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UPDATE Canine Seizure Advice- Video in Post 19

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  • UPDATE Canine Seizure Advice- Video in Post 19

    Hi everyone looking for some advice on canine seizures and I will warn this is kind of long but I'm not sure what to do.

    I have a female lab mix that is a rescue and about 5 years old and 20 pounds. Last year around April she and I were sitting in the bedroom she was sleeping while I did some paper work. She went from laying on her side to the sternal position and without out warning started rhythmically rocking side to side. At first I didn't know what she was doing as I was behind her and only after it went on for about a minute did I go over to investigate. This is when I noticed it seemed like her back end had locked up on her and was having what felt like a spasm. So I picked her up to try and assist her and the what I thought was a spasm continued. During this time she had what I thought was a pained look on her face and after about 2 minutes I went to sit her down to grab things to head to the vet and that's when she really seemed to lose control of her back end and scramble. This continued for about 2 minutes and by the time I got her to the vet 1.5 miles away it was over and she was acting normal.

    The vet examined her and took blood work and everything came back fine. Vet chalked it up to it was maybe a seizure but maybe something else and to keep an eye on her.

    That evening we decided to go to dinner and took her with us and while at dinner sitting under the table again her back end seemed to lock up and her body tensed and she started rhythmically rocking while crouched down with her jaw clenched. This episode lasted 5-6 minutes and we took her to the emergency vet and again by the time we got there she was fine and at that point we hadn't gotten results from the blood work earlier in the day so the vet recommended waiting for the results, which as I said turned out fine.

    She made it about 30 days before having another similar episode that lasted again 5-6 minutes. Then hasn't had another one until about a month ago.

    Roughly a month ago she was resting in the office with me and again woke up and sat up a little and started rhythmically rocking. It lasted 5-7 minutes.

    Then this past Tuesday it happened again same situation in the office she was resting I was talking on the phone look down and she had sat up to a sitting position and was crouched down rhythmically rocking. So I picked her up as that has seemed to help before and her body was tense especially her back end with her back legs moving. This one timed in at about 6 minutes.

    I've been a little concerned as during the past two she has started to pant/gasp especially during the last part of the episode. She has never had what I felt would be what most consider to be a "normal" seizure where she has been completely laid out flailing on the floor. Always, contained to rhythmic rocking, very tense body, crouched down or sternal position rocking, clenched jaw, and sometimes a little drooling. She always bounces back quickly once it stops.

    Sorry this is so long but I'm just not sure of what to do from here. I felt like we were doing great as it had been about a year since she has had any. I know technically she could have had one while no one was watching but we are pretty diligent about not leaving her alone. Thankfully, I work a job where she is welcome so she tags along for a lot of things.

    The length of time is what is concerning me most. The way I time them is as soon as I notice the rhythmic rocking begin I hit the timer on my phone and stop it when it stops.

    Part of me hates to put her on a daily medication for something that seems to affect her only sometimes especially since the medication can be so hard on the body but on the flip side the seizures themselves are concerning too. I've thought about getting diazepam and giving it rectally when she has an episode but does that work very quickly?

    Part of me is terrified she has a brain tumor or something worse. Maybe an illogical thought but I've not had great luck with dogs (my barn dog as a child was hit by a car, senior in high school "my" dog at 4 was diagnosed and died about 6 months later of lymphoma, you get the picture just bad luck) so I'm a bit paranoid of it being the worse. If it were a tumor would the frequency of the seizures increase over time?

    Any advice I did speak to our equine vet about her condition as he is always pretty helpful and willing to bounce ideas around with me on animal ailments. He is willing to prescribe the diazepam to us so should I try this route and continue to monitor her? Is it possible seizures can be seasonal? It is about this time last year that she had her first one.

    How many a year is too many? Or should I suck it up and take her to a neurologist?

    Thanks in advance and again sorry this is so long but it has been weighing heavily on me. I love all my dogs (we have 3!) but I have had her the longest and she has always been close to me and I'm not sure I can deal with another case of bad luck with dogs right now.
    Last edited by jjgg24; Mar. 5, 2013, 06:46 PM.

