This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
Fits are of three kinds: 1st, those arising from irritation, espe cially in the puppy, and known as convulsive fits: 2ndly, those connected with pressure on the brain, and being of the nature of apoplexy; and, 3rdly, epileptic fits, which may occur at all ages, and even at intervals, through the whole life of the animal Convulsive fits are generally produced by the irritation of dentition, and occur chiefly at the two periods when the teeth are cut, viz., during the first month, and from the fifth to the seventh month They come on suddenly, the puppy lying on its side, and being more or less convuls3d. There is no foaming at the mouth, and the recovery from them is gradual, in both these points differing from epilepsy. The only treatment at all likely to be of service, is the use of the hot-bath, which in young and delicate puppies may sometimes give relief. Fits arising in distemper, are caused by absolute mischief in the brain, unless they occur as a consequence of worms, which being removed, the fits cease.
In apoplectic fits the deg lies insensible, or nearly so; does not foam at the mouth, but snores and breathes heavily. Take away blood from the neck-vein, afterwards purging by means of croton oil, and inserting a seton in the back of the neck. The attack, however, is generally fatal, in spite of the most scientific treat-ment.
Epilepsy may be distinguished by the blueness of the lips and gums, and by the constant champing of the jaw and frothing at the mouth. The fit comes on without any notice, frequently in sporting dogs while they are at work, a hot day being specially provocative of it. In the pointer and setter, the fit almost always occurs ju3t after a "point," the excitement of which appears to act upon the brain. The dog falls directly the birds are sprung, after lying struggling for a few minutes, he rises, looking wildly about him, and then sitting or lying down again for a few minutes, is ready to renew work apparently unconscious that anything unu-tual has occurred. As in chorea so in epilepsy, nothing is known of the cause and the treatment is therefore guided by the most empirical principles. Within the last ten years bromide of potassium has been used with great success in the human subject, but although I have recommended its use in many cases on the dog, I cannot bear testimony as to the result The dose fox a moderate sized animal is 3 grs. twice a day in a pill, continued for a month at least.