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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. There are many causes of seizures. At 6 years old she could have epilepsy, but other causes include toxin exposure, liver disease, low blood sugar (typically caused by pancreatic cancer), something taking up space inside the skull (like a brain tumor), or meningitis. Seizures can be costly to work up, as we typically start with blood work in order to look for some of the things I just mentioned, and hopefully rule out the really scary things (like brain tumors) before we get to the diagnosis of epilepsy.

If she has epilepsy it can be treated with anti-seizure medications quite successfully. Many dogs live very normal lives with epilepsy. Left untreated the seizures will likely get more and more frequent, and there’s a very real danger that she could have what’s called status epilepticus, which means the seizures can’t be stopped. I urge you to talk to some senior resources in your area – there are many organizations that help seniors with veterinary care. You can also call your local humane society, which may have some options for you in that department as well.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

There are many causes of seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy, the most common cause of seizures in the dog, is an inherited disorder, but its exact cause is unknown. Other causes include liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, and toxins.
A 2009 Chihuahua Club of America survey found that 45% of survey participants currently had or previously had a Chihuahua with seizures with an unknown cause. It`s believed that chihuahuas are at an increased risk of seizures genetically. Epilepsy in dogs cannot typically be cured.
You can try cooling your dog by applying cold water or wet towels around his groin, neck, paws, and head, but it`s crucial that you get your dog to a veterinarian ASAP. Always call your veterinarian or emergency veterinarian after your dog has a seizure, even if your dog seems to be acting normally.
Phenobarbital is an anticonvulsant that can prevent seizures in dogs. It is generally well-tolerated and a common first-choice treatment. There are side effects to watch out for as well as several drug interactions.
Time Your Dog`s Seizures

If it`s less than two minutes, everything should be okay; two to five minutes is a warning zone, and your dog should be taken to the vet as soon as possible. Any seizure lasting over five minutes needs to be treated immediately by a vet.

Reducing stress and limiting changes to your dog`s environment can help to prevent seizures, as stress is known to `trigger` seizures. Feeding your dog a healthy diet, keeping an eye on their blood sugar and getting them checked regularly by your daytime vet will also come in handy.
There are plenty of potential seizure triggers including the environment, things around the house, foods, medications and of course, stress. The trigger can often be difficult to identify, but in order for something to qualify as a trigger, it has to have happened within 30 hours of your dog`s seizure.
Phenobarbitol, levetiracetam (Keppra), zonisamide and potassium bromide are all good first choices for treatment. There are several different anticonvulsants available for dogs. Zonisamide and levetiracetam have become popular because they work well with minimal side effects.
Is a pet seizure painful? Pets have no awareness of pain while seizing because of the enormous amount of electrochemical activity occurring in the brain, and because they`re unconscious or semiconscious. Although your pet may whine, meow, or bark during a seizure, this has nothing to do with feeling pain.
After dogs come out of a seizure, a little all-natural vanilla ice cream, honey, or natural maple syrup will help to raise their sugar levels back up. Follow with a protein such as little kibble, cheese stick, a spoonful of cottage cheese, chicken, etc. to help stabilize those sugar levels.
More often than not, your dog will recover from the seizure and be back to his normal, happy self. Some dogs recover immediately. Generally, recovery time from a seizure is anywhere from a few minutes to a full day.
The first line treatment in dogs is Phenobarbitone or Potassium Bromide (may be prescribed as Potassium Bromide syrup, Epilease capsules, Libromide capsules) and for cats; Phenobarbitone, Diazepam (Valium) or Gabapentin.
If your dog suffers a seizure that continues for more than 30 minutes serious permanent brain damage could result. If you witness your dog having a brief seizure, then he or she quickly recovers, contact your vet to let them know what happened.
After the seizure ends, dogs often experience post-seizure signs. These can differ but can include restlessness, weakness, disorientation, panting, hyperactivity, fatigue, and even unprovoked aggression. These signs can last anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours.
Seizures typically last approximately one to two minutes, although prolonged seizures can occur and require treatment. Once the seizure has ended, the dog will have a prolonged post-ictal recovery period, lasting up to 24 hours depending on the individual dog.
“A seizure disorder is any abnormal process that causes the brain to produce seizures.” Seizures can look like almost anything from a twitch to uncontrollable shaking and last less than a minute. But when they last longer than four or five minutes, it`s usually considered an emergency.
If your dog had a first-time seizure or has multiple seizures within 24 hours, consider it an emergency. “Seek veterinary care immediately if your pet does not have a history of seizures and is having cluster seizures or prolonged grand mal seizures,” suggests Dr. Frione.
There`s a variety of reasons that a Chihuahua might start shivering or shaking. The top reasons include excess energy, difficulty regulating temperature, reacting to cold weather due to having a thin coat, excitement, anxiety, or stress. It could even be a mix of reasons.
Dog Seizure Triggers

Seizures are, for example, often triggered by: Stress. Anxiety. Diet (where a specific type of food or a change of diet may, for instance, trigger an episode)

