fainting dog? - Mothering Forums
Pets > fainting dog?
joy2bmom's Avatar joy2bmom 06:15 AM 03-28-2007
Ever hear of it? I took my boxer to the vet and found out he's got some kinda skin parasite, but the other tests came back normal, so she treated him for the parasite but she doesn't know why he faints except "maybe" it could be his heart murmur, so she put him on heart meds just in case. What would you do? I'm not crazy about him being on the meds but i'm not sure what else to do, i've never heard of a dog fainting. He's getting older (7yrs) so maybe it might be his age? I don't know but if i could hear from anyone that ever heard of a fainting dog it might help. I hope its not serious but i'm trying to prepare myself for the worst

thekimballs's Avatar thekimballs 06:41 AM 03-28-2007
Did she say what grade murmur it is?

I think the definitive test would be a Holter (a heart monitor they wear for 24 to 48 hours) to see if the fainting is associated with a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

I know that narcolepsy exists in dogs--he's not doing that, is he?

How often is he fainting, and what is he doing immediately before and after?
KayleeZoo's Avatar KayleeZoo 11:51 AM 03-28-2007
Boxers are at an increased risk for epilepsy; is your vet sure that the fainting spells aren't a form of seizure? Not all dogs have classic seizure symptoms including spasticity and drooling- some do actually just sort of "faint", stay quiet and then get up like nothing happened. Phenobarbital or Primidone are the drugs that are usually used to treat canine epilepsy, but there may be safer natural alternatives. I would have his heart murmer evaluated by a cardiac specialist (or at least a vet with the diagnostic equip. many referral practices can do that type of eval.) and go from there; he shouldn't be on cardiac meds if it's epilepsy or something unrelated.
Mary's Avatar Mary 11:53 AM 03-28-2007
I had a boxer with cardiomyopathy- she would collapse and come to after about 30 seconds (I'm guessing, it felt like forever). The syncope was related to her heart condition. She did wear a holter monitor to record her heartbeat and see exactly what was going on. She saw a cardiologist and was stabilized with heart medications. She didn't collapse again after starting heart meds. It was all very scary. With an untreated heart condition, the dog is at risk for sudden death, so I would definitely treat it, if that is what your dog has.

I also have a boxer with epilepsy. His seizures started out looking very similar to the syncope. I would say the major differences were that he lost his bladder control during a seizure and she didn't during a syncope episode. He also was very disoriented after a seizure and my girl with the heart condition just seemed out of breath (panting a lot).

Unfortunately, boxers are prone to cardiomyopathy and epilepsy. Honsestly, I would rather deal with epilepsy than cardiomyopathy, but they are both horrible to deal with. I hope you pup is ok.
TheDivineMissE's Avatar TheDivineMissE 12:20 PM 03-28-2007
I have a nine year old bullmastiff that faints every couple of months. She has a level 2 heart block. What that means is her heart beats 10 times, skips a beat, then beats 10 more times, and so on. She is unresponsive to atropine(Sp?) and so our only treatment choice is a pace maker. We've decided to not intervene and let things happen naturally (she has had a really hard life - she was a breeding bitch for a very large puppy mill - so we think the kindest option is to let her liver her natual life without major sugery again - also, the pace maker is prohibitive in cost for such an old dog).

Her fainting episodes go like this: She starts getting a bit jerky when she walks, breathing hard through her nose. She may fall down on the floor, may howl a little, then lays inert on the ground. At this point her heartrate is around 40 beats per minute - her normal heartrate is 70bpm. Her tongue gets a little purpleish. She may lay there for a few minutes, but then staggers to her feet and goes to find a quiet corner to rest in. She'll never lose conciousness, but seems a little groggy for a few minutes afterwards. Later she continues about her day as normal. It's scary looking - but I don't think she's in pain, exactly.

I hope you find the cause for your dog's fainting! It's frightening, I know!
joy2bmom's Avatar joy2bmom 02:41 PM 03-28-2007
Gee Thanks for all the great tips, i'll hafta get him re evaluated, the vet didn't give me many details, "just a heart murmur" is what she said. The episode always happens after we take him out to pee or poop, he doesn't loose control of bodily function, he plops over on his side, lays there for a few seconds panting, but doesn't act like he's aware of me yelling at him (not in a mean way, just panicked, i am getting better now since i've seen it a few times, i don't yell anymore) then after a few seconds he gets up then he's normal again, the whole process takes about 20 seconds (sounds similar to what the mary explained), so far he's been doing it once a day. The drug the vet perscribed is called "Enacard". What is the approximate life span of a boxer? The vet said about 8yrs, is that right? That makes me sad if its true. Well, thanks again
Mary's Avatar Mary 03:26 PM 03-28-2007
Boxers are a short-lived breed, 8-12 years is what I've always heard. We think our girl was 10 when we had to put her to sleep. She was a rescue so we aren't certain of her age. We think she was around 6 when she first collapsed. She went had nearly 4 good years with her heart condition under control. We put her to sleep because she was losing control of her entire back end (legs, everything) and was losing her mind as well. It was clear when it was time.

I would definitely get your boy to a vet that is more knowledgable about heart conditions (a vet cardiologist if you can swing it). A murmur sounds so benign, but if your dog has a combination of arrhythmias, it can be a very serious situation that can be controlled on the right meds. Our girl had a number of different arrhythmias and was totally at risk of sudden death until it got under control.
thekimballs's Avatar thekimballs 03:52 PM 03-28-2007
joy2bmom's Avatar joy2bmom 05:12 PM 03-28-2007
Originally Posted by Mary View Post
Boxers are a short-lived breed, 8-12 years is what I've always heard. We think our girl was 10 when we had to put her to sleep.

I would definitely get your boy to a vet that is more knowledgable about heart conditions (a vet cardiologist if you can swing it).

I will try to find a different vet, to be honest i never knew a vet cardiologist existed but if i can find one i will. Thank You
joy2bmom's Avatar joy2bmom 05:12 PM 03-28-2007
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post

Great article!! So informative! Thanks