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Salivating dog. Seizures?

Species: Dog
Breed: Shi-tzu
Age: 11-15 years
My dog started to twist and chew on her tongue and stick it out on her right side and is salivating excessively with bubbles and foam along with running around (scared) and then her left leg goes out in front of her and gets stiff - she is so excited that her back end gives out. She had seizures about 7- 8 months ago and this is NOT the same.. due to the snow both my vet and the emergency vet are closed and I'm not sure what to do...It has lasted now for 15 minutes. The only thing that I gave her different this morning (about 4 hours ago) was 1/4 of a bar of the new Greenies Joint Care.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am sorry to hear that Pa'ani is having these difficulties.

It sounds like this is a seizure. There are many different kinds of seizures and they do not all look alike.

What you are describing with the back legs can sometimes happen with back problems. However a back problem would not cause the salivating and problems with her tongue.

It is very unlikely that this has anything to do with the Greenies treat.

I wish I could advise you on what you could do at home. If the behavior is still going on by the time you receive this reply then it really sounds like she needs to see a vet. The emergency clinic should have some way to get her seen, even in a snow storm!

I will be online for the rest of the evening, so if something new happens then let me know and I'll see if I can help.

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Is there something I can do or give her to aleviate the symptoms?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

If this is a seizure, then the types of medicines that are used to stop seizures are only available from your vet and not something you would have at home.

While most seizures will stop on their own, I am concerned if this is going on for 15 minutes now.

What is she doing now?



Customer reply:

the exact same thing...she is rushing around and her heart is racing...she will not let me hold her to calm her down.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What happens when you phone your emergency clinic? Do they give you any sort of alternative for where you can go? If not, are there other clinics in your area that you can call?

If you absolutely can't get her to a vet, the best thing you can do is keep her confined to a small room where she is not likely to hurt herself. I wouldn't try to hold her down but instead try to act calm around her.

Just to be clear, is she still drooling? She is running around and kicking her legs out?



Customer reply:

Still drooling excessively and moving her tongue around....I haven't seen her leg stick out in front of her for about 5 minutes or so and hasn't fallen. I called the emergency vet and they just state they are closed due to weather and give no alternative information


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm really not sure what to tell you about your dog. This is a tough situation. It sort of sounds like a seizure, but if she is running around then this doesn't sound like a seizure.

Let's see if we can try to examine a few things on her. I'd like you to check each of these things for me:

  • Look at her gums. Are they pink or white?

  • Have a good look at her bum. I've seen dogs run around like this if they have something stuck to their bum or if they have an abscess on either side. An abscess is usually quite obvious to see.

  • Try to have a look inside of her mouth. Is there anything stuck on the roof of her mouth?





Customer reply:

nothing on her butt for sure....gums are blackish (old) and she will NOT let me open her mouth to see the roof....she locked up her jaw and when I let go she was gasping for air and now her breathing is labored as well


Customer reply:

and now the front leg is back to straightening out


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh this must be so frightening for you! She really needs to see a vet. Are there any other veterinary clinics in the area that you can call? Where do you live?

Do you think she may be choking? If you think so, you can actually do a heimlich maneuver on dogs, just like you would on a person.



Customer reply:

I called another vet close and they said I needed to go to the emergency vet ... they don't open until 6pm....this is crazy. I will try the heimlich maneuver on her just in case but I don't know if that's it...but it can't hurt to try ...done.....nothing


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh I feel so helpless. What time zone are you in? It is almost 6 pm here. Are there any other clinics you can call in your area?



Customer reply:

done .... nobody else open.....and the er clinic is over an hour away and I am from Hawaii and am afraid to drive that far in this weather!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh my! I just checked your time zone and that is 5 hours away!

I feel rather helpless and wish I could do more to help poor little Pa'ani.

I guess the only thing I can suggest is to keep him as quiet as possible. If a new symptom comes up then write back and let me know.

If there is any way you can video tape what he is doing and post it up online (i.e. youtube) for me then I can look at that.



Customer reply:

No i meant i just move TO missouri from Hawaii so not used to driving in this weather....don't know how to do that


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah, ok...I was surprised that there was a snowstorm in Hawaii! LOL! But you never know with the weather these days.

So, it looks like the emergency clinic is open in 50 minutes from now. I would recommend that you find a neighbor or someone who can drive you there...or call a taxi. There may be staff there before 6 p.m.

I really do advise you to find a way to get there as this could be a serious problem!



Customer reply:

i will try - she seems to be calming down a little drooling down as well...but just as soon as I type this and send it - that will change....I will try to get there though! Mahalo for all your help.....Lisa Watson


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome Lisa. Please post back when you get back from emergency. I would love to hear how she made out. I'm so glad to hear she is calming down. Praying for peace and health for your little one.

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

I just can't get to the ER clinic - roads are very icy...my dog has started to salivate a little bit again and is EXTREMELY nervous acting (not typical) I do have a calming aid = Quiet Moments made by NaturVet - I used for the car travel we had to do to get here....Anyway her heart seems to still be reved up and I was wondering if I could give her one of these to calm her. Lisa


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Most of these herbal calming meds are not always terribly effective. However, it's not likely to hurt.

If you can't drive to the emergency clinic I'd highly advise asking a neighbor for help or calling a cab.



Customer reply:

Just wanted to let you know that Pa'ani passed away this evening...Thanks so much for trying to help. Lisa


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh I am so sorry to hear this news.

Dr. Marie



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.