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Seizure?? :O Jingles, please...

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  • Seizure?? :O Jingles, please...

    Our 3-year old shepherd mix had what appeared to be some sort of a seizure this morning at 6am... It wasn't a laid-flat-out, eyes-rolled-back seizure, and she appeared coherent of her surroundings the entire time, but SOMETHING was definitely NQR for about 2 minutes. Husband described it like a huge charley-horse; she was standing up, but hunched up like she was trying to poop, and trembling a lot, much moreso than how she usually goes if she gets upset or nervous.

    DH carried her outside (thinking maybe she had to poop) and laid her down on her side, where she continued to tremble heavily for a minute or so (still not appearing disoriented, just trembling)... after about a minute she stood up and walked off like nothing was wrong.

    We lost our cat over a year ago to an unexpected morning of seizures, so of course I called the vet ASAP... The vet was able to see her at 7am, took abdominal xrays and pulled a full round of bloodwork. Xrays were unremarkable, everything looked fine except she appears to have some of what vet guessed is "cotton wadding" in her intestines. We brought in a stool sample (that Doggie produced after the incident, right before we brought her to the vet) that appeared to have some of what looked like wadded up cotton in it. (Doggie likes to destroy her toys and doesn't normally ingest stuffing, but it's entirely possible she could have.) Vet didn't appear concerned about the xrays and said she should pass the cotton stuff without incident.

    Waiting on bloodwork to come back tomorrow, but the rest of her exam (heart rate, gum color, temp, etc.), everything looked normal. He said it could have been a seizure, could have been a big discomfort from this cotton-type stuff (like horse colic), but as of yet, we're just not sure.

    My only MAYBE idea is that we gave her a dose of Advantix II about a week ago. She's been getting this same stuff every month for about 2 years and never had a problem with it, but my vet says that any problems from a dose would show up within about a week, after it absorbs into their system.

    Vet wants me to keep an eye on her all day, so I brought her along with me to work. She's seemed quiet since this morning, but otherwise fine; we had a short walk at lunchtime and she was her usual self. I'm hoping the fact that she's quieter than usual is just because she's separated from our other dog and in a strange place today, and not that there's something more serious going on.

    Gah... I can't express just how much I adore this dog; my dogs are like my children.

    Jingles please, and any words of advice/ideas are appreciated....
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  • #2
    Jingles for sure!

    As far as seizures go, keep a journal. Note when she has them, how long they last, get video if you can. That is helpful in differentiating between a focal, petite mal, or grand mal.

    If the seizure lasts more than 2 min, that's an emergency. Under that, usually just something where you want to remove objects that they could hurt themselves on, and then don't talk to them or stroke them--that can actually stimulate them and make it worse. Journal. Keep track of what they ate, what they were doing, etc. For some pets, there are triggers that can be avoided. For my pooch, it ended up being most likely a preservative or coloring agent in the treats my neighbors were giving. (my dog went into cluster seizures and had to be hospitalized at the neurology office)

    The vets I've worked for generally say that if the seizures aren't more than 2 min and are happening just a few times per month, the benefits of medicating do not outweigh the risks to the liver for example.

    Another possibility, though it usually shows up sooner, would be a liver shunt. I am assuming the bloodwork your doctor did would help eliminate that as a possibility.

    It's not that uncommon (IME, and I'm not a vet) for idiopathic epilepsy to show up around 4 years of age.

    Also, google around for postictal psychosis. It's not uncommon for a critter to seem disoriented post seizure.

    Best wishes.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      BuddyRoo, thank you. I've never had a dog who had a seizure (if this was what it was); I don't know the first thing about them, but after losing our cat last year, I'm petrified that she's going to go like that.

      The vet pulled something called a "superchem/cbc/T4," which I assume is a fairly inclusive blood panel. I'm guessing there's some liver values in there because I do remember him mentioning that as something to rule out.

      The only reason it feels lilke maybe it WASN'T a seizure is that at no point did she appear "disoriented"-- she responded to touch, maintained eye contact with us, etc. Can that happen with mild seizures?
      *friend of bar.ka

      "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, they can. There is another thread on here somewhere about a dog who acted nearly exactly like this. Advice about changing foods, among other things. Try and look it up,

        Edited to say I looked up the OP in the seizure thread that was so interesting, and it was Kwalker024 on Feb. 28th, 2013. In fact it is still on the first page in this same section.
        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

        Comment


        • #5
          OP, different types of seizures will cause different types of behaviors. When my dog first started having seizures, they were just focal seizures--some twitching like you'd see if a dog were asleep and twitching a bit at most. My dog was still ambulatory, alert, etc.

          Different causes of seizures can have vastly different outcomes. Seizures and death can occur due to poisoning, electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, organ failure, extreme dehydration, etc etc....I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your kitty.

          But many causes of seizures or seizure disorders are not life threatening and can be pretty well managed through environmental control or medication.

          The bloodwork that your vet ordered is basically a complete blood panel with a T4 which checks out thyroid hormone levels. The blood panel/cbc will look at the blood cell counts as well as sodium, potassium, calcium, etc etc etc...

          With that information in hand, your veterinarian can start to form a better picture with regards to infection, organ function, etc.

          What I wouldn't do at this point is change anything without talking to your veterinarian first. When you are trying to sort stuff like this out, it's best to change one variable at a time. If you start changing multiple variables it's harder to figure out what's working and what isn't.

          Good luck!
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

          Comment


          • #6
            Jingles for your dog! The good news is that IF it was a seizure, most young dogs can generally be managed (frequently idiopathic) with nothing more than a keppra, pheno or kbr pill 2-3 times a day. Its often more of a worry when the older pets develop seizures.

