass to work out what is happening. I'm just so scared of losing her, and my eldest daughter isn't sleeping well as she's so worried.

BridgetDoodle Wed 27-Jul-16 19:02:06

I am so sorry to hear about your mother and uncle. You really have been through so much.
I'm sure your vet very much wishes to give you that immediate answer to give you some relief. Unfortunately medicine has other ideas. To give you some kind of reassurance sudden death during a seizure is extremely uncommon, in fact I have never heard or experienced it so although I know it is extremely distressing seeing them go through it, they come out the other end. Has your vet given you any rectal diazepam to administer if seizures occur at home? If not ask next time you're in, I usually give my clients a few to have to hand if a fit happens at home. Means you feel a little less helpless and relaxes your dog and can help them come out of the seizure quicker.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 27-Jul-16 20:23:23

Yes we have the rectal diazepam. It actually made me fall about laughing, the idea of trying to administer rectal meds to a thrashing terrier. Might be more use to use it on myself.... We have a few here anyway, to try, if she does have another. Very reassuring to hear that death during a fit is rare. They are so horrible to witness. I've seen dogs have fits before, but a) it wasn't my dog , and b)they were briefer than the one that Vixdog had, or maybe they just felt briefer because of a) !
Interestingly, on my original thread, a poster has talked about her dog also experiencing siezures 4 weeks after an adder bite. They continued for a while afterwards and then stopped. So that was cheering to hear too.

SirVixofVixHall Sun 31-Jul-16 11:54:08

Every time I scrolled through "threads I'm on" I saw "YES, WE HAVE THE RECTAL DIAZEPAM" which made me laugh... Anyway after a week with no seizures she had a small, frothy incident at about seven this morning, and soon after a proper siezure. DH has been sleeping on the sofa to be near her, so he gave her the Diazepam, which seemed to stop the fit. She had another ten minutes ago, a slightly bigger one, where she also defectated and wet herself as she was in the hyper state she goes into when the stiff twitching state stops. The vet was hoping she might not have another , so it is looking more worrying now. If it follows the pattern of last weekend then she might well have yet another today. DH is meant to be taking the dds away next weekend for an adventure thing. I was going to stay home with VixDog. When we booked it we thought we might leave VixDog with someone for the weekend but obviously we ruled that out while she was so unwell. I'm not sure how I feel about being all alone with her for a weekend, I don't have a car so if i needed to get to a vet quickly it would have to be taxis which can be unpredicable here. She's been hyper since the fit but is starting to calm down now. I'm so stressed.

SirVixofVixHall Sun 31-Jul-16 16:53:17

She's had another, bigger seizure. Not as bad as last Saturday's one, perhaps because of the Diazepam. Bad enough though. We are all trying to be quiet and keep her calm but she's slightly jumpy and hyped up.

Floralnomad Sun 31-Jul-16 17:41:38

I think I'd be trying to get her seen by a specialist ASAP , at least then you may be able to rule some things out .

Wordsaremything Sun 31-Jul-16 19:22:05

Vic - I'm so sorry to here all this is still ongoing. Would your vet come out to you, do you think? A taxi ride is not going to do either of you much good in terms of calming nerves, and some will refuse to take dogs in their cars sad

ChairRider4 Sun 31-Jul-16 19:28:45

Sorry to hear still having

Do you have a friend or neighbour that around that if need be can help with dash to vets

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