A Night at the Emergency Vet

Triangle Emergency Vet. http://trianglevec.com

Night before last I didn’t sleep well.  By 7pm last night I was ready to go to bed.  I couldn’t sleep.   We decided to watch a show on the computer curled up in bed together.  Then about 9pm, it happened.

Stuart jumped up, “Oh no, Sandy!  Wendy she’s doing her thing again!”  I was very confused, what is “her thing”?  I jumped up and turned the light on, she’s having a seizure.

No coughing, no signs anything was going to happen, nothing.  She’s lying there with her back straight, legs straight out, and mouth tight.   She has already wet herself.  But she’s breathing.  Hard.  I keep talking to her, no response.  I keep petting her and talking to her, and trying to get her to respond, nothing.   I’m very good in a crisis, when I can do something, I started to panic a bit this time.  What am I supposed to do to help?  Finally I did get a little bit of a response by touching her tongue.  She moved her head a bit with that, annoyed, but that was it, but it was enough to show me she was still in there.  Stuart’s calling the Emergency Vet telling them we’re on our way, and getting dressed.  I’m not leaving Sandy’s side.  He’s all ready, I’m going in what I have on, sleep pants and an over sized t-shirt.  I grabbed a sweat shirt because it was chilly, and threw on some sneakers.  Out the door.  I was a mess and reeked of urine, and did not care.

Sandy on the couch.

We get there, and were so sad because they were a bit busy.  Not something you want to see at an Emergency Vet on a Friday night….a lot of people, most of them crying.

Sandy was acting a bit better, but she was still very lethargic, and confused acting.  They took her right back.

This was the worst seizure she’s had, and they seem to be getting closer.  They did blood work, but couldn’t get a urine sample.   (I don’t know why, but Sandy hates to pee at the Vet’s office.)   She was dehydrated, so that could have been the reason for no urine.  They give her fluids, but wanted the urine to be before they diluted it.   The blood work showed signs that she was dehydrated (this is typical after having a seizure), but it did have a couple of red flags about her kidneys.  However, her potassium was normal, and the vet said if she was having major kidney problems the potassium would not be in the normal range…..whew.   She thinks most of the tests that were out of range were because of dehydration.  They monitored her body temperature.  When dogs (I don’t know about humans) have a seizure their core body temperature rises.  Since Sandy’s seizure lasted so long, or at least her coming out of it lasted a long time (it’s very hard to tell when her seizure’s stop and her recovering, but not being able to move, starts), they were concerned her temperature was too high for too long.   Soon they gave her a lot of fluids and sent her home with the instructions….”Keep her calm tonight and keep an eye on her.”

At 12:30am we were back home, Sandy was so excited!  You never would have known anything was wrong with her!!!   She wanted to run everywhere!  “Keep her Calm”, when a vet tells me that I really should ask, “how?”   We did out best, but she had to see every inch of the house, and tried to run everywhere!  Normally, if she’s excited we can go outside for a little bit and she will calm down.  She starts getting all those good smells she has to slow down for, but last night?  Nope.

Sandy playing in her bed.

Today, she’s acting fine.  It’s so hard to believe I was sitting with her last night in tears telling her I understood if she had to leave us, that I never want her to be in pain.  I kept telling her how much I love her, and that everything is alright.  Trying so hard to sound calm.  But just dying inside.

We talked to our vet today.  She is starting Sandy on a seizure medication, and a special diet for renal function.  She does have bladder cancer, we need to keep her urinary system running as smoothly as possible.

Watching someone you love get older and change is so hard.  There is so much about her that is different from the Sandy she used to be.  I’m glad the Alzheimer’s medication works, but it hasn’t cured it. She paces a lot.  Around and around the house.  Since the first day I got her she hasn’t wanted to be in a different room from me when I’m home, that’s different now.  She often will go to bed in the middle of the day.  Just leave us, and go to bed.  She is much more of a loner dog, I’ve wondered if she is trying to prepare us in her own little way for a day when she won’t be here.

Last week, I was looking at her and thinking….she’s not the same dog.   Don’t get me wrong, I still love her dearly, and she’s still MY dog, but there is so much that’s different.  I miss my Sandy.  I swear she knew I was feeling this way because she started to do little things that were more from her normal personality than she has in a long time.  Cuddling up with me, and I’d love on her and when I’d stop she’d jerk her head back to look at me, “why’d you stop?”, it is such a cute move….so Sandy.  She’s been more affectionate, and lying in the sun more….. oh just young Sandy things.   Not old dog, Sandy things.   I love them both, really!!!  I’ve just missed my young Sandy a bit….because let’s face it.  She’s 20 years old.  That’s 100 years old for her.  She can’t live forever.  (but don’t tell her that!!!)


