Canine Seizures: Charlie’s Seizures Diagnosis

The signs of seizure result from a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain.

Signs of a seizure in your dog can include anything from unusual behavior to convulsions and loss of consciousness.

While epilepsy is the most familiar cause of seizures in dogs, there are many other potential causes. Brain inflammation is one of them.

Further reading: Seizures or Convulsions in Dogs: What Can Seizures Look Like and What Can Cause Them?

Canine Seizures: Charlie's Seizures Diagnosis

Brain inflammation (encephalitis)

Seizures are one of the potential symptoms of brain inflammation. However, the problem might affect other parts such as:

  • the membranes that cover the brain
  • and spinal cord (meninges) or spinal cord

Further, other potential symptoms of brain inflammation include:

  • fever
  • changes in behavior
  • lowered responsiveness
  • head tilt
  • circling or loss of coordination
  • changes in the size of the pupils
  • changes in consciousness
  • and more

Possible causes behind brain inflammation can originate in the brain or outside of it and include:

  • immune-mediated issues
  • nfections (viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal)
  • foreign bodies
  • adverse effects of vaccination

For example, the presence of neurological issues along with seizures suggests the brain itself is in trouble.

Breed predisposition to brain inflammation

Certain breeds are more susceptible to developing brain inflammation. The affected breeds include:

  • Maltese
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • German Short-haired Pointers

Further reading: Encephalitis in Dogs

Charlie’s story

Charlie was a 3-year-old Maltese mix. He was happy, playful, his mom and dad’s pride and joy. Charlie was healthy until he started having seizures.

His parent took Charlie to a veterinarian who examined Charlie, checked his blood, and prescribed anti-seizure medications. The treatment seemed to help–Charlie’s seizures stopped.

However, five weeks since his first seizure, Charlie didn’t seem himself. He became lethargic, lost interest in play, and sometimes he seemed unaware of the world around him. And then, Charlie had multiple seizures in one day, which landed him at an emergency veterinary clinic.

Charlie’s emergency vet visit and referral

The emergency veterinarian examined Charlie and referred him to a neurology specialist.

When Charlie arrived, he was dull, couldn’t walk, and not responding to things around him. However, his left side seemed to be working. He would see things with his right eye and had no feeling on the right side of his face. Further, he held his head toward the left side, and he didn’t seem to know where his right feet were.

Whatever Charlie’s problem was, it was affecting the left front part of his brain. Charlie needed an MRI.

Charlie’s diagnosis

The imaging showed inflammation in Charlie’s brain. Most commonly, dogs suffer brain inflammation as a result of the autoimmune process. That was true in Charlie’s case.

As soon as Charlie received immune-suppressive medication, he started doing better. With treatment, Charlie has fully recovered.

Source story:
Charlie – Canine Seizures, Encephalitis

Related articles:
Seizures or Convulsions in Dogs: What Can Seizures Look Like and What Can Cause Them?
Can Dog Food Cause Seizures?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?

Further reading:
Meningitis and Encephalitis in Dogs

Categories: ConditionsDog health advocacyReal-life StoriesSeizures

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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