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570306 tn?1222713377

White Labrador with seizures

We have a white lab who is 5 yrs old now.  He had one seizure (that we know of) 2 yrs ago.  We rushed him to the vet who said that yes it sounded like a seizure but there was no need to do the work up with all of the blood work and everything if this was his first one.  He recently had another seizure.  It oddly occurred in early morning as we were all asleep.  I felt him moving around at the end of the bed and when  I  awoke I knew at once it was a seizure.  He hasn't urinated or deficated in either seizure.  Just the shaking, stiff legs, and disorientation.  The concern for this latest seizure is that it lasted about 5-6 minutes.  When he comes out of it he is scared, panting, and very clingy.  He was very tired and clingy that day, but the odd thing occurred the next night.  When it was time for bed he could not sleep.  He slept for about 1 hour and awoke at 12:45 am.  He paced around the bed, tried to lay down and then sit back up quickly as if something startled him.  He would try to get as close as he could to us and lay down, then he would repeat.  This happened continuously until 4:00 am.  I finally took him out for a short walk around the yard to pee & poo, I thought maybe this is what he actually needed, but that is not how he usually alerts me.  He finally slept for about and 1 1/2 until 5:45 am.  Then started again.  He seemed otherwise fine to us so we didn't rush him to a doc, just to say "my dog won't sleep". I took him with me everywhere we went that day just so I could keep a close eye on him.  The next night he was fine and ever since (knock wood) he hasn't done that.  Could that be related to the seizure the day before?  Was it considered the "post-ictal" period?  Or could it have just been a case of not able to get comfortable for a dog (which is unusual for my guy since he could sleep just about anywhere!)?
5 Responses
82861 tn?1333453911
It can sometimes take several hours, sometimes a full day, for a dog to completely return to normal after a seizure.  Your vet's first reaction in doing nothing was reasonable.  Sometimes seizures happen and that's the one and only seizure a dog will ever have.  However, now that your dog has had a second seizure and one that lasted so terribly long, you need to go back to your vet.  

Your dog will likely be put on phenobarbitol as a seizure preventive.  Please don't worry about this medication.  I'm currently babysitting the Lab from next door who has had seizures for years, and who has taken phenobarb just as long.  He gets an extra pill after a seizure once he's "with it" enough to swallow - usually about 15-30 minutes.  Other than fits every 8 weeks, he's a great dog with a great quality of life.  His owner (along with me and my husband) have become so used to the seizures that it really isn't a big deal.  Yes, your dog likely needs treatment, but epilepsy certainly isn't a death sentence.  Take heart!  :-)
Avatar universal
I can tell you from my years of experience in Veterinary hospitals, that any seizure lasting 5-6 minutes is definitely something you need to contact your Veterinarian about. It could have underlying effects that you can not notice, perhaps neurological. As JayBay stated, the dog may be put on phenobarb, which is a medication to help prevent seizures and the after-math of them. I'm no trying to scare you, but like I said, a seizure lasting that long should be brought to your Vet's attention.
570306 tn?1222713377
thanks for the info.  But is it too late to do anything since it happened a week ago?  I didn't realize the length of time was extended for being a seizure.  I did stop by the vet to ask that they put the seizure in his charts but they never asked for details.  Who knows if they really even put it in his chart or if they just said they would.  Do you have any ideas what the no-sleeping, nervous thing was about?  Do you think that was any relation to the seizure?
Avatar universal
Our chocolate lab had the same problem with seizures and we noticed that she would start acting nervous, clingy, many of the symptoms you mentioned before she had a seizure. She clearly felt that one was on its way and she'd get nervous and want to be near us for comfort. Sometimes the behaviour would last after the seizure ended, like she still needed/wanted reassurance. I wonder if yours perhaps felt a seizure coming, maybe one so small you didn't really notice, or maybe the seizure left him really shaken and needy. From experience, though, I'd suggest being alert to pending seizures when he acts like that. For ours, it was always a foolproof sign of what was coming. But like everyone else said, seizures aren't a death sentence and dogs, and their owners, can get through them. It's scary for both, but when they happen, just talk calmly and lovingly to him while you stroke him. It always seemed to help ours. But please take your dog to his vet so his condition can be treated and monitored. And watch for those tell-tale signs. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I have a 6 year old Australian shepherd cross that has always been extremely healthy and active.  This past April, he had a seizure and the vet ran his blood through a number of tests and said everything seemed fine and to keep an eye on him.  He was fine until early June when he had another seizure and after about an hour, another and while trying to round things up to get him to his vets, he had another..  I took him back to my vet twice that day and she gave him potassium bromide, within an hour of coming home from the vets, he had another seizure and they kept coming every hour or so until around midnight, when we took him to the emergency hospital.  They put him in ICU and blasted him with pheno-barbitol and he was hospitalized for 2 days.  When we were finally able to bring him home, he didn't know who we were, didn't know he was home, didn't recognize his life long best pal (our female black lab) and walked in circles frightened and disoriented for nearly a week.  When I came home from work on about the 8th day following that episode, he gave me a head butt when I leaned down to him like he used to before all of this, and the sun came back out in my world.  He's been on pheno-barb since then and was fine and back to his old self, seizure free until this past weekend when he had another seizure.  I called the vet and was told to keep an eye out for the start of the cluster again, within 2 hours of that call he had another seizure, terrified that he would escalate into another cluster, we took him to the emergency room and checked him into ICU again.  This time he only stayed one night and he had no more seizures after that 2nd one, but they added another prescription to his pheno-barbital and recommended we see an animal neurologist.  The neurologist believes my buddy has a tumor but I don't know what that's based on, as we could not afford the MRI.  Now he has added Prednisone and Keppra (3000mg/day) in addition to the pheno-barbital.  I did give him the recommended dose of Keppra along with his pheno-barb on our first day home from this last hospital stay, but he couldn't walk, didn't eat, could barely manage to stand as his rear legs kept giving out.  I feel like this is so excessive - I've noticed in all of these posts, most pets have been given pheno-barb but is anyone else giving Keppra in addition to it AND the prednisone too?  Should I keep giving this to him even though they don't know for sure what is causing the seizures?
I realize your post is five years old but I’m going through an almost identical situation with my 11 year old Lab. What ended up happening in your situation? Did you find the right medication? I don’t know what to do with mine. Vet believes my boy has lymphoma that has spread to his brain. Please let me know what ended up happening with you and yours
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