Last July, my dog, Special Agent Dog Mulder, had a seizure. He’d been scratching at the bedroom door and I thought he’d just gotten stuck up there. Then the scratching became uncharacteristically frantic, and I began to worry. By the time I arrived, he was standing, trembling in an eerie, uncontrolled manner. At the same time, my husband arrived to comfort him. After a few minutes of panic on our part it was over. Ten minutes later, Mulder was zooming around the house like nothing had happened while I tried not to cry on our vet’s emergency line.
We set up an appointment for the following morning, as recommended by the emergency line. The vet ran some tests, only to tell us that she couldn’t determine a cause. The seizures were probably idiopathic, which is a fancy medical term for “I don’t know what’s wrong with your dog, but it will probably happen again.” She also reassured us that it was a mild one, it didn’t hurt him, and that since he would never need to operate heavy machinery, it wouldn’t impact his quality of life. If they got worse in magnitude or became frequent, we should bring him back in.
After months with no recurrences, I had begun to believe that his seizure was an isolated incident. This week, however, he had another seizure. When I woke up at midnight on the dot, I was confused. The baby wasn’t crying. I heard some shuffling from the other side of the bed, where Mulder sleeps, and got up to check on him. He had gotten out of his little dog bed, but only made it a few steps before he lost the ability to walk. He was sitting, shaking on the floor, alone and probably confused. I sat down with him, helped him into a relaxed position, and pet him while telling him he was a good boy. My husband woke up and joined me on the floor (Mulder likes him better anyway). Five minutes later, it was over. None of the panic and tears that followed his first seizure, just comfort and pets for our little doggo. Afterward, we set him on the bed in between us and went back to sleep.
I don’t have some profound message or lesson here. This has just been occupying my thoughts. My dog has seizures now, and there’s nothing I can do but comfort him. I worry about what will happen if he has one when we’re not home. Will he feel scared? Probably. Is there anything I can do about it? Not really. Aside from giving him love and attention when I am around.
If I do have a message, maybe it’s just appreciate your animal companions while they are here and healthy. Mulder’s seizure was no big deal, according to the vet, but it reminded me that it could have been something worse. So if you have a dog/cat/chinchilla/etc, give them some pets from me and tell them I say hi.