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Some Seizure Questions


Guest abbysmom
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Guest abbysmom

Hello,

 

I thought some folks on this board would have wisdom to share with me. My Emmy (who will be 8 in September) has started with what appear to be focal seizures. She has had three that I've seen, all about 2 months apart. Just had her third this week. She's fine within a half hour of the seizures. She has stumpling, walking in circles, and (once) some apparent blindness in one eye postictally. My vet, who is a personal friend, and whom I trust, did blood work after the first seizure (I think a CBC and chem profile--need to recheck that). That bloodwork was all normal. After the second, she said that they were infrequent enough not to warrant daily medication, but she gave me pheno to give her after a seizure to (I assume) prevent another immediate seizure. She said the next step would probably be an MRI, which we are both disinclined to do right now.

 

I've been reading some of the threads here and on some of the canine epilepsy web sites that folks here have recommended. My questions:

 

1) Are there other diagnostics that you would recommend? Thyroid testing? I've looked into canine neurologists--I'd probably have to travel a couple of hours (which I'd do). I could go north to Cornell or south to the Philly suburbs. (I'm in North Eastern PA). Don't want to ruffle my friend's feathers. . . I DO trust her. She came to the house after the first seizure, cause I called her in a panic. She has been VERY willing to refer when she needs to. She sent my Abby to an excellent internist.

 

2) Even though the seizures are not grand mal, are the ice cream, rescue remedy, and ice packs appropriate for Emmy?

 

3) Can rescue remedy be used when I am using pheno (or when I use Xanax--which she sometimes takes for noise anxiety--most particularly fireworks around July 4 and New Year's, with her Thundershirt)?

 

4) Would valium be better post-seizure than the pheno? (Which I haven't used yet.)

 

5)What other advice can you share?

 

Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

 

Laurie

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1) Are there other diagnostics that you would recommend? Thyroid testing? I've looked into canine neurologists....



The only test to tell you anything would be an MRI, and that would only rule out something physical like a brain tumor. Brain tumors are mostly inoperable in dogs though some have used targeted radiation. But the main treatment really wouldn't change much, which is why most people don't bother with it. Thyroid testing *might* be worth pursuing. Ocassionally, a very low or very high level could cause a seizure. As you've probably read, most idiopathic canine seizures remain a mystery, and treatment is mostly about managing the symptoms and side effects.



2) Even though the seizures are not grand mal, are the ice cream, rescue remedy, and ice packs appropriate for Emmy?



Yes. They won't hurt, and might help, so I would do them.



3) Can rescue remedy be used when I am using pheno (or when I use Xanax--which she sometimes takes for noise anxiety--most particularly fireworks around July 4 and New Year's, with her Thundershirt)?



Make sure you get the pet brand of RR which does not contain alcohol. Otherwise, like many homeopathic supplements, it is fairly safe to use with most prescription drugs.



4) Would valium be better post-seizure than the pheno? (Which I haven't used yet.)



Valium calms the system after a seizure. Pheno actually works to prevent another one from happening. I'm not sure of using valium after focal seizures since I've only heard of using it after grand mal type.



5)What other advice can you share?



If you haven't already, start a seizure log date, time, length of seizure, length of post-ictal phase, what type of seizure and what happened during and after, note down anything unusual that happened the week before (new meds, a stressful event, any bug.lawn spraying in the area, unusual foods, etc). Also, if you can, try and video her next seizure. Both of these can be helpful to a neurologist trying to work out a treatment plan. Most vets will not begin medication until seizures are closer than 6 weeks or come in clusters (several in 24 hours, or one you need to go into emergency to stop).



Having a seizure dog is tough. It's tough to watch them go through one, and the aftermath. It's tough trying to outsmart a seizure and get the right dosages of the right medicines at the right times intervals. It's tough knowing that your sweet girl is going to go through them likely for the rest of her life. It's tough knowing that the pills that keep the seizures away are causing other problems in her body. It's just tough. But it sometimes can help to remember that dogs live in the moment. They don't look forward and dread having a seizure. They don't look back on the ones they've already had. They only know the good times of the now, so it's up to those of us who remember the tough times to make the rest of them as good as possible.



