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  • Dachshund seizures

    Seizures, which occur when there is an abnormality in the brain’s electrical activity, are another common health issue dachshunds are predisposed to. Although most of the time seizures in dachshunds are inherited, they can also be triggered by many other factors. Dehydration, poor nutrition, distemper, toxicity, poisoning, and allergies are some of the causes of seizures in dachshunds.

    Did you know… that John Wayne owned a dachshund named “Blackie?” The doxy alerted Wayne’s wife when a fire broke out in their home, allowing her and her 20 month. old daughter to safely evacuate.

    Types of Seizures in Dachshunds

    There are three main types of seizures that dachshunds may experience;

    1. Grand Mal Seizures

    Grand Mal seizures usually cause dogs to fall unconscious and become rigid in the extremities. A Grand Mal seizure can last up to three minutes, but side effects continue for a longer time period. After experiencing this type of seizure, dachshunds may act uncomfortable, hyperactive, and off-balance.

    2. Partial Seizures

    Partial seizures, also known as focal seizures, occur when part of the brain’s electrical activity is affected. Partial seizures can begin by only affecting part of the brain and body, but have the capability of spreading and affecting the entire brain.

    3. Seizures Caused by Myoclonic Epilepsy

    Myoclonic epilepsy is characterized by involuntary movement of muscles located in the neck, pelvic, and facial area.

    Signs and Symptoms

    • Loss of Consciousness (does not always happen)

    • Stiffness

    • Falling Suddenly

    • Urination and Defecation

    • Involuntary Movement (such as jerking of part of or the entire body)

    • Excess Salivation (foam at the mouth)


    Before making a treatment plan, your veterinarian will first conduct a complete physical and neurological exam.  He may also order x-rays and blood work in order to make a diagnosis. In some cases, medication is not prescribed the first time the dog has suffered a seizure, as it may not be necessary. If your veterinarian thinks it is required, he will prescribe medication such as Phenobarbital to help keep seizures under control.

    In cases where the seizure is caused by toxicity, poisoning, distemper, etc., drugs for the seizures as well as medication to treat the underlying cause will be prescribed.

    What should you do if your dachshund has a seizure?

    The first thing every dog owner should know is that extra caution needs to be taken when handling a seizing dog. Even if your dachshund is not normally aggressive, the pain and confusion caused by a seizure can trigger your dog to bite.

    When your dog has a seizure, move all objects away from him and place a pillow or thick blanket under him to avoid self-inflicted injuries. Talking to your dachshund in a soothing voice can also help him relax and come out of the seizure more smoothly. Lastly, be sure to record the length of each seizure for your dog’s medical records. Notify your veterinarian immediately if your dog has a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes.

    If it is the first time your dachshund has had a seizure it is important to get him to his veterinarian as soon as possible.  Before leaving, quickly check your home for anything that may have caused your dog’s seizure.  There are many toxic, household items that can cause seizures if ingested including; rat bait, detergent, soap, antifreeze, moldy foods (dog may have taken out of garbage), certain foods (avocado, walnuts, apple seed/stem), and more. Seizures can also be caused by poisonous animals such as; snakes, black widows, scorpions, and more.

    If possible, have someone stay home so that they can inspect the home more thoroughly.  If evidence of something your dog might have ate is found, it is important to get the list of the ingredients.  If a venomous animal is found and you cannot identify it, notify the veterinarian of its’ characteristics.  This information will be necessary in order for your veterinarian to properly treat your dog.

    Seizures in your dachshund can be a frightening thing; however, most dogs genetically predisposed to the condition live a normal life with the help of medication.  There are also other things you can do to minimize the risk of your dog having a seizure such as; placing your doxy on a natural/toxin-free diet, acupuncture, and reducing the amount of stress your weenie dog is exposed to.



    Pytel, N.  Seizures in Dachshunds.  eHow.  Retrieved August 5, 2012, from http://www.ehow.com/about_6319193_seizures-dachshunds.html

    Larson, D. M.  Recognizing Epilepsy.  Dachshund.  Retrieved August 5, 2012, from http://www.dachshund.org/health_epilepsy.html



      { 34 comments… read them below or add one }

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      Jman June 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      I also have a Doxie that has seizures. I have found a natural help that has worked well for him. It is called Ease Sure, sold by Pet Alive. When we first got him we added it to his food as prescribed and it worked really well. As he got older we finally had to put him on phenobarbital from our vet BUT when he occasionally has a seizure, we put one drop of this formula on the back of his tongue and he comes out of it quickly. I would recommend this product as it may be of help to your dog if seizures have been a problem. It’s never pleasant to watch your wonderful pet go through this and anything that will help is welcomed.