  • #2
    I'd probably get a complete blood workup done, and if everything is normal, have a consultation with a neurologist. See if vet recommends spinal x rays from neck to tail, to rule out spinal column compression. I wonder if the dog ever was hit by a car/fell from somewhere like a porch step or could somehow have nerve damage somewhere.
    Maybe a head Xray/mri to check for abnormalities?

    I've had 2 dogs that had a few seizures each, one when he got older, but it was twice in a 3 week period for one of them, then he never had another. The other had 2 in one week, then never again. The first one lived about another 4 yrs afterwards. The 2nd one lived another 10 yrs.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
      I'd probably get a complete blood workup done, and if everything is normal, have a consultation with a neurologist. See if vet recommends spinal x rays from neck to tail, to rule out spinal column compression. I wonder if the dog ever was hit by a car/fell from somewhere like a porch step or could somehow have nerve damage somewhere.
      Maybe a head Xray/mri to check for abnormalities?

      I've had 2 dogs that had a few seizures each, one when he got older, but it was twice in a 3 week period for one of them, then he never had another. The other had 2 in one week, then never again. The first one lived about another 4 yrs afterwards. The 2nd one lived another 10 yrs.
      Thanks for the advice. When she had the first one a year ago we did do a complete set of blood work and it came back clean, but the rest of the diagnostic tools you mentioned are great ideas.

      I'm 98% sure she has never been hit by a car I've had her since she was a puppy and since then she hasn't suffered any obvious trauma. She does play rough though with one of our other dogs so maybe she is tweaking something.

      So frustrating since it had been almost a year since this all happened. I had really hoped we were past this.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a cattle dog, five years old, who has just one or two seizures a year.

        My vet's take on the issue is that she doesn't prescribe medication until the frequency is up to one a month, or more than two in any 24 hour period.

        Mine does end up on the floor, uncontrolled movement, usually loses bowel control. It is very sad and scary for her, she hops up, gets cleaned up, and usually goes to bed for the rest of the day. During the seizure we stay away from her mouth and just gently stroke and talk to her. Oddly enough, it seems to happen most often when she is blowing out her coat, for whatever reason.

        Seizures are odd....you can run every test you want and snap all the films you can afford and still have no idea why they're happening. I think, in your scenario, I would start by going to another vet for a second opinion.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
          I have a cattle dog, five years old, who has just one or two seizures a year.

          My vet's take on the issue is that she doesn't prescribe medication until the frequency is up to one a month, or more than two in any 24 hour period.

          Mine does end up on the floor, uncontrolled movement, usually loses bowel control. It is very sad and scary for her, she hops up, gets cleaned up, and usually goes to bed for the rest of the day. During the seizure we stay away from her mouth and just gently stroke and talk to her. Oddly enough, it seems to happen most often when she is blowing out her coat, for whatever reason.

          Seizures are odd....you can run every test you want and snap all the films you can afford and still have no idea why they're happening. I think, in your scenario, I would start by going to another vet for a second opinion.
          Thanks for the advice. She has seen her regular vet, an emergency facility vet, and the vet that does the horses and all three haven't seen overly concerned but I'm wondering if I should take her to a neurologist. Is that what you think might be best GoForAGallop? Or start treating them with diazepam when they occur and if they increase in frequency and length seek out a neurologist?

          Sorry your cattle dog struggles with this too. So frustrating to watch it happen.

          Comment


          • #6
            My little rat terrier started at two with very mild seizures, where she would stop stock still in mid stride, maybe a foot out in front of her and not be able to move, kept trying but she just wobbled.

            Vet checked her over good and there was nothing wrong, she was healthy.

            Made a video and it was sent to a specialist vet and, since they were happening several times a day, she was put on medication.

            On medication, she was fine and didn't have any more odd spells.
            After two years we tried taking her off the medication and she has not had any more seizures, but they said she may start again when she is older.
            She is 7 now and still no seizures.

            If your dog starts having seizures more often, they can do brain damage eventually, so medication is a good way to go and has few side effects today.

            Hoping it is not going to be serious, but dogs are very prone to those kinds of seizures.

            Keep a log, so you can get a good picture of what is going on.

