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Puppy Seizures or How Maternal Instincts and Mommy Blogging Got Me Through It

22 May 2012

Our family is a pretty healthy bunch. Since being a three-up for about four years now, we've had one nurse visit for a human and one trip to the emergency vet early on when Little Child (the puppy dog) ate a pack of hair elastics as a young pup. Other than that we stay pretty low key thanks to preventative measures and I'm sure a good dose of general ignorance. Yesterday we had a family medical emergency with Little Child. I'm still trying to figure out how it all came to be that I was there to help her and knew what to do. I'm giving credit to a good mix of fate, maternal instincts and mommy blogging that equipped me to react with a quasi-calm and efficiency that I would not have imagined myself to possess.

A few weeks ago Markus was watching baseball so I decided to see what my internet friends were up to. My future mommy mentor I Pick Pretty put a mom's blog account of her daughter going into seizures and how she went into Supermom mode and got her help. If Markus hadn't been watching baseball, keeping me away from my Bethenny Ever After marathons love of Saturday afternoon historical documentaries, I most likely would never have read it. I thought my only takeaway was how we are more than we think we can be when the health of a loved one is on the line, since seizures are not a part of my family history and don't happen to people I know.

Yesterday at around 4pm I got inexplicably stir crazy at my office. There was no reason to leave but I had wrapped all of my meetings for the day, the internet was going in and out and I wanted to beat traffic, so I packed up early and headed home where I could log-in remotely and stay on top of any final emails. After getting home and setting up my working office, Little Child jumped on the sofa next to me. As she tried to do her usual walk-about until she finds her perfect spot, I thought she might be slipping beneath the sofa cushions since she could not stand up straight. When I took a closer look, she was situated on the cushions fine but could not get weight on her limbs, as if one was hurt or broken. But it was the same struggle with all four of her legs.

Her face seemed almost frozen and her body would tense in and out. She looked nothing like the convulsing humans I've normally associated with seizures, but somehow I knew that she was slipping into one.

I scooped her up, trying to grab her torso and avoid her neck and limbs, and called Markus. I told him Little Child was seizing and he needed to leave work and call our vet, Dr. Carroll at Midway Hollow Pet Clinic. I don't know what's appropriate to ask your spouse to leave work for, but I needed to know he was on his way and I had no idea if this was something simple or our last day with L.C.

It was school zone and high traffic time in our neighborhood. I kept Little Child's heartbeat really close to mine and put the hazards on my car. We calmly ignored every flashing school zone and fresh red light if I could tell no one was coming through. I took my mommy blogger's advice that if someone wanted to stop and ask me questions about it, they most likely had the authority to be our escort to the vet.

I talked to Little Child the whole way there, telling her how much I loved her and talking about our favorite memories. She was drooling and losing control of her bladder. Her breath was very labored and she was shaky. She would tense her whole body like she was stretching but stay rigid for moments at a time. I kept reminding myself that since she could hear my heartbeat it was really important that I keep it slow and comforting to help calm hers down. The most she could respond to me was a few short whimpers and she never looked up at me or recognized me speaking to her. She never acted anything like what I would typically associate with a seizure so I really don't know how I knew that's what it was.

When we got to the vet she was beginning to pull out of the seizure. Dr. Carroll explained that seizures are not uncommon in dogs, but that I was lucky to be home and catch it during operating hours so she could go to her home clinic instead of an emergency vet. Her temperature was fine and we did blood work and she got a little puppy Valium to help her relax throughout the night. No Valium for me, who of the two of us seemed very much the most in need of it at that point.

It's not the most dramatic story to ever be posted on a blog. The story is, to me, a testament that, like I read before, it's so easy to become dramatic yourself when someone that means the world to you is in distress, but there's so much more that can be done and learned if you fight with all you have to stay calm. I thought about how much time I would have later to be upset if I could just focus for right now.

I see my story is a testament to blogging - which is an oversaturated, egocentric enerprise for many, but holds enough truth where I was able to learn about something from a real person's perspective. I doubt I would have found myself googling "early signs of seizures" at any point in my life before witnessing L.C. yesterday, but the loss of body control, lack of focus and drooling were things I had learned from the Velveteen Mind's post. I doubt that WebMD mentions the value of being calm and neglecting road signs during critical situation or communicates how in a situation like this every person you speak to will seem like an idiot and how it is important to refrain from communicating your awareness of this issue.

My blog today is a testament to the fact that I think there is something bigger than just "being at the right place at the right time." I believe we are exposed to things by God in the order in which we are supposed to receive them. We are stretched beyond our expectations for a reason and when we love someone we are often challenged to prove how much of ourselves we are willing to put on hold for that person (or animal), even for a perioid of time as short as a drive to the vet's office. Little Child centers her world around me every day and I am glad I was able to be home and compltely present for her for just a few short hours last night.

We are still waiting for blood work results but it's most common that Little Child is epileptic and this will just be something we montior over time. We're working with our amazing vet to see what the next steps will be in her maintenence or recovery, but in the meantime she is getting a lot of extra rubs and attention. She is also getting her photo gratuitously posted at the end of this entry.

We love you, Little Child!


  1. I saw your tweets yesterday about the vet visit. So glad Little Child is okay! :)

  2. Poor LC! So scary... glad she is going to be okay :) When she is back to 100% let's get her and Primo together

  3. Sending lots of good wishes To your pupcake ��

  4. Oh my goodness...this is just terrible. I am so, so, so glad that she is ok and that you were there! I agree with you, I totally think that God ordains those moments when there really was no reason for you to be home at that time other than to be there with her and for her. I am SUCH a dog lover and this just broke my heart. So glad things worked out. XO


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