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Guest twilliams

I had and English Setter that had unprovoked attacks on our other dogs. This was about 15 years or so ago. I always thought this was a seizure of some sort or something going haywire in her brain. She was the most loving, happy and sweet dog at all other times. Our vet never found any medical reason for this problem. We learned to watch her body language very carefully. When she became very still and almost trance like we did something to grab her attention. We had separate her from the other dogs when we were not around for their safety. Good luck. I hope you are able to resolve this matter.

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Guest DaffyToons

I cannot begin to imagine how scary that must have been for you! And I applaud your efforts to get to the bottom of the situation. A couple of thoughts:

 

I have a very large male named Shadow as well as a smaller female grey and a lab-mix female. I have to go back to how I acquired Shadow for any of this to make sense. Here goes:

 

Shadow lived with an older woman about 3 hours away from me. She had him for about 4 years when she was diagnosed with cancer. During her many stays at the hospital, she would board Shadow at a local kennel. Because of the prolonged stays there, he would often have to be transferred to the veterinarian because of recurrent diarrhea. After her final stay at the hospital, from Shadow's point of view, she just never came home. He was home for about 2 weeks all alone, being taken care of by a neighbor. (He had a doggie door to let himself in and out, not such a good idea with alpha-type dogs.) A friend of mine in Mississippi called me and told me about her friend and how she had died, and would I go get Shadow. Well, of course! So I went and drove for 3 hours through the lovely state of Michigan the day after a major snowstorm and picked up the hugest greyhound I had ever seen. This guy weighed 105 lbs! Anyway, we chatted for a bit with the neighbor who was caring for him, packed up his things (my Expedition was loaded to the hilt!), and off we went back home. We got the big guy home, and he got along great with my other three dogs (at the time I had another older male grey as well as my younger female plus the lab-mix). Within the first week, there was one incident of aggression between him and my lab-mix over a treat. My fault there. He also, like yours, had certain sleep space issues. He would lie on one of his beds in the living room, but don't you dare touch it! He made the mistake once of growling at me. The VOG came down on him then (that is the Voice of God), and I grabbed hold of the edge of his bed and ripped it up from underneath him. You should have seen the look on his face. He never made so much as a whimper after that. Well, I fostered him for 16 days, and then we tried him in a permanent home. The home had a small dog with a Napoleon complex, and that didn't last very long. The little dog knew she was the boss, and Shadow quickly figured out that he was second in command (that is, over the people, too). So, off he went to home #2. At that house, he quickly lost 25 lbs. and ended up biting one of the teenage sons in the face. So, back he came here.

 

Now, I have small children who at the time were 1-1/2 and 3 years of age. I would have never taken Shadow back permanently if I thought for an instant that he was capable of attacking a human deliberately out of pure aggression. I do think, however, that he challenged all of his would-be opponents. Now that Shadow has been here for 2 years, we have not had another incident since the bed-growling. But there are rules, especially because of his history. Shadow is not allowed on the couch or the bed. I also do not go up to him and stick my face by his when he is lying on his bed.

 

In going through Shadow's medical records from his previous owner, more times than not his owner couldn't bring him into the vet for a scheduled appointment because she couldn't catch him in his backyard. Obviously, he made the rules, not her.

 

It seems to me that the "honeymoon" period is over with Gabe. He is feeling very comfortable and now wants to establish his dominance in the pack. I like the previous suggestions of practicing NILIF. That is what I do with Shadow every day. He gets nothing unless he earns it. And because of his history, in knowing that he is capable of biting a person, I do not let my guard down. I make sure that I walk through the door or gate first, and then Shadow. I eat first, and then Shadow. If Shadow is lying in a doorway or hallway that I want to walk through, I do not step over him or around him. I make him get up. And he moves. He knows I'm boss, and he is fine with it. I know that Shadow is very comfortable with his position in our pack, because I have a very smiley, bouncy guy with a very waggy tail. But I do not let him even begin to think that he can be the boss. There were two incidences early on where he would not let me catch him outside in our very larged, fenced-in yard. I had an appointment to be at and could not leave him outside as it was too cold. You have no idea how mad I was! Well, he doesn't do this anymore, either. I have to chalk it up to him knowing who is boss-lady around here--ME!

