Seizures

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Songbird, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

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    My daughter's 3 year old Brittany has suddenly started having seizures. This started around Thanksgiving when she had one and this past weekend she has had several. The vet requested that my son-in-law bring her in for a 24 hour observation period tomorrow.

    Has anyone here had any experience with seizures in dogs and what reasons would there be for seizures other then epilepsy? It's strange how suddenly these seizures started.
     
  2. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Limited experience with doggy seizures, and mine doesn't do what this doggy does... but could she perhaps have found something mildly toxic and been snacking on it?
     

  3. Nancy in Maine

    Nancy in Maine Well-Known Member

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    I had a Brittany/beagle mix and she had seizures. They started when she was about 5 years old, which I understand is unusual. We ended up putting her on phenobarbitol, I think. Something like that. It's been a few years and I can't quite recall. I would give her a pill every morning and evening (if I put it in a cheese puff she'd eat it herself and I didn't have to stuff it down her throat) She was on medicine the rest of her life. I think she lived to a normal age, around 10 years. Her life was ended eventually from tumors and a bad heart. I've no idea if this was in any way related to the seizures.

    But oh, I remember the first seizure! I was scared to death. I woke up hearing a thumping sound. I was home alone with the kids, my DH was working midnights. I went downstairs to investigate and my dog was laying down, banging her head and body on the wall. It looked to me like she was trying to get up but was hung up somewhere. After a minute she stopped, got up and started wandering around, in a daze. She was acting very strange and I had no idea what sort of disease culd make an animal act liek that. I grabbed the cell phone, shut myself in the bathroom and called my husband. I think I put her out inthe garage to spend the night. Then my father started telling me about a cocker spaniel we had when I was little that started having seizures. He had her put down because he was afraid she would hurt us kids. We were quite young. I was 5 and my brother was an infant. I took my dog to the vet, thinking she'd have to be put down as well, but he didn't seem to think there would be any problem with her having seizures. We did wait and see if the first incident was an isloated one. If it was she wouldn't need medication, but a week later she had mulitple seizures. We were afraid she was going to die in one day, she was exhausted. So we took her up to the vet, who put her on meds. She was fine after that. She maybe had a half dozen more seizures, but mild ones until the medicine really got into her system. After a few weeks she never had another one.

    Good luck with your dog. I don't know why seizures occur. Brittany's are pretty high strung, but have such a big heart. Just a fun loving breed. My Dad had one that lived 14 years with a bad heart. He had a heart murmur (the dog). The vet was amazed he live so long. I remember he was so high strung--one day when he was about a year old he just sat down. We all thought he was sick because he had never just sat down before that for no reason. :p
     
  4. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Our border collie had seizures starting when he was 10 months old. He eventually went on potassium bromide twice a day to control them.

    When she seizes let her be. Don't pet her or try to hold her down. I made the mistake of "soothing" Hobo when he was coming out of one. He thought I'd done something to him and snapped at me. She might lose control of bladder and bowels during a seizure. That's normal and nothing to be worried about. She might sleep after one or bounce off the walls. Hobo was in the bounce off the walls group. He couldn't help himself in spite of knowing things he was doing were wrong.

    She might have gotten into something toxic, might have a brain tumor (seizures happen in the brain), could be epilepsy or something else.

    Our vet did bloodwork on Hobo to rule some things out. She repeated his bloodwork periodically after putting him on meds to be sure his med levels didn't get too high.

    Watch for personality changes that might signal something going on in his brain. I usually knew before Hobo was going to seize. He acted different, usually very hyper. He sometimes had personality changes after too. Last New Year's Eve we made the decision to put him down because he'd become aggressive with our other dogs.

    Good luck! It's really not a bad thing to deal with if you can control the seizures with medication.
     
  5. mtc

    mtc Well-Known Member

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    I've got a border collie mix who grand mal seizes occasionally. In her case I think it's her brain rewiring itself (she's got other behaviors that come and go) but the vets she's seen said the seizures could be caused by anything from an electrical disturbance in the brain to liver malfunction. (They ran a battery of tests and couldn't pin it to anything specific.)

    They did suggest keeping a daily log because it can help them pinpoint triggers and sometimes seizures can be predicted. One vet also suggested video-ing a seizure because it can help them figure out the type of event.

    In her case, since it happens so rarely, (she used to have them quarterly but it's been more than a year since the last one) she's on no medication.
     
  6. Looking4ewes

    Looking4ewes Well-Known Member

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    I have a dog that started seizuring at the age of 6 1/2 yo. She is now 11 1/2 and still on phenbarbital, but no seizures for 3 years now. I received great info from this website and email discussion group: http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/ Without them, I don't think that I could have acheived the level of sucess with this condition that I have had.
     
  7. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of reasons for a dog to have siezures. Metabolic abnormalities (liver problems, etc), brain tumors (possible but unlikely in a 3 year old), and epilepsy are just a few of the more common reasons. It looks like epilepsy is a problem in the Brittany breed.

    When the dog is in for observation I would imagine that the vet will also draw blood to rule out metabolic abnormalities. If everything looks OK the vet may start her on a siezure medication-phenobarbitol and/or potassium bromide being the most common.

    Many, many dogs do very well on siezure medications. Typically your veterinarian will want to draw blood at least once a year to check to make sure the meds are not causing other problems and to check the levels of the seizure medication.
     
  8. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had a problem with siezures with my 3 year old Lab. She had one. (very scary) I ran her to the Vet. By the time I got her to the Vet the seizure was over. We did the blood tests. Before we got the blood test results back she had had 2 more. The blood tests came back with nothing conclusive. Then the Vet asked me, has she had any kind on head injury. I said no, but I came home and asked the kids down the road, they had been playing with her the day the 1st siezure happened. Well, they said, she ran in to a tree and knocked herself down. So I called the Vet, telling him what the kids had said. So well after all the tests. We figure it was a head injury that happened. She has never had another siezure, and she is fine. So I might check into a head injury of some kind. Just a thought.
     
  9. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. Her bloodwork came back good so the next step was a cat scan or MRI. DD and SIL are going to wait a little while for that as it is quite expensive. Lucy, the dog, seems to be doing better and hasn't had a seizure in a couple days now. We are begining to wonder if it was a head injury - the way she runs arounds like a crazy dog she could've ran her head into a tree or something. LOL