            We had a rottie that had terrible, long seizures.
            One lasted 15 minutes+ of heavy seizing at the vet clinic itself.
            She was put on heavy medication, that kept her spaced out, like a zombie.
            When trying to taper it off, she had a big seizure and died on the way to the vet, while seizing in the back of the car.

            Seizures can be a very serious situation, better be proactive.

            Comment


            • #7
              Get your vet to refer you to a neurologist. THey wont necessarily recommend medications or diagnostics at this point,but a full exam and early relationship for monitoring and trending is important! Having an episode on video for the neurologist would also be very helpful. Best of luck. My old girl (room mates dog) just had her very first seizure yesterday - luckily the neurologist happened to be in the room while it happened! Very scary.

              And no discredit to your regular vet, but if you are even going to consider medication it would be worth spending the extra $150 for a consult with a neurologist. There's many different types of anti-epileptic drugs that can have different effects on individuals.
              Diazepam is good to have on hand, 5-6 minutes is generally a long seizure. It can also help them relax through the post ichtal period.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a jack/Rat mix who would seizure if you washed him with a flea shampoo. There was just something in there that made him seizure a couple hours later, every time. I know rawhides can...Could you pinpoint something you're doing/giving that might be a trigger? This time of year, did you start flea meds maybe? Just throwing that out there...
                Kerri

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by kasjordan View Post
                  I had a jack/Rat mix who would seizure if you washed him with a flea shampoo. There was just something in there that made him seizure a couple hours later, every time. I know rawhides can...Could you pinpoint something you're doing/giving that might be a trigger? This time of year, did you start flea meds maybe? Just throwing that out there...
                  I've written down the days they happen and nothing stands out too me. She hadn't just had food, wasn't overly excited, a couple times she had been sleeping/resting, other times awake and sitting around, and nothing else glaring that would be a connection.

                  We typically don't treat for flea/ticks as she is an inside dog and we just monitor and treat if they get them which is rarely. It just seems to be this time of year when they start back up. Like I said I was about April last year she had 2 almost 30 days apart and then none the rest of the year until now.

                  I'll start researching neurologist in our area to at least get a working relationship going and I'm totally willing to run any and all diagnostic tests that might be needed but I also don't want to run test that maybe aren't "necessary" right now. Like an MRI etc. Or are 2-3 seizures a year a reason to run some heavy duty tests?

                  I'm definitely not against putting her on a daily medication if necessary again I'm just not sure if we've reached that point. I know they have made improvements to the medications but from what I've researched so far they still sound pretty hard on the liver/kidneys.

                  Sorry I have so many questions and thank you everyone for the terrific feedback it has really helped to write this out!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It sounds like you should get an opinion from a neurologist for your peace of mind at the very least.

                    I had a cocker mix that had the more common, flailing seizures. As far as I knew she had her first at about 5. Had another a couple of weeks later. Then another nearly a year later. Then none that I saw. She lived to be 16. She had had a bad fall when she was a puppy and was knocked out, so that might have caused or contributed. At the time (more years ago than I care to remember) I only took her to my regular vet who said "wait and see". We were fortunate that we never had to go further.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kwalker024 View Post
                      Hi everyone looking for some advice on canine seizures and I will warn this is kind of long but I'm not sure what to do.

                      I have a female lab mix that is a rescue and about 5 years old and 20 pounds. Last year around April she and I were sitting in the bedroom she was sleeping while I did some paper work. She went from laying on her side to the sternal position and without out warning started rhythmically rocking side to side. At first I didn't know what she was doing as I was behind her and only after it went on for about a minute did I go over to investigate. This is when I noticed it seemed like her back end had locked up on her and was having what felt like a spasm. So I picked her up to try and assist her and the what I thought was a spasm continued. During this time she had what I thought was a pained look on her face and after about 2 minutes I went to sit her down to grab things to head to the vet and that's when she really seemed to lose control of her back end and scramble. This continued for about 2 minutes and by the time I got her to the vet 1.5 miles away it was over and she was acting normal.

                      The vet examined her and took blood work and everything came back fine. Vet chalked it up to it was maybe a seizure but maybe something else and to keep an eye on her.

