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Living With Epilepsy


Guest WhithersMom
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Guest WhithersMom

Our new girl, Gracie, had her first seizure a few nights ago. She was shook, and twitched and frothed, and after a few minutes came back to herself. She was very weak, but was standing again a few minutes later, and was her normal self shortly after that.

We are taking her to the vet today with the understanding that this can be a controlled issue to deal with, but I was hoping that some others might share their wisdom and experiences here.

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I also have a grey with epilepsy, he is actually our second one to have it so I was much calmer when he suffered his first seizure, I knew exactly what it was, I understand it is very upsetting to watch them suffer a seizure. We took him right to the vet, she did blood work and within a few days he was started on phenobarb, it sometimes takes a couple of dose adjustments to get the seizures under control, it tokk 2 adjustments of the meds until it did the trick. Our 11 year old boy has not had a seizure in over a year and has not had to have any dosage adjustments all that time. Wishing you and Gracie good luck at the vet and hopfully you can get this under control, the odd's are in your favor.

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Usually vet's won't medicate right away. They want to know that she is seizing more frequently.

 

Often seizures can be caused by more than just a brain issue. Our angel Icarus was an epileptic unmedicated, but he would only seize under certain conditions: low blood sugar, high stress, or certain chemicals (ie: floor cleaners like PineSol).

 

Keeping a diary of the time, duration, last meal eaten, etc. with as much detail as possible is essential to figuring out triggers for seizure dogs.

 

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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Although we have 4 Greys, it's our 12.5 year old Lab that is epileptic. She is well controlled with Chinese herbs (from our vet) and has not had a seizure since Dec. 2003! We hope that your Gracie will not seize often!

 

ETA, Heidi started seizing after a yearly set of vaccines!

Edited by mom2four

Tin and Michael and Lucas, Picasso, Hero, Oasis, Galina, Neizan, Enzo, Salvo and Noor the Galgos.
Remembering Bridge Angel Greyhounds: Tosca, Jamey, Master, Diego, and Ambi; plus Angel Galgos Jules, Marco and Baltasar.

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Your vet may not prescribe any medication right away. If this is her first seizure, he will probably wait and see if she has more. How old is she? Most Epilepsy usually shows up between the ages of 3 - 5 years. A couple of things that will help your girl. Keep a log of her seizures, note time, date, length of seizure and anything else you feel is important for your vet to know. Once your girl starts coming out of her seizure, give her something with a little sugar, ice cream, peanut butter, something like that. Her blood sugar is going to drop dramatically during her seizure, if you can bring her blood sugar back up she will recover more quickly. Let her pant and pace if she wishes, her temperature is going to rise dramatically also so you can let her cool off on her own or you can help with a damp towel. She will feel better more quickly this way. She may be really tired after seizing and may sleep for a couple of hours. This is perfectly normal. Something else to know, if your girl is having grand mal seizures (which it sounds like she is) she's not feeling anything. They look horrible but all her senses shut down so she's feeling no pain, she can't see, hear, feel or taste anything. This is from personal experience because I have grand mal seizures and so does my son, my daughter's seizures are totally different than ours are.

 

Work with your vet. If your goal is for her to be completely controlled, once she is on meds, let your vet know if she is still seizing. There are several medications that you can use. The most common one is phenobarbital. There is room to play with the dosage so you can always add more if the initial dose doesn't work. If phenobarbital doesn't work alone, you can add Potassium Bromide. Some people are fearful of medicating their hounds because there is a small risk that the drugs will effect the liver. To help support the liver you can give Milk Thistle every day.

 

Here are a good websites that have good information on seizures Seizures

 

My Saint had horrible grand mal seizures and my vet was willing to work with me. Saint has been controlled for almost 5 years now taking phenobarbital and potassium bromide and his liver values are absolutely perfect!

 

Good luck. If you ever need help or just someone to listen, please feel free to PM me.

