01/23/2014 at 10:02 am #58300
Anyone have any experience with this?
Our little guy has seizures, and judging by the last 3 or 4, they’re practically regular at every 6 months. We’ve talked to the vet about this a LOT, and apparently there is medicine out there that can help. I’m not opposed to medicating my dog, but I have some concerns: if he gets off it or misses a dose, he could have a seizure; he’s about 9 or 10 years old, so it is hard on his system, especially his liver; and will it TRULY help?
Has anyone else dealt with this? The little guy doesn’t appear to be having “grand mal” seizures, and he pretty much snaps out of it as soon as he done (they take about 5-7 minutes, and we give him valium).
Just curious and hoping we’re not the only ones out there!01/23/2014 at 10:10 am #58301
I have not had this problem with any of my dogs, but you might want to get him a MMJ card:01/23/2014 at 11:29 am #58316
Winston, my wire fox suffered from seizures. They sound exactly like what your pup is going through. We chose not to use medication, because the seizures didn’t get any worse, and they didn’t happen very often. He lived to be a grand old age.01/23/2014 at 11:34 am #58319
I have had a dog with epilepsy from an injury that was give dilatin, which worked well for the 5 years he was on it. Apparently if they are on it for many many years it can cause liver problems. A person I worked with had a dog on medication for at least 12 years for epilepsy and when his vet told him that the medication was causing the dog more problems than it was helping, the dog was taken off the medication and the dog wasn’t expected to live another 2 weeks. The guy’s son was a naturpath who told him to go down to the International District and get two herbs to give to the dog, which he did, and the dog lived at least two more years with no problems, no seizures.
Now I have no idea what these herbs are and it’s been so many years since Roger did this he wouldn’t know if I asked him. But there is a naturpathic vet at The Family Pet (Maggie) who deals in Chinese herbs who I like and another naturpathic vet on 65th & 8th. Maybe one of them can come up with these herbs for your dog.
Good luck. If you just stick to the dilatin or phenobarbital, they will keep the seizures at bay.01/23/2014 at 11:48 am #58320
My dog started having seizures. Had her first one in the vet when I took her in because not acting like herself. First one was grand mal;the remaining ones not. I would hold he to me when a seizure came on and would talk gently to her. At first she was a pretty sick dog – walking in circles, having seizures and had all kinds of tests with no answers. Vet wanted to put her down;I refused until they could give definitive answer for seizures.
Vet put her on valium for after seizure, or during if I could get it in her, and prednisone.
Nikki (my dog) got better, seizures quit and she lived for years after that. She was about 13 when she started having them. The vet called her the “miracle dog” for her recovery.
Prednisone isn’t the greatest drug in the world because of potential side effects (Nikki gained 10#, which she lost later). I weened her off the prednisone & valium and she was her good old happy self after that.01/23/2014 at 11:56 am #58321
We had a Japanese Chin who had epilepsy and was on phenobarbital for most of his life. If not on medication his seizures would be a weekly occurrence and we were told that it was possible for a bad seizure to be fatal. When he was on his meds the seizures were more like every other month, and much milder and shorter duration.
We were worried about the affect of the phenobarbital on his health, but it wasn’t great having seizures all the time either. He never had any liver problems, but died relatively young (for a small dog) at 10 from heart failure. Don’t know if the medicine was to blame or if it was unrelated, but that little guy sure made the most of his time here anyway.
You do have to be a little bit concerned about him getting hurt during a seizure, such as falling off of something, or having one while in the water.
A funny story along those lines was when we were camping once with a bunch of people and dogs and there was this little Chihuahua named Monty. Monty was a tiny little horn-dog and he would try to hump the leg of any person or dog that would allow it. Well our guy, Mr Chin, was not one to be humped and he let Monty know in clear terms pretty much right away, and Monty backed off after that. On the second day of the trip were were sitting around by the river drinking beer and one of my friends said “Hey, look at Monty humping the crap out of Mr Chin!” It turned out that he was having a seizure and was unable to defend himself and Monty took advantage of the situation to start grinding away on him. Mr Chin held himself in very high regard, and I’m sure that the assault to his dignity was hard for him to get over!
Good luck with your little guy.01/23/2014 at 12:34 pm #58323
Thanks for the well wishes and thoughtful comments, all!
I think we need to think a little more on the meds. On the one hand, he’s perfectly happy and healthy without them, aside from the every-six-months-or-so seizures, which according to the vet aren’t that bad (to us it’s completely traumatic). But it also sounds like they DO help, generally, and we could potentially skip seizures all together.
Fact for the day: Apparently it’s impossible for a dog to swallow his tongue? Who knew. (thanks, Google).
I wish we knew if these were new as he got older, or if he’s had them all his life – he’s a rescue, so we have very limited medical info for him, all of it from since we’ve had him.
Thanks again for the kind words! Much appreciated!01/23/2014 at 3:37 pm #58328
Do some research on gabapentin. I is the least disruptful on the liver and other organs for humans and likely for animals also.01/23/2014 at 7:21 pm #58348
Sunset Hill IrishParticipant
New to the forum but not to the issue of doggie seizures, Earl Danger. Sorry your little companion has developed this. Please take him to a vet familiar with canine epilepsy. Idiopathic canine epilepsy onset can happen any time in a dog’s life and veterinary medicine doesn’t understand why. It can be treated with medication (either phenobarbital or potassium bromide, or a combination of the two) that will prevent seizures but it takes time and patience to dial in the therapeutic dosage. It will also require routine blood tests initially to determine if you have achieved the proper serum level in the blood and then routine blood tests to monitor kidney and liver function. Missing a dose of medication will not bring on a seizure but you should NEVER double up on doses. Treating with valium is not treating the seizures — the abnormal brain activity that causes the body to seize persists; the valium simply minimizes the body movement to prevent the animal from harming himself or herself. Valium is not a good long-term treatment choice but it is used to give a dog some respite with the onset of cluster seizures (more than three in 24 hours). Also, dilantin (the gold standard for treating human epilepsy) is not recommended for dogs.
