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Discussion Starter #1
My two dogs have been on a raw diet since April 20, 2009. My oldest dog is a collie/terrier mix and is 6 years old. He had a rocky start on the diet but has been doing okay except his health has not improved like I hoped it would. My 3-year-old Jack Russell has done great the whole time -- until today.

I fed them canned mackerel, a raw egg, a small amount of chicken liver and chicken gizzard. They ate at around 4:30 p.m. At about 5:30 p.m., I heard a ruckus and went to investigate. The Jack Russell was wallowing around on the floor with the older dog nearby. I thought he was doing something silly to provoke the older dog and I yelled at him but he didn't stop. Then I realized he was having a seizure. It was very severe with mouth foaming and his whole body convulsing. My husband has seizures so I know what they look like. My mini schnauzer (who passed away in 2003) also had seizures.

I've never seen a seizure in an animal this severe. It seemed like it lasted a long time and like it was not going to stop. When my son tried to pet him and soothe him to bring him out of it, he calmed down a little but then went crazy and bit my son (not hard) and got up and took off from the living room into my son's room. We have laminate flooring, so it was hard for him to get traction and he was "spinning his wheels" the whole way. I was so scared I didn't know what to do and sat down with my heart pounding and just prayed.

My husband and my son said he was okay once he got into my son's room on the carpeted floor and then acted like nothing had happened except he was panting. When he came out of my son's room, he ran over to where he had had the seizure and was sniffing the floor kind of quickly. My husband gave him a drink and then took him outside and said he acted okay and chased rocks (his favorite thing).

My question is: Has anyone else experienced this? When both dogs go outside, they eat all kinds of things like grass, flower bulbs, leaves and who knows what else. I was wondering if it was something he ate outside or if the eggs or mackerel I gave him could have caused it. The other dog is okay. I would appreciate any input on this. I'm scared it's going to happen again.
 

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I'm sorry your dog had a seizure. I'm sure it's not because of what he ate. None of the things you mentioned he had for dinner would cause that. You have a husband with seizures, another dog, now gone, who had seizures and now this one. I would really wonder if something in the environment is causing these. I assume all 3 had different diets so I think you can safely rule that out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My husband had seizures for 10 years before I met him. The other dog that had seizures also had congestive heart failure, and I suspect her seizures were from lack of oxygen to her brain. My point was that I can recognize seizures and that the seizure my Jack Russell had appeared to be pretty severe.

He acted normally the rest of the evening yesterday and also acts normally so far today. I can't help but wonder whether he ate something outside like a toxic plant or something else that could have caused the seizure. Also, my son said he had spilled some mocha coffee stuff and before he could clean it up, the Jack Russell had already licked it up. My son did a google search about seizures in dogs and found that caffeine can cause them to have seizures. I don't think it was a very big amount that he spilled, though.

I was just wondering if any other dog owners had experienced the same thing and had any insight as to what caused the seizure. I didn't really think it was his diet but didn't know for sure. I was trying to rule out all possibilities. I had both dogs outside for about 1-1/2 hours before they ate, and then about an hour after they ate is when the Jack Russell had the seizure. The other dog had no symptoms. I'm very puzzled about this.

Thank you for your response to my post.
 

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I would be more worried about how much espresso mix your dog got. Dogs are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine and even very small amount can cause problems, like seizures. The fact that your dog ate something notorious for causing seizures in dogs and then actually had a seizure...? I would suspect the espresso before blaming the diet.
 

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I think it's unlikely that it was a toxin or poisoning from outside. An hour and a half is a long time for sudden onset of symptoms,(and then to be completely fine right afterward) if he did indeed eat something outside. Try to think back, was there anything different in the hour before the seizure? Any symptoms that maybe didn't seem important at the time? Lethargy, drooling, anything?

If not I would be inclined to think it was something he found in the house after coming in. Most likely the espresso, how long before the seizure did he lick some of it up? Second, does anyone take any medication? Could a pill have fallen? If it rolled to the edge of the floor it could be easily missed (by you, your husband or son... dogs and small kids find everything!)

Another possibility (in the absence of any other symptoms and this being an isolated incident) is that he choked on something. He may have found something that he wanted to eat/chew on, it got stuck in his throat, cutting off his airway and caused a seizure. The seizure probably dislodged it, causing him to either spit it out or swallow it.

Of course this could also be a symptom of illness or neurological disorder. You should get him checked by a vet to at least rule it out. Watch him for anymore symptoms.

It really could be a number of things, but I think you can rule out his raw diet as being the cause. Good luck, hopefully this was just a one time thing.
 

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It sounds to me like the espresso was the culprit. Even a tiny amount of caffeine to a small dog like a Jack Russell, if he's sensitive to it, that could do it! You may want to take him to the vet and have bloodwork done just in case to make sure everything is alright. Especially if it happens again!

I'm pretty sure you can rule out the diet though, especially since A)none of those things are known to cause seizures in dogs and B) the other dog didn't have a seizure after eating it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone for your posts. I don't know when my dog licked up the Swiss Mocha Cafe or how much it was. I'll have to ask my son. Vito (the Jack Russell) has been acting normally ever since the seizure. I didn't notice any abnormal behavior before the seizure.

He has eaten so many foreign objects in the past, especially when he was a puppy, that it's hard for me to believe he may have choked on anything. It's possible that he may have gotten a pill but we've found partially eaten seizure pills on the floor before (I guess he didn't like the taste) and he never had any symptoms from them. The only other pills in the house are for diabetes and also different vitamins and other supplements.

