Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How We Handled Alex's Seizures

by Lexie Smith, Beagle Daily

My mom went out and got me a special gift. One day, when she picked me up from school, she had a puppy with her. Naturally I asked, who’s puppy that was. She smiled and told me was mine. I named him Alex.

Alex was a wonderful puppy and a great dog.

When Alex reached six months of age he began to have seizures.

We a wonderful vet, who really cared for and loved Alex. It wasn't clear what was causing his seizures. Initial diagnostics didn't show anything that would explain why this was happening. So our vet asked us to keep a journal log.

He gave us the following guidelines

  • Keep calm, and use a very soothing voice. You don’t want to startle your dog.
  • In the journal log, mark the date, the time it started and the time it ended. Include any helpful details, about the food your dog ate, or a  new place, or anything else you can think of. All this information can be very useful.
  • Have some towels handy, your dog might urinate and poop. Sometimes they can drool.
  • Keep cool damp towels around to keep Alex from overheating. Dim the lights, and keep him away from the stairs, or electrical cords. In other words, keep him in a calm safe setting. 
  • Above all, talk to him in calm soothing voice.  

He also told us to prepare a shallow tub of cool water. Just deep enough to cool Alex dog down. He told us to do this if our Alex felt hot or the seizure lasted beyond 3 minutes

  • Always have  a  transport of a crate or child’s hard plastic sled ready, just in case you have to go to the emergency room.
  • Keep emergency vet numbers handy
  • Have a small bowl with a small amount of soft ice chips. My vet had us make finely crushed ice, and melt it so that it would be easier for my dog to swallow after the seizure. Do wait a few minutes after the seizure to give this to him.

Also give Alex a few minutes after the seizure to get up. Sometimes they might start another small tremor of a seizure. If that does happen, write it down in the log also.

Keep a fan with cool air blowing on his belly. (We also used cool damp towels, to keep Alex cool during his seizures.) If at any time, they get too hot or you feel like you need to take them the vet, go. Its better to go with your gut, about taking them to the vet right away, for something like this.

After a seizure, Alex would be a bit woozy. 

Sometimes his back legs would still be a bit wobbly. If he wanted to go out in the yard, my dad would help him. Sometimes he would carry him to the yard. He would stay with him.

Don’t leave your dog alone after a seizure. 

Be there for them. It helps them to know someone who cares is there.

We always had  a kit prepared and ready in case Alex went into a seizure.

The journal log helped our vet determine that Alex had epilepsy. 

After many tests, and with the help of the journal, the vet concluded that Alex had epilepsy. His seizures were becoming more frequent, and lasting longer.

Alex was put on Phenobarbital. It made him to put on some weight, but it did cut down the seizures from happening so frequently. They went down to every three months sometimes longer. The duration also became much shorter, about 3 minutes.

Please keep an eye on the medication you get.  

One day we got our dog’s medication, and a pharmacist gave him the wrong dose. 

Unfortunately, Alex suffered a minor stroke due to the mistake. 

The pharmacy apologized and did pay for the emergency care. I was just happy my dog was ok.  So keep track of any changes in your dog on their medication. Write everything down. Its so helpful for your vet.

If you can, make it a habit to always have a care kit ready, if your dog has seizures. Keep some towels,for messes, and some cool damp ones.  Keep a light fan with you, to keep them cool. Always have emergency numbers handy, or local vet places if you're going on a trip. Above all keep calm, talk to your dog in a soothing calm voice.  You can tell if they are coherent during the seizure by doing this. Plus it just helps them feel better knowing you're there for them.

Check out Lexie's blog, Beagle Daily for latest dog news, dog events, beagle training, tips and guides for beagle owners. 

You can also connect with Lexie on Twitter or Facebook.

Related articles:
Really Angry Vet: Winston's First Seizure 
Understanding Seizures
Veterinary Highlights: Arresting Canine Epileptic Seizures
Veterinary Highlights: Device To Predict Epileptic Seizures

Further reading:
Seizures. What I Tell Parents 


  1. Really great tips. We did many of these same things when our Tucker had seizures.

    1. Did you find those things helpful?