            Hopefully it was just some major gut contractions, and that everything is now resolved

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks all.

              Vet called this morning, said all her blood work came back "exceptionally normal." He suggested that we just wait and see, keep an eye on her, and if she has another one, then we'll go from there. (She's been quite normal since yesterday.)
              *friend of bar.ka

              "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

              Comment


              • #8
                Glad to hear it. I'd still make a note on your calendar and be ready to journal just in case.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sending many jingles from California. My little shelter dog has seizures (could be why he was dumped). They are mostly contained with medication, but he does have them still from time to time.

                  Hoping your situation was a one time only incident and your dog stays nice and healthy!
                  Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                  http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                  http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would continue to watch him. Like BR said, there are many kinds of seizures and they don't necessarily loose consciousnesses. I brought a dog with Lymphoma out of ICU for an U/S yesterday, but her on the table, and she started twitching her head and fly biting. But you could tap her head and she stopped. I brought in a neurologist to look at her, indeed seizures.

                    Incidentally, Keppra has not been shown to effects on the liver as phenobarb does.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Calamber View Post
                      Yes, they can. There is another thread on here somewhere about a dog who acted nearly exactly like this. Advice about changing foods, among other things. Try and look it up,

                      Edited to say I looked up the OP in the seizure thread that was so interesting, and it was Kwalker024 on Feb. 28th, 2013. In fact it is still on the first page in this same section.
                      ***********

                      THIS!!!! It is EXACTLY what my Great Pyrennes dog has done for the best part of his 7.5 years. Do a Google search for "Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome". It is heritary and an affected by the dog's diet. I've had dogs with real seizures...this is different and after ready the description of the disease...clearly what my dog does. No loss of consciousness...just a lot of wobblying and weaving. I have changed my dog's diet (NO beef or table scraps) and "knock on wood"...he's had no other episodes. Good Luck!!
                      www.crosscreeksporthorses.com
                      Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post

                        Incidentally, Keppra has not been shown to effects on the liver as phenobarb does.
                        I'm not familiar with Keppra. Do you have info you can share?
                        Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                        http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                        http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jenm View Post
                          I'm not familiar with Keppra. Do you have info you can share?
                          Most of my experience with it comes from working with Neurologists and what I was taught by them and how we treated our patients. Keppra (or generic as Levetiracetam) is pretty much their go to epilepsy treatment. I see it used in animals of all ages and they really do tolerate it quite well. It also doesn't cause the PU/PD and increased appetite that phenobarb does. It is more expensive, especially if you have a large dog. It can also be used in conjunction with other meds for those that have very hard to control epilepsy. It comes in a liquid that is great for cats and tiny dogs. Here are a few links I found:
                          http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/dise...tam-Keppra.htm

                          http://www.helium.com/items/1936546-...d-side-effects

                          The generic is less expensive and we have found it the cheapest at Costco. Our local Costco got an award for sales because our hospital calls in so much Levetiracetam. We have not seen any difference in the brand name vs. generic. We had one client who's dog was just not responding to meds overall and they tried the brand name and it was about $1500 for her for one month. It did not make a difference either and the dog was later put down because they just could not get her seizures under control.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Our male lab had his first "seizure" when he was about 2 - just started staggering around the room, like he had pinched a nerve. After that he would only have them about once a year but each one seemed a bit more involved/serious. Vet didn't want to put him on any meds because they weren't close enough.

                            In the mean time, we changed his food, stopped anything that might stress him (ie boarding) and stopped using frontline and heartworm meds - he is now 10 and hasn't had one (knock on wood) in a several years.

                            We will never know what his trigger was but just glad his never got any worse/more frequent.
                            Last edited by KnKShowmom; Apr. 23, 2013, 01:40 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My Chessie has seizures - same thing, like a whole-body cramp. She has had them her whole life. She is on phenobarbitol and we have her bloodwork checked regularly as that can cause other issues. We find her triggers to be the season changes or changes in the weather. We have it pretty much under control - she goes months and even years without a seizure now. Unfortunately she had 3 little ones last week - I think due to the nutty weather we have had. She gets 3 small pills a day in her food.

                              Hopefully yours was just related to whatever she ate and your dog will be fine!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post
                                Most of my experience with it comes from working with Neurologists and what I was taught by them and how we treated our patients. Keppra (or generic as Levetiracetam) is pretty much their go to epilepsy treatment. I see it used in animals of all ages and they really do tolerate it quite well. It also doesn't cause the PU/PD and increased appetite that phenobarb does. It is more expensive, especially if you have a large dog. It can also be used in conjunction with other meds for those that have very hard to control epilepsy. It comes in a liquid that is great for cats and tiny dogs. Here are a few links I found:
                                http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/dise...tam-Keppra.htm

                                http://www.helium.com/items/1936546-...d-side-effects

                                The generic is less expensive and we have found it the cheapest at Costco. Our local Costco got an award for sales because our hospital calls in so much Levetiracetam. We have not seen any difference in the brand name vs. generic. We had one client who's dog was just not responding to meds overall and they tried the brand name and it was about $1500 for her for one month. It did not make a difference either and the dog was later put down because they just could not get her seizures under control.
                                Thanks for the info. I will research and discuss with my vet.
                                Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My cocker used to have petit mal seizures. It turned out that Frontline Plus was a trigger as well as lawn chemicals. We switched to regular Frontline and after we bought a farm and could control the chemicals she was exposed to, they stopped.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The Frontline was what we suspected most was Smokey's trigger - the food change was more for his sister's allergies.

                                    Comment

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