Good luck!


Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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The best advice I can give you is to make an appointment with a neurologist. Make sure that you take some video of what you are perceiving to be the seizures.

 

Most regular vets are great with a seizure every few months and using just 1 medicine but, if it gets complicated, you need to have your pet under the care of a neurologist. That would be the best person to ask about using valium or pheno after a seizure. Using ice cream won't hurt although the reason for the ice cream is to quickly get sugar replaced into the body because of the massive use of sugar during a seizure. If your dog is not going through the convulsions, the sugar will not likely be depleted but, check with the neurologist. Using an icepack or ocular compression are all things that might help as they are used before or during a seizure.

 

As a note, greyhounds seem to have a more traumatic early life than many other dogs with the types of brain injuries that could result in seizures. Hitting the railing, falling head over heels, collisions with other dogs - their early life is filled with the types of accidents that cause brain trauma.

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Thunder has focals and GM seizures. I treat the focals the same as GM's.

I just started ocular pressure.

I do use RR (pet version).

He hasn't had any since last Sat (that I know of)

 

Best of luck and hope she doesn't have any more.

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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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Guest abbysmom

Thank you, Wonder. I've been watching your posts about Thunder. I wish you all the best with him, as well. Thanks again for your feedback. Best wishes,

Laurie

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Laurie, in your seizure log, note how long since a meal and note the weather, too. You're going to be looking for common denominators that Emmy could be reacting to, so falling barometric pressure before a storm, excessive heat/humidity, a little longer between meals than usual, a treat she doesn't get very often--any of those might be a helpful indicator. Oh--and how soon after her last heartworm meds and flea/tick treatments.

 

It may sound silly--and you don't want to read too much into a simple coincidence--but something might show up. I had two greyhounds who were having diarrhea occasionally. They were on a straightforward kibble diet, leash-walked only (meaning they weren't getting into something outside), not getting people food--and they'd both have diarrhea on the same days. I plotted it on a calendar and finally realized the diarrhea occurred within 24 hours of their heartworm meds. I never even suspected the meds because they'd been taking heartworm meds for years; but this was when Interceptor went off the market, and we'd changed to Heartgard Plus. The flavoring added to the Heartgard Plus was the culprit.

 

In Emmy's case, you might not find a cause or trigger, but you might be able to spot a warning sign of trouble getting ready to start. Good luck.

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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)

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Guest abbysmom

Thanks, KF in Georgia.

 

I did note that the first two occurred a day or two after Heartgard plus. But the third was 2 1/2 weeks after her Heartgard and we she was treated in-between seizures and I didn't see a seizure (but, of course, they could have occurred when I wasn't home). I have started notes. . . need to get organized into a journal or a spread sheet. Right now, I am keeping notes on my calendar. . . which is what led me to speculate aobut the Heartgard. Can't remember when I put the new air freshener in, but am going to haul that out of the wall too. I will make note of weather, treats, etc. too. She has always been noise sensitive and, I think, smell sensitive. She often gets spooked by loud noises and will often walk around sniffing at the doors and windows and then get spooked and hide. She's done this since she came to me at 2 1/2.

 

Thanks again for your reply!

Laurie

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Rectal Valium is sometimes used to prevent cluster seizures. It gets into the system very rapidly (minutes) but it dissipates fairly rapidly as well so for seizures are far apart as those your Emmy is having, I don't think it would help.

 

Here are links to 2 good web sites re: seizures in dogs

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm

 

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

 

Try not to make yourself too crazy reading all the info on either site. You've got a great resource in your friend and vet.

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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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Guest abbysmom

Thank you, LBass. I have been reading around on tnose sites.a bit. They are helpful and helped me frame some questions. I spoke with my friend today a bit more. Very helpful. Thanks again!

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