Loud or sharp noises may prolong the seizure or make it worse. Other animals in the household may be frightened or threatened by the seizuring dog. Remove them from the immediate area if this is a concern.
In conclusion, our study found that seizure frequency slightly, but significantly, increased during periods of prescribed physical activity in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy receiving AED therapy, compared with dogs without an increase in physical activity over a 3-month period.
Honey has been used for centuries to treat seizures in humans. There`s some evidence that it may work for dogs, too—and it`s certainly safer than other treatments for canine epilepsy!
Yes, epilepsy is a scary thing, but it`s not a death sentence. Your dog can live a happy, healthy and wonderful life despite their diagnosis. You can still camp, swim, hike and cuddle with your epileptic pup! This shouldn`t change any of the fun things you do together.
In most cases, seizures are short and last only a few minutes. With proper treatment, your dog can lead a normal life. That being said, seizures can be a serious health concern and even short seizures could cause brain damage.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. 6yr. old Chihuahua. At 4 she had 1) seisure. 2) in Dec.,’15 – 3) in 4 or 5 days. Maybe 2) min. Dur. Time. ? Pls. Help! $$ are a PROBLEM!!! Medicare $
ANSWER : A. There are many causes of seizures. At 6 years old she could have epilepsy, but other causes include toxin exposure, liver disease, low blood sugar (typically caused by pancreatic cancer), something taking up space inside the skull (like a brain tumor), or meningitis. Seizures can be costly to work up, as we typically start with blood work in order to look for some of the things I just mentioned, and hopefully rule out the really scary things (like brain tumors) before we get to the diagnosis of epilepsy.

If she has epilepsy it can be treated with anti-seizure medications quite successfully. Many dogs live very normal lives with epilepsy. Left untreated the seizures will likely get more and more frequent, and there’s a very real danger that she could have what’s called status epilepticus, which means the seizures can’t be stopped. I urge you to talk to some senior resources in your area – there are many organizations that help seniors with veterinary care. You can also call your local humane society, which may have some options for you in that department as well.

Read Full Q/A … : ufdc.uflib.ufl.edu

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. My cat will not eat the renal food my veterinarian recommended, can I feed a grocery store food?
ANSWER : A. Your veterinarian recommended a therapeutic kidney diet because it has ingredients that will help slow the progression of your cat’s conditions, especially phosphorus and lower protein levels. Many of the non-prescription or grocery store foods generally have high levels of phosphorus and would not be ideal for your cat.

To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:

1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,

2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.

There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:

1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet

2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet

4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet

6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

7) End with 100% of the new food.

Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.

Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Need help, we have done flea bath ,sprayed the house and used charts ultra guard pro and still have fleas .how can we get rid of them
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. How do I FINALLY rid all 4 of my cats of tapeworms after 2 years of dealing with it? Fleas seem to be controlled. I know they are the vector.
ANSWER : A. If your cats keep getting tapeworms, then they are picking up fleas from somewhere. Fleas will hitch a ride on your pant leg from outside.

Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

You can also use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the life cycle.

Q. 13 yo Dalmatian, suffers from colitis and arthritis. Vet recommended Chappie, and gave her all her life. Should we change it considering her problems?
ANSWER : A. Chappie was the original name of the product that is now known as Pedigree. Pedigree is considered a “grocery” style food, meaning it may not be as high quality or include higher quality ingredients as other products. However, the Pedigree line has expanded quite a bit in recent years and now offers many products tailored to dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds.

If your dog has done well on the product, you may be able to just switch over to a variety that is geared more to your dog’s needs such as a large breed senior formulation. Senior formulations often have added supplements to help with joint pain and arthritis later in life. However, if your dog has been experiencing problems with the food product, switching to a higher quality food such as one without grains may help. Higher quality foods will often have alternate grain sources to prevent digestive upset as well as higher quality meat cuts listed on the top of the ingredient list.

if you do decide to switch foods, the process should be done gradually over 7-9 days. For the first 2-3 days 25% new/ 75% old should be given, then 3 days of 50/50, and 2-3 days of 75% new / 25% old before finally switching over. This will help minimize any stomach upset from changing to a different food too quickly and allow the intestinal bacteria to adjust.

Read Full Q/A … : Best Low Fat Dog Foods

Q. How can I keep my 14 year old Yorkie from snapping at the younger ones?
ANSWER : A. It’s all about management. Do not allow the 7yo’s to interact with your 14yo unsupervised. You should be there each time they interact so you can redirect the 14yo’s attention onto some toys, or onto some treats when the 7yo’s are around. It sounds like you need to help your 14yo make positive associations with being around the younger pups. You should be trying to feed him treats each time he interacts with them, and doesn’t snap at them. Pet and praise him each time he is around them, or any time they are near. As I said, keep the separated when you cannot supervise their interactions because if you aren’t around when he is snapping at them, you could end up with a fight on your hands.

It could also be that they spend too much time together. Imagine spending 100% of your time with somebody, day in and out, doing everything together… including going to the bathroom.. that might bother anybody. I think you should give them more time apart from each other. Take them all on separate walks, separate them to play with them individually, separate them when you take them to potty, separate feeding times in separate rooms, etc. This can help alleviate the stress your older dog is feeling due to living closely with other dogs. You should always be giving individual activities in a houseful of dogs anyway.. when you expect them to get along 100% of the time, that’s when you find trouble.