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On Friday I was in the bathroom waxing my legs when I heard a weird kind of screaming. I thought it was something on the TV and it took me a couple of seconds to realize that the screaming was from Audrey.

I raced through the house at top speed (naked if you can imagine that!
).

I was really expecting to find her on the floor with a broken leg or something as I have NEVER heard her cry like that.
Anyway I was almost more worried when I saw that she was still on the sofa, on her side with her head thrown back and she looked very rigid. I could also see a wet patch and knew she had wet herself.

I actually thought she was dying, but sat down and started talking very soothingly telling her it was ok and stroking her, and she immediately relaxed and I picked her up and just held her for ages. Of course that was when I got upset - it just gave me such a fright. Audrey was all cuddled into my neck, but seemed fine.
I put her down for a couple of seconds and she could walk fine and seemed back to normal.
I called our vet (which wasn't easy because I kept crying
) and walked over to a closer vet who looked her over and said she was fine. We are going to our regular vet today for a double check.

There were no other signs, she seemed completely fine and back to normal very quickly. The whole incident lasted probably only 15 seconds, but it felt like hours and I was SO worried. Also the noise she made was terrifiying and the fact that she lost control of her bladder and bowels lets me know that she was either very scared or in a lot of pain.

Has this happened to anyone else?
I must admit I am hoping it was a cramp or something and it just gave her a fright, but of course I am worried it could be more serious. Any ideas?

Please God let it be a one off thing - I don't think I could bear to hear that screaming again, it was the worse sound I ever heard and I felt so powerless to help her.
 

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Vickki, I'm wondering if it was a seizure. When I've heard others on SM describe seizures, that is what they say happens. I can imagine how horrified you were. I hope everything will be OK...
 

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OMG! Poor Audrey (and you).
Hope you can figure out what caused it.

Lexi made a similar sound last summer after she was spayed. She was so sore that it really hurt when she tried to go potty. She started screaming. I went running over to her. From the sound of it I expected to find someone beating the crap out of her. Poor baby.
 

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Originally posted by Kallie/Catcher's Mom@Aug 29 2005, 09:52 AM
Vickki, I'm wondering if it was a seizure. When I've heard others on SM describe seizures, that is what they say happens.  I can imagine how horrified you were. I hope everything will be OK... 

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I thought they didn't make noise with seizures....? I really don't know, I just have an Epileptic friend and the only time (thank goodness) I witnessed her seize she made no noise.


Anyway, I'm hoping everything's ok with Audrey. Keep us posted.
 

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I am so sorry that you are having to go through the uncertainty of what this is...I also have no idea but wanted to say my prayers are with you and Audrey that it was a one time thing.

Hopefully your normal Vet will have more understandable answers
 

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It does sound like it could have been a seizure. My Lady is epileptic and has been since I adopted her 5 years ago. I have also had one other epileptic dog in my life. I am, unfortunately, something of an "expert" on epilepsy. The fact that Audrey wet herself is one of the signs of a seizure.

She's just a puppy, right? True epilepsy is unusual in a dog under a year old. Seizures are usually caused by another condition like a liver shunt. Has she had vaccines recently? They can have a seizure a day or so after that, too.

The only thing you can do now if wait and see if she has another episode. If she does, contact your vet who will probably want to do bloodwork to rule out a liver shunt, low thyroid, etc.

In the meantime, make sure she is in a safe place when she is alone so she won't fall off anything, get stuck, etc. and injure herself.

There is lots of information here:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm
 

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Originally posted by LadysMom@Aug 29 2005, 10:11 AM
It does sound like it could have been a seizure. My Lady is epileptic and has been since I adopted her 5 years ago. I have also had one other epileptic dog in my life. I am, unfortunately, something of an "expert" on epilepsy. The fact that Audrey wet herself is one of the signs of a seizure.

She's just a puppy, right? True epilepsy is unusual in a dog under a year old. Seizures are usually caused by another condition like a liver shunt. Has she had vaccines recently? They can have a seizure a day or so after that, too.

The only thing you can do now if wait and see if she has another episode. If she does, contact your vet who will probably want to do bloodwork to rule out a liver shunt, low thyroid, etc.

In the meantime, make sure she is in a safe place when she is alone so she won't fall off anything, get stuck, etc. and injure herself.

There is lots of information here:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm
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I'm glad you're here to offer this great information. But I'm also sorry you have to go though that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Audrey is a year old (it was her birthday last week). I am so worried about the seizure thing - I just hope so much that it isn't that - I couldn't bear for her to suffer like that on a regular basis.

It was very horrifying and now I can only hope that it doesn't happen again.
I will take her to have the blood work done to check - better to be safe than sorry.

Poor little thing - she is such a good gir and definitely doesn't deserve this.
I'm still going to cling to the belief for now that it was a one off occurance. Keep your fingers crossed for her...
 

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Originally posted by Vikki and Audrey@Aug 29 2005, 10:06 AM
Audrey is a year old (it was her birthday last week). I am so worried about the seizure thing - I just hope so much that it isn't that - I couldn't bear for her to suffer like that on a regular basis.

It was very horrifying and now I can only hope that it doesn't happen again.
I will take her to have the blood work done to check - better to be safe than sorry.

Poor little thing - she is such a good gir and definitely doesn't deserve this.
I'm still going to cling to the belief for now that it was a one off occurance. Keep your fingers crossed for her...
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This is from the canine epilepsy website. Making noise is often part of a seizure.

