3 seizures in 12 hrs, HELP!

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2014-11-15

Yesterday, 11/14/14, I was in the grocery store parking lot and fiddling on my phone before I was to go in, and there was a reason for the delay. He was about to have a seisure that scared the life out of me.

I am guardian to a 10 yo very healthy natural ear male Doberman who I adoptedfrom SFSPCA when he was approx 8 mos old. He had a checkup approx 6 weeks ago & Dr. said heart good, liver good, kidney good, he is in great health. He has been on a grain free diet since adoption and we go to the park nearly every day and play ball. He is very chill when not at the park. At the park he is a 10 yo puppy. He runs for the ball like a bat outta hell, hops, jumps, throws the ball in the air and catches it and gallops around like a horse. He is amazing.

Yesterday at 7:15 pm, he started caughing up in the car. He does this on occasion. I opened the back door to get him to come out and puke outside rather than in the car. He didn't respond and got worse and worse and worse, frothing at the mouth and then started shaking and went into the seasure. I freaked out as I was shocked and had no idea what was happening. I ran to the passenger side back door because he was closer to it and was freaking out, trying to press on his tummy and chest and shake him and do whatever I could think of. Then he fell out of the car, his body was stiff and he was out of control. His mouth was wide open & I held it, looking in to see if there was something there. I truly thought he was going to experience a horrible death right in front of me.

I grabbed my phone, hit the map, looked for the nearest vet and called them. They were open and only a few blocks away. I got Felix bac into the car and he was still flipping out. Got in the car and rushed to the vet. By the time we left the parking lot, he was calmer, and by the time we got to the vet, 7+- minutes, he was able to exit the car and walk in on his own. They looked him over and we went with a wait and see approach. I simply did not have resources to get xreys or anything else. I lost my SF home in 2012, lived in my car 8 mos, found a warehouse that we lived in for a year and just got kicked out because I was living there. As of Weds, we are back in the car. I say this to explain why I didn't get xray.

Last night he vometed a little in the car, then at 4:15 am I started to hear those choking noises again. He had another siesure. I just held him as much as I could, told him I loved him, I was here and he would be ok, and around 10 minutes later he began to calm. Then at 8:25 am this morning the same thing happened again. I did the same, holding him and doing my best to comfort him. Again, approx 10+- min later he began to calm. I gavehim water and food and had to hand feed him because his motor skills would not allow him to grab the food from his bowl in his mouth. He was actually biting at the bowl to get to his food.

He has not hadn an episode since the 830am this morning.

At 11am, I took him to the park for an hour. He was not playing as usual, but still quite well. At first I threw the ball and he would pick it up in his mouth and set to run, but he wasnt closing his mouth to grip the ball, it would fall out and he didn't seem to know that he dropped the ball. Eventually he would go back and get it, dropping it, giving up and going back. After 15+- of this he got back to where he could hold onto the ball and run back. I was only doing short dustence of 10 or so feet away. He did decent, but not normal for a bit, but 4-5 times when running he would miss his step and scrub. But still play. He was operating at about 50% of normal, if I had to guess. Then he gave up for a while, which is not normal. Eventually he came back to play again, and did ok, but still well below normal.

Now it is 1:50pm and I had been doing some online research and foind this site. This has me really freaked out and I would appreciate anyone's thoughts and comments.

I think I'm going to have to get the xreys done. So, I am in Sacramento, and can easily go to SF. If anyone knows of anyone in these areas,  or had experience with this, please let me know. Also, I have a 1994 Porsche 968 Cabriolet that I am now going to sell. It's the last of my nice things from the past, and I've been struggling to hold onto it, but I'm going to have to let go of it in order to help Felix. Does anyone have any experience with this, please let me know. Thank you.

Thank you,

Rick Bowles

Guardian of Felix T. Doberman

Kim's picture
Joined: 2012-02-05

Ah, Rick -

Sorry this is what brings you to the forum, but welcome.

I don't live in CA - hopefully some of the members there will chime in.

I do know when seizures happen, it's good to limit bright light and loud noises until they come out of it, if that's possible. Try to limit all input. I'd wait a while before you feed or water him - maybe an hour if he's doing ok. I'd also be careful with your hands around his mouth - you don't want him to chomp on you - he's not able to know what he's doing.

You and Felix are in my prayers - I'm asking for the help you need to be easily found. You've had a rough go, and that you are doing everything you can to keep Felix despite your hardship is a wonderful thing.


talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

oh my, Kim is right withhold all stimulus as long as possible......what happens is that the brain has a "threshold" for seizure activity it's like the white line on the edge of the road, most dogs stay within their lanes or at least on the road, but as some age their ability to stay within the lines gets less and less and some run off the side of the road and bingo their brain jumps into seizure mode.....when the seizures begin they are HORRIFYING to say the least to those of us watching, but be rest assured your dog is most likely feeling nothing their brain is not aware of what the misfire is telling the body to do....same as when he can't hold the ball, he has no idea his body is flailing around or spasming.....then after the seizure they are extremely tired and really do need rest and quiet to be able to bounce back.....to their body - they just ran a marathon sitting still, so they need rest and peace......the vet was correct unless the seizures are consistently showing up daily and lasting a long time typically the meds side effects are worse than the seizures on their bodies......

