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Eyes rolled back in head.

Species: Dog
Breed: Boxer
Age: 6-12 months
About 3 months ago, Bruce's eyes rolled back in his head and become very blood shot. I rushed him to a ER Vet and they did blood work (found nothing) and fluids. They also prescribed him antibiotics and steroids. After about a day, he seemed to feel & look better. Well, this evening his eyes did the same thing again. I called the vet and they told me to NOT bring him in for the same thing that they couldnt do anything for him and to let this ride its course. What is happening to my poor doggie?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. I'm sorry to hear that Bruce and you are going through this.

What you have described is not a common problem. It sounds like what you were seeing was some type of a seizure. Often if this is the case then blood tests will not find any problems.

It is not really common to see seizures in a puppy like this, but they can happen. There are several possible reasons for seizures in puppies.

If Bruce had any sort of illness or virus when he was really little it is possible that he has some scarring in his brain that can cause seizures. This is most common with dogs who have had distemper.

We can also see this in dogs that have ingested something toxic. However, the chances that this happens more than once are not high. If there are any recreational drugs in the house such as marijuana then this is a possibility.

It is also possible that there is a malformation in his brain. Unfortunately these can be hard to diagnose without an MRI which can be quite pricey.

The other possibility is epilepsy. There is no test for epilepsy but if we have ruled out everything else then this is what we usually diagnose. I get worried if epilepsy is diagnosed in a young dog because it often can be hard to control if it is diagnosed at a young age.

Another thing that could cause his eyes to become blood shot would be an allergic reaction to something like a bee sting. However, this shouldn't really cause his eyes to roll back.

As long as Bruce is not seeming to be in distress then I would agree that it is a good idea to monitor him for now. I would advise that you mark down today's date so that we can monitor how frequently this is happening if it happens again. (But hopefully it doesn't happen again!)

Another thing that may help is to see if you can videotape him when he has an episode.

If these are happening very frequently (such as several times per month) then your vet may prescribe some anti-seizure medications.

I wish I could give you more information but this is an unusual situation!

I hope he is feeling better soon,

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.

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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.