Generalized, tonic-clonic (formerly called grand mal) seizure: The seizure begins with contraction of all skeletal muscles and loss of consciousness. The dog usually falls to his side with the legs stretched out and the head back. This is the tonic portion of the seizure. Sometimes he will vocalize or have facial twitching. Vocalizations are involuntary and do not indicate pain. Often the dog will drool excessively, urinate, defecate or eliminate his anal glands. The tonic portion of the seizure is usually very brief and gives way to the clonic phase of the seizure. Once the clonic phase begins the dog will have rhythmic movements. Typically this consists of clamping the jaws and jerking or running movements of the legs.

Epilepsy is no fun, but in most cases not serious. I have never seen any statistics on it, but it does seem to be pretty common in Maltese. I actually had an older woman stop me while I was out walking Lady. She also has a Maltese and asked me if Lady "had fits", too! The receptionist in my doctor's office has a Maltese who also has seizures.

Unless they have frequent seizures, most times you don't even treat epilepsy. Lady has to be on 2 different types of medication and it has really done a great job of controlling her seizures.
 

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Originally posted by LadysMom@Aug 29 2005, 11:13 AM
This is from the canine epilepsy website. Making noise is often part of a seizure.

Generalized, tonic-clonic (formerly called grand mal) seizure:  The seizure begins with contraction of all skeletal muscles and loss of consciousness. The dog usually falls to his side with the legs stretched out and the head back.  This is the tonic portion of the seizure.  Sometimes he will vocalize or have facial twitching.  Vocalizations are involuntary and do not indicate pain.  Often the dog will drool excessively, urinate, defecate or eliminate his anal glands.  The tonic portion of the seizure is usually very brief and gives way to the clonic phase of the seizure.  Once the clonic phase begins the dog will have rhythmic movements.  Typically this consists of clamping the jaws and jerking or running movements of the legs.

Epilepsy is no fun, but in most cases not serious. I have never seen any statistics on it, but it does seem to be pretty common in Maltese. I actually had an older woman stop me while I was out walking Lady. She also has a Maltese and asked me if Lady "had fits", too! The receptionist in my doctor's office has a Maltese who also has seizures.

Unless they have frequent seizures, most times you don't even treat epilepsy. Lady has to be on 2 different types of medication and it has really done a great job of controlling her seizures.
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Yeah, thanks... after I posted I looked it up.
Like I said, I wasn't sure.
 

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Lady never makes a sound when she has a seizure, but my Abby used to make this unearthly howling sound. It did sound like she was in horrible pain.

I've lived with 2 epileptic dogs, but never will I get used to seeing a seizure.
 

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I'm sorry about your puppy. My first maltase missie also had seizure, but never made any noises at all. she would just shake walking circles if she could walk at the time.
I pray that it was not a seizure, and just one of those things were maybe she moved the wrong way and lost control of her bladder from the pain. Or maybe something frightened her. I would do the testing that LadysMom suggested ruling seizures out.
 

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Did Audrey have her heart worm medication that day perhaps? I believe that a seizure is one of the possible side effects, though I believe it is a rare one.
 

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I didn't realize that Audrey was a year old.

Just to clarify, I didn't recommend bloodwork. There is no test for epilepsy. The bloodwork would just rule out other diseases/conditions that could cause seizures. Since she is a year old, I assume she's already had her pre-spay bloodwork and everything was normal. I was thinking Audrey was younger, a puppy.

Your vet may very well just advise you to wait and see if Audrey has any further incidents. She may never have another one and you may never really know what it was since you didn't see it.

Many people have dogs who have only a seizure or 2 a year and need no medication. Sometimes seizures can be triggered by the electrical currents in the air when the barometric pressure changes. Lady almost always has her seizures in the Spring and Fall during thunderstorm weather when some sort of "front" is moving in. Are you having any odd weather?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I kind of wish I could attribute it to a medication or strange weather, but unfortunately I can't. She hadn't had anything unusual as far as I know, and I keep a pretty strict eye on her.

I am disappointed to hear that blood work wouldn't confirm or rule out the possibility of epilepsy - at least we would have known for sure. I guess we'll just have to hang out and wait to see if it happens again.

Here she is - isn't she just gorgeous!
I always knew that I loved her, but this feels like my baby is in trouble and there's nothing I can do - it's so frustrating and I feel very sad about it.
Thanks for the good wishes though - I really appreciate the support.

 

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Originally posted by Vikki and Audrey@Aug 29 2005, 12:02 PM
I kind of wish I could attribute it to a medication or strange weather, but unfortunately I can't. She hadn't had anything unusual as far as I know, and I keep a pretty strict eye on her.

I am disappointed to hear that blood work wouldn't confirm or rule out the possibility of epilepsy - at least we would have known for sure. I guess we'll just have to hang out and wait to see if it happens again.

Here she is - isn't she just gorgeous!
I always knew that I loved her, but this feels like my baby is in trouble and there's nothing I can do - it's so frustrating and I feel very sad about it.
  Thanks for the good wishes though - I really appreciate the support.


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No, unfortunately there is no test for true (idiopathic) epilepsy. A vet will do tests to rule out other causes for the seizures before making the diagnosis.

Most puppies who start having seizures have an underlying condition, like a liver shunt, causing them. Most older dogs who start having seizures have a brain tumor.

Idiopathic epilepsy usually starts between 1-4 years old. My Abby was a little over a year old when she had her first seizure. Lady had her first seizure 3 days after I adopted her at age 4. We are assuming that she had just started seizing and that is why her former owner abandoned her, but we're only guessing.

My vet had me keep a journal and track how often Lady had seizures. She had them every couple of days which is very dangerous so she had to go on phenobarbital which kept them to every 3-4 months or so. We had to add potassium bromide after she was dx with diabetes because she started to have several seizures at a time. But remember, my Lady is a genetic disaster, a worse case scenario of a poorly bred Maltese.

Your Audrey is just gorgeous! Try not to worry!
 
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