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641243 tn?1235752084

Seizures...epilepsy?

I previously posted a question titled "restless dog, not bloat."  After reading the thread and the experience over the past 3 1/2 weeks, Wentworth (my puppy) seems to have narrowed this issue down to neurology.  I am currently out of town, but have him going to a Neurologist tomorrow morning at 9am and we will see what they say.  My vet today said that she is worried it may be something other than epilepsy due to our previous 3 1/2 weeks worth of mystery behavior, possibly meningitis, she said, which is terrifying.

Please share anything that could be helpful or if anything similar has been experienced...does this odd behavior often lead to the first big seizure with epilepsy or could his be something else?
21 Responses
127124 tn?1326735435
I'm unable to offer you any information but wanted you to know I was thinking  of you and your pet and hope you were able to find out something today.
462827 tn?1333168952
Kate...I just remembered that I use to go to a wonderful websight for dogs with Epilepsy. Maybe there's info. there for you. I use to get dog food recipes from them. (If I remember correctly) Let me try to locate it for you.....I've looked up Epilepsy and Meningitis in my books and the only correlation I've found is "Odd Behavior".  :(   That's all I have so far....Sorry, I'll keep looking....Karla
Avatar universal
Dear Kate,
My small dog , Mattie  ( 6 pounds ) has seizures from time to time. She is 5 years old.  The first seizure scared me when she was about a year old.  I rushed her off to an expensive dog hospital. They did a total work up and found nothing wrong. They wanted to do a CT scan of her brain but I told them that even if she had a tumor, I would not allow surgery.
  My husband and I decided to skip it and let her live her life. My husband is a physician and he knew that seizures can be harmless.
She had a few more seizures throughout the years. Usually the seizure consists of a bright yellow frothy vomiting beforehand, she tries to get my attention and I hold onto her while the seizure takes place. She had one just yesterday. Her little legs buckled and she shook for awhile. ( less than a minute. ) It is sad but not the end of the world.
We had her on phenobarbitol but she was so lethargic and had gotten too fat so the vet suggested we take her off of it. She is doing fine except for these episodes.
My research suggests that you can get two types of dogs...ones with seizures and ones without seizures.
The vets I have taken her to all seem to agree that this can be common in dogs. She has been tested for everything and is in good health otherwise.
I hope your dog will be ok. Good luck.
Matelasse
462827 tn?1333168952
Kate...I FOUND IT!!!  Don't know how I got so lucky, but I did...It's a wonderful sight on everything about Canine Epilepsy - even down to what to feed....The name of the sight is:
"The Epi Guardian Angels". You'll have to type it in your search...Hope this helps..Karla
549511 tn?1271775930
My little dog has had seizure since she was a few months old,and the first few really freaked me out.She has cluster fits,last week she 9or 10 in the space of a couple of hours,she show aggression towards our other dog (who happens to be her dad) she nips his face,and If i see it I can stop the fit.But now he seizures are changing and she on phenabarbatone,the same as humans have.I even had her speyed as sometimes hormone changes can affect it,and beleive it or not when its coming into a full moon can trigger it off as well.If she gets stressed by something that will send her off too.
Fits like her can be fatal,so the odd 1 fit at a time is usually safe.If I know one is coming 2mg of valium usually does the trick.
641243 tn?1235752084
Karla- Thanks so much for that website!  I will definitely check it out.

The neurologist believes it to be idiopathic epilepsy, which is a huge relief, honestly.  Meningitis or any other life-threatening virus would have been horrible.  Since Wentworth seems to be fine in between these episodes, the neurologist feels safe ruling out any other kind of problem, as he has no symptoms other than the odd night behavior and the seizure.  We believe the past 3 weeks of odd behavior was actually "partial" seizures, where the dog is conscious and begins to behave erratically knowing that something is off balance - this will surely be the sign to look for in the future when he may have another grand mal seizure.

I've opted not to medicate him with phenobarb until I see a consistent pattern with this; if this is the only incident, I'd hate to have him on a harsh medication that could impair his lungs and liver (just a tad, but still...)

