Jump to content

Seizure Dog Question


Recommended Posts

For those of you with dogs who have had seizures, how far have you gone to rule out brain tumors or lesions? What I guess I am asking is did you have an MRI or a CAT scan done?

 

This past Friday afternoon, our 3 1/2 year old whippet had a grand mal seizure. We immediately took her to the vet and blood work was done. Her blood work was fine. We didn't get any meds at that time because we were hoping it would be a one time thing. It wasn't.

 

Saturday morning, she had 3 more grand mal's starting about 4:30am...about every 2 hours. We had her back in the vet's office and they gave her a loading shot of phenobarbital (3.40mL) and pheno pill to start when the shot wore off. She's had no more seizures.

 

We've ruled out pretty much every reason that might have caused a seizure. The only thing out of the ordinary was the night before when she and her iggy brother shared a dead bird. Not sure where the bird came from but on occasion, we've had hawks drop their kill in the yard (nice of them to share). Don't know who got the lion's share or even how much was left but our iggy had no ill effects.

 

Our next step is either to just continue on with the pheno without further testing....or take her to Missouri School of Vet Medicine for an MRI. My first thought was omg...of course we'll take her for an MRI but we are sort of re-thinking that.

 

I need some input about what you all have done.

 

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We take in seizure greyhounds. They have all been controlled with Pheno and KBr. We think 2 of them had brain tumors. Their seizures were a little different. We have one right now that has 2 mild seizures a month so he is not on any meds yet. Two of our own personal seizure greyhounds lived to be 15 years old. They passed away from old age. You will probably never know what cases the seizures.

 

I know there is new modern medicine now besides the Pheno and KBr. Seeing as these were foster dogs we stayed with what the groups vet recommended.

 

Vets in the know with seizure dogs say not more shots. There immune system is comprised already.

 

http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/

 

I agree with Kari, If there is a tumor you will know soon enough. Oh, how you will know.

Edited by Tallgreydogmom

Vallerysiggy.jpg

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)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did not do an MRI on Passion or Thunder. My vet told me that if it was a tumor-I'd know sooner than later and just spent $2k for nothing.

 

It's been a year so I'm guessing no tumors for either of them.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask your vet if an MRI will show you anything treatable. It's my understanding that brain tumors in dogs can't be treated, so that you'd be spending the money to find out that a--your dog has an inoperable tumor or (more likely) b--they still don't know why she's having seizures.

 

But I think age 3-7 is the typical period that dogs manifest idiopathic epilepsy--the "we don't know why it's happening" kind of epilepsy.

 

If it hasn't been done already, I'd suggest the full thyroid test for her. There are cases of greyhounds found to be hypothyroid who were put on thyroid meds and saw an improvement in seizure activity.

Edited by KF_in_Georgia

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input. It's difficult not to have testing done when it's available.....but on the other hand is there really a point to having the testing done in the first place.

 

We didn't do the full thyroid test on her. The blood test in the office showed her thyroid level to be 1.4 which is in the low-normal range of 1.1 to 4.0

Edited by greyhounds1234

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I struggled with that decision for Piper. I talked with my vet, who had an epileptic Dane herself and she said that she had decided not to get an MRI for her dog because she would not consider brain surgery for him and other than that, the treatment would be the same with or without a tumor---get the best balance you can of seizure control vs. problem side effects. I also asked the neurologist at UGA to whom I took Piper in the early months of managing his seizures and he said that he didn't think it was necessary. He said that if there was a tumor causing the seizures that Piper's neurological condition would deteriorate fairly soon and that in itself would provide the answer. So I decided not to get an MRI and I still think that was an acceptable decision.

Edited by LBass

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paula (greypuppyluv) talked me off of the ledge over the weekend about this and you all are just confirming what my head is telling me to do...or rather what not to do. I'm feeling better about this already. Thanks!

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can google and research what to do during a seizure. Watch for signs (aura) and maybe you can avoid one. At least if you figure out the Aura you will have a few seconds notice before the seizure. Do not be surprised if they have cluster seizures or seizure 3 days in a row.

 

Some tricks I have used:

 

Drop of honey in the mouth, spike the blood glucose (I think),

 

Put something cold on the back of their neck or where ever.

 

I keep plenty of bags of frozen vegs so I can place them around them.

 

Spray there pads with alcohol to cool them off.

 

Talk to them to try to occupy their brain.

 

I rate them and keep a calendar of them. Full-moon is always exciting. We have had patterns develop where it was 2 weeks after the full moon or before the full moon. Watch for a pattern.