      Kevin May 23, 2015 at 2:38 am

      This is scary when my dachshund seizes..I live alone and can’t monitor him regularly but he had one today and also a couple of days ago.. I just try to pet him or hold him and he comes out of it after a few minutes… I’m gonna keep some honey close by and try it out


      Diane March 26, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I’ve had 4 Dachshund’s, my 1st being a rescue at 3yrs old, Angel a smooth red baby. She was malnutrition, abused, had a lot of back issues, but not one seizure, she lived only til 11yrs old, but with tons of love! My 2nd baby a chocolate dapple,Trixie. She came from a breeder as baby, never one illness, until she was 16 yrs old she started having “vocal” seizures, after blood work and checkup the vet put her on Phenobarbital and it certainly helped! She went to Heaven at 16 1/2yrs old. Now we have 2 (Elee’s smooth hair black/tan & will be 3yrs June 24th, Mollie’s a piebald tan/white long hair&will be 1yr in April…same breeder). Elee had a very minor seizure approximately 7mos ago. Well, this past Sunday 3/22/15 she was laying under her blanket between my legs and all of a sudden she was like… jumping and I thought digging the blanket, almost like she was stuck and trying to get out, so I was saying, “Oooooooooooh honey mommy’s sorry….wait a minute and mommy will help you, it’s OK you’re not stuck! ” When I uncovered her, I flipped out!! I’m not good when there’s any kind of hurt, illness, tragedy, etc. But!, I was home alone! So I did what you’re not to do……I picked her up trying to hold her, comfort her, but she was like……literally stiff but at the same time her body was jumping like crazy, so I put her on a real thick and soft big rug, I bent down, cropped my arms around her and just spoke real soft, “you’re going to be alright baby, it’s OK sweetie, mommy’s right here, it’s OK”. She has an appointment today for blood work at 2:00pm. I always fed my Dachshund’s Euqanuba, Iams….now we have switched to “Four Health”….grain free, soy free, wheat free, no corn, no by products, no beef. We were advised this is the best for our baby’s, but seems we had no issues with the other. I’m not blaming food. I’m just saying I have no idea what to feed them! Before “Four Health”, we had gone from Wilderness, Pro Plan, Wellness, etc., this all started because we thought they had a bit of dry skin. I’ll keep you posted after her appointment. I’m sure you all feel like we do, we LLLLLLOOOOOVVVVEEEEEE OUR DACHSHUND’S LIKE OUR KIDS!!! I love all dogs and cats….have had black and yellow Labs, 2 Belgium Shepherds, rescued a beautiful kitten at 6mo’s that had been abused and she was an indoor cat, lived 22yrs. Thanks for listening and I love reading your posts. It helps, at least you know you’re not alone and can get great advice and support from others.


      Margie January 26, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      My dachshund, Lupo, started having seizures when he was about 3 1/2. At first, they were about 6 months apart. I took him to the Vet & she advised that unless they became more frequent, we should not put him on medication because it is so hard on their bodies & once you start, you have to keep them on the medication. They became more frequent — but, I changed his food to Blue Wilderness & Merrick- all natural, grain free & he went for 1 1/2 years without having one. I am not sure what is going on now — but, he had a seizure on December 17th, 2014 & another this morning, January 26th, 2015. They only last a few minutes & sometimes, he poops, pees, & throws up (happened today). I read somewhere a long time ago, if you can get some syrup or honey in their mouth when it first starts that it will not last so long. I always do that 7 his never last for more than a couple of minutes. As soon as the seizure is over, he is fine – acts like nothing ever happened. It is just so sad & I feel helpless when they are happening. I see from all the posts that your dogs mean as much to you as Lupo does to me!!! He is my baby & love him so very much!!!


      Tetri November 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      My doxie age 9 started having seizures in August 2014 and is up to 5 now. He is being treated by Phenobarbital meds now for the past 30 days daily.Besides medication is there a particular diet plan and natural vitamins that can be given to help streamline the reoccurrence of these seizure? His are the Grand Mal seizures and seem to last a few minutes from beginning to end. Afterwards he is really hyper and full of energy. He also seems even more hungry then normal….besides the fact that he would eat all day long normally….if I would let him. Any healthy diet tips would be great to know to help. I currently feed him Nutro Natural Choice – chicken & rice formula for seniors.Thank for your time and hope to hear some suggestions. :)


      Maribel January 6, 2015 at 11:52 pm

      I have a five year old dachshund who stareted having seizures since he was a puppy. My vet told me, that if they were occuring once every six months I didn’t have to put him on medications. They are now occuring once a month. He suggested putting him on Phenobarbital. I wasn’t confortable with that so I started researching on line. I found a dog nutritionist who suggested I change his dog food . One of the foods she suggested was Merrik Brand dog food sold in Petco. The one which contains grain. He hasn’t had a seizure in two and a half months.


