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Avatar universal

Post seizure behavior duration

My three year old dog Jasper had about 15 seizures in a 24 hour period without full recovery in between.  The day he started having them I brought him to the vet and he was prescribed phenobarbital, which I gave to him at 7 pm that night.  His seizures continued through the night and finally at three am I called the vet again, who advised me to give him a half a pill ( his regular dosage is 30 mg tablets twice a day). So I did, after that he had two more 1 1/2 minute seizures about an hour apart.  It has been two days since his last seizure but he still hasn't fully recovered, he doesn't know his commands, the people in the house ( including me ), or the other dogs and cats in the house.  I want to know if he will even recover from this or if there is something I can do to help.  He keeps pacing and whining, even in the middle of the night.  Should I bring him in again? Could there be something more serious going on?
11 Responses
462827 tn?1333172552
Hello Sam......I'm sorry no one responded to your post...I do not have any personal experience w/seizures but there is a thread here about the side effects of Phenobarbital....I'm wondering if that's what your seeing in your dog's behavior now & not necessarily continued stroke symptoms.....

I'll go find the thread.....

Also, I can help you play detective & maybe we can figure out what's causing these seizures.....Let me know what you have ruled out so far......Karla

Here it is:   http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dogs/Phenobarbital-side-effects--how-long/show/1525013
Avatar universal
Thanks for the link, I was really starting to worry that my poor Jasper had a brain tumor or suffered from some permanent brain damage.  In fact, I still do worry that there is something neurologically wrong with him but I live in Alaska and in order for him to get an MRI and the other big test (I can't remember what it is) I would have to send him down to Seattle, neither of which I can afford.  

A little history on Jasper - he is a corgi/mini australian shepherd mix. Born August 10, 2009
His sister has had seizures since early 2011 and takes medications for it.
One of his siblings died when they were just days old but I don't remember how or why.
His first seizure was earlier this year (June 23, 2012).  I brought him to the vet and the vet ran blood work and did a basic physical exam- everything came back normal.  The vet didn't want to put him on medicine right away saying it could be a fluke thing.  
The second time he had them the vet walked in and told me to put him on phenobarbital (without and exam, just straight up said it.) I didn't like this idea so I changed vets.
*The seizures seem to come in clusters of three or more.  Usually four seizures through the night, without normal consciousness in between.  They also happened at night, after 11pm.  
The third time they happened I just went through the motions with him (I can't remember the date).
I'm pretty sure this is the fourth time it happened (Started at 430am Sept. 2 2012). If I remember the times correctly, it's 430am, 9:00am, 3:20pm and after that it gets hazy.  His appointment was at 2pm that day and I informed the vet that he is acting like he is going to have another one.  *Which he did, just not in the presence of the vet.
~~As for the cause of the seizures, at first I thought it was because he got into some cat food (ate out of Mia's bowl).  Then I thought it was because we had an unusually hot hot day and he just couldn't tolerate that kind of heat (I think it was upper 70s to upper 80s, which didn't happen often this summer).  But when he had his fourth cluster of seizures, neither was a factor.    

He seems to have improved over the weekend, but he still seems a little wonky.  He tries to get obsessively hungry, but I can usually distract from that, his manners have noticeably slipped. and he tends to drag his feet when he walks.  His eyes still seem a little distant (not 100%), He jumps at loud noises, he doesn't move right away when people walk past him (I live with my sisters and their animals- two sisters, one big dog named Lily, Jasper's brother named Wikitt-Corgi mix, a Maltese-Pixii, a Yorkie-Rocco, a bengal cat-Loki, and my cat- Mia, so he is used to a full house and is or used to be very good at maneuvering around everybody).  He also whines when he paces and I can never figure out why (try letting him out to pee, feed him a small handful of food, refresh his water bowl).  When he was his old self, he would groan at me when he had to pee or run to the door when I stood up from sitting.  So the whining is definitely new.  
The improvements: he follows me around more, he is chewing on his raw hides again, he gets into playful moods (although he plays a little different than he used to), he knows his name and the direction from which it is being called, he knows his nick-name (my brother-in-law calls him Fiddle which he also responds to), he knows his basic commands: sit, wave, down, shake, come, close-the-door. But not his more advanced commands: shake-off (coming in from a rainy day, this is my favorite command), Up (sitting on his hind legs and waving), roll-over, etc.  