 

Have towels handy to place under head and put under them to absorb pee.

 

Keep chew sticks or something for them to chew on after seizure.

 

One of us usually sleeps with them that night. DH is a floor sleeper.

Edited by Tallgreydogmom

Vallerysiggy.jpg

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)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having an MRI and the spinal are used to rule out brain tumors and meningitis. Having said that, if your dog does have a tumor most people are not going to do brain surgery on their dog and you are left with treating the symptoms which are the seizures. So, the question becomes, why have the tests if you are just going to just treat the symptoms. If it is a brain tumor, conditions usually deteriorate by 18 months or so and it becomes more obvious that is what you are dealing with.

 

I also struggled with wanting to get an MRI and spinal tap to establish a baseline but, decided that the money might be better spent later in the game then at the beginning and so far, I have not regretted my decision.

 

If your dog is clustering which means more than 1 seizure in 24 hours, then you want to see a neurologist and get a "cluster-buster". I use rectal Valium for Lucy and it's intent is that once given after an initial seizure, it stops the next one from occurring immediately afterwards. So you can still have clusters, they just should be further spread out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The vet, DH and I decided to just carry on with the pheno. We'll have another blood test in a month and see how she is doing on the dose of pheno we are using. At some point in time, we'll try to get the dosage down and shoot for a good maintenance dose.

 

As long as she isn't having seizures, we're all happy.

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad that she hasn't had any more seizures lately. I hope she will stay on an even course with the dosage she's on or with a reduced dosage. Being able to take a break from the seizures and breathe will help you with making decisions on her care. It's a lot to take in all at once. :grouphug

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't. It wouldn't have changed the treatment plan (control the seizures) and we'd know soon enough. Since she's still around two years later, it clearly wasn't a tumour.

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far, the pheno has worked fine. There have been no more seizures and she is adjusting to the drug. She's back to squirrel chasing and playing with her iggy brother.....all good signs.

 

When we first starting giving her the pheno, I was making hamburgers for dinner and just popped the pill into a little raw hamburger since it was handy. Now, she absolutely refuses to take her pill in anything other than a dab of raw burger so we sort of created a mini-monster :) We had to make a trip to the store specifically to buy burger for her. Ohhh....the things we do!

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please remember she might have some break thru seizures now and then. Hopefully not but just be aware of it.

Edited by Tallgreydogmom

Vallerysiggy.jpg

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)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please remember she might have some break thru seizures now and then. Hopefully not but just be aware of it.

 

I know. Learned a long time ago never say "never". We'll just moved forward 'til there is a reason to change something. I secretly hope that the pheno will slow her down on the critter catching, though :)

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Olivia likes peanut butter, there's a recipe for inexpensive homemade pill pockets:

 

ddee2a4acf2e5787f831634fdfbdebe5.jpg

 

 

And I suppose you could make some up with raw beef and freeze them, too, to have them handy when you need them.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Olivia likes peanut butter, there's a recipe for inexpensive homemade pill pockets:

 

ddee2a4acf2e5787f831634fdfbdebe5.jpg

 

 

And I suppose you could make some up with raw beef and freeze them, too, to have them handy when you need them.

 

I think peanut butter anything is way down on her preference list :) She used to get her heartworm meds in tiny peanut butter and bread sammies. Turned that down flat! (I had to start quartering her pills because she'd just lick off the coating and spit out the pill)

 

I'll keep it in mind for future reference!

My bridge boy liked ground raw chicken or cream cheese (especially the strawberry flavored!) for pills.

 

Hadn't thought of cream cheese. We generally don't have ground chicken on hand but I have a feeling that it could be a hit.

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to give Piper his pills in either flavored cream cheese or eventually braunschweiger when he figured out that the cream cheese had pills in it. :lol

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to give Piper his pills in either flavored cream cheese or eventually braunschweiger when he figured out that the cream cheese had pills in it. :lol

 

Braunschweiger was always our top choice for pill hiding when we had our greys. They loved it. Livy and Jake didn't read that part of their doggy manual so for the moment, their first choice is hamburger.