 

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 did forget to mention that our boy had been having seizures from the time we brought him home, so yes, my vet did not put him on medication right away, I had to keep a log for about a month keeping track of how often and how long the seizures lasted. Sorry I did not mention this in my post, I guess I was trying to keep it short.

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I had an epilectic mutt many years ago, and I found t hat he seizured when the seasons changed, but he was on pheno and lived until the ripe of age of 15 but it was a seizure that

took him. He did live a real good life mainly seizure free. I did not vaccinate him at all

except rabies.

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I've got one with epilepsy on phenobarbital and I had one who had grand mal seizures & he was on phenobarbital & potassium bromide. Unfortunately he had to be put to sleep because he had a brain tumor causing the seizures. Gabby however is doing just fine. She's 12 yrs old & such a sweet puppy girl.

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Welcome to GT and to the wonderful world of greyhounds. Sorry to also be welcoming you to the "wonderful" world of seizures. <_< Still, as you can see, most of the time canine seizures can be a reasonably well-managed part of a normal life.

 

Judy listed the wonderful www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com web site. That sight got me through the first frightening weeks of Piper's seizures and I still visit it often.

 

Another great sight is http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/ . This excellent and informative sight also sponsors an email list for owners of dogs with seizures. It can be a great source of information and advice.

 

Yet another site I found helpful is http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/ .

 

--Lucy

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest LindsaySF

Just found this thread on a search. I wanted to pop in to say that my foster dog Sophie (thread here) has epilepsy. She is on phenobarbital, potassium bromide, and melatonin (at night). I have learned a lot on the websites mentioned above, on GT, and on the EPIL-K9 email list.

 

Deb, nice to see you on GT! This is Teagan's owner, from the LGRA races in NH. How are Gracie and Whither doing?

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Guest GryffinSong

One of my Italian greyhounds has seizures. For him, it often happens at night, especially if he is under the covers and gets too hot. Other factors I've seen in IGs re exercise on a hot day (one seized during a lure coursing trial) and some say wheat allergies can contribute. I've always been advised that if he's only having seizures once every 6 months or so that we would not medicate, so Merlin is not on any meds. He had a brief cluster of seizures several days ago, but has been fine since. Merlin likes to be cuddled during, and will let me know when he's ready to be let go. I have a friend whose IG is similar. Merlin has had seizures off and on for at least five years, and it doesn't seem to harm him in the long run. Our only big scare was once when he stumbled out of my RV before I realized he was seizing, into my little fenced potty area, and Gryffin got excited and stepped on him. A couple of cracked "hand" bones for Merlin. :blink:

 

Hugs and good luck!!!

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My first grey had grand mal seizures. The vet didn't put him on phenobarbitol right away. I had to keep a log so that he could see the pattern and frequency. It just so happened that he had a really severe seizure before he could be put on the meds. His temp went up to 107 and he was in hospital for two days but made a complete recovery much to the surprise of the vet. They were most concerned with brain damage due to the high temp but he was just as normal as ever.

 

Once on the meds he never had another seizure but eventually at the age of 8 developed liver problems and passed away. But the meds totally took care of the seizures.

 

I wish you and your girl all the best as you figure this all out.

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Guest DundeeToddsMom

Todd, my tripod - just finished his first 3 weeks of phenobarbital. We went to the vet today for a full blood panel and pheno level. We should know results in a day or so. He started having seizures in Nov, then approx 30 days later, then 2 weeks, then 8 days so vet decided to put him on medication So far no more seizures - hoping maybe they can reduce the meds..

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Our Monty had cluster seizures (6 in 24 hours) about 3 months after we adopted him and was put on phenobarbitol. He hasn't had a seizure since - 2 years and 3 months seizure free.

 

(We knew he was retired early because of seizures, and did research on the best and worst case scenarios before we were going to feel secure in bringing him home. The websites that are mentioned above are a wonderful resource for educating yourself.)

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