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Seizure Questions


Guest DeniseL
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Guest DeniseL

As some of you know, my perfect princess Thyme had a seizure (or two) on Wednesday morning. I just have a few questions...

 

1. This morning, Thursday, the day after her seizure, she had the a normal poop at 5am. Then, at 8am, I noticed some stinky gas, took her outside and she had soft serve. Today, while at work she had an accident on the carpet, a small amount of soft serve. Thyme is always regular and has very few digestion problems. Is this something that happens after a seizure? The stress? The vet asked if she could have gotten into anything and I said no, but the diarrhea has me wondering. Miami also had stomach upsets since Monday night and has been on a bland diet. He is back to normal, now.

 

2. I was reading briefly about dog seizures and it seems that diet can be a factor in keeping them at bay. I feed mine Purina One Chicken and Rice, definitely not the best kibble out there, but they all like it and it sits well with them, no tummy problems, and it is affordable. Now, I know raw would be the best, but I can barely get dinner on the table for myself every night, home cooking would be almost impossible. What should I look for as far as diet modification, to possible help out with the seizures? Is there a kibble with the right supplements?

 

3. Do you all keep your seizure dog separated from the others when you are out? I think it is a good idea, and will be baby gating Thyme upstairs by herself during work days.

 

4. Is there anyway for me to tell if she has had a seizure while I am out of the house? Anything to look out for?

 

Thanks, guys. I appreciate all the support. I am going to start searching seizure threads, which I have not done yet...

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As far as the pooh, probably just a coincidence unless there is a chance she got into something.

 

I crated my boy if I was away from home or at night. My crew tried to attack him twice when he seized.

 

The only way you would know if she seized during the day would be if she lost control of her bowels or bladder or if you find small puddles of drool.

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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1) The diarrhea is probably just a coincidence, unless you can identify something she got into. It could be a result of whatever meds she had at the vet, or stress from the visit.

 

2) Diet *can* have an effect - though it's mostly people saying what worked for them and not actual "scientifically studied results." If she's been on this food for a while with no problems, it would be more important to me to not change anything for her right now. With seizure dogs, their schedule and routine seems to be very important.

 

Here are a couple links where there's a ton of info

 

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

 

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

 

Neither are greyhound specific, but they offer a good overview of everything you're thinking about now.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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I would find a kibble without rosemary extract in it.

 

I switched Thunder to raw in July. He loves it and it's cheaper than kibble. He has not had a GM since June but we added Keppra ER and in Aug upped his PB.

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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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You asked quite a few good questions .. here's my take on them

 

1. After a seizure Lucy can have some digestive issues and occasionally had diarrhea. With the first few seizures, she forgot all about "the outdoor thing". She would wander about for awhile outside rather than getting down to business and she stopped going to the door and I had to just take her out every few hours - that lasted for about 4 to 5 days after the seizure. Thankfully, that was only after the first few seizures and now she does not have that problem. .But, she is ravenous after a seizure and I make sure to give her real vanilla ice cream after a seizure and that helps with the ravenous need for food.

 

2. Lucy is fed a home-made diet and the reason she gets that is I have to home-cook for my older dog. There are no studies that say raw, home-cooked, kibble is the best - they just have not studied it enough to make conclusion. I do make sure to stay away from "pine" type cleaners (the "sol" like pine-sol, lysol and so on) because Lucy does seem to have issues with candles and with heavy smelling flowers like lilies. In food, many people say to stay away from food that has rosemary but, if it is in trace amounts, they do not have to list on the container - you would have to call to see if it is in the dog food.

 

3. When I am leaving the house, Lucy goes in a separate room that is baby-gated and she gets a muzzle. My two boys are in the rest of the house and they get muzzles too. My two boys are gentle with Lucy and they have not made any attempt to hurt her during a seizure but, they are very curious. I wold rather be safe than sorry. Lucy's seizures are very violent in that she can fling herself across the room, I usually have to grab her and hug her to make sure that she does not get hurt and in the process, I have gotten very severe scratches ... more like gouges. I recommend keeping mats or small blankets around to cover yourself or her. I have to hold Lucy, she could break her neck because she has such violent convulsions, she also sleeps right next to me so I can grab her quickly.