                      That evening we decided to go to dinner and took her with us and while at dinner sitting under the table again her back end seemed to lock up and her body tensed and she started rhythmically rocking while crouched down with her jaw clenched. This episode lasted 5-6 minutes and we took her to the emergency vet and again by the time we got there she was fine and at that point we hadn't gotten results from the blood work earlier in the day so the vet recommended waiting for the results, which as I said turned out fine.

                      She made it about 30 days before having another similar episode that lasted again 5-6 minutes. Then hasn't had another one until about a month ago.

                      Roughly a month ago she was resting in the office with me and again woke up and sat up a little and started rhythmically rocking. It lasted 5-7 minutes.

                      Then this past Tuesday it happened again same situation in the office she was resting I was talking on the phone look down and she had sat up to a sitting position and was crouched down rhythmically rocking. So I picked her up as that has seemed to help before and her body was tense especially her back end with her back legs moving. This one timed in at about 6 minutes.

                      I've been a little concerned as during the past two she has started to pant/gasp especially during the last part of the episode. She has never had what I felt would be what most consider to be a "normal" seizure where she has been completely laid out flailing on the floor. Always, contained to rhythmic rocking, very tense body, crouched down or sternal position rocking, clenched jaw, and sometimes a little drooling. She always bounces back quickly once it stops.

                      Sorry this is so long but I'm just not sure of what to do from here. I felt like we were doing great as it had been about a year since she has had any. I know technically she could have had one while no one was watching but we are pretty diligent about not leaving her alone. Thankfully, I work a job where she is welcome so she tags along for a lot of things.

                      The length of time is what is concerning me most. The way I time them is as soon as I notice the rhythmic rocking begin I hit the timer on my phone and stop it when it stops.

                      Part of me hates to put her on a daily medication for something that seems to affect her only sometimes especially since the medication can be so hard on the body but on the flip side the seizures themselves are concerning too. I've thought about getting diazepam and giving it rectally when she has an episode but does that work very quickly?

                      Part of me is terrified she has a brain tumor or something worse. Maybe an illogical thought but I've not had great luck with dogs (my barn dog as a child was hit by a car, senior in high school "my" dog at 4 was diagnosed and died about 6 months later of lymphoma, you get the picture just bad luck) so I'm a bit paranoid of it being the worse. If it were a tumor would the frequency of the seizures increase over time?

                      Any advice I did speak to our equine vet about her condition as he is always pretty helpful and willing to bounce ideas around with me on animal ailments. He is willing to prescribe the diazepam to us so should I try this route and continue to monitor her? Is it possible seizures can be seasonal? It is about this time last year that she had her first one.

                      How many a year is too many? Or should I suck it up and take her to a neurologist?

                      Thanks in advance and again sorry this is so long but it has been weighing heavily on me. I love all my dogs (we have 3!) but I have had her the longest and she has always been close to me and I'm not sure I can deal with another case of bad luck with dogs right now.
                      **********

                      I have a big Great Pyrenes that does just this. I refer to them as episodes, not seizures. He never loses control, just bobbles his head, no rapid eye movement. He has been thoroughly checked out by our vet with no conclusion. After the first one...a blood test showed erylichia (tick born disease). He was treated for 3 weeks with tetracycline and very strict flea/tick preventative. Nothing for 1.5 years then one episode following the discovery of ONE tick on him. Treated with tetracycline for 4 weeks. No episodes for a couple of years. I am very careful to monitor his flea/tick preventatives and he has been an indoor dog for almost two years now. I still see an "episode" a couple of times a year with no known trigger. My vet dismisses the problem as not being life threatening..... My dog's episodes last for 3 to 6 minutes...then he gets up and walks on about his business. No paralysis or side effects. I usually just sit and pet him until it passes.
                      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by crosscreeksh View Post
                        **********

                        I have a big Great Pyrenes that does just this. I refer to them as episodes, not seizures. He never loses control, just bobbles his head, no rapid eye movement. He has been thoroughly checked out by our vet with no conclusion. After the first one...a blood test showed erylichia (tick born disease). He was treated for 3 weeks with tetracycline and very strict flea/tick preventative. Nothing for 1.5 years then one episode following the discovery of ONE tick on him. Treated with tetracycline for 4 weeks. No episodes for a couple of years. I am very careful to monitor his flea/tick preventatives and he has been an indoor dog for almost two years now. I still see an "episode" a couple of times a year with no known trigger. My vet dismisses the problem as not being life threatening..... My dog's episodes last for 3 to 6 minutes...then he gets up and walks on about his business. No paralysis or side effects. I usually just sit and pet him until it passes.

