Wednesday evening Simon, one of our Yorkies, began to have a seizure. The first of four within a half hour period.
Simon had (what we now know to be) a seizure back in February. My fiancee and I were awoken early morning to Simon on the floor next to the bed in visible distress. We didn’t know if he was choking on something, if he’d rolled off the bed and hit his head/hurt his neck, or what. He seemed panicked and unable to breathe.
While I quickly got dressed to rush him to the vet, we tried to keep him calm and comfortable. But I knew that if he wasn’t breathing, by the time I got him to the vet it would be too late. Fortunately, he started to come out of it. He was dazed, but sitting upright and breathing heavily. We watched him closely, and soon he was up and walking around, and within a half hour he was his old self again.
We asked our vet about it, and assumed seizure, but couldn’t know for sure. Wednesday night, during Leaguefest, I heard Simon gasping for air from his dog bed next to my desk. I rushed to him, and immediately recognized that he was in the same state of distress that we found him in last February. I held him until he started to calm down and breathe, and again, he seemed to snap out of it very quickly (walking around, drinking, etc).
I kept an eye on him, and less than ten minutes later, he lapsed into another seizure. As soon as it passed, I jumped in the car and rushed to the vet. He had a third seizure in the car, and a fourth shortly after being admitted to the hospital. They gave him medicine to calm him down and try to prevent further seizures in the cluster (it did). He had to stay overnight for observation, and we’ve been running bloodwork tests, etc.
Seizures in dogs 1-4 is usually a sign of epilepsy. Seizures in dogs 5 and up can be indicative of an infection or tumor in the brain. Simon is right on the border at five years old. So we don’t know what the cause is yet.
Best case scenario, he’s simply epileptic, and we can try and control that with medicine. Single seizures aren’t generally that bad as long as they don’t last more than a few minutes. Cluster seizures, like Simon had on Wednesday, are more dangerous. The body doesn’t get time to recover inbetween, and doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. Body temperature also shoots way up. Left unchecked, they can cause serious damage.
I’m not fishing for sympathy here, Simon is now home with us and doing just fine. He’s back to his silly self, and we’re giving him lots of attention. He’s also stoned out of his mind on phenobarbital. The reason I’m telling you this is that I had planned to attend ConnectiCon next weekend, and I am now not going to be able make that engagement.
Simon needs to be watched closely over the next few weeks, not only for a reaction to the medications that he’s on, but also for more seizures. I don’t feel comfortable leaving him with a friend/family member far away from his vet, or with a kennel/daycare service that takes care of a bunch of dogs where someone might not notice that he’s having a seizure in time.
I don’t make time to attend a lot of conventions these days, so it’s not an easy decision to bail on one I was all set to go to. Especially one that’s important to me like ConnectiCon. I know I’d already talked to a few of you that were going to be there. I was really looking forward to meeting some of you, testing the CAD board game some more, and playing some Warmachine/Hordes.
Simon’s health and well-being is more important to me though. Hopefully the chances that he’ll have another seizure are very low, and the medicine will help. But I’m not willing to take the chance that something happens to him because I went away for the weekend and he wasn’t being watched close enough.
So again, I apologize to the handful of you that may have been hoping to meet up with me at the convention next weekend, and I hope you can understand why I’ve chosen not to attend on such short notice.