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started using the packaged cheese slices. Lucy is easy to give pills to but, I wanted something that didn't get all over my fingers and that she would just chomp down. I use about 1/3 slice of cheese - cut that in half and each half gets a pill rolled up. The cheese is a little squishy so I can seal the edges so the pill doesn't fall out. Works great. My other two love it too - they each get 1/3 cheese slice when Lucy gets a pill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had an MRI done with Rainey -- but she was a month shy of her 10th birthday when she started seizing so the chance of it being a brain tumor (rather than ideopathic) was much higher. We knew the outcome wouldn't change anything but make us feel better about the decision we would have to make, I guess. The MRI showed absolutely nothing (and cost well over $2k) but as the months passed, she continued to seize and it became obvious very quickly there was something definitely wrong with her brain -- she became aggressive, got more OCD as each day went on, had all sorts of "weirded out" times, etc.

 

one thing we found was putting an ice pack on the "small" of her back (http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/icepack.htm) really seemed to help and others I've suggested it too swear by it too. With Rainey, every single seizure (32 of them in 8 months) happened either while eating or within 1 minute of finishing eating so I at least knew to pull it out of the freezer right before feeding her.

 

she was put on Pheno to start but after 5 days was SO whacked out on it (non-stop whining and other things) we switched to Keppra, then added Zonisamide, thyroid meds (she was truly low thyroid) -- still seized. We finally put her back on the Pheno on 1/1/11 and she was seizure-free for almost 2 months. Different things work for different dogs.

 

Seizures suck. I hope you can get them under control.

Kim and Bruce - with Rick (Rick Roufus 6/30/16) and missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (Lab) (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (Schipperke) (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (GSP) (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had an MRI done with Rainey -- but she was a month shy of her 10th birthday when she started seizing so the chance of it being a brain tumor (rather than ideopathic) was much higher. We knew the outcome wouldn't change anything but make us feel better about the decision we would have to make, I guess. The MRI showed absolutely nothing (and cost well over $2k) but as the months passed, she continued to seize and it became obvious very quickly there was something definitely wrong with her brain -- she became aggressive, got more OCD as each day went on, had all sorts of "weirded out" times, etc.

 

one thing we found was putting an ice pack on the "small" of her back (http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/icepack.htm) really seemed to help and others I've suggested it too swear by it too. With Rainey, every single seizure (32 of them in 8 months) happened either while eating or within 1 minute of finishing eating so I at least knew to pull it out of the freezer right before feeding her.

 

she was put on Pheno to start but after 5 days was SO whacked out on it (non-stop whining and other things) we switched to Keppra, then added Zonisamide, thyroid meds (she was truly low thyroid) -- still seized. We finally put her back on the Pheno on 1/1/11 and she was seizure-free for almost 2 months. Different things work for different dogs.

 

Seizures suck. I hope you can get them under control.

 

 

Were they ever able to figure what was going on with Rainey's brain to cause the seizures? It just amazes me that a seemingly healthy dog could just, out of the blue, start seizing.

 

So far, the pheno is working for her. We started her on the pheno 7/13 and she hasn't had another seizure....yet. She, too was a little wacked out for several days but she's pretty much back to normal.

 

We haven't gotten the food craving quite worked out. She went from being very picky to omg....FOOD!! We've altered her diet a bit to keep her from gaining a lot of weight while she adjusts to the medicine.

 

I'm just happy things have gotten back to our new normal.

Mom to BridgeGreys~~STORM 07/99-02/08/11, VICKI 12/15/00-01/12/11, BAY 02/00-10/25/10 and CASHEW 10/99-2/23/10

and cats ~~ IRISH, MUMBLES, MUFFIN, TJ, PUNKIN and Bridge cats SARAH (07/29/97-07/07/06) and BRIE (04/11/96-01/22/12)

a very lively Whippet, OLIVIA and JAKE, the Iggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thunder never got food crazy on pheno.

I just switched him to RAW 2 weeks ago- he loves it.

I've read that RAW is better for seizure dogs because kibble has carbs so I'm giving it a try.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now seeing this. My seizure dog was around 3 when he started having seizures. His seizures were also grand mal, but then every once in awhile he'd have a partial. At first they were sporadic (once every few months). We opted not to do an MRI. At that time, my vet explained that in a relatively healthy, young dog, tumor is very unlikely. At least for us, everything pointed to idiopathic epilepsy. When the seizures started getting closer together, about one every month, we started him on Zonisamide. Eight months later, he's still seizure free! So to answer your original question, no, I probably wouldn't go crazy with testing trying to figure out the cause (if he's epileptic, there's nothing to find). But I was really happy we did a consult with a veterinary neurologist to discuss medication options. It was only about $100, and the vet gave us way more information. Pheno is usually the first-line treatment for seizures, but there are many other options that don't have as many long-term side effects.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...