                        Wow interesting theory and not something a vet has mentioned to me yet. I've gotten small video clips of what happens but it always seems to happen when no one but me is there and I have a hard time trying to tape it while also trying to comfort her so I usually give up on the video. If I hold and pet her it doesn't seem as bad for her and keeps her still as there have been a few times during an episode where it would appear she attempts to move/walk and can't get her back end to corporate. I've not found any ticks on her recently and she is an inside dog but I know she has had a few in the past years. Would a tick born disease linger for this long?

                        I'm going to go ahead and research some neurologist at least for some peace of mind, at least have some diazepam on hand for if it happens again, as well as explore other options.

                        Thanks everyone!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've thought about getting diazepam and giving it rectally when she has an episode but does that work very quickly?
                          I had a dog with ideopathic epilepsy and gave him rectal diazepam (had it down to a routine, he'd be finishing up his seizure while I was drawing the valium and getting ready to lube up his butt - his were only about a minute or two in length though) after a seizure to avoid cluster seizures. Worked pretty well for him. He was also on 2 meds for his epilepsy which ultimately messed up his liver enough that I had to euthanize him at age 9. Still, they bought him another 7 years, so it was a tradeoff.
                          Delicious strawberry flavored death!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a golden that has had a couple of episodes of what I decribed as seizure like, but not typical seizures. Yook to Vet - blood work done came back fine.

                            Look up canine epileptoid cramping syndrome on you tube and see if that is like what your dog was like. If so food change can help.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by ddb View Post
                              I have a golden that has had a couple of episodes of what I decribed as seizure like, but not typical seizures. Yook to Vet - blood work done came back fine.

                              Look up canine epileptoid cramping syndrome on you tube and see if that is like what your dog was like. If so food change can help.
                              Oh my goodness that is exactly what it looks like!! Is there a test to confirm this? As bad as this sounds I really hope this is what it is and that it isn't a problem with her brain. Thank you guys so much for responding!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would take the log, a video of the episodes and head to the neurologist. If it ends up being pain/back/neck related, he is the guy you want to see anyway, so a great place to start?

                                Does he ever paddle with his feet during an episode? Does he moves his feet one at a time or together?

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post
                                  I would take the log, a video of the episodes and head to the neurologist. If it ends up being pain/back/neck related, he is the guy you want to see anyway, so a great place to start?

                                  Does he ever paddle with his feet during an episode? Does he moves his feet one at a time or together?
                                  I agree we will definitely still see a neurologist! Her front feet typically are braced out in front of her, she is hunched over hind end sometimes on the floor of very close to it, and back feet moving what would appear to be together. Sometimes she ends up moving backwards during an episode. I wouldn't say they legs move rhythmically though.

                                  This video:

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYYnTGl-GdU

                                  What this dog's body is doing reminds me a lot of what my dog does although she is typically a bit stiffer and more upright if that makes sense.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Have had three over many years (purebreds) that developed seizures as adults. The first one died (age 11) as a result of a bad seizure. When the second one began to experience seizures midlife, I found studies that adding fish oil capsules to the dog's daily diet could stop or dramatically reduce seizures.

                                    Tried it. The seizures stopped and never returned. She lived happily and incident free to the ripe old age of 15 1/2.

                                    Latest girl is going on 14. She had a few seizures when she was 7, and I quickly put her on fish oil. One capsule a day. The seizures stopped and never returned.

                                    Just my 'three dog' study, but if it helps, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Such great ideas I'm going to try a diet change as well as fish oil capsules at least until I can get an appointment with a neurologist.

                                      Here is a link to a you tube video of her episodes. It is just a short clip of what occurs and sorry if the quality is bad! Please ignore my talking!

                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYgrR...4Sjmj6PkCrKYtA

                                      Again the feedback has been amazing thank you!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Poor girl...the look in here eyes says seizure to me. I hope you find a neurologist soon. Where are you located?

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