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yorkie 4 years old

20 11:37:36

QUESTION: my little Annie has times were she will be in the bed or just on the floor.she gets herself in a trance i can see that she is looking back and forth with her eyes like she is looking at something their isn't anything their. i then say her name and she stops. i am worried about her.

ANSWER: Whitney,

What you are describing sounds like she is having a seizure.  The only thing that you described that is inconsistent with a seizure is that she stops when you say her name.  Sometimes when a seizure disorder first appears they will stare off into space and their eyes will look like no one is home.  As time goes on and the disorder progresses they will start to have the other symptoms like shaking, convulsing, drooling, panting etc.

Your vet cannot diagnose a seizure disorder unless he actually sees the seizure.  What you really should do though is take her to the vet and have them eliminate other possible causes.  Brain tumors can sometimes produce the symptoms you describe although that usually is a rare condition.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Annie has had seizures before mostly when she was a puppy.i always would carry Kr syrup in  her bag if we were going to be gone all day.the staring has been going on  a few weeks.she is usual sitting down and holding her head down. i can see her head and eyes move a little.i will ask her doc. someone also said it could be neurological. i,am not real sure what that is all about. thank you.


One of my Yorkies developed a seizure disorder when she was about 5 years old.  I believe she had it before that but because she did not actually have convulsions we did not realize it.  She used to sit and stare in a similar fashion to your dog.  At first she would sit and look at something like she was seeing something that wasn't there.  She would be staring and then all of a sudden she would turn her head really fast like she was following it.  She would sit and stare at my other females when they were sleeping and do the same thing.  After watching her carefully when she was doing this I discovered that she was watching fleas and the sudden jerking of her head was when they jumped.

To this day we do not know why she was doing that but it always seemed to precede a seizure.  My boys also like to get a pen light and shine it on the floor because she would chase it.  At first it seemed harmless enough and she seemed to enjoy chasing the light around.  Over time I came to realize that the pen light play also preceded seizures so I made my boys stop doing that.  Seizures are electrical malfunctions in the brain and much of the brain is accessed through the visual cortex.  Humans that suffer seizures can be induced into having one if they are in a room with a strobe light.  So I am going to assume that the pen light acted like a strobe light to my dog.

A seizure in a sense is a neurological disorder.  In dogs most other neurological disorders are usually brought on by an infection in the brain or by head trauma.  My neighbor had a dog that was hit in the head accidentally and the resulting neurological trauma caused the dog to walk in circles.  Because your dog has had prior seizures I am glad you are going to take her to the vet.  Since there is no cure for seizures the best course of action is prevention.  While they cannot be completely eliminated medication, like phenol barbital can reduce the incidences and severity.

Watching them suffer through a seizure is a gut wrenching experience.  My little girl always knew when one was coming on and would seek me out no matter where I was.  She always had this pitiful look on her face as if to say; mommy I'm scared.  All you can do is hold them and reassure them until the seizure passes.  My heart goes out to you if seizures are her diagnosis.

If you need someone to commiserate with please don't hesitate to contact me.