I am writing to you with ridiculous amounts of dog slobber and hair all over my keyboard, but thankfully, I have a keyboard cover. My dog doesn’t normally walk all over my keyboard. In fact, she tends to completely avoid my “scary” laptop whenever she can, making sure there’s an extra foot of space between her and my demonic being of a laptop. Today was different. My dog, Mellie, suffers from occasional seizures and in her zombie, post-seizure phase, she decided to walk all over my keyboard.
While I was still in college a few months ago, my parents took Mellie to the vet to find out that she’s just “getting old” and this is nothing to worry about. My cute, fluffy, Cockapoo was prescribed Valium which her body apparently does not agree with. I do not have any firsthand experience with the Valium, but according to my parents, the Valium makes her so drowsy that she turns into a dog zombie, defecates everywhere, and it does not, in fact, stop any of her seizures. According to some Internet research, Valium is not usually prescribed for dog seizures. Anyway, my parents decided to stop giving Mellie her Valium.
Today was my first experience with the seizures since I came home. My parents had warned me about the intensity of these seizures and tried to prepare me for the worst, but naturally, being the parents that they are, they made everything far more worse than it needed to be. I came home from my trip downstate to be told that Mellie had two seizures already that day. I knew at that moment that today was the day I would experience this horror.
Not an hour later, my family and I were hanging out in the living room when Mellie’s tiny body started convulsing and hitting everything in its path. No one really properly prepares you for dealing with a seizure, especially when it has to do with your dog. Either way, it is incredibly scary. We held my dog on a towel to make sure she wouldn’t keep hitting walls, my brother’s xbox, etc. It was especially frightening. I cannot emphasize this enough. It’s like the one adorable, fluffy buddy you had through all the tough times – the one who stayed by your side when everyone was mad at you – the one who licked your face when you cried – that buddy of yours finally needed your help and the only thing you could do was to drop everything and help her. There really is no other option. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you care about someone and appreciate them until something horrible happens to them such as this.
So I dealt with it. I sucked up my little problems and helped my little dog with her big ones. Unfortunately, a few hours later, she had another seizure. An hour later, she had yet another one, but this time, I was alone in the matter. She had been relaxing under my bed until her seizure forced her body from underneath it. I had been laying on my floor on a comforter, so I placed Mellie on that. I didn’t expect every type of bodily fluid that could come out of a dog to come out of her at that moment, but it did. Surprisingly, I felt my leg become wet as I held Mellie and I soon realized that it was her pee. No one warned me about this.
No one also warned me about the zombie-dog syndrome that happens after a seizure, actually called the ictal phase. This phase lasts for a few minutes up to an hour and apparently the dog sometimes also experiences temporary blindness. Basically, after the seizure, the dog gets up and sways a bit, like a drunk person at a bar. Her tongue hangs out and there’s a blank stare in her eyes (probably the blindness part). She pants a lot and starts wandering around. She’ll drink water like she’s never seen it before, as well. Anyway, she will wander around your house, following every member of the household that moves around, sniffing their legs. Sometimes, she’ll just stand or sit in one place and stare into nothing, panting and remaining still. After Mellie drank her water the sixth time she had a seizure (at 2am, mind you), she came really close to my face and she stared into my eyes with no expression. Dogs totally have expressions, by the way, and dead-looking eyes can happen to anyone.
The zombie dog phase is what got me the most. It’s like when you really miss someone, but they’re far away or busy and they can’t talk on the phone or text you. You check their facebook page and look at pictures, but it’s just not the same as actually interacting with them. They exist, you remember them, but they’re not really there at the moment. You can look at them, but you can’t interact with them. This is what the zombie dog phase feels like. I want to play with my dog and tell her how much I love her, but all I get is this blank stare.
Mellie was in either zombie-dog mode or seizure mode all day and it was awful. Only until her sixth one did I realize that having multiple seizures like this could not be normal or just my dog “getting old.” I did some internet research and found that more than two seizures in a 24-hour period means an emergency. At 3AM, I had difficulty finding an emergency animal hospital, but I eventually found one and talked to the man at the other end of the line. He urged me to go, I told my parents, but to make a long story short, the hospital visit alone would cost $100, my parents were angry with me for waking them up, and Mellie was finally asleep and seemingly stable.
I’m taking Mellie to the vet tomorrow, hopefully getting her some real medication and if we’re lucky, some good news. For now, sleep.
- What Causes a Dog Seizure and How to Treat It (allergicpet.com)