Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yellow Labrador having Seizures/Tremors - part I

This e-mail was sent in by Russell, who is having a problem with his yellow Labrador Retriever, Haley having seizures or tremors. This is part one of a two part e-mail question.

Reader's E-mail - Russell Writes:


My name is Russell and my wife and I have a Yellow Female Labrador named Haley who is about a year old. I came across your blog when Jennifer (my wife) and I were conducting research on a condition we noticed in Haley for the first time about two weeks ago. I saw it tonight for the first time and it concerned me. Haley was sleeping on the couch when her head began moving side to side as if she was saying "no" fairly rapidly. We woke her up thinking she was dreaming but she continued with this behavior/condition for 3 minutes longer. I managed to get a short video clip of it to show my vet. Have you ever heard of this happening to labs? Is it common? Do you think this could be seizures or tremors? Can it get progressively worse?

I read on some other blogs where dogs were having tremors and when their owners changed their diets the tremors stopped. We feed Haley 4 cups 1 time per day of Iams Dry Puppy for Large Breed dog food. She's moderately active. I should mention that when she has these tremors she is otherwise normal. Just kinda sits around looking around the room as if nothing is happening. To our knowledge she has not gotten into any thing around the house that might prompt it.

I'd certainly appreciate any insight you or your readers might be able to offer. Thank you in advance.

Best Regards,

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Continue Reading...

Hello Russell,

Thank you for writing and visiting the All About Labradors blog. I'm sorry to hear about Haley's problem.

To answer your question, yes I have heard of this happening in Labrador Retrievers, and yes this could be seizures or tremors. Not that I am saying this was a seizure, but the Labrador Retriever breed does have a high incidence of seizure disorders.

In order to try to be of more help to you, I need to ask you a few more questions.

When are you taking her to the veterinarian?

Did any of these things occurring while Haley was going through these episode:

Foaming/Drooling at mouth
Any smell to her during or after
Paddling of the feet
Rapid or weird eye movements
Any problem with her sight after these episodes

This only happens while she is sleeping or when awake also?

This condition lasted how long? How long the first time?

Any other problems with Haley now or in the past?

Haley has had all her shots?

Make sure you keep a record of all future incidents: when they occurred, how long they last, and what happens during the incidents for your veterinarian. (Good job recording the incident)

Russell, please get back to me with the answers to these questions and we will see what we can find out to try to help Haley.

Talk to you soon,

P.S. With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to the Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. You DO NOT have to send a photo to receive an answer to your question.

Reader's E-mail - Russell's Reply:


Thank you SO much for your willingness to help. Below are the answers to your questions

1. Haley is going to the vet on Friday.
2. Nothing listed occurred during her episode.
3. It started happening while she was awake. The other night was the first time I have seen her do it in her sleep.
4. The first time it only lasted a few seconds and each episode, although infrequent seems to be progressing in time. It lasted about 2 min on and off this time.
6. No other Haley problems.
7. Current on all shots.

I'd be happy to attach a few pics of Haley...

Thanks again!

To read part two click: Yellow Labrador having Seizures/Tremors - part II

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Categories: LabradorHealth_ ReadersEmail_


jadi10,  March 31, 2010 12:37 AM  

you guys are great for posting this stuff or i would never know.

i have a lab ( CJ ) who is about 2. she had a seizure awhile ago, lets say 6 months ago. i did not witness that one and heard that it only lasted a few min where she tried to walk but just couldn't. just recently i witnessed the worst thing i've ever lasted about 10 min and as it started i thought she was chasing a bug. she had her head in the corner and was breathing heavy. thats when i knew it was not a bug....she proceeded to try and get up and move but her arms feet and tail just kept moving when she had no control over them. her head was the worst...and most of this was my fault cuz ive never seen a dog have a seizure before n was not sure what to do, was she goin to try move? if i said nothin would she pull out of it faster? i feel terrible that i didn't hold her head soon enough.

anyways, her head slammed against the door frame and thats when i went to her side. her heart was racing and i just proceeded to talk sweet to her.

i want to know how to prevent this...or be by her side as soon as it happens so she feels safe.

is the dog food really an issue? thats what i read?

when im around her now since it happened all i think about is that its going to happen again. i want to prevent it but not sure how. its just not fair to her..


love her so much!

jgrasso May 25, 2011 11:43 AM  

Without getting into a long story I had a Lab that lived 14yrs. Half was on Phenobarbatal because of his siezures. This drug is not really that good for the rest of the dogs organs but stopped his episodes. We did finally regulate his dosages on our own because they made him tired. Note: That the first episode was a very fast car drive to the hopital.