I'm SO glad to have this figured out, but still a bit wary.  Since epilepsy is only diagnosed by ruling out other symptoms and diseases, I still feel like we are on watch for anything else to develop and prove us wrong.

He is happy and bouncy right now, with a very waggy tail, so it's a good day!!  I can't thank you enough for all of the support.

Avatar universal
Hi, my dog has seizures. She had her first one in March '07. We rushed her to the vet, the vet could find nothing wrong with her. The vet put her on Valium. I am supposed to give her two a day. I don't do that, I give it to her when she has a seizure, I don't want my dog doped-up!. She has been doing great, no episodes, until last Monday, she had another seizure. It was late at night, so I couldn't take her to the vet. So I gave her a pill and held her and soothed her until it was over. It is heartbreaking to watch her go through that! The seizures seem to be few and far between so like I said I do not give her her meds until she actually has a seizure. Or if I know we are going to be away from the house all day I will give her a pill. That is what I am afraid of, is that she will have a seizure while I am not home, and she will be all by herself. That terrifies me. Are the seizures harmless? I keep thinking, maybe irrationally, she will have a seizure and die while she is seizing. I LOVE my dog, she is a member of our family. We also have two other dogs( lab mixes), they seem to flip out when she has an episode. When she has a seizure, she stiffens up, shakes at the same time, drools, her eyes look blank and she looses control of her bowels. Is that what your dog goes through? Just need to talk to someone who goes through the same thing I do!!!!! Thanks!
Avatar universal
What do you mean her fits can be fatal? I have read so much conflicting information, sometime I do not know what to believe. I read on a website the other night, it is impossible for dogs to have epilepsy, that it is strictly a human condition?!?!? Monday when she had her seizure, it was one day prior to a full moon! WOW! I would have never put those two incidents together! How do you know when a fit is coming?
462827 tn?1333168952
Hi Kate...Thanks for the response...Glad to hear that Wentworth is having a "Good Day"! Makes your day good too, doesn't it? Keep us posted on his progress...I'll be wondering. If you ever need any "Liver" help for him, let me know. There's not a furkid on the planet that takes any more medication than one of mine does (To keep him alive). When his Liver enzymes soared out of control, I was on top of it. It took awhile, but last bloodwork (7wks. ago), they were in the LOW NORMAL range for the first time since I've had him. I'm excited!!! Anyway, good luck to you both and thanks for taking such good care of him...Let me know if you need anything else....Sincerely, Karla
Avatar universal
I know what you are going through.  My toy poodle used to have the seizures also.  What I discovered is many of the dry kibble foods have chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, Propylene glycol and Ethoxyquin.  BHA & BHT are known cancer causing agents. Ethoxyquin in pet food has 300  times more than is allowed for humans to consume, known side effect, SEIZURES. Propylene glycol  will cause kidney and liver damage.  Please take your pet food and read the ingredient list on the bag.  These preservatives are killing our beloved pets and we as pet parents need to take control of what we are feeding them.  You can google your pet food ingredients and do your own research.  I found that Natural Super Premium pet foods don't have these ingredients.  I personally know two others that their dogs were having seizures they changed to a Natural Super premium pet food and the seizures stopped  almost immediately.  I sure hope this information helps you and tell others what you  have learned because these companies putting this stuff in their food certainly are not going to tell you the horrible side effects.
Avatar universal
I have read many articles on pet foods killing our dogs. We have 2 other dogs and they all eat the same thing. Are there certain breeds prone to seizures? The 2 dogs we have not affected by the fits are 8 year old black lab mixes. We have had them since they were 6 weeks old. Daisy, my dog who has the seizures is also a mutt, we don't know what kind, we have had her for a litttle over a year and she has had only 2 seizures but that's 2 too many.  Like I said they all eat the same dog food, so I don't understand!  I hate to see her go through it. Can they be fatal?
641243 tn?1235752084
Hi Leanne,


Here is an excellent website to reference:  http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/FAQ.html

It sounds as if you have been reading a lot of websites and are confused.  This site is research based (not someones opinion, which can often be misleading) and clearly explains the types of epilepsy, what to look for, prevention, etc..

