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Maltipoo Seizures and Epilepsy


There are different categories of seizures that a Maltipoo can have. With any type, in some cases it will only occur one time and with other dogs, it may be a continuing issue. Studies regarding whether or not hybrid vigor decreases the odds of having this condition have been inconclusive. 

Even with complete testing, there are times when veterinarians will not be able to pin-point the exact cause. Nevertheless, dogs who are acknowledged as having epilepsy can do quite well and live fairly normal and happy lives with proper medication.

Other possible reasons for a Maltipoo having one or multiple seizures is a head injury, the end stage of an extreme heart worm infestation or genetic reasons.

Signs and Symptoms

Depending on the type of seizure that is occurring a dog will have a combination of some of the following symptoms:

• Drooling
• Staring out into space
• Walking in place
• Making strange movements
• Not responding to you
• Signs of confusion
• Rigid limbs
• Passing out (unconscious)
• Breathing can stop

Types of Seizures

Tonic Clonic The most common type of dog seizure is the Tonic-clonic. This has 2 phases to it.

The "tonic" part can be very intense or mild. In severe cases, the dog will go into a Grand Mal phase in which they drop to the ground unconscious and the dog’s legs will be stretched and stiff. This is exceedingly dangerous, as a dog may stop breathing. If breathing does not begin again within 30 seconds, canine CPR must be performed while help is being called.

In milder phases, the dog may drop down, but will not be unconscious and will breathe as usual.

The "clonic" and 2nd part will be one in which the dog show very strange conduct. This can comprise of all or some of the following:

• Walking in place
• Drooling
• Abnormal movements of the mouth
• Impassiveness
• Enlarged pupils
Petit MalThis is a short lasting canine seizure in which a Maltipoo will lose muscle control and they will enter a "blank" stage of staring. Some owners will talk about how their Maltipoo has times of “just starting oddly into space” and this can sometimes actually be this type of short seizure.

Partial seizures may happen. A Maltipoo may show signs similar to the 2nd phase of the tonic-clonic type. This will include walking in place and the dog may also have muscle spasms: in the legs, head or back. Throughout this type, a dog may keep doing the same actions over and over, for example biting into the air or barking as if they are stuck in 'repeat' mode on a video.

Status EpilepticusThe most severe and also most rare type is Status Epilepticus. This is usually fatal. A dog will go into a severe seizure that lasts for roughly a 1/2 hour. Some of the dogs who suffer from this will never recuperate. This type can be avoided as it most often happens when a dog is given great amounts of chocolate. (A HUGE no-no for dogs). This can also happen if a dog unintentionally eats a toxic substance such as a cleaning solution.. For this reason, "child" proofing a home for a Maltipoo is highly recommended.
What to Do

What do should you do if you think your Maltipoo is having a seizure?

It is not true that you must hold your Maltipoo's tongue. If there are any objects near your dog, move them away, such as chairs, coffee tables, etc.

Without delay shut off any noises such as the TV, radio, etc. Turn off any bright lights. Speak in a reassuring voice. Carefully put a thin pillow under your Maltipoo dog’s head. Try to write down information that your veterinarian will need to know, such as:

• When this happened
• How long it lasted for
• All signs that your dog showed
• What your Maltipoo was doing right before the seizure
• It can help to take video of the event so that the vet can gain a good understanding of exactly how the puppy or dog acted during an episode.

Once it appears that your Maltipoo is out of the seizure, bring him or her to the vet or nearest animal hospital.

If a puppy or dog only has one or two random episodes without any lasting health effects, usually no medication is given. However, prescribed medicine is given if:
  • An episode occurs more than 1 time per month
  • The dog experience a cluster of seizures, where one almost immediately follows the last one
  • They are severe (grand mal) or are unusually long in duration
The reason that some vets delay treatment via medicine is because once it is given, a dog will need to continue taking it indefinitely. If it is taken and then stopped, this can trigger greater and more serious seizures. There are two types of anticonvulsant  medication that is given to canines; this would be phenobarbital (this is effective immediately but can cause damage to the liver) or potassium bromide (this can take several months to work, but does not affect the liver). 
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