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Older dog having seizures.

Species: Dog
Breed: Pug
Age: 11-15 years
She has been having more vestibular events lately and closer to each other and I'm wondering how much harm they can do to her? She already has mass cell cancer, seizures, and is blind in one eye and going senile


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear that Zoe is having problems. It sounds like there are a number of things going on.

When we talk about vestibular syndrome, it is usually a one time event. If a dog is having multiple episodes then this is not vestibular syndrome. These are likely seizures. But it's hard to say without having a full history and being able to see her.

Is Zoe currently on seizure medication such as phenobarbital? If so, you can talk to your vet about possibly adjusting the dose. This may help. If not, then it may be time to start medications.

It's also not a bad idea to have your vet take a look at Zoe and do some general blood tests to see if there is anything underlying.

It sounds like you are concerned about Zoe's quality of life. From what you have described it is probably appropriate to consider euthanasia. I know this is a hard subject to think about but if an older dog is not doing well sometimes this is the kindest thing we can do.

Please let me know if you have more specific questions that I can answer.

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:

Zoe is on medications, in fact she has her own pill bar. She is taking Keppra ER 500 mg for seizures, selegiline for senility, prilosec, 2.5 mg of pred, one for a gagging cough along with doxy for that too


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

She sure is on a lot if medicines. Usually a dog is only put on Keppra if the seizure condition is quite severe. It may be that the dosage needs to be increased bit this is a decision that your vet will need to make. I would definitely recommend seeking the advice of your vet.

They can also help you of there are decisions to be made about Zoe's quality of life.



Customer reply:

My vet is only open until noon today but I got Zoe in Wednesday. How would I know the difference between a seizure and a vestibular event? Her seizures have involved her full body when she has them and the events I'm calling vestibular have involved her eyes darting back and forth and her sitting there whining


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

A vestibular event is a one time thing so if this is happening continually then it's not vestibular syndrome. It sounds like the eye movements you are describing are something called nystagmus. Nystagmus means that there Is a problem in a particular part of the brain. It can happen with vestibular syndrome but also with seizures.

If this continues then you may need to see an emergency vet.



Customer reply:

My vet is only open until noon today but I got Zoe in Wednesday. How would I know the difference between a seizure and a vestibular event? Her seizures have involved her full body when she has them and the events I'm calling vestibular have involved her eyes darting back and forth and her sitting there whining


Customer reply:

Took her in to my vet right at closing and they checked her out finding a pretty bad ear infection in both ears, and said it can lead to VD, so we have a mix to put in her ears for 2 weeks along with Zenequin, thanks for ur help


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh that is good news! So glad you could have her seen today and that it was nothing too serious.



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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.