Epilepsy has no cause, can affect both humans and dogs, and is not likely related to the full moon you referenced above.  It is only diagnosed by ruling out any other viruses or diseases, so if your dog has any other symptoms than the seizures, let your vet know immediately.  If you believe your dog is having seizures because of a food allergy, also referenced in your thread above, talk to your vet about other diet options.  Certain breeds are prone to epilepsy, but they are usually not fatal and can be treated with medicine.

Hope this helps.  I would call your vet and schedule an appointment to have him or her answer all of your questions.  You will get straightforward, textbook answers and hopefully ease some of your anxiety.

Kate

570306 tn?1222713377
Hi there!  I had a similar situation with my white lab about a month ago.  It first started early morning with a long seizure.  Which was only his 2nd one in his life.  The next night is when the odd behavior started.  He couldn't sleep.  He was up from about 11:30 until 4:30 pacing, trying to sleep, then jumping out of bed like something startled him, curling up as close as he could to me then standing up and staring out the door or window.  I managed to stay calm because at the time I thought he was just being goofy, but now after researching I think they may have been another time of seizure.  He recently had another seizure and I took him in to the vet for bloodwork and diagnosis.  They said the bloodwork is all normal with no illnesses seen.  They want us to wait on starting phenobarb until he shows more seizures, or more frequent ones.  They said it is extremely difficult to safely remove them from phenobarb once you start, plus I had already stated my concern for medicating him unnecessarily.  I like his behavior and attitude and didn't want that altered by drugs.  Someone once told me that the white labs have issues with epilepsy, but I have yet to hear it from others.  I will keep watching your posts to see if we have any other similarities or issues that may help eachother out.  
641243 tn?1235752084
That sounds exactly like what Wentworth went through.  We tried putting a DAP collar on him (dog appeasing pheromone) at night while he was having the erratic and restless behavior and it calmed him down tremendously: instead of jumping up and down, staying close, and acting panicky, he was calm and able to sleep, and most importantly, we were able to see his neck twitching.  The neurologist now thinks that these were "partial seizures" since he was alert and conscious (I videotaped it for the doctors as the behavior occurred almost nightly for 3 weeks before his grand mal seizure).  I'm keeping these collars on hand for the future when (if) this happens again.  Since there is nothing we can do for the seizures, at the very least I can put the collar on him to keep his panic level down and allow him to get rest.  I would definitely try that and see if it helps :)

Also, the neurologist says that epileptic seizures tend to occur most frequently at night and early morning after the dog has relaxed.  Wentworth has yet to show any problems during the day.  I'm also waiting to medicate until I know if this is a frequent occurrence.

Good luck :)
Avatar universal
I am sorry to hear what y'all are going through with your beloved pets! My Daisy doesn't exhibit any other "weird" type of behaviour except her seizures. But when she does have them it is heartbreaking  to watch. I just wih there was more I could do for her. So far they seem so few and far between, which I am thankful for! We have had her for a little more then a year and she has had 2. I am terrified she will have one when we are not home and she will fell so alone and scared. I am going to the website mentioned above to find more accurate info besides what I have been reading so far. Thanks, y'all!
641243 tn?1235752084
Just wanted to post an interesting tidbit of info:

Above I mentioned that seizures probably are not linked to a full moon.  It sounds very silly, but actually, my vet mentioned this the other day, and after more research, this is evidently a very common phenomenon! So, I backtracked the phases of the moon this month and sure enough, Wentworth's first seizure occurred Monday, 10/14, October's full moon.  