The relative infrequency of your pup’s seizures may not really require phenobarbital or potassium bromide . . . but the duration of seizures you describe is quite long. These drugs (pheno and potassium bromide) do not eliminate all seizures but they reduce their frequency and severity wonderfully.
Take heart! Epileptic dogs can and do live normal, long lives.01/23/2014 at 7:46 pm #58351
Did I miss something? Does this dog have epileptic seizures? or are they non-specific to epilepsy?01/23/2014 at 8:40 pm #58352
Do you have any idea what causes the seizures? In our case, Tucker the wonder Corgi started having them at age 6.5, turned out he had a 25mm brain tumor. We managed it with chemo and radiation, prednisone, valium and phenobarbital. Poor fella, lived at the vet school in Pullman for several months. He was with us for another year and a half.
What testing has your vet done to determine a cause? It could be something easily treatable.
Mar Vista is always a great resource:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_seizure_disorder.html01/23/2014 at 11:42 pm #58355
My now 17-year-old dog (lab mix, also a rescue) started having similar seizures about 10 years ago, also about twice a year, but shorter in duration, more like 2-3 minutes. My vet did blood tests to make sure nothing more serious was wrong, and then advised against medication unless things got worse. He also said that if I was around when the seizure happens to try and get the dog to focus on me and to pet him. That always seems to make the seizures stop more quickly; the vet said that if I wasn’t able to get the dog to focus on me, that’d be a sign they were getting worse.
10 years later, my dog still gets the occasional seizure but is otherwise perfectly happy and healthy (well, for an old guy.) I should say that I’m not against medication or intervention generally — my dog has also had cancer surgery and is currently on anti-inflammatory meds for his arthritis.
Definitely let anyone who watches your dog know that this happens. Because it’s very scary to see it without warning even if it turns out to not be that serious.02/27/2014 at 10:33 am #60828
First – I just want to say thanks for all the kind words and reassurances that our dog ISN’T completely abnormal (I mean we’re all snowflakes, right?) and that a lot of people have managed it without meds.
We’re meeting with our vet this weekend to have a serious come to Jesus about meds – phenobarbital seems like the most common med, but there are other options. We don’t want to affect his personality, decrease his quality of life, etc. so if the negatives outweigh the benefits of suppressing his seizures, we might just stick with medicating as needed. We’re also going to triple, double-check that he’s not having adverse affects from the seizures, aside from scaring the crap out of us.
And yes, anyone who watches him knows about his issue, and how/when to give the meds. That’d be a pretty cruel joke to play on someone nice enough to watch him!
Again, thanks for making us feel a little better about all this.02/27/2014 at 11:15 am #60831
Do you know for sure that they are epileptic?02/27/2014 at 11:27 am #60834
Because Doggo’s trances, convulsions and nausea are always caused by Japanese cartoons, I’ve always assumed it was epilepsy, but now that I think about it, it could have been her response to the weak plots, bad writing and recycled animation sequences.02/27/2014 at 11:30 am #60836
@SmartstArtsy – We’re not 100% it’s epilepsy, but we’ve pretty much ruled out other options (head trauma, environmental, etc.). Who knows, maybe he just likes to see us scramble at 4am!02/27/2014 at 10:41 pm #60885
Poor little guy, and poor you at 4am!
My input re medication is try to stay away from Phenobarbital; degrades quality of life, will put much weight on him, and is dangerous to his liver. there are better options, I am sure, like gabapentin or primidone02/28/2014 at 4:06 am #60889
IIRC Primidone is converted to Phenobarbital in the bloodstream and actually carries a higher risk of liver disease, and similar side effects as does straight phenobarbital.
I’m sure that the Vet will be able to help the OP make the right choice for their dog’s specific case.02/28/2014 at 7:49 am #60890
I was quite serious in my original reply to this thread.
make him a few ‘medibles’ with the right strain and his quality of life could greatly improve.
any side effect of gaining weight (from the ‘munchies’) can be easily kept in check with portion control.
are you all too dismissive to entertain this idea?02/28/2014 at 9:18 am #60896
ernie, it is all really crap, isnt it? but i would never trust a vet– or a doctor wholeheartedly to make a decision on medication for me. thanks for letting me know that.
great idea, I dont doubt the benefit at all!02/28/2014 at 12:52 pm #60902
Sunset Hill IrishParticipant
Earl Danger — So glad you will be meeting with your vet to discuss medication possibilities and the potential benefits and deficits of each. Do your own research as well. There are some good publications from the vet schools at UC Davis and Purdue on canine epilepsy diagnosis, prognosis, treatment protocols, etc. The goal for you and your little gentleman is to minimize the seizures and the post-ictal recovery time so that there is no harm to his brain or your nerves! Pet the little gentleman for us all, please.03/02/2014 at 8:27 am #61031
Our beagle had epileptic seizures. My sister, an herbalist, recommended we give him
Sho-Seiko-To, and more often than not, when a seizure would come on, and I slipped a pill in his mouth, the seizure would subside much more quickly than when it wasn’t given to him. I only gave it to him when a seizure was coming on…sho saiko to03/02/2014 at 9:02 am #61032
Earl – this is also a good resource for you: http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm03/02/2014 at 12:13 pm #61036
Ilex, I hadn’t known of the use in epilepsy. My father took it when he was dying from pancreatic cancer. It’s worth a try.
Wow, we’ve come a very long way. It has been 34 years since then and I just noticed it is even mentioned on Sloan Kettering’s site
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