View Full Version : boxer dog having fits any advice please

24-07-06, 05:33 PM
hi newbie here can anyone give any advice: my boxer bitch suffered a fit this morning, first one ever quite scarry took her the vets and has had bloods taken to see what might be causing it. she has has several little episodes since where her neck goes into spasam and she starts foaming at the mouth wat could be causing this could it be heat related http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

24-07-06, 06:09 PM
Any chance she might've found some pills on the floor and eaten them? I ask because my grandmother's GSD had quite a long fit recently and we all got a bit worried, thinking it might be epilepsy, but then the vet told us it was more likely she'd eaten something... probably one or more of my grandmother's pills (she takes zillions a day!) if it had fallen on the floor.
Any chance this might've happened with your dog?

25-07-06, 02:01 AM
my dog has fits, and has been diagnosed with epilepsy, although without any tests. They are few and far between, say a couple every few months, and she always revovers perfectly afetrwards. Therefore the vet advised us too do nothing, as the pills are very expensive, and dog isnt in pain.

25-07-06, 05:36 AM
Bumble Dog has fits, they last about an hour and are very distressing for us, however when she comes out she seems completly unfazed. We have anul valium to administer, gets into the system much faster. (We carry it everywhere with us!)

We had a brain scan done, were amazed to find a brain and there was no evidence of tumors etc.

We now have 3 options , do nothing and keep a watch on her. Take her to Newmarket for further tests, scans etc or put her on medication for the rest of her life with monthly blood tests.

We are opting for the do nothing, we adore her and do not want to put her through scans etc or put her through monthly blood tests - she hates the vet

Hope this helps

25-07-06, 08:17 AM
Firstly how old is your dog - if she's quite young then it may be she's suffering with a form of epilepsy - I'm assuming the blood tests the vets did were all normal.
In an older dog the "fits" can be a symptom of something else - the bloods are basically to rule out things like diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
In Boxers in can also be secondary to a type of benign brain tumour called a meningioma. This isnt a cancerous lump but causes problems because it is growing in a confined space and hence the fits. This unfortunately can only be diagnosed on an MRI scan (looking at 1000s for this) but could be operable to sort out problem. If not there are drugs available to control them.
As its her first fit I would probably wait and see what happens next. She may never have another or there may be one next week you never can tell. If she's having more than one every 6 weeks or if they are lasting longer than 10 minutes or she takes a long time to recover then there are medications she can take to try at best to reduce their incidence and severity and at best stop them altogether. The most common drug used is phenobarbitone and its not expensive - usually they would go onto it for a month or so and then a blood test would be done to check the dose is correct as there is quite a bit of variation between dogs. The blood test is done 12hrs post pill when the drug is at its lowest in the blood stream to check that it doesn't drop below the therapeutic range which would then be a danger time for a fit to occur. Once the correct dose is obtained these bloods can be done less often to check there has been no major changes. Long term use of the medication can cause adverse effects on the liver so this might need checking from time to time - but it is quite unusual to see any major problems unless on a very high dose of meds. If the tablets were causing problems then a combination of drugs might be used such as phenobarbitone and bromide - the drugs compliment each other and that way you can halve the dose of each one and therefore reduce the side effects. The rectal tubes SSM mentions are very useful to have in an emergancy as its an easy way of getting the drug in while the dog is fitting to settle things down.
When the dog is fitting make sure there is nothing in the vicinity she can injure herself on -ie if she went down in living room, move all furniture out of the way. Turn the lights off and close the curtains so room is as dim as possible (their pupils dilate and so bright lights are painful and can prolong the fit). Switch the telly off so everything is nice and dark and quiet and then wait for her to come out of it. She needs as little interaction as possible to come out of it. It's very tempting to want to try to pick them up and reassure them but this can prolong the fit and you could inadvertently get bitten. Usually they then come round within a few minutes but if it was carrying on for over 15-20 minutes then I would ring your vets for advice.
Anyway seem to have waffled on a bit but I hope this is of help to you. I hope most of it is unnecessary for you anyway and she has no more fits.
Good luck AJ

25-07-06, 05:06 PM
Thank you so much for your replys,as you can imagine it has been a trumatic 36 hrs for me as my boxer(crystal)aged 6 has now had several fits, bloods came back normal, so the vets has advised that this may be epilepsy and now has prescibed epihen for 7 days then further blood tests. special thanks to ann-jen for your post so imformative, fingers crossed the tablets work,

25-07-06, 05:44 PM
Lots of good vibes needed for Crystal please everybody , I wasn't a boxer fan until I met her, she is quite the most delightful dog you could wish to meet, and Harry's best friend..(she lives next door)
Someone has advised a daily dose of marmite, anyone else heard of this?

25-07-06, 07:29 PM
Fits in any animal are so distressing. I remember how upset I was watching my friends old retriever going through them...nothing you could do but keep her safe and quiet till it was all over.

Fingers crossed that Harrys best friend is happy and healthy very soon.

25-07-06, 07:41 PM
No problem - I hope everything goes well for you and Crystal. http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

25-07-06, 09:01 PM
I hope everything is ok with your special girl. We had a boxer that fitted frequently as it got older - before the days when drugs to control it were widely available. Sadly we lost him shortly afterwards. Thankfully you have advances in vet.med on your side. I wish you all the best - Boxers are the best dogs in the world

25-07-06, 09:15 PM
My last Boxer started having fits aged 12.5yrs so I know how distressing it is, and esp because Boxers are the best dogs in the whole world by far! Unfortunately mine died, probably because of a brain tumour - at her age we weren't about to put her through an MRI just to confirm it. At 6yrs old, hopefully yours has a much better chance - fingers crossed for her.

03-08-06, 05:07 PM
My lurcher began having fits when he was excited and the vet prescribed Diazepam to dope him up but I wasn't happy with that so he said to try a herbal remedy called Skullcap and Valerian by a company called Dorset Herbs. It certainly took the edge off them straight away and they gradually disappeared. I got mine from the vet but you can also get them and certain pet shops or direct.

08-08-06, 03:45 PM
Hi, is there any update on how your Boxer is doing?

The fits that she was suffering from sound a lot like the fits that my Boston Terrier (Boswell) started having about 8 weeks ago. She too was foaming at the mouth like you described and her bloods all came back normal.

Epilepsy can be caused by a number of things. At first my parents were told that the movement of her eyes when having the fit suggested that the fits were caused by a brain tumour but then another vet said it could have been something as simple as a bee sting.
Unfortunately she had to be put to sleep just over a week ago because in the end it seemed that the cause of the seizures was a brain lesion and she went into a fit that didn't stop. Obviously very, very sad (she was 9 years old) BUT there are many other causes than the brain tumour one so although it did not end happily for us, you may be able to medicate and treat your girl and have her for many years to come.

The pill that Boswell was on to control her fits (which were very effective until obviously the tumour got too much) was phenobarbitol. She also had some valium that were given to my parents to try and give to her if she went into a fit to try and stop it right away.

Please let me know how you are getting on.