My Shih Tzu has seizures and it breaks my heart to watch him have one. If you have a four legged friend then you understand how they become part of your family and just with a child, when they hurt you hurt.
Max, our Shih Tzu will be five at Thanksgiving. He had his first seizure two and a half years ago and it scared me to death. I was sitting at my embroidery machine and he was in the floor under the table. I thought he was just rooting around on the carpet like he does after he eats, so I wasn’t really paying attention to him. I noticed though that he kept bumping against my leg. That’s when I looked down and realized he was staggering around like a drunk!
I knew immediately what was happening because I had just been reading, a few days before, about what to do in the event your dog has a seizure. But it still scared me!
I had read that often seizures are caused by a drop in blood sugar levels and to give your dog honey. So I darted into the kitchen and grabbed the bottle of honey. By this time Max had staggered into the living room.
I had also read to cover your dog in a blanket and talk to them as they had the seizure. So I grabbed a blanket off the couch, covered Max and put a drop of honey on my finger for him to lick off.
I was home by myself at this point so I grabbed the phone and called my parents, who live 3 houses away. I quickly told them what was happening and told them to “come quick”. You know….for moral support. During this time I continued to let him lick honey from my finger and just kept talking to him and rubbing his chest.
The whole experience, stiff legs, jerking, stumbling, and eyes big and wide only lasted a minute or so but my poor Max was very lethargic for quite awhile after that.
Since then, Max has had 4 other episodes. Two of them were full blown seizures like the first time. One happened just as we turned off the lamp to go to sleep. He started jerking and actually fell off the bed. The other two we happened to catch just as they were starting and managed to give him honey and prevented it from becoming a full blown seizure. But that still didn’t make it any less scary!
We have taken Max to the vet. The first time, following his first seizure, the vet did some blood work and sent us on our way with the advice that “these things happen with small dogs”. (We have since switched to a different vet.) Recently we took him to the vet again after a seizure and were told to continue to monitor him. If he begins to have more frequent seizures in a four month period then we will take the next step which is to run more tests and possibly place him on daily medication.
Another change we have made is to switch our dog’s food. Max is a VERY picky eater. I had been feeding him “soft” food, not wet, but a softer food that he really liked. A friend pointed out one day, when I was telling her about his seizures, that many brands of dog food is high in sugar. Sure enough, this specific food that he loved had sugar listed as the 4th ingredient. Needless to say we switched his food the next day!
**Just a little disclaimer….I am not a vet. I do not claim to be an expert of animal medicine and I do not play a vet on TV. These tips are based on my own experience and what helped my dog. If your animal experiences a seizure call your local veterinarian.****
Tips for When Your Dog Has A Seizure
1. Remain calm. They say the dog is not aware of you or its surroundings during a seizure but I believe they are.
2. Place a blanket over your dog and hold them if possible or hold the blanket to the floor. This helps calm them and keeps them from hurting themselves.
3. Honey works well for my dog but you should always check with your vet to determine if this is recommended for your dog’s breed.
4. After the seizure, give your dog water to drink but only in small amounts. With my dog he is very thirsty afterwards and if he drinks to much he will vomit.
5. Call your vet. This is the most important part. Don’t assume it’s nothing to worry about.