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09 Dec 2004

Strychnine Poisoning?
Dear Cyber Vet,

We found my 10 year old foxterrier at midnight Monday night (got up to get water ) on the kitchen floor foaming at the mouth and convulsing . We managed to get a vet at that time of night and rushed her there. He diagnosed strychnine poisoning and put her under anesthetic. We have no idea where , when or how she could have been piosoned. (My daschhund and cat are fine.)
When I phoned the next day she was coming out of the anesthetic but still having fits so he anethetised her again. No improvement by Wednesday so we made the sad decision to put her out as we could not stand to see her suffer like that anymore.
Now the vet said that it was possibly not poisoning but distemper, but she has never missed her yearly shots and her last one was January this year, so now even he does not know. He did say that whatever it was has damaged her nervous system hence the constant twitching of her right hind leg. Glassy eyes etc. no vomiting though. What also worries me is the fact that he did not have her on any hydration drip for the whole time. can you shed any light on what may have been happening to my dog?
Thank you
Answer 465 views
Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

Unfortunately, there are many different causes for the symptoms that you saw. The condition is called status epilepticus. They can be caused by poisoning, infections, meningitis, organ damage and organ problems, blood sugar problems, etc etc. Sometimes poisoning or infections can be diagnosed purely by the symptoms or sometimes various tests need to be around. In some cases it is just not possible to find the actual cause of the problem and we simply deal with the symptoms. Invariably, the longer status epilepticus lasts, the smaller the chance of full recovery. In severe cases, damage to the brain may be severe, irreversible and fatal.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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