I'll keep track and keep ya'll posted.  This is fascinating to me!
Avatar universal
My dog had seizures on and off for a year and a half. He had a really bad one this week that resulted in him losing the use of his legs. We rushed him 2 hours away to a special vet hospital and they found meningitis after a spinal tap. They think he may have had it for a long time, although unlikely, it is possible. If you can, get them to do a spinal tap just to rule it out. If we had known a year ago that was what is was, it would have saved a lot of heart ache. My dog is doing well, and is responding to antibiotics.
641243 tn?1235752084
Did he have any other symptoms than seizures?  My neurologist ruled it out and seems pretty certain it's epilepsy, but there's obvs a chance...Wentworth has NO other symptoms.  Is that typical of meningitis?
800097 tn?1237634520
My malta a poo Sugar  suffered her first seizure, a grand mal.  I do not know how long she seized as  we were out.  It was so frightening, but rushed her to vet at 4;15pm 3/20/2009.  She was seen immediately and given steroids and diazaphine at 15 minute intervals.  She never came out of her petit mal.  She seized right before we were being sent home with Phenobaritol and quickly was given anithiesia.  She was limp on oun our way home but were in for the long haul   When she woke she went into a immedidate grand mal and we gave her her first dose of pheno.  She reacted violently,  threw up undigested food and with all our efforts to clear her airway and clean her up she sounded congested.  We were interested to turn her at 30- min intervals and at 10:04 pm the weezing was gone and hope set in as I saw her stare at me ,,but she passed away.  Do dogs throw up after pheno.  or could it have been the anethisia?  All is Gods will but I wonder.  And dogs suffer?  She must have seized for 2 hours and I feel quite guilty for letting her suffer.  Note pre-seize she was distant for a few days.  Hiding under kitchen table, in a daze and not responding.  She did have trama that may have induced seizure and was on preocit with two visits to vet.  I say if you feel unure about your dogs behavior act on it.  I wish I would have done more.  


Avatar universal
i have a three year old pitt bull he had 3 seizures last year and no more until 2 months ago and 1 tonight took him to the vet and everything is normal if anybody knows anything that could help please and also i think he knows when hes going into one because he will find me anywhere in the house
Avatar universal
My dog has had seizures ever since I had him when he was around one.  He is going to be 10 in a few months and is otherwise doing very well.  He gets his fits only rarely (a few a year).  He usually throws up a yellowish substance, then cries a bit and shakes.  He usually looses control of his back end which falls from side to side when he tries to stand and his front legs stiffen sometimes seemingly moving uncontrollably.  It will last only a few minutes and I will usually just hold him to give him reassurance.  It is sad to see, but I know he will be ok.  He usually comes to me when it starts happening.  The only thing I am afraid of, is him falling down some stairs.  It did happen once and he was aching for a few days after the fall.  The vet I visited could not help me in identifying anything particular that would cause these seizures but told me it was most likely not epileptic seizures.

Most comments talk about epilepsy as a sickness but the truth is that epilepsy is a symptom of something happening Inside the brain as far as I know.  Also, someone mentionned that nothing causes epilepsy but I read differently.  People develop epilepsy as the result of brain injury, stroke, brain cancer, and drug and alcohol misuse, among other things.  I thing one can be born with a neurological condition.

I, myself, will definitely look into food poisoning now that I read about it. They put so many nasty things in our food supplies that I have no doubt it could make a big difference.  All three of my dogs used to scratch a lot.  I mean a lot.  I checked them for fleas and thicks, and even though I never found any, I would give them treatments in hope...  I finally went to the vet with one of them and the vet asked me if I bought my food at Costco.  I did.  I don't anymore and they do not scratch any more.  According to my vet, Costco has an uncontrollable problem with food lice which causes an allergic reaction in many dogs.  I give my pets the same brand of food that I buy from a different retailer.  It seems the problem would be with infestation in their warehouses.

Be careful not to self diagnose using the internet.  I did that once and thought one of my other dog had cancer.  I was ready to have her put to sleep cause she was suffering so much.  When I took her back to the vet,, for what I thought was our last visit, he told me he got the blood work back and my dog had a mushroom (blastomycosis), no cancer.  It cost me a bundle for medication but she is now a very healthy pain in the butt.
We love our dogs.

Hope all is fine with your puppy.
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