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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4700
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Hi, Our 12 year old toy Yorkshire Terrier has had quite a few

Resolved Question:

Hi, Our 12 year old toy Yorkshire Terrier has had quite a few epileptic fits in her sleep over the past year, due to a collapsed/weak airway causing breathing difficulty (untreatable/not operable in her state of health) and recovered from all of them. The last one she had two days ago has left her completely dazed, unsteady, tired and very little reaction to events around her. She will not eat or drink unless forced to by syringe. Has she suffered a stroke? What treatment and method can we expect to carry out? Thanks in advance.
Alan
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

This type of activity (seemingly seizure-type activing) is common in sleep and sometimes becomes accentuated (for reasons unknown) in older dogs. Unless there are problems when she is awake I would not be too concerned with it. Can you arouse/awaken her during or after one of these episodes? Do you appreciate any REM eye movement while this is occuring? Other than some momentary confusion when first awakening do you see other signs to suggest post-seizure (doing repetitive behaviors, profound lethargy)?

Dr. Joey :

If she is truly dazed and unsteady as you report then this is probably very concerning and you do need to discuss this with your vet. How long has she been having seizures (her whole life or just recently)?

Dr. Joey :

I ask because acute onset of seizures in an older dog usually points to a primary brain lesion (tumor versus stroke-type event). Medication is warranted to help control these, and you can discuss this with your vet.

Dr. Joey :

We generally use antiseizure medications such as clonazepam and/or phenobarbital has shown some improvement with this type of seizure.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know your questions.

Dr. Joey :

You can also ask for referral to see a neurologist for her to have an MRI scan (this could look for a brain tumor versus stroke and help get some indication of prognosis for her).

Customer:

Getting anything, food, water or medication down her is a major event. How is the medication administered?

Dr. Joey :

This is generally either a pill or liquid. You could potentially have it professionally compounded to the form that makes it easier to administer (such as flavored liquid or a chewy treat). You can speak with your vet about that.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know if you have any further questions.


There is medication that could potentially help, and you can work with your vet to find a formulation that is easy to administer.

Customer:

At the moment she is looking livelier than of late, but still has a vacant stare and a non understanding of a drink offered. I think your advice is excellent and will shall be visiting our local vet later today. Thank you.

Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4700
Experience: 15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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