14 thoughts on “A Night at the Emergency Vet

  1. So scary. Brody has been having seizures and neurological symptoms. We are considering medication for him too, but his seizures have not been that severe. We do have some valium that we can give him rectally if he has a bad seizure – did your vet give you that? It makes me feel better knowing that I have something that I can give him if he has a severe seizure. Otherwise, you feel so helpless.



    1. no, they didn’t give us any valium. Said they might give it to her at the ER vet if she needed it. Since her seizures aren’t violent, it’s so hard to tell when it’s over and the recovery starts….there’s a period after the seizure when the vet says…the brain is kind of resetting its self. She can’t move….it’s like, there’s no one home. But she’s not stiff any more that’s the only way I can tell the seizure has stopped.
      It’s terrifying. and yes, I felt so helpless.
      Luckily we live very close the the ER vet….and our vet….so we can do that.
      Just really hoping the meds work.
      and the urinalysis doesn’t show signs that the cancer has progressed.

      Sandy is such a stoic dog. She does not show when she’s hurt. That worries me. I’d hate to think she’s hurting all the time and I don’t know it. I don’t want her to be miserable.
      But she runs around here…but she’s not supposed to run….and wags her tail, and plays in the blankets and…well, she seems like such a happy dog. I can’t imagine that she’s in misery.
      it’s very hard to have an elderly dog, if she could talk to me and tell me how she’s feeling what’s going on…it’d be easier. it’s hard.

      Give Brody an extra hug for me tonight….your little one too.
      love and hugs


  2. this was excruciating for me to read but i’m so happy she is ok, give her a hug or seven for me. i think it was the shock of callie’s death that made it so unbearable because she looked perfectly fine and acted just fine. wow. i am looking to adopt another puppy because my life has been lonely and i do feel i can love another dog. they calculate dogs ages differently now, did you know that? there’s a new formula. keep sandy close by and give her lots of love which i know you do!!!! hugs, Laurie


    1. Laurie,
      I’m sorry, I know this had to be hard on you.
      it’s difficult.
      This age calculation is done by her weight and size….then they told me how old she’d be in human years.
      But again…no one told her!
      She’s still our girl. And hopefully will have no more troubles for a long, long time.
      She’s on a new medication that should help prevent the seizures, and a new food to help with her bladder/kidney function.
      We’re waiting on more detailed urinalysis, but right now, she’s fine….it’s amazing really!

      thank you again.


  3. Goodness! Such a scare and then she’s bouncing happily all over the house when you get home. Going to be soooo hard when she finally goes–20 years!! Breaks my heart. So glad she’s still okay and made it through the crisis!! Not time to go yet! 🙂 🙂


    1. Thank you Debra.
      She is doing fine….you’d never know it happened.
      The vet started her on seizure medication, so hopefully, no more seizures!!
      We do love our dogs!


  4. I hope Sandy is better on her new meds. That must have been so scary; our bonds with our furry friends are strong; and watching them grow older is like watching the changes in anyone you love as they age or get a chronic illness/chronic pain. And, with these changes you worry about pain and discomfort. And, you hope to get glimpses, have experiences from when that person was younger. Bonds to furry family members can be as strong as those with your non-furry family members.
    Wishing you and Sandy better health!


  5. I’m sorry for you and Stuart and Sandy. My dog, who’s name was D.O.G., started having seizures and got doggie Alzheimer’s when he was about 17. It’s so hard watching beloved pets age. Best of luck to you all.


    1. Thank you Big Daddy. : ) It is hard to watch a beloved age. It as been hard watching her the past couple of days, the seizure medication makes her drunk. They say it will wear off soon, her body will get used to it, but to see her stumble it’s so hard. And she’s pacing so much more. Like she is trying to get away from it or something. Just around and around and around. I’m concerned. She’s always been happy, throughout all of this, but the past couple of days she hasn’t been happy, she’s been frustrated, and I’m stressed worried about her. Yesterday, she was drinking water, stepped in it and just laid down and kept drinking. It was kind of funny to see, she looked like she was very tired from playing or very lazy. But and she didn’t seem to mind. But when you think about it, it’s sad. I only hope the medication stops making her feel drunk soon. I’m a worried mommy. w


  6. I love dogs and this just crushed my heart. It’s so sad when you feel so helpless and at the same time they seem to recover spontaneously…because Sandy knows you love her and have taken great care of her! What ideal display of unconditional love. I’ve cried many tears over my dog, and more tears and sorrow … than many human relationships. Hope Sandy is doing better today.


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