 

I'm sorry this was so long; and, again, I cannot imagine how awful the incident with Gabe was. I do think, however, that he is trying to establish his dominance over you, which can definitely be overcome. There are many books regarding this, one of which I like a lot called "Leader of the Pack". I'm sure that between support here, and a clean bill of health to rule out any medical issues, you and Gabe will work things out. Please keep us posted!

 

 

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The fact that he was up and standing over you, then bit you, I am not convinced this is sleep aggression. In my opinion, he is not a dog to be trusted. I would not be surprised if he attacks Diamond as he did the other grey in the house he used to live in.

that must've been so scary!

i have to agree with Burpdog. I'm not an expert, but it doesn't sound like sleep aggression to me, either. Phene has mild sleep aggression and it never manifests itself in his standing over me. Sounds like it may be something medical.

 

As others have suggested, I wouldn't let him on furniture nor would I let him forget that you are the pack leader. Additionally, please don't trust him until you know the cause of his behaviour. I also wouldn't be surprised if Gave went on to attack another animal or even you again.

 

good luck and keep us posted

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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The fact that he didn't respond to your screaming or yelling at him leads me to think of a seizure disorder. You're right, not all seizures are of the convulsive type. Temporal lobe seizures often are not convulsive in nature. If there is any way of getting a thorough medical history on him and finding out if he's had these "attacks" before I'd definitely try. I would have the vet do a very thorough exam, including thyroid on him. If nothing shows up I'd try some seizure meds and see if it doesn't make a difference. Until then, it might be worth it to muzzle him at night so that you're not surprised by another sleep attack like the one you just experienced. That had to be horrifying. Saint has the convulsive type of Epilepsy so I haven't had to deal with aggression from him.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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I just wanted to add my two cents. First and foremost, I do not have any dogs that have attacked anyone in the house.

 

But what I have is a girl who periodically wakes up in a trance. She is completely lost. She knows her name but doesn't know where she is, how to jump off the bed, how to do stairs, where the back door is, nothing. Nothing basic. It has only happened while waking up from sleep, and then again only once in a while.

I took her to a neurologist and we did an MRI and blood test. The works.

 

With everything ruled out, he stated it was some kind of petite mal seisure. She would need 20-30 minutes to come completely out of it.

 

This might be something similar but unfortunately with aggression. If you're near Red Bank, NJ, there is a terrific neurologist there.

 

Good Luck!!

 

 

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Gabe's thyroid screen came back at the low end of normal, so the vet is now running a full panel (which, yes, he should've done to begin with :rolleyes:). He said he doesn't suspect hypothyroidism, because normally that would also result in other numbers being high (e.g. cholesterol), and Gabe's are all fine, but we really need to rule out anything medical.

 

If his thyroid is normal, we'll investigate a possible seizure disorder.

 

In the meantime, he's banned from all furniture, muzzled at night, and is "earning" his treats, food, and walks. It's hard to tell whether any of it is effective (well, except the muzzle) since he only becomes violent once in a blue moon, but with all this, plus the medical investigations, at least we don't feel totally helpless.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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Thank you for continuing to investigate.

 

I can't imagine what the experience was like, but since you said he was sort of "trance" like and/or that he didn't respond to your voice, it leads me to believe it is something medical, or at the very least, some type of "reaction", not an "on purpose" behavior.

 

Gabe is a good boy and deserves the efforts....

 

Thank you

Lee: (RR's Busy): Oswald Cobblepot X Lively Layla (10/14/97 - 01/22/10) ; Cool: (P's Cool Runner): P's Raising Cain X My Cool Runner (3/3/97 - 12/26/09) ; Nutty: (Itsanutterbutter): State of the Art X Itsalmostsaintly ; Waterproof: (KB's Waterproof): Oshkosh Slammer X Special Lady* ; Sadie: my sweet silly girl: 5/5/98 - 11/26/05
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Guest tapin2thefuture

Ahh! Just terrrible. But this story sounds a wee bit familiar to me, so I wanted to respond. I just posted some of this in another section about seizures - but it relates to your story as well.

 

BTW - I hope you are okay.

