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Hi Patti,

I have a 15 yr old mixed Rat Terrier that has recently started showing physical symptoms that concern me. Any strenuous activity (running, barking or jumping) causes her to have seizures that last only a few seconds. The vet associates this with congestive heart failure due to her age. Recently she has started with jaw tremors. She is alert when this happens. This is getting to be more frequent and lasting more with the jaw snapping rapidly. Could this be another symptom of aging?


Hi Martha,

I'm sorry to hear about your dog's ailing health.

Your vet is correct, seizures are something that can happen as your dog's congestive heart failure  progresses. By your description it sounds like that's what is going on, seizures aren't a part of the normal aging process.

Is your vet able to give your dog medication to try to control the seizures?

Sadly, there isn't cure for congestive heart failure or the reversal of the underlying heart disease at this point of your dog's illness. However, herbal remedies and veterinary medications may be able to extend your dog's life and increase her quality of life. You can read more about herbal supplements here:

Be sure to talk to your vet prior to using an herbal supplement as they can have drug interactions with prescribed medications.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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