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Absent (Partial) Seizures


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Our 4 year old boy, Merlin, had an absent seizure last Thursday evening, around 8:30pm. I fed all 5 pups their usual dinner at 5:30, and Merlin ate well. I came home at 8:15 from picking up my daughter from gymnastics, let the dogs outside, and gave them all a couple of small pieces of tripe when they came in as treats. This is tripe they have had many times before with no problems. About 10 minutes later DD alerted me that something was wrong with Merlin...he was standing behind me in the kitchen doorway, in a rigid stance, with legs splayed out, tail tucked, swaying as if he unsteady on his feet, mouth open and drooling a bit, staring blankly into space, trembling. The other dogs were backing away from him, which is very unusual...if one of them is in distress, they are right there, giving the hurt one kisses. I immediately had the kids get the dogs out of the room away from Merlin to give him room and protect him in case they might attack him. Merlin did not convulse or lose consciousness, his heart rate was normal, he was breathing, but he did not respond to me at all for at least 2 minutes. Then he slowly came around, but was confused and disoriented, and still unsteady on his feet for about 10 minutes. He had a drink, then went outside to void his bladder as usual, and was wagging his tail and seemed alert again. He remained tired, and seemed hot to the touch for about an hour afterwards.

 

I have done a lot of reading since, and know this was an absent seizure (my vet called it a partial seizure). We have done a blood panel on Merlin, including a thyroid panel, and it is normal. I am now starting to do a journal of any events that he may have, including everything that has been mentioned in the recent thread on idiopathic seizures. And, yes, we are making sure Merlin is safe from the other dogs when we go out.

 

My questions, I guess, are more to do with these kind of seizures, as the threads here on greytalk that I have seen seem to deal with Grand Mal seizures. Does anyone have experience with Merlin's type? I have some questions....

 

- how likely is an absent seizure to lead to Grand Mal seizures in the future?

- when I come home, how am I going to know if he had an absent seizure while I was out? I don't think I will be able to tell...

- Merlin tends to have periods of "depression" which are very distinct behavioral changes for him...he is usually a very happy bouncy goofy guy....but there are times when the entire family notices and comments that he is depressed, tired and not moving...is this what the vet is talking about when she says behavioral/mood changes? could this be post-seizure phase that we have missed?

 

I can cope with a seizure dog if I have to....I grew up with a Cairn Terrior who had epilepsy, but this really makes me wonder what I may have missed when I was at work...

 

Thanks for any help you can give me. Janette

Rio aka El Rio (Dec. 4/07) - Home May 16, 2010
Tiana aka CTW Tyra Time (June 7/07 to December 9, 2016) - home July 1, 2010, we miss you terribly, Sweet Girl :weep

Willy aka Starz Predator (Oct. 15/06) - home Aug. 29, 2010
and littermates Merlin aka CTW Excalibur & Mirage aka CTW Mirage (Jan. 1/08) - home Dec. 5, 2010
& June 3, 2012
missing Beagle-Chihuahua, Kasie Lynn (March 15/95-Sept. 13/10)

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Your pup may always have the same kind of seizure but it is possible for dogs, just as people to suffer one or more types of seizure activity. It's not that common but it does happen. In my family I have one type, my daughter has another and my son yet another but we are all diagnosed as having idiopathic epilepsy. My Saint always had grand mal seizures and nothing else.

 

Unfortunately if you are not there all the time you may not know if he has seizures during the day unless you see evidence that something has occurred while you were away, such as pee on the floor, things out of place or the dogs being upset.

 

Dogs as well as humans are usually very tired after seizure activity so coming home and finding him extremely tired may be a clue that he's seized a short time ago.

 

All you can do is make sure you keep a log of your observations and go from there.

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'm sorry Merlin is having seizures. They are scary, even if they aren't grand mal. My Zephyr has had grand mal and partial seizures. Everything you describe sounds like things I've seen in his partial seizures. He's never had a partial that leads into a grand mal, they were always separate. I've wondered too about what goes on when I'm not home. He does take a seizure medicine, generic form of Keppra, and has only had two (that I know of) very very mild partial seizures since. Zephyr's seizures were caused by damage from encephalitis that he got about 1.5 years ago, so not true epilepsy. The encphalitis is gone but he still takes his seizure medicine. The depression you describe does seem odd. I've never really noticed anything like that in Zephyr, he would be tired after a grand mal but I wouldn't say depressed. But you never know it could be related and I'm sure dogs react different. Best wished to you and Merlin.

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I'm sorry :grouphug

 

I wonder the same things as well. The vet told me that Thunder doesn't have the same seizure twice, they are each a little different. Now his are violent, meaning he growls, snaps, and thrashes around. Before, it was like he was just running in his sleep but he was foaming at the mouth. He also has grand mal seizures.

 

They are all scary and like you are doing, keep a log.

gallery_2213_3086_11460.jpg

Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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Thank you for your replies and kind words. I will keep an eye on him, and keep logging anything that happens. Hopefully he won't have another one, or if he does, it will be when we are home to see it...

Rio aka El Rio (Dec. 4/07) - Home May 16, 2010
Tiana aka CTW Tyra Time (June 7/07 to December 9, 2016) - home July 1, 2010, we miss you terribly, Sweet Girl :weep

Willy aka Starz Predator (Oct. 15/06) - home Aug. 29, 2010
and littermates Merlin aka CTW Excalibur & Mirage aka CTW Mirage (Jan. 1/08) - home Dec. 5, 2010
& June 3, 2012
missing Beagle-Chihuahua, Kasie Lynn (March 15/95-Sept. 13/10)

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Henry has idiopathic seizures... he will usually lie down on his own, and he has muscle stiffening and mouth-foaming. The seizures are pretty short and mild, and after a few minutes, he comes around and acts 100% normal. After his last one, he continued to run around at the dog park and walked on leash for almost an hour. The advice I received is to keep a log and look for trends. Then, if he starts having them more frequently or has cluster seizures, you can look further into medication. Good luck :)

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My angel Icarus was an epileptic and like Merlin they were "absent". In Icarus' case, he was aware of his surroundings, and often showed symptoms similar to Wobbler's Syndrome (bobbing his head). I could talk to him and he would respond by looking at me, but physically he was rooted to the spot. In his case, he always peed immediately after his episode, and was very thirsty. His started a week after he first came home.

 

If you continue to notice Merlin having attacks, try to figure out what the triggers may be. It will take time and writing a diary of the time, place and conditions will help you out there.

 

Icarus' triggers ended up being low blood sugar (he'd seize right before a meal), chemicals (PineSol was and still is a big no-no in my house, it guaranteed caused him to seize) and stress. Once you get a handle on triggers, you can control the seizures.

 

Good luck and scritches to Merlin. Any kind of seizure is scary and hopefully this was just a one off for him (sometimes that happens).

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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