Another thing I noticed when I got up the next morning after the seizure was that he had gone to the bathroom in the house and the stool was black and sort of runny.

I'm very puzzled by this whole thing. The reason I thought about the raw diet is because I don't know what kind of changes it makes in a dog's body. On the other hand, if he had been eating "kibble," I would have suspected that more. And the reason I suspected that he ate something outside to cause the seizure is because, last year, when I was pulling weeds from the garden, Vito was eating them and then, all that evening, he acted "high" and "spacy," like he was on drugs, and wouldn't go to sleep until midnight but then was okay the next day.

We've been watching him closely and he acts as if nothing ever happened.

What possible things would show up in blood work to make a diagnosis? Or what kind of blood work would a vet do?
 

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I'd watch him while he was outside to see what he get's into. Some dogs will eat everything if it's not nailed down.

My Casey has epilepsy and her last seizure was before Summer. *touches wood* We still don't know why she was having them but we elected not to have her treated with phenabarbitol because they were so hit and miss i.e. not often. You could tell when they were about to start. She'd get really excited like she was high on drugs and ecstatic and then start walking drunk and then it'd hit her like a ton of bricks. She'd seize for up to 5 minutes and then be done with them for another few months or so.

Again, we were never given a straight answer for why she suffers them, just told that some dogs are predisposed to seizing and she happens to be one of them. I'm just glad she seems to be done with them.

Don't ya just love vauge answers?! :rolleyes:
 

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I would wonder how much of the coffee he got. JRT's are hyper as it is. I know, I owned one. The tarry stool could be from the coffee he ingested. Hope he is o.k.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Toxo in raw meat causes seizures?

It's been 2 weeks and 1 day since my Jack Russell had a seizure (not that I'm keeping track - yes, I am). He has acted completely normal since the seizure. The amount of coffee he licked up wasn't a lot but it also had cocoa in it and a lot of other junk that's hard to pronounce, and he only weighs 15 pounds and is sometimes very hyper anyway. I'm hoping that's what caused the seizure and that he doesn't have any more.

I was doing research on the Internet today about dog seizures and came across a website that had this paragraph on it:

6.10 Toxoplamosis (Toxo)

The information that we obtained on Toxo comes by way of the internet. Toxo is a disease caused by a germ (protozan parasite - Toxoplasma gondii) and the most likely places of contact are cat feces, raw meet and uncooked vegetables. Approximately half of the people in the U.S. have the Toxo parasite, but the disease is dormant. This parasite is similar to giardia in that once a dog has giardia, it is dormant and may flare up at any time to affect the dog. Toxo has many symptoms and included in these are muscle spasms and seizures (neurologic difficulties). The symptoms worsen and the patient may go into a coma if the disease is not treated properly. The 2 most common drugs used in the treatment of Toxo are the combination of sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine. Depending on the dog's reaction to these drugs, other drugs may be substituted - clindamycin, dapsone, or doxycycline. In the winter of 1994 and 1995, Victoria B.C. experienced the world's largest outbreak of Toxo ever reported.
Here is the website link: Why Does my Dog Have Seizures

So now I'm concerned again about the raw diet thing. My dogs love raw. As an experiment, I tried switching them from completely raw to "Taste of the Wild" kibble and some raw. My 6-year-old mixed breed who was originally very difficult to transition to raw (he got very, very sick) now turns his nose up at kibble, even the expensive Taste of the Wild kibble. He will eat a few bites and then walk away and look back at me as if to say, "Where's the good stuff?"

Vito, the Jack Russell who had the seizure, easily adapts to just about anything (except beef kidney). He adapted easily to raw and will also eat kibble. He seems so hardy and invincible and that's why I was so disturbed and puzzled by the seizure he had.

Can anyone disprove the toxo information with real facts . . . please?
 

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The correct question is "Can anyone PROVE the toxo information in that article with real facts?" There were no real facts listed on the web page you linked to. There was even a disclaimer about it in the article. I'm not sure about cat feces but I am sure that there is no toxo problem in raw meat or veggies. I'm relatively sure that toxo is not a problem in cat feces. Dogs eat all kinds of feces at most every opportunity with no problems.

Dogs/wolves have been eating raw meat for millions of years and have thrived. If the article you quoted was correct, they both would have been extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. People tend to worry about the safety of eating a raw diet which has been eaten for millions of years and don't give a second thought about the dangers of eating kibble that has only been around for 50 or 60 years. Why don't people ask kibble to prove itself?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The correct question is "Can anyone PROVE the toxo information in that article with real facts?" There were no real facts listed on the web page you linked to. There was even a disclaimer about it in the article. I'm not sure about cat feces but I am sure that there is no toxo problem in raw meat or veggies. I'm relatively sure that toxo is not a problem in cat feces. Dogs eat all kinds of feces at most every opportunity with no problems.

Dogs/wolves have been eating raw meat for millions of years and have thrived. If the article you quoted was correct, they both would have been extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. People tend to worry about the safety of eating a raw diet which has been eaten for millions of years and don't give a second thought about the dangers of eating kibble that has only been around for 50 or 60 years. Why don't people ask kibble to prove itself?
Okay, you always bring me to my senses - although I don't agree with you about the "millions of years." Thousands, maybe. I believe the earth in only about 6 thousand years old but that's still long enough to prove your point. :smile: Thanks for the reassurance.
 

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My moms poodle has been having seizures periodically for years, has never been fed a raw diet and she has done every test possible to find out the answer as to why? The vets can't seem to find a reason or symptom. Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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