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Should I Take My 14-Year-Old Dog with Seizure Symptoms to the Emergency Vet?


Dear VetBabble,

I have a 14-year-old dog who had a seizure yesterday. The seizure lasted a few minutes, his head was back, and he urinated. He seemed to be recovering, but this morning he isn’t putting weight on his back legs and is reluctant to eat. I’m not sure if I should bring him to the emergency vet or wait to see our regular vet tomorrow. What should I do?

Understanding Seizures in Older Dogs

Seizures in dogs can be a frightening experience for both the pet and the owner. They can result from various causes, including epilepsy, brain tumors, and other underlying medical conditions. As your dog is 14 years old, it’s essential to consider that seizures at this age can be a sign of more severe health issues. To learn more about seizures in dogs, you can read our comprehensive article on the topic.

Assessing Your Dog’s Health: Vomiting, Diarrhea, and Limping

In addition to seizures, there are other signs to watch for that can indicate your dog might be experiencing health problems. Changes in appetite, refusal to eat, or difficulty eating can be symptoms of various health concerns. Vomiting is also a common issue that can result from gastrointestinal problems, poisoning, or more severe conditions. Our article on vomiting in dogs can help you understand the causes, treatments, and when to worry about this symptom.

Just like vomiting, diarrhea in dogs can be caused by a range of factors, including dietary changes, infections, or more serious illnesses. It’s essential to monitor your dog’s bowel movements and consult your vet if you notice any significant changes. Read our article on diarrhea in dogs to learn when to worry and how to address this common issue.

Another sign to look out for is limping or reluctance to put weight on one or more limbs. There can be various reasons for limping in dogs, from minor injuries to more severe issues like arthritis or fractures. If you notice your dog is limping, read our article on why your dog might be limping and what to do.

When to Visit an Emergency Vet

Now, let’s address your primary concern about whether you should bring your dog to an emergency vet or wait for your regular vet’s appointment. Since your dog experienced a seizure and is now reluctant to eat and unable to put weight on his back legs, it is essential to act quickly. In this situation, I recommend taking your dog to an emergency vet as soon as possible.

Older dogs can be more susceptible to severe health issues, and waiting too long could put your dog at risk. Emergency veterinarians are trained to handle situations like this and can provide immediate care and treatment to help your dog feel better and potentially diagnose any underlying health issues.

After the emergency care, make sure to follow up with your regular veterinarian to discuss the possible causes of the seizure, any necessary diagnostics, and a long-term care plan for your dog. Your veterinarian will be the best person to guide you through this process and ensure your dog receives the best possible care.

In conclusion, my advice is to take your dog to the emergency vet to address the immediate concerns, including the recent seizure, reluctance to eat, and inability to put weight on his back legs. From there, work closely with your regular veterinarian for any further diagnostics and ongoing care. Remember to keep an eye on any other symptoms or issues, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or limping, and consult your veterinarian if you notice any worrying signs.

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