      Ashlee January 7, 2015 at 12:41 am

      HI Maribel & Tetri,

      Pheno wasn’t good for my Penny (12yr old) as she had SERIOUS side effects. The vet put her on steroids and it seems to help her. She suspects Penny has a tumor though only an MRI would confirm, which I can’t afford.

      Is you pup still seizure free? I’ve wondered about changing Penny’s food, but her system is sensitive so I’ve kept her on it (Purina Sensitive System). I tried Ultra Nutro Holistic food which she liked, but seemed to cause her to not feel well as her temperament changed, so I went back to the Purina.



      Maribel May 24, 2015 at 2:31 am

      Hi Ashle,
      My five year old Dachshund has improved since I switch his food to the Merik food sold at Petco. He was having seizures every month and they were lasting a long long time. After switching his food, he has had one seizure in a six month period and it was very mild. Overall I think the Merik food has helped.


      JC KITE November 9, 2014 at 8:34 am

      My dachshund is eleven when she turned eight she started to have seizures they only happen once a month or every six weeks for approximately twenty four hours between four to ten episodes only lasting twenty to Thirty seconds each but they happen when she dozes off to sleep or is startled to wake up tried phenobarbital won’t help still has the seizure problem every thirty day or six weeks she won’t go to sleep knowing I guess she will have another poor thing is really bright but she bounces back after a day of problems though her litter mate (sister) is fine so far


      maxx October 6, 2014 at 7:52 am

      My 6yr old male Doxie had his 3rd seizure and went paralyzed from the waist down!! Its been 3 weeks and he is getting his legs back!! I am praying for him!!


      terradon October 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      I had this too. We did a laser treatment for our dog and it worked very well. Also, I give her a supplement called Glyco Flex III. 1/2 every day. It has really helped her out a bunch. I am sorry for your puppy, it’s disconcerting, but he’ll get better soon!!


      Diane March 26, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      Maxx, I’m soooooo sorry!! I am Praying for your baby for a full recovery!


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      Brook West September 21, 2014 at 4:56 am

      I have two that have seizures. Blaze, my 8 year old girl and Barker my 7 year old boy. Blaze has several episodes a month and goes in and out of them for hours. Even the cat shows concern. Right now she’s super stressed since my infant grandson moved in, so they are happening due to stress. The vet just recently put her on medication now. I’m doing a natural diet and she is well watched over. She doesn’t do a lot of running or chasing and it helps. Barker has only had 2 this year. But he runs around like a wild animal. His seizures are short and done with under 5 minutes and he’s back to his hyper little self. I have talked to my breeder and it turns out that the Blaze’s mother started getting them at around 9 years and Barker’s mother never showed signs of any.


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      Jman April 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      There is a product that you can add to their food that helps prevent seizures and if they should have one, just put 1 drop of this medicine on the back of their tongue and they will come out of it shortly. It’s called Ease Sure. Please google it. It’s wonderful. We have used it for years


      Rhonda September 10, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks for the info Jman. How often does your dog have seizures?


      eb March 27, 2014 at 2:48 am

      I have a 9 year old long hair mini dachshund who had a grand mal seizure about a week ago . He was fine all day , No history of trauma or ingestion . Nothing unusual . He took a walk came home ,ate his regular dinner and was napping in his bed when I looked over and saw him in full seizure , eyes rolling, dull color , arched back , paddling feet, foaming at mouth . it lasted about 3-4 minutes . I was completely hysterical and tried to move him . he was disoriented and became aggressive . I was trying to get him to our university vet hospital . He stopped seizing but continued to be disoriented for a while after . I got him to the ER and they examined him and sent me home . A few hours later he seized again and I had to take him back to the ED where they kept him overnight and started phenobarbital loading dose . They did a cxr , lab work and some lyme testing . They told me it was not primary epilepsy due to his age and that it was likely a brain tumor . They didn’t see metastasis in his lungs . His lab work was normal ( not likely ingestion ) . he has been unsteady for days , sleepier than usual and definetly NOT safe near steps . He is eating and acting normally now . I am so worried that this will get worse and he will have intractable seizures . I can’t afford an 1800 dollar MRI to evaluate his brain and spinal cord . Does anyone have a similar story ???


      Ashlee January 7, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Hi eb,

      I’m not sure if I’m too late getting back to you. My 12-year-old dachshund started having seizures last year. They’re sporatic. She started out only having them once a month for a few months (Winter), then none for three months (Summer), to 3 six hours apart one day (Fall), to none again for two months, lastly to 2 within 12 hours (right before NYE 2015). The vet tried Phenobarbitral w/ her and it was NOT GOOD. She had an extreme reaction both times she was put on it—Spring 2014 and Fall 2014. I thought she was dying she was so lethargic, would fall over in yard trying to pee, droopy, etc.