Denyse,  June 06, 2011 10:52 AM  

Can a lab live a normal life while on phenobarbatol? My 3 yr old lab is starting treatment and I am concerned this will take his playful personality away.

Anonymous,  November 08, 2011 4:38 AM  

I have a yellow lab who is about three, and has had a couple of episodes, when he was younger it started as just mild head tremors, like he was saying no rapidly. but one day after he was running around alot next to the four wheeler and kids running back and fourth he just collapsed. he had 2 or 3 more episodes like that usually a good few months in between each one, so maybe its over exersion? maybe somthing with getting too overly excited, or maybe dehidration? i also noticed this past summer he had another convulsion episdoe after running around for a little bit, but was also around the same time i caught him drinking from a puddle with gasoline in it, so maybe he keeps getting into somthing? the tremors almost concern me more then the convulsions

Stacy November 21, 2011 8:09 PM  

Hi. My yellow Lab, Ava, just had about a 1 1/2 minute seizure earlier this evening. She had gone into her kennel and a few minutes later practically "fell" out. Her legs looked like Bambi on ice. She was falling all over herself and was shaking. I got her safely to the floor and hugged her front trunk with her head on my lap! Just saying it's ok, it's ok. She was drooling and all 4 legs went stiff (like rigamortis was setting in). It was extremely frightening. My little 8 year old son threw himself to the ground crying saying she's going to die. :( She was very confused and still kind of wonky afterward (I just read that is normal after a seizure.

The reason I'm concerned is that about 1 month ago one of my friends threw a softball and Ava went to fetch and it hit her in the head. She had a seizure right after. I brought her to ER but dr. said she hesitates labeling something a "seizure" and in this case it could have been an adverse reaction to extreme pain. Now I'm reading that labs are succeptible to this anyway. Do you think being hit in the head could have "triggered" the disorder. She's 4 y.o. and up till a month ago had never had any seizure. I'm concerned.

She's such a beautiful, sweet girl. I'll post her pic!

Hazard Boys Mom January 13, 2012 8:33 AM  

Hello...I have 2 beautiful yellow lab males who are brothers. Bo & Luke are their names, and we jokingly call them the "Hazard" Boys! They are almost 6 years old, and are showing their age by their white hairs they are getting. They have always been "ALL BOYS" and full of life. They love to duck hunt and they are inseperable! Luke has had two incidents with either tremors or a seizure while my husband was home. I never got to witness him having one. This morning, I opened the door to let the boys go outside and go the bathroom, and Bo starting flailing on the floor and could not get up. We have a tile floor, and he lay there with his head and body totally tense. His tail was tucked between his legs and his eyes were huge and helpless looking. His heart rate was very fast and his back leg toes were spread very widely apart and he as just so tense. I was sure he was having a seizure. I laid his pillow under his head and rubbed him and talked to him, and felt helpless! I did not know what to do for him, except be there and hold him and tell him I loved him. His brother Luke stood there and licked his face and knew that something was wrong. What can I do when these boys have one of these???? They are current on all their shots, very healthy, and they eat Purina Dog Chow...which I know is not the best dog food to feed them. What do you suggest for dog food, in that I have read that it can stop their siezures???? I do not want to go through this again with either of my is heart wrenching!!!!

The Hazard Boys Mom!

Anonymous,  April 22, 2012 4:32 PM  

At age 8 my yellow lab Kobe (female)had a ver seriouse scary seizure, yelping, kicking and lying on her side. I drove her straght to the vet. Cost an enourmouse amount of money, they could find nothing wrong when she arrived. The vet offered to do several tests that would cost over $1,700. That was a no! She has had around 5 more less severe seisures since then.(that we noticed) She is almost 11 yrs old now. I did change her food to olroy dinner rounds. seems to be better for her tummy (she use to vomit up her food regularly) and I havent noticed any more seizures for the last year.

Fay April 22, 2012 8:28 PM  

Thanks for your comment and info anonymous.

paul September 05, 2012 10:44 PM  

I have a yellow lab named hailey as well .I also have a black lab. They are both 7 and 8 years old.About 2 years ago they started having seizures.There seems to be no pattern,rhyme or reason.The vet couldn't offer a remedy.Sometimes months go by w/no activity,sometimes I will see it 2 days in a row???? What to do???

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