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New Foster With Epilepsy

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I've been approached by my group to take in a special needs foster. This is a young dog that had several epileptic seizures while at the track. Since coming to our group, he has only had one seizure, on the day he was neutered. I am told he is doing well on phenobarb.


I've had a cat with a seizure disorder, but not a dog. What should I know. Are there signs I should be looking out for before a seizure? What should one do when a dog is actively seizing, other than make sure there's nothing he can hurt himself on?


Comments appreciated!

You! Out of the gene pool!

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We have fostered seizure greyhounds in the past and still have 2. One is 13 and the other is 15. We keep them on their meds, watch their weight and make sure they are safe with the other greyhounds. We crate them when we leave. Please PM me for questions and concerns.


I just fostered a greyhound that had seizures at the track and no seizures or meds for the 3 months I fostered her. She was adopted to a family that has dealt with a seizure dog before just in case.


What should one do when a dog is actively seizing, other than make sure there's nothing he can hurt himself on?



I put an ice pack on there head and stomach. Soda cans work just as well and are usually handy. I have also put a few drops of honey in their mouth to bring up their glucose level. My old one seemed to come around faster and be in better shape with the honey.

Edited by Tallgreydogmom


Then God sent the Greyhound to live among man and remember. And when the Day comes,

God will call the Greyhound to give Testament, and God will pass judgment on man.

(Persian Proverb)

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I'm so sorry to read of another grey with epilepsy. sad.gif It seems to be a growing trend, and not a good one at that. If you do a search here in H & M on seizure or seizures, you'll probably find quite a few threads on them that may help you with your questions (and more that you hadn't thought of). I usually recommend checking out these websites for some good info also:








Every dog is different so you'll probably get varying responses from different people. Some dogs will exhibit signs before a seizure, some won't. If you have any other dogs, you'll want to keep him separated from them while you are gone so there isn't a risk of him getting attacked if he seizes while you are away. Phaelin seizes on a pretty regular schedule (every 2 months and in the early morning) so I'm usually prepared for when it happens. I just make sure his head and feet aren't banging against anything and that he's not hurting himself in any way. I'm lucky that my other dogs don't go after him when he seizes.


Keeping a diary/log of his seizures is a good thing to do and can help the vet/neurologist that's treating him if seizures increase or medication needs to be changed. I'm sure others here will chime in with some good advice too. I hope the pheno continues to keep the seizures at bay.

Paula & her pups--Paneer (WW Outlook Ladd), Kira & Rhett (the whippets)
Forever in my heart...Tinsel (Born's Bounder - 11/9/90-12/18/01), Piper, Chevy, Keno, Zuma, Little One, Phaelin & Winnie
Greyhound Adoption Center ~ So Cal rep for Whippet Rescue And Placement

For beautiful beaded collars, check out my Facebook page: The Swanky Hound

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As already noted, make sure that you keep a log of seizures, what time, what type, how long it lasted, and how was the period before and after seizure, and if anything changed in diet prior to seizure.


When a dog is seizing you just want to make sure that the dog is safe and that the other dogs are not able to get close. I usually have a few mats around so I can grab and wrap my Lucy up in. I hold her when she is seizing but, I would not suggest it for other people. As noted by someone else, sugar helps - I usually give vanilla ice cream (about 2 tablespoons) right after the seizure because the seizure depletes the glucose and the body should pull some from storage but, it may not pull enough or it may use it too quickly so I always supplement with just a little bit of ice cream - in this case, you don't want to give too much. If you give it by spoon -- be very careful, my Lucy sucks at the spoon so hard that she could swallow it if I was not careful. The ice cream is also cold and it seems to help to bring her temperature down.


You should talk to the neurologist about getting some rectal Valium to keep at home just in case a seizure is not stopping or if there are multiple seizures in 24 hours. The rectal Valium can help stop the seizures but, in some cases you still might need to get the dog to the ER vet - so you want to talk to the neurologist and discuss how you would know that you should head to the ER vet. In addition, some neurologists might want you to increase the medicines the day that a seizure happens - check with the neurologist about that.


In talking to neurologists each has their own protocol they follow. Once a dog is on medicine, they may increase meds until there are no seizures at all or they may just want to try and keep to no more than once a month - it really depends on the neurologist.


I'm very diligent about making sure Lucy gets her meds between 8 and 8:30 both am and pm (she is on Zonisamide). You also want to make sure that you never stop the medicines without consulting with a neurologist because if done without the proper procedures, could cause seizures.


It can be scary but, the more people that you talk to about how to handle seizures the better and more equipped you will feel about it. As already noted, muzzles are a must if you are leaving the house even if you are just going outside for a few minutes - the other dogs could turn on a seizure dog very quickly. Crating can also be a good idea for when you are not there especially if you can get some pads for around the sides. Be careful about being tempted to not take precautions - sometimes when the seizures are not happening regularly to remind you, you can get forgetful about the precautions you have to always take .....


My Lucy is very space aggressive and has a fit if another dog gets within 3 feet of her bed and this has actually worked in our favor as the other dogs give her a wide berth. With another dog I would have corrected the "aggression" but, I let her get her own "comfort level".

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