When older pets (age 10 year or older) have a seizure, the owner’s first thought typically is, “This has to be a tumor or something else bad. This must be a death knell for my pet.” I’d like to assure you: This isn’t necessarily true.
Every week in my practice I see geriatric pets that have had seizures. When we do a work-up with MRI and spinal tap, often there are NO terminal conditions present.
Frequently in dogs, the cause of the seizure(s) is a stroke. It’s valuable to utilize a CSF tap and MRI to make a diagnosis of stroke as we know that many pets will not get worse. Instead, with treatment using standard anti-convulsants, they recover with minimal deficits. Another advantage to diagnosis is that we are able to anticipate future stroke episodes and prevent them.