 

4. After a seizure, Lucy is ravenous and she goes into post-seizure behavior which can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. She paces and can't settle, sometimes there is some whining and running around the house. They can empty their bladder and have a BM during a seizure, depends on how long and how severe. There is also the drooling .... she could soak a towel in a few minutes. I usually place white bed mats where she tends to sleep so I can keep a check to see whether it's wet.

 

As an additional note, there are many different medicines to treat seizures in dogs and each has it's pros and cons. If you go to your regular vet, they will likely prescribe PB which is one of the old standbys but, it can cause serious liver damage after prolonged usage and requires testing every few months (it's also relatively cheap drug). There are newer ones like zonisamide and Keppra which have less side effects but may have what is commonly called a "grace-period" for some dogs - works great for a while and then loses it's effectiveness. The problem is that once you start on a drug, it's hard to change and usually you end up adding to the existing seizure drugs and eventually, your dog may be on a few. Lucy started with Zonisamide, then Keppra got added, and just a few months ago Kbr.

 

The medicines are not a cure for the seizures, they just control the point (pretty much push it out) as to when a dog goes into seizures. Some people get trapped into thinking that once their dog has been seizure-free for months, they don't need the drugs anymore .. unfortunately, it is the drugs keeping their dogs seizure-free. People have taken a dog off the seizure medicines and then have the dog go into continuous seizures and eventually have to be euthanized because the dog has developed severe neurological issues from the non-stop seizing. This is why I was recommending getting a cluster-buster, it can help stop a cycle of seizures.

 

Your regular vet is not going to know all the different medicines and their pros and cons. That's why I strongly suggest going to a neurologist who can take you through the medicines and give a proper perspective so you will know what your options are and can make a good decision. Lucy's neurologist showed me how to do the rectal valium and that has been "wonderful" in that we don't end up in the ER with every incident - we take care of it at home.

 

Good Luck ..

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What Mary Jane said!

 

Sorry to hear about Thyme. Seizures can be very frightening. Has her vet decided to put her on meds? Remember, some dogs have one episode and never have another seizure.

 

Caesar is my third seizure dog and, in many ways, the most complicated. I put his story on the Epilepsy Study thread post#115 http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/97439-greyhound-epilepsy-study/page-6 and probably what I write below may not make sense unless you read that post.

 

Each seizure dog I've had has been different. You have to keep a log of all seizures, all meds, and try to watch for potential triggers (you may never identify one.)

 

To answer your questions:

 

1. Yes some dogs have upset tummies after seizures. I also give a spoonful of vanilla ice-cream to Caesar after a tonic-clonic (grand mal). He is very disorientated for approx. half an hour after a seizure. When he has a drink and comes to me for his ice-cream I know he is over the dangerous stage. (Note: only a handful of dogs have a dangerous post-ictal stage.)

 

2. I feed Natural Balance Limited Ingredients kibble and it doesn't seem to be a problem. With any commercial food it is a good idea to check the ingredients and be sure log if a seizure coincides with a change of food. It is also worth calling the manufacturer to see whether there has been a recent change in the content.

 

3. Yes, the dogs are separated when we are not able to supervise. I have to crate Caesar, which is not ideal. Unfortunately, if he were not crated he might try to jump through windows in the post-ictal phase. He tries to run from any movement and will bite anything or anyone in his way. The other two dogs stay well away from him during a seizure and its aftermath, but some dogs will attack.

 

4. Focal seizures are harder to identify later. Grand Mal -- possible loss of control of bowel and bladder, froth and drool, injuries from getting jammed under a piece of furniture or bashing into things, upset tummy, disorientation, general drowsiness that can last for hours or days . . . It all depends on the individual dog.

 

To add to Mary Jane's cautions on the drugs: vets will usually prescribe Phenobarbital or Potassium Bromide as a first step to control seizures. They are both good and effective drugs that have been used for years. On the other hand, Pheno is very hard on the liver and Caesar could not tolerate Potassium Bromide. He was seriously psychotic on it! We are now using Keppra and have weaned him off the Pheno slowly. Again, it all depends on what works best for the individual dog. And to repeat: Never take a dog off any seizure drug cold turkey!