 

I had a dog (not a grey) that had seizures from the age of 2.5 until he passed at 13 years old. He was what we believe to be a wolf/terrier mix. A woman I worked with also had his sister, so for about 4 years we had a record of the progression of the siblings. Her dog never had any aggression issues ever that I know of - but her girl was very assertive. A barker, a pusher, an attention hound, etc. But our dog's aggression was not consistant. (Story does not have a happy ending.)

 

The 2 of them were brought to the animal hospital I worked at at 6 weeks of age with kennel cough. Their 2 litter mates and mother had just been euthanized at the local Humane Society because they euthanized sick animals to cut costs. Our dog and his sister were literally grabbed up and rescued by a worker just before their lethal injections and rushed to our animal hospital.

 

Both were super sick and were on IV and in isolation for about 6 weeks until we could take them home. But when you nurse a 6 week old pup back from pasted shut eyes, snotty nose, fleas, diarrhea caked all over and that horrid cough and dehyrdation - you develop a bond just like a momma to a child and vice versa. Hence, our "Ogdan" was always stuck to me like glue.

 

We had 3 cats at the time and a lab/grey mix when we brought Og home. Og did great other than having to be quaranteened to our house for another 2 months or so until his cough was resolved. Hence, his only doggie socialization from 6 weeks to 12 weeks was his sister while they stayed at the vet hospital. And then my other dog until he was about 5-6 mos old. After that he was highly socialized with lots of other dogs since I worked at a vet hospital - we did doggie play dates all the time.

 

We did obedience classes from about 9 mos to a year and he did great. Super obedient dog and willing to work. After that we started him in agility, which he did for quite awhile until the seizures started and they said he could no longer participate. "Og" started with his seizures at about 2.5 years old.

 

Somewhere about almost age 2 he started getting super protective of me. No other animal (outside our home pack) could get within 20 feet. He's go balistic. In obedience he was moved to the disobedient group - even though he was great at commands and actually the most obedient dog in the group.

 

Our dog was never diagnosed as epeleptic (sp?). But the vet said that his seizures were a type of pre-seizure. He would just lock up, get glassy eyed and have a fixed stare and sometimes stop breathing. They lasted anwhere from 5-12 minutes, which if it were a full seizure would have been very long and very dangerous, I think. In fact, I only once ever called the emergency hospital and rushed him in when he went over 12 mins becasue it was just a standard for him.

 

Over the years of keeping the log notebook, I realized that Og usually had his seizures on days that someone came to visit us and generally he's always be laying at my feet when they started. Nothing else like an attitude, a nervousness, no signs from our other pets, no tics, nothing.

 

At one point they got quite frequent for him. We went from about every 8-12 weeks to 1-2 a week for awhile and at the same time he started having some aggression issues with our cats. He would growl as they passed and several times he'd just pounce and attack them unprovoked.

 

I consulted 2 vets online at the time (eons ago). One was Dr. Dodman who wrote the behavior book "The Dog Who Loved Too Much" and I can't recall the other epilepsy vet, sorry. But what both had suggested was to lower Og's daily protein to a food that had less than 20% crude protein. So we did - and the seizures went back down to one every 3-5 months. Pretty infrequent. And the agressions stopped.

 

Our regular vet told us to stick with the dietary changes and if the siezures or aggression increased - that we could reduce him even lower. We could even do the Science Diet K/D, which is super low protein for renal diseases. We never had to go that far.

 

Og got passed all the aggression issues for many, many years until we adopted my daughter. She came to live with us when he was just over 8 years old. Having to "share" me was an issue for him. He never growled or snapped or pushed her around. But he was visibly very nervous around her and did not like my attentions to her. This lasted for about 6 months - all while he seemed to be getting more and more comfy with her. We naively thought it would just take time and maybe that is all it takes for some dogs. But not Og.

 

We got to the point where she'd lay on Og and give him higs and kisses and he'd wag his tail and all was well. One day in Mid-March it was beautiful. My daughter, the other dog, Og and I played out in the back yard for hours. My daughter (then 15 mos old) threw the ball and Og would fetch over and over. A perfect day by all accounts.