Now those are my experiences with 2 seizure dogs and one seizure cat.....my cat and one of my dogs, a whippet both had gran mal seizures which are the hardest on them and the longest lasting.....gran mal seizures will typically make the eyes roll back in the head, they go stiff, they scream, their limbs arch out, their back can arch backwards and the screaming and drooling does not stop till their brain re-engages with the body....and coming out of the gran mal seizures they can sometimes urinate on themselves, I always wrapped my cat up in a towel to protect him and soak up the urine so it didn't seep into his hair....my whippet when he had gran mals he would sleep for at least 12 hours after each one - I had to have him euthanized because he would have a gran mal at say 7am and be asleep for 12 hours and at 7pm he would wake up and the slightest stimuli like a bright light, too much walking etc. and he would go back into a seizure and then be asleep another 12 hours - that was horrible quality of life for him and due to other issues he could not take meds so I had to say goodbye he was 13 years old.....my cat had a brain tumor that no one was aware of till his seizures got bad enough to see it....

my chihuahua that I have now has seizures too, his seizures are different from the gran mals, in that he was aware when he was going to have one and as it started he was unable to walk but he would crawl on his knuckles to get to me to hold him till it was over, he could hear me, he could see a little bit, although I don't think he comprehended what he was seeing, he would lick the air, his legs would curl under he would tremble and shake and then he would pull out of it, he would be tired for about 2 hours and then be mostly back to normal. The gran mal seizures my animals were totally oblivious to anything around them, although I would talk to them in case they could hear me I wanted them to know mom was there.....

Seizures are VERY hard on the body....I would not recommend continuing to take your baby to the park and play, it's quite possible that now that the seizures have started activity levels may spark the onset of them.....excitement can cause the threshold to come down and poof seizure time.....sometimes in older dogs seizures are brought on by an injury...my whippet had dislocated his shoulder when he fell about 12 inches down to the ground, after healing he raced through the yard after a squirrel and had his first gran mal, the vet said the excitement and the bright sunlight was what triggered it and from then on it was only 5 days till I had to say goodbye.....

From your description I would say it was a gran mal just because of the salivating, the flailing around and the body stiffness - keep a track of when, what time, what had he eaten, drank, smelled, any activities beforehand, the symptoms before, during and after and the length of time from start to finish and how long it takes to come back to normal function.....this will all help the vet determine the best course of action.

Just find some solace in knowing that you are there and your dog is most likely not aware of what's happening so don't be afraid that he is afraid.....

Our chihuahua had seizures all the time apparently before we got him and I finally got it narrowed down to protein - his are protein enduced so I changed his food and he might have a mild seizure once a year if that, and he used to have them 3-4 times a week......

Sometimes too it's a freak thing that will never happen again......hang in there

Post soon about what you learn, I hope this post helps

Lady Kate's picture
Joined: 2009-10-28

Pet Profiles

How absolutely terrifying for you.. I can only  imagine what you're going through. I've not had a dog who has experienced seizures, I would suggest however, for you to contact U.C. Davis.. it's one of the best vet schools in the country and might be able to offer some medical help for a much lower cost. They're not too far from you.. just west of Sacramento..

Best thougts and prayers for you and Felix

WNCDobes's picture
Joined: 2012-04-28

Seizures can be really scary.  I had a German Shepherd that had Grand Mal seizures.  He took medication and did very well on it.  The vet said that they were harder on us than him.  While we weren't homeless, we had very little income at the time and the meds weren't very expensive.

Please take him to a vet - Lady Kate's suggestion is a good one.  What about the vet he saw 6 weeks ago?  At least you could call and ask how much it might cost for a diagnosis.

I admire your devotion to Felix - so many people would've given him up in your circumstances.  

If you can, please keep us updated.  You both are in my prayers, too.


Joined: 2014-11-15

Thank you all for your comment support and insight. It has been a very rough week for us, today being the worst. I'm exhausted & don't feel like writing much right now, but a brief reply is required  We were to vet 3x last week. Felix is on phenobarbital 64 8 mg since Sunday. I give them @ 1030 am&pm. It's been a roller coaster week & not good sleep for me. But that's nothing compared to Felix' experience. He is sleeping now, 643p fri. Around 3 I had walked him & given him some food/f20 and he became physically unstable slipping in the car falling into his food. Then as I was straightening the mess up, he jumped out of the car and went running off. I was in chase around the home depot center 10-15 min, maybe more, both on foot and in the car. I was terrified he'd be hit by car. FinALly a lady caught him up behind the HD shipping area. He had run a lot & bit me a few times as I was removing the helpful woman's lead. She said he snapped @ her too. Bless her for catching him. I finally got the lead & a little bloody hand, but I don't hold it against him. He has never ever been like this in the near 10 years I have taken care of him, so, I know it is drug or brain related. He has always been sweet and accommodating to me. Now he is much more demanding and needy. It's my turn to be accommodating. He can bite me all he wants, I love him and will not give up on him. Sadly, it is looking like a brain tumor. I need to find an affordable MRI & get some $ to do it. Then I should have a clearer idea of what I can do. Thank you all for reply and I will update. Please think healthy thaughts for my little boy, he is so sweet and deserving of the best. -Rick

WNCDobes's picture
Joined: 2012-04-28

I am so sorry for you and Felix, Rick.  Phenobarbital was what my German Shepherd was on, too.  Maybe the dose isn't quite right and that's what is making him act out.  It made Teisha very spacy until he got used to it, but never fearful or aggressive (he was very laid back - I never even heard him bark).

Sending healthy vibes your way....



talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

OMG I am so sorry to hear it might be a brain tumor, I hope it's just a med adjustment.....it sounds very frightening to deal with.....hang in there we are here to support you guys......lots of rottie hugs your way