 

Finally, even if Thyme is put on anti-seizure meds she may still have occasional "break through" seizures. This doesn't mean the meds aren't working, it just happens. There may be no need to increase the meds, or too much risk in increasing the meds. Always consult with your vet/neurologist before increasing or decreasing meds.

 

Good luck. Both my Nell and Murphy lived almost seizure-free for years with an excellent quality of life. It isn't always as complicated as it sounds!

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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My pups are all crated when we leave. Sneakers is my seizure pup. If he didn't have them I wouldn't crate him. I'm afraid he would have a seizure and fall off the couch and injure himself. Sneakers isn't medicated. His seizures are infrequent he can have one a month or skip a month or two. Most of his seizures are very mild. Occasionally he will have one where he loses bladder and bowel control.

Sue ,Sky and Dood, Bridge angels Clark, Gypsy, Dreamy and Sneakers, Oshkosh,WI Heartbound Greyhound Adoptionsept2013sigcopy_zps8ad6ed09.jpg<p>

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Guest DeniseL

We have not been to a neurologist yet, we are just watching and waiting. I am hoping she won't have another one and none of this will be necessary. I have noticed that she had a weird twitch thing going up the steps this morning. and then tonight, she did a gagging twitchy thing. Both were super mild and probably wouldn't have been noticeable to anyone but her mommy. Trying not to over analyze. I really appreciate all the advice. She did not loose control of her bowels during the seizure but she did drool like crazy after. And today her poop was back to normal. I just added that to her log book, so if and when there is a next time, I can compare

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Our first seizure dog only had intermittent seizures for many years - spaced 8 weeks or more apart. She developed them later in life. So she did not go on medication until she began having them closer together than every 4-6 weeks. He seizures were quite mild physically - she would collapse and have body/muscle tremors, lots of drooling, never lots bowel/bladder control. In some respects, they were really mostly bad focal seizures. She would get up, get a drink, go outside to pee, and basically be over it.

 

Our current seizure dog is very different. Hopper began having them at a very young age (2 or less), and he began to cluster almost immediately. It's taken several years (and two previous homes) to get his seizures under control. His are pretty bad tonic-clonic events involving a short period beforehand of compulsive chewing and staring, loss of awareness, then he collapses and has violent limb thrashing, and his muscles all contract making his spine curve backward. It's quite scary to watch. His ictal (post-seizure) period has generally been short, but he does pace and have a hard time settling for a while.

 

So you can see that seizure activity can really have a wide range, and treatment can be, as well. Keeping a log will help you try an identify if there are any triggers. They are also very useful to the neurologist as they try and diagnose what may be happening.

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

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

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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my welsh terrier had seizures. not that often, fortunately, but often enough. willie had a habit of backing up to a tree or what ever and lifting his rear(both legs) when he pooped. remember i'm talking about a terrier, they can be real trips. well, when he seized at home he used to back up to the door jam and poop- so it was filled w/ loose stool(always during a seizure) from the 24"mark down. and yes, i would open the door and step in it as well.

 

my dog walker, a whole 11 years old but responsible, came in once and he was seizing. he let him out, got him after he relieved himself and bundled him up in a towel and took him home so she could watch him. talk about mature and responsible!

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Guest DeniseL

You asked quite a few good questions .. here's my take on them

 

1. After a seizure Lucy can have some digestive issues and occasionally had diarrhea. With the first few seizures, she forgot all about "the outdoor thing". She would wander about for awhile outside rather than getting down to business and she stopped going to the door and I had to just take her out every few hours - that lasted for about 4 to 5 days after the seizure. Thankfully, that was only after the first few seizures and now she does not have that problem. .But, she is ravenous after a seizure and I make sure to give her real vanilla ice cream after a seizure and that helps with the ravenous need for food.

 

Did she have accidents in the house after? Thyme peed twice in the house since the seizures. She never has accidents in the house, not since the first month or two she lived with us. Just wondering if she can't hold it as good or if she is a little confused. Today, when I came home, I food a yellow stain on the carpet upstairs, still damp, must have been bile