 

Later, we ate dinner. I got my daughter down from the highchair and she was on my right. Og was on my left and we all proceeded to walk into the livingroom where I reached down to turn on the stereo. As I reached, I hear the most horrible growl of all time and my daughter then lets out a blood curtling scream. I whirl around to find her face lacerated through the cheek and through the chin!

 

It was truely the worst moment of my life. Ogdan ran off and we rushed my daughter to the emergency room.

 

I can't tell you how bad I personally felt having known all those 6 months that he did not like her and knowing that she was lucky to have only endured those breaks in her beautiful skin. He could have easily done far more damage at 80 lbs to a 15 month old than he did. And how my heart sunk knowing my beloved Og could no longer safely be with us.

 

Thank goodness my sister took him to live with her, I thought. Because we could not bare to euthanize him - even though we were pushed to by the vet, the human doctor and by family.

 

Og went on to live happily, aggression free for a few more years. I saw him often and he was still very much "my dog" - just living with my sister and never allowed to be with our daughter again.

 

Then another fateful day...About 3 years later - he spent another incredible day out for a car ride and hike with my sister and her best friend who was in town for a weeks vacation. Og fell asleep in the back seat on my sister's best friends lap on the drive home. Out of nowhere, he woke - lunged up and tore her face open in the car. This time merely missing her eyeball by a centimeter. His canine punctured through her eye socket.

 

So, I get a call from my sister who is hysterical in the car rushing her friend to the emergency room and saying that we need to euthanize Og NOW!

 

That's the sad, sad, end to that story. Our boy, my baby, was put down in my lap that evening.

 

All I can say is that any act of human aggression is not a good sign. You are his pack leader and if he can't recognize that - no good will come from it. Second, I truly believe Ogdan had something physically going wrong in his brain that caused the aggression and obviously caused the seizures. He was not an inately aggresive dog - part wolf or not. His sister was never aggressive and she was a far more assertive dog than him in many ways. Behaviorists are good places to start. Blood panels are also good places to start too.

 

I worry a bit about your safety and of the little grey girl you have. If you couldn't fend him off - what chance does she have? Other than maybe becoming so traumatized that she is then forever scarred?

 

My daughter is now very afraid of large dogs. This is one reason we have greys now. They are the only large dog she has ever liked and they are so mellow that they in no way make her apprehensive.

 

Best of luck to you. Try the lower protein food. Maybe it will help.

 

-Lisa

 

 

 

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Guest gonewtthewind1
I had and English Setter that had unprovoked attacks on our other dogs. This was about 15 years or so ago. I always thought this was a seizure of some sort or something going haywire in her brain. She was the most loving, happy and sweet dog at all other times. Our vet never found any medical reason for this problem. We learned to watch her body language very carefully. When she became very still and almost trance like we did something to grab her attention. We had separate her from the other dogs when we were not around for their safety. Good luck. I hope you are able to resolve this matter.

 

 

Mom forgot to add that we thought that Janie had been hit in the head at a young age. The place that we rescued her from was owned by a crazy lady that had a ton of hunting dogs. She trained them, but was not able to train Janie. I remember (I was little) that she banged a pan around the dogs to get them away from her. Could Gabe have a brain injury before you got him?? That might be something to explore.

 

I commend you for trying to work this out. Good luck, and keep us posted on what happens and what you find out.

 

Becky

Edited by gonewtthewind1
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We had our second vet visit tonight, and even the vet admits that we're left with a lot of questions and few answers.

 

Gabe's numbers on the thyroid panel were a little low, but after consulting with a vet at Kansas State and another who handles a lot of sighthounds, our vet says he feels comfortable ruling out hypothyroidism.

 

He's also ruled out an adrenal disorder - Gabe's blood work is perfect.

 

Other possibilities include a brain tumor or a seizure disorder. If it's a brain tumor, it's at a very early stage, because Gabe isn't displaying any signs of damage to his nervous system - no difficulty walking, blindness, facial paralysis, etc...

 

Our vet says that he can't rule out temporal lobe epilepsy, but he says this type of epilepsy often doesn't show obvious physical symptoms, so it's difficult to diagnose.