      The vet thinks she has a TUMOR and put her on steroids for the past 2.5 months. I slowly adjust the dose to the lowest amount w/out her having a seizure. She was prescribed .5ml/dose 2x/day, but I started her with .5ml/1x day and she was good for two months. When she had Fall 2014 seizure, I upped it to .5ml/2x day. Then lowered it back. Since she had spurt last week of 2 seizures w/in 12 hours I’ve upped it to .25/ml in AM and .5/ml in PM.

      We have noticed that she’s gotten more aggressive, and will quickly pee/poo inside if we’re not paying attention to her at front door—instead of barking to go out. We’re not sure if the seizures are affecting her personality or just old age. She only likes to be picked up sometimes now, instead of all the time. If she’s in a mood she’ll yelp and turn her head like she’s ready to nip. The vet said she isn’t in pain tho, because I asked afraid that’s the reason for her mood swings, and not wanting to be picked up much.



      Aaron February 6, 2014 at 12:30 am

      We took our dachshund to our chiropractor after we told him what’s been happening. He pushed on his back and he went from having about two seizures a month to only have one that year.


      Pamela Fuentes May 17, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Are you serious, I see a reality awesome chrioprator. If he could help that would be awesome.


      Heather Stikes January 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      My little girl is going to be 9 on July 4th. She started having them in 2007 when my mom got cancer and had to stay away for wks at a time. It’s scary I cry almost every time she has one I luv her so much I dont won’t to lose her.


      Mark November 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Our little boy is 15 1/2. He just started. I am not sure if it is the antibiotic the Vet is giving him, it is a 10 day injection. Seems like he started immediatly afterward both times. I fear he is in pain. He yells the whole time he is having the seizure.


      Tracy November 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      My Charlie is 7. When he was 6 he started to have what looked like a really quick small electric shock, that passed so quickly I didn’t think to much of it. Then on Christmas eve he had a seizure, it was so distressing, I didn’t know what was happening, he was foaming at the mouth, eves rolled back, and everything had gone rigid, then it happened again and again and again I took him to the emergency vet who said it was “cluster seizures” caused by epilepsy . He has one tablet a day, and hasn’t had another seizure since. Thanks


      Holly November 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      I have a 10 yr old Dachshund..She first had a seizure at the age of 6..then did not start having them regularly till last year..She is on pheno…This morning she woke me up to having a grand mal..and I doubled her dose of pheno( like I was told) within 3 hrs she had 2 more with tremors..I rushed her to the ER Vet where they gave her a Valium which usually stops them..but since then has had two more..and she is still as I type this…Im worried about the Valium not working on her seizures…I pray that she will pull out of this!..Its so heartbreaking.


      kathy October 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      hello, My sweet Boston terrier has myoclonic seizures that last 2 hours and she also has gran mal seizures. She takes pheno and i have Valium that i can give her rectal . last night though when she was having a myoclonic I gave her the pheno and I also gave her the Valium but 5 min later she had a grand mal and 5 minutes after that another one. the y both lasted about 1-2 minutes. is there anything else she should be taking? or what about her food. right now she eats the costco brand. I have a regular vet and we just uped her medication so i was really surprised that she had two gran mals?


      October 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your message. We’re a dachshund site, but we’re happy to see if anyone can answer your question – I’ll forward this to our editor.


      Terradon Iler November 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Kathy, you probably should at bare minimum have them on a no grain (no corn, no wheat, etc) diet. Put them on a diet with dog food makers like Wellness, etc. I buy meat from the butcher that are the ends and then take veggies like broccoli and heat it slightly and feed them that. Many dogs have serious food allergies and most dog foods have a lot of filler in them.


      Judy Ann Ferreira August 21, 2013 at 10:44 am

      Last night my dachshund had what looked like a seizure. She is 7 years old. Her whole little body went stiff and her eyes looked like glass. My husband was rubbing her and after abuot 5 mins she just went and layed down. But today she is back to normal. Should I be worryed? Please help she is my baby. I don’t want it to happen again.


      Jessica August 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Judy – The best thing you can do is make a vet appointment. My dachshund also has seizures. When she had her first one we didnt know what to do. She was back to normal right after it was over so we just monitored her. After her 2nd seizure a year later we took her to the vet. The vet told us they could run blood work, but typically they wont find anything abnormal unless you take your pet for testing immediately after the seizure occurs. They said they could put her on meds but it was not necessary since her seizures are so far apart. Her blood work came back fine and the vet said to just monitor her seizures. 5 minutes is about how long hers last. But if your dogs seizures are lasting much longer then there are additional health risks. Just take your baby to the vet. I know its costly but the peace of mind was worth the price in my opinion. And also, just keep calm and quiet when your dog is seizing. Keep the stress low. Hope your baby is ok and doesn’t have any type of condition!


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