This is a story about a little dog and her cardiological-caused seizures. You can read about the difference between that and true epilepsy caused by neurological seizures here in this short and easy-to-understand article.
I had just lost my first miniature schnauzer, Freda, when I got word that a family needed a home for their little schnauzer. When I met them just off the interstate, the mother told me the dog was about nine months old and had a slight heart murmur. I never did get a “good” reason why they were re-homing her. I brought her home, and we renamed her from Daisy to Evie – our GSD was named Ara (short for Aragorn). I immediately made an appointment with my vet. At the exam, Dr. Sally got a worried look on her face and suggested I take her as soon as possible to UTK (University of Tennessee at Knoxville) vet school. There she was diagnosed with a class 4 heart murmur, about as far from “slight” as you can get and still have a live dog.
Since little Evie didn’t have a strong ticker to pump that blood vigorously through her veins, she didn’t have much energy. She couldn’t jump up on the couch or even run through the house. Somehow Ara understood this. Sometimes when I took them out, Ara would run zoomies back and forth in front of Evie, slowing only slightly as he approached her. At that point she would grab ahold of the loose skin under his neck with her teeth and hang on while he ran around the lawn with her. Do you have the image in your head of a GSD running with a large tick swinging from his throat? Go ahead and laugh…that’s what it looked like!
Slowly in that first year with us, Evie began to develop other problems. I held her close to my heart as she experienced her first, terrifying seizure. Because her doctor was aware of her heart problems, she realized this wasn’t true epilepsy, which is caused by neurological problems. Evie’s seizures stemmed from cardiovascular problems. She was placed on anti-seizure medication, which reduced the frequency of the episodes. All we could do was hold and comfort her as these seizures continued throughout her short life.
We tried to help her have as “normal” a life as possible. She thoroughly enjoyed going boating with us.
She loved her big brothers.
That’s Sammy on the left. He wasn’t thrilled about another schnauzer in the house, but soon learned that Evie wouldn’t (and couldn’t) dominate him like Freda had.
And, like most pups, she loved to sprawl out in safety and comfort on the big bed.
Evie had a “thing” for metal objects. Noting this, her loving grandparents bought her a set of old-fashioned metal measuring spoons that she greatly loved to chew on.
One day, shortly before we returned home from work, little Evie quietly left her kennel and her many illnesses behind as she passed over the Rainbow Bridge. She was only 19 months old. She was loved.
You can find your local Epilepsy Foundation and make a donation by clicking here.