 

He said that while nothing medical obviously fits, it also (after considering it further) doesn't strike him as a behavioral problem. Gabe is a sweet, affectionate, obedient dog. He sits (often even without the command) and waits for permission before eating his food. He sits at the door and waits for us to put his leash on and waits for us to go through the door first (and has done this since the day we brought him home). He doesn't pull on the leash, isn't aggressive to strange dogs we meet, isn't aggressive with us or with Diamond. (In fact, he's extremely patient with Diamond, who has a bad habit of play 'biting' his head).

 

These are the options our vet has recommended we consider:

1) Telephone consult with a behaviorist to see whether this sounds remotely behavioral

2) MRI to rule out a brain tumor

3) A trial of phenobarbital

 

The MRI would cost approximately $1,200. Well worth it if it would help Gabe but not money we can really spare if it wouldn't. (After all of his foot and stomach problems, Gabe's vet bills are at around $3,000 for the four months we've had him). He'd also have to be put under anesthesia, which always makes me nervous.

 

The phenobarbital may or may not help, but how are we to know if his "episodes" happen so infrequently? After six months with no aggression, we couldn't be sure whether the medication was working or whether Gabe had just been a very good boy. Also, there's a real possibility that the meds could cause kidney or liver problems later down the road.

 

I really don't know what we should do.

 

 

 

 

 

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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This must be so hard for you :grouphug I am not sure I would pay for an MRI at this point, especially since there is no guarantee you will learn anything from it. I agree that it doesn't seem like classic sleep aggression, but I still think it's a possibility...just took him a very long time to 'wake up' and realize what was going on. If it were me, I think I would take a wait and see approach, after talking with a behaviorist. You're not allowing him on furniture any longer, right? I wish you the best of luck...it's obvious you love him very much :grouphug

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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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I can't give any advice about what you have experienced with him, but lots of dogs are on Pb. Normally, the liver adjusts to the Pb and it doesn't often cause problems. It is something to monitor every 6 months or so. Ryan has been on Pb (and KBr) for years and his liver is still perfectly fine.

 

And sadly, MRIs are very expensive - Ryan had one last month and it was $1800.

What do they expect to see/look for with an MRI - just a tumor somewhere? If so, what are your treatment options and would you go with any of those options. If so/not, is it worth it to do the MRI?

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What do they expect to see/look for with an MRI - just a tumor somewhere? If so, what are your treatment options and would you go with any of those options. If so/not, is it worth it to do the MRI?

 

They would be looking for a brain tumor or for any physiological signs of a seizure disorder. If it's a brain tumor, there would be no real treatment options, except to try to assess how long we could maintain a good quality of life for him. If we did the MRI, it would be primarily to attempt a definite diagnosis of seizures, although our vet thinks its unlikely that non-convulsive seizures would show that type of physiological signs.

 

We're probably not going to put him through the MRI. We're pretty desperate for answers at this point, but I don't really think an MRI is going to provide them. Our vet is going to call Kansas State this week to see whether they think it would be helpful.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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I think your vet is on the right track.

 

If it's a brain tumor that's causing temporal lobe seizures, pheno would be the med given. The MRI would let you know for sure if it's a tumor, but it may really not be necessary to know.

 

Cullen is on pheno and sodium bromide (he's allergic to potassium bromide). His seizures are finally under control. His last seizure was 148 days ago last Saturday and then he had one. I would say his seziures are very infrequent now, but we don't dare to *not* give him meds.

 

Yep, I'd go for the pheno. It may stop all Gabe's future seizures, if that's what he's having. Having had a dog like this, I'd say temporal lobe seizures are at the root of the problems.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gabe had another "episode" this morning. I was fully awake for this one (and he was muzzled and across the room from me and Diamond - thank goodness) but it still left me shaking afterward.

 

Oddly, it happened at about the same time of day as the attack last month - just before 9am. I was in bed, surfing the internet, when I heard him start to growl. Nothing seemed to have provoked it - he was by himself on his bed, near the foot of my bed. Diamond was on her bed, to the right of mine. I sat up, and the growling and snarling got louder. It wasn't the low, irritated growl we usually associate with his sleep aggression - it was really throaty and vicious-sounding (the Old Yeller rabies scenes come to mind), and he was showing his teeth. He had a glazed look but seemed to be fully awake - eyes open, sitting up, moving (at one point, he turned his head to look at Diamond). He didn't respond at all to his name. The really spooky part was that he did this for a LONG time. I'd estimate a minute to a minute and a half. Long enough that I had time to debate whether I should try to get Diamond out of the room (she was still sleeping). I ultimately decided that any movement on my part or hers was a bad idea at that point.