When he paces in the middle of the night the only thing that gets him to stop is if I call him up on my bed and he lays his head close to mine.  I don't mind this, as he has always slept on my bed with me and it's allowed.

Lily- the big dog (mutt, no clue what her breeds are) is very patient with him and only plays rough when she knows it's okay.  This is awesome to see, she tests the waters, so to speak, by nudging him or mouthing him, if he ignores her she settles down, if he responds, they get play time.  
Wickitt - Jasper's brother, finds Jasper to be weak and growls at him, when this happens we gate Wickitt until we feel it's okay to release him.  
The other two dogs and the two cats don't seem to phase him or seemed phased by him.    

Again, I am worried there is something permanently wrong with him, I don't know how much time to give the phenobarbital, I don't know if I will get Jasper back 100%.
I just don't know what to do.
462827 tn?1333172552
Hello Sam...How's Jasper? Here's a list of things that I want you to think about......
First, Seizures may be common, but they shouldn't be......My first thought after reading your question is that it's something you do monthly that may be causing the seizure activity....Your going to need to play detective!

Have you thought about chemicals that you may give regularly that could be the cause? The reason I ask is I have a friend that's little Chi (About the same age) started having seizures.....The cause was finally narrowed down to the heartworm medication he was on.....Once he was traded to a different brand (Different chemical), the seizures stopped......

Flea & tick products (Including shampoos) can also be your culprit.....Any of these products purchased from the grocery store or walmart can be deadly! That includes flea/tick shampoos.....

Chemical preservatives, dangerous ingredients & dyes in low quality pet food can cause them......That would include prescription foods from your Vet! The three Most dangerous chemicals used in Petfood are BHA, BHT, & Ethoxyquin.....BHA & BHT are used as preservatives to make a product last longer....They are known to cause cancer, SEIZURES, Kidney & organ failure, yet are still used in inferior petfoods.....These have been banned for Human consumption.....Read the ingredients list on the dogfood you serve...If any of these chemicals are listed, you may have found your answer......Artificial coloring agents can cause these problems, too...You will find these ingredients only in Inferior Grocery store & Discount centers......

Ethoxyquin (Another chemical preservative) was originally developed to use in the Rubber making industry....It's a known Herbicide AND Pesticide and causes Cancer! Again, still used in Low quality Pet foods.......

Any chemical going into or on your dog could be the source.....That would also include FOOD....In your free time, you need to look into a fresh food diet for your pet & do research on how toxic most commercial brands of food really are......

Yard chemicals, floor chemicals, toxic water, etc., are other sources......

Anyway, just wanted to give you some ideas to think about......I do hope you find the source...AT least, give it some thought...Let me know what you think.....Karla
Avatar universal
I read your post about your dogs behavior and it mirrors mine, I am at a loss at what to do next and wondered if you managed to resolve the problems you mentioned?
try giving your dog CBC from innovitepet. I thought i was losing my 12 yr old baby before someone recommended me this. it stoped his seizures IMMEDIATELY
Avatar universal
I know this is an old post but for others in the future who may read this...

This doesn't require investigating into his food, etc. as it is obviously epilepsy. He has epilepsy in his family background. His brother knows he isn't quite right, which is why he growls at him. The girl dogs are more empathetic (kind of like human chicks are) while males tend to be more of the, "get over it/buck up" types. Male dogs are very in tune to the pack mentality, so when a member of the pack is weak, it weakens the whole pack.

The impression that His seizures happening routinely could have been evidence of a monthly topical or even bug sprays around the house is correct, but jaspers history says previous seizures in the family, which is like a flashing ding, ding, ding, of the cause. Another clue when reading jaspers history is his breed(s). Some breeds have an inherited predisposition to be epileptic. Its called Idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic means it has no known cause, but the name was given before it was known to be inherited. Other causes could be poison, allergies, brain tumors, brain lesions, swelling of the spinal cord, etc.

Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy typically have their first seizures between the ages of 6 months to 6 years.. Though idiopathic epilepsy can occur in any breed, it is considered an inheritable disease in many breeds and in some breeds a genetic basis has been identified.  Commonly affected breeds include:

Labrador retrievers
Golden retrievers
German shepherds
Irish setters
Cocker spaniels
Australian Shepherds

Jasper is an Australian shepherd mix and  research from the Canine Epilepsy Project at the University of Missouri shows that of the 8066 DNA samples that they collected from 90 different breeds of dogs, over 10% of all the affected dogs were Australian Shepherds.

I'm only commenting because of the massive amount of time I wasted with my pup when he started with epileptic seizures. People on every board/comment section told me to change his food, change his flea meds, heartworm, etc. I wasted money on all this change which was pointless because my pup had idiopathic epilepsy. He is a refractory epileptic, meaning he doesn't respond to meds. So no amount of diet changes etc, would had changed it. That didn't stop people from making me feel like I was somehow responsible for my pup. Like I needed to spend an arm and a leg on special foods and make it all myself when in reality, my pup needed me, my time, and my money spent on his medical care.

Good luck for you all who read this as I know you'll need it, since you're searching for answers. I hope you aren't left searching for last ditch options before putting your pup to sleep, like I am. He now has brain damage from multiple cluster days in a row every week or two. My playful pup is gone.

As for the other part of the question... Its normal for them to pace and whine for hours or days after. If it continues for more than 3 days, see the vet as he may be having continuous seizure activity that isn't as obvious. Epilepsy does tend to give them anxiety. They are confused and on edge possibly waiting for it to come on again. In the same way they forget their training, they may forget all that comforts them. This creates anxiety - been there. Try melatonin. I give my pup 3mg melatonin 3x day. Another option is valium. Mine has 5mg valium when needed. Hope this helps.

I'm sure diet plays a role for some but if your dogs has familial relationships with other epileptic, he's probably epileptic.
Thank you! This is very helpful!
Avatar universal
I know these posts have been on here for a while but I thought I could share my story. My dogs name was Diesel and would have been two on new years. On Saturday he began having seizures.. He had about 7 from 3p until about 10:30p. The vet was not open and I finally found a pet hospital and took him there. When he had these episodes he didnt fall to the ground. He would stand and his face and front arm would draw up and shake then he would begin to salivate. These only lasted a few seconds and he was back to his normal energetic self. I took him to the vet and she immediately said he may have epilepsy, but didnt start phenobarbetol just yet. She said it would change his personality, etc. Instead he had valium injections and did well the first night. The second day he had one seizure that morning- same thing and gave him another injection. They seemed not to be worried since they didnt last long and he was his old self when finished. The third day- Monday November 16th 2015 my poor baby died from two massive seizures. This time he fell to the floor, all limbs involved, urination, and defication. He never regained consciousness after the first one. Im not sure what happened- if he had epilepsy or toxin. After it was done with the vet seems to think toxin. But he was in a kennel when all this occurred. I would hate to think someone poisoned him. It is so heartbreaking to think about. I loved him so much. I just dont understand if we had thought it was poison maybe we could have induced vomiting or did things differently, maybe he would still be here? I wish I could go back and do it over again.. I truly thought I was going to get my dog back on Monday and do routine checkups on his seizures and start medication. The valium injections were not working. And I let my buddy die in a vet office with strangers.. I feel so terribly awful. Nevertheless I brought him home and burried him Tuesday. I will always love him!
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