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  1. #1
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    Seizures in dogs

    Anyone have a dog that has seizures. My dog has had 2 now in the last year. They just happen all of the sudden and then he is good. Not sure what causes it. The vet (Iowa State grad at Avondale Pet Hospital) said they are semi common but acted like it was a huge deal. All vets act like animal problems are a huge deal though. So my quesiton is this. Has anyone had a dog that had a seizure and what did you do about it. I don't really feel like spending thousands of dollars but I want my dog to live a good life. He is only 4 years old and he is a great dog. His name is Cy. How could he not be great.


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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    I had a miniature collie that had them. Started all of a sudden during a big ice storm when all the branches were falling. Not sure if that scared him or what. The vet said that it was somewhat common with certain breeds, especially if there had been too much in-breeding. There wasn't much they could do for him, and he did die fairly young due to kidney problems. Not sure if that was related.



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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    My sisters dog has had seizures for many years. From her, I know that it is very upsetting to witness. They have the dog on some kind of medication to lessen the frequency, but even that is hit or miss at times.

    PM me and I'll let you know what they are giving the dog. She's on vacation right now, so I won't get any reply until they're back.



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    Thumbs up Re: Seizures in dogs

    There are a plethora of conditions that can cause seizures in dogs broad categories include, infectious (bacterial vs viral leading to encephalitis), toxins (i.e. xylitol - sweetener found in chewing gum), trauma, genetic/congenital (i.e. acquired vs congental PPS), metabolic (hypoglycemia), hepatic insufficiency, kidney disease (causing uremia), neoplasia, canine geriatric vestibular disease, or canine juvenile idiopathic epilepsy. These are just to name a few. Without fully examining your pet, reviewing vaccination history, and current lab work I would be doing you a disservice to speculate what is ailing your pet. However, if the pup is current on vaccines, been healthy with no exposure to toxins, trauma, and all bloodwork looks good it might simply be a case of juvenile epilepsy. The problem lies that this is a disease that is rule out only. A general practitioner is very limited in diagnosing neurologic cases because the gold standard of diagnstics is MRI like in human medicine and is very cost prohibitive. If after performing a basic physical and neurologic examination with comprehensive bloodwork, I cannot diagnose the patient's problem, I always offer my clients referral to a specialist (these vets have an extra three years in specialty training much like human medicine). With the economy being tight and most individuals not wanting to fork out the $1,500-2,000 for an MRI we usually start on a therapeutic dose of phenobarbital to control the seizures. My advice is to listen to your vet, you obviously chose them for a reason -- you trust them. If you are going on a message board seeking medical advice that trust is lacking. You either need to ask more questions to better understand why they are asking you to perform certain tests, or you need to find another practitioner that you trust. As a profession we veterinarians are taught to present all possible causes of an ailment and an acceptable diagnostic plan. Money is not the driving force of the discussion. Be careful when you state that ALL vets act that everything is a big deal. It is important to realize that our patients can't tell us what they are feeling, even subtle clinical signs can mean important things.



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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    My dog does occasionally. He has had them, maybe one or two a year (from what I know) since fall 2003 when I got him (he was two at the time).



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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    My advice is to listen to your vet, you obviously chose them for a reason -- you trust them
    No actually I beleive that my vet is great and I trust them. Vet's do tend to look at the worse case senario. I kind of came on and ask this question because I want some reassurance that my dog is going to be o.k. I think Avondale Pet Hospital is second to none. They care about your dog and give you good advice.
    This post is kind of asking normal folks what action they took. Did they spend all the money? Did they let it go and just write it off as a dog having a seizure.
    I do thank everyone for there advice. I am probably going to wait and see how frequent it starts to happen.


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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    My beagle Buddy has had them over the past 3 years. I stopped taking to vet as no remedies were found to cure, and it is very expensive. He seems to respond to ibuprofen in his dog food as well as anything, not really sure if it helps though. This is a preventative measure prior to seizure occuring. During a seizure, I also always comfort, pet, talk to, and try to drip water into his mouth for hydration, as I thought it would help with cramping. He is a great dog, and basically attributed it to natural and not much else I can do, other than drop thousands. I have had 2 friends do this to no avail. It is kind of a horrific time, as it is hard to watch him go through it, nurturing seems to the best advice/remedy.



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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    I just started having the same problem in my 3 year old German Short Hair. She had one right around chrismtas and her 2nd this weekend. My vet said he doesn't want to put her on Epilipse (sp?) medicine because it causes long term liver damage. He said he will if they last longer, she looses bowl control, or become more frequently.



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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Cyclones View Post
    My beagle Buddy has had them over the past 3 years. I stopped taking to vet as no remedies were found to cure, and it is very expensive. He seems to respond to ibuprofen in his dog food as well as anything, not really sure if it helps though. This is a preventative measure prior to seizure occuring. During a seizure, I also always comfort, pet, talk to, and try to drip water into his mouth for hydration, as I thought it would help with cramping. He is a great dog, and basically attributed it to natural and not much else I can do, other than drop thousands. I have had 2 friends do this to no avail. It is kind of a horrific time, as it is hard to watch him go through it, nurturing seems to the best advice/remedy.
    Our beagle has them occasionally, too. We've had him on Cholodin (sp?), which I guess is supposed to help the brain activity "fire" like it's supposed to. It's only like $15-$20 for a months supply. Most vets carry it.


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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by 4Cyclones View Post
    My beagle Buddy has had them over the past 3 years. I stopped taking to vet as no remedies were found to cure, and it is very expensive. He seems to respond to ibuprofen in his dog food as well as anything, not really sure if it helps though. This is a preventative measure prior to seizure occuring. During a seizure, I also always comfort, pet, talk to, and try to drip water into his mouth for hydration, as I thought it would help with cramping. He is a great dog, and basically attributed it to natural and not much else I can do, other than drop thousands. I have had 2 friends do this to no avail. It is kind of a horrific time, as it is hard to watch him go through it, nurturing seems to the best advice/remedy.
    My beagle had a ton of them (at least 3 a week that we knew of)....we took him to ISU and they ran a ton of test and kept running more and more, which cost more and more money. We racked up a pretty good bill and in the end they gave him some Phenobarbital and another pill that slips my mind I'll post later. They have worked but now my once healthy dog is fat and lazy, but he doesnt have the seizures any more.


    edit: potassium promide is the other...thx to Kyle


    Last edited by 4429 mcc; 02-11-2010 at 04:02 PM.

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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    I have a pug that had one several months ago. Lasted a few minutes, followed by a recovery of about 5 minutes and then he was back to normal. The vet said that as long as he wasn't having more than 2 a month and they remained mild (I can't remember what the vet said were signs of a more severe episode anymore) that there was very little she could do. It sounds like the medications are hit and miss since no one really knows what causes seizures, so she didn't recommend going that route unless the frequency/severity increased. Fortunately, he hasn't had another one that we know of.



  12. #12
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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    I don't mean to seem insensitive. I understand that a dog with seizure problems is very stressing. But this is one of my favorite scenes from Flight of the Conchords.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlCoBra6PfU"]YouTube - "Song for Epileptic Dogs" - Flight of the Conchords[/ame]



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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    As stated, you veterinarian will be the best resource, as they can examine your pet and know what they are talking about.

    That said, our dog (see my avatar) has had regular seizures for years. She is a border collie, and apparently epilepsy is common in the breed. The seizures can be scary as hell, especially if you are not familiar with them. Our dog would typically have one and then be disoriented for as much as half an hour afterward, during which she would run into things and was not responsive to usual stimuli, even including food.

    The two primary drugs that are given to prevent seizures are potassium bromide (KBr) and phenobarbital. Neither is good for a dogs liver long-term, so your vet should try to find the lowest effective dose. We used KBr for a couple of years, which did some good, but still resulted in about one seizure a month. A few months ago our dog seemingly had some sort of break-through and started having seizures every couple of hours (7 in one day). We started her on IV phenobarbital to get those to stop (which makes a dog very "drunk" until it adjusts to it) and she has been on a maintenance dose of phenobarbital ever since, in addition to a reduced dose of potassium bromide. She has only had one seizure since that time, and it was after we attempted to ween her off of the KBr and use just the phenobarbital.

    So, I suppose the moral of the story is that there are two drugs that can be used to treat seizures, and that both can have negative long-term side effects. For this reason a lot of veterinarians will not start a dog on seizure medications unless the dog has multiple seizures.


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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    Thanks guys. I am in shock that someone has not figured a way to turn this into McDermott having seizures on the sidelines and thus he is not a good coach so let's fire him.


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    Re: Seizures in dogs

    Five years ago our ~12 yr old German Shepard had her first seizure around late September. Before that first seizure was over, we had the vet on the phone. He said it might be a one-time deal, but if they continued, they were likely to get worse and more frequent. Sure enough that's exactly what happened. At the end they were happening daily, she was seizing for longer and longer periods of time, she would then be disoriented, agitated, physically weakened and a whole new personality. We ended up having to put her down the day before Thanksgiving. That certainly goes down in history as the Worst Thanksgiving, Ever.

    I hope it turns out better for you.


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