 

It all stopped just as suddenly as it started. Gabe kind of blinked, yawned, and stretched and nestled to make himself more comfortable in his bed. He was very suddenly my sweet boy again, as if it hadn't happened. He went to sleep almost immediately and started to bark and "woof" in his sleep - something I'm very familiar with. He woke up an hour or so later, his old, sweet self - no signs of aggression whatsoever.

 

I'd been very hesitant to put him on phenobarbital without any real evidence of temporal lobe seizures (since I was asleep when the last incident started) but this sure looked like something like that to me. It was like something in his brain went off-track and then corrected itself. I keep him muzzled when we're sleeping and when we're not here, but it seems like something that could happen at any time, and that REALLY worries me. I guess we'll have to medicate him and see what happens.

 

My poor, sweet boy.

Edited by vjgrey

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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This latest incident you described definately sounds like a seizure.

Lynn mom to:Roper(Roper is Here),Josie the Australian Cattle Dog mix, Lacey the Corgi mix, Allie the cat and 2 skin kids and at the bridge Bailey (AA's Bailey), Snickers(Jax Snickers) , Sabrina the Collie and Sadie the Border Collie mix.

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This is so bizarre. You actually popped into my head this morning and I wondered if there had been any resolution, but wondered how the heck I would find out because I couldn't remember who had posted the request for help, then here you are front and center again.

 

Anyway, sounds like the seizures if that's what they are could be increasing in frequency, although that's probably not a fair statement based on the two episodes I know about, but if they are, medication could be helpful, may even help you get a diagnosis. I believe there is another reasonably common seizure medication out there other than Pb that supposedly has less side effects. Of course, I can't remember the name, but I'm sure you could find it by searching this section of the site.

 

Keep us posted as things progress, really hoping that if you try the meds they help your boy.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I'd been very hesitant to put him on phenobarbital without any real evidence of temporal lobe seizures (since I was asleep when the last incident started) but this sure looked like something like that to me. It was like something in his brain went off-track and then corrected itself. I keep him muzzled when we're sleeping and when we're not here, but it seems like something that could happen at any time, and that REALLY worries me. I guess we'll have to medicate him and see what happens.

 

My poor, sweet boy.

 

You're doing the right thing by keeping him muzzled much of the time and putting him on meds. Phenobarbital is a blessing and it's kept a lot of dogs alive for a bunch of reasons. Some dogs are on very high doses of it for years, so try not to worry about the effects too much. Cullen's new vet suggested he take milk thistle twice a day to protect his liver along with liver checks a couple times of year.

 

I hope the pheno helps although you'll probably have to keep him muzzled for a very long time if you're not in the room with him or if you're asleep. This condition is a very tough one to live with because of the vigilance it requires. :(

 

Marcia in SC

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Guest darlene

It must be so hard to deal with this. I truly hope the meds work for Gabe, :hope because it's obvious how much you love him. :brokenheart He's SO lucky to have you. :grouphug

 

 

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They would be looking for a brain tumor or for any physiological signs of a seizure disorder. If it's a brain tumor, there would be no real treatment options, except to try to assess how long we could maintain a good quality of life for him. If we did the MRI, it would be primarily to attempt a definite diagnosis of seizures, although our vet thinks its unlikely that non-convulsive seizures would show that type of physiological signs.

 

We're probably not going to put him through the MRI. We're pretty desperate for answers at this point, but I don't really think an MRI is going to provide them. Our vet is going to call Kansas State this week to see whether they think it would be helpful.

Yes, sadly MRIs are very, very expensive. We had one done for Jim who was having trembling episodes. He wasn't aggressive, but I wanted to rule out serious problems and he was insured so we went for it. It's not a big deal for the dog, except of course for the stress involved in being left at a strange vet's place. They're anaesthetised for the scan because they're alone in the machine and they can't have them moving around. In our case nothing showed up. I suspect that's true for many cases, too. At least we ruled out a brain tumour and that was reassuring.

 

Do they not operate for brain tumours in the US? It does depend on what type and where, of course, but the specialists here at the neurological centre at Newmarket certainly do.

 

Gabe had another "episode" this morning. I was fully awake for this one (and he was muzzled and across the room from me and Diamond - thank goodness) but it still left me shaking afterward.

 

Oddly, it happened at about the same time of day as the attack last month - just before 9am. I was in bed, surfing the internet, when I heard him start to growl. Nothing seemed to have provoked it - he was by himself on his bed, near the foot of my bed. Diamond was on her bed, to the right of mine. I sat up, and the growling and snarling got louder. It wasn't the low, irritated growl we usually associate with his sleep aggression - it was really throaty and vicious-sounding (the Old Yeller rabies scenes come to mind), and he was showing his teeth. He had a glazed look but seemed to be fully awake - eyes open, sitting up, moving (at one point, he turned his head to look at Diamond). He didn't respond at all to his name. The really spooky part was that he did this for a LONG time. I'd estimate a minute to a minute and a half. Long enough that I had time to debate whether I should try to get Diamond out of the room (she was still sleeping). I ultimately decided that any movement on my part or hers was a bad idea at that point.

 

It all stopped just as suddenly as it started. Gabe kind of blinked, yawned, and stretched and nestled to make himself more comfortable in his bed. He was very suddenly my sweet boy again, as if it hadn't happened. He went to sleep almost immediately and started to bark and "woof" in his sleep - something I'm very familiar with. He woke up an hour or so later, his old, sweet self - no signs of aggression whatsoever.

 

I'd been very hesitant to put him on phenobarbital without any real evidence of temporal lobe seizures (since I was asleep when the last incident started) but this sure looked like something like that to me. It was like something in his brain went off-track and then corrected itself. I keep him muzzled when we're sleeping and when we're not here, but it seems like something that could happen at any time, and that REALLY worries me. I guess we'll have to medicate him and see what happens.

 

My poor, sweet boy.

I would do just that. :nod

 

It does indeed sound like a medical problem. And since it results in unprovoked aggression, I'd want to get a grip on it ASAP - and if that means trial with pheno, yep, I would do it.

 

I've known ONE dog (apart from a couple of cocker spaniels who had the well-documented 'rage syndrome') who had similar symptoms to Gabe, when I was working as an animal nurse many years ago. She was a lurcher called Jeannette - funy how you remember these things ... pretty little soul, but very dangerous. She actually did bite people quite seriously. In those days (back in the 1970's) there just weren't the options we have now. No MRI available, for sure, but the vets decided it was almost certainly either an unusual form of epilepsy or a brain tumour.

 

Can you get Gabe to a specialist centre for an opinion without taking the MRI route? That way, if they say that an MRI is essential you'd at least know you weren't wasting your money completely. And they might have some good ideas that your vet won't have thought of.

 

Good luck with him. And hugs. I'm sure you need them. :bighug

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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This latest incident you described definately sounds like a seizure.

 

Ditto that. And "holy petunias!"

 

If you decide to pursue further diagnostics, are you anywhere near a veterinary teaching hospital? I know that at Univ Wisc Madison, some of the fancier diagnostics are a LOT cheaper than they would be at a regular specialty clinic.

 

Bless you for sticking with your usually-sweet puppy dog.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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If you decide to pursue further diagnostics, are you anywhere near a veterinary teaching hospital? I know that at Univ Wisc Madison, some of the fancier diagnostics are a LOT cheaper than they would be at a regular specialty clinic.

 

We have homes in Kansas and Oklahoma, since I attend law school at OU Monday-Wednesday. Our vet has been in touch with a neurologist at Kansas State, who says he would do the MRI for roughly $1,000, not including any blood work that they'd need to do beforehand and not including the fees for any meeting with us. Less expensive than some places, I'm sure, but still a lot of money. We're perfectly willing to spend it if it will help Gabe, but our vet seems to think it won't show anything. If the cause were a brain tumor, we would've likely seen other signs by now.

 

Your post did remind me, however, that I should try Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater. It's an agricultural school and almost certainly has someone specializing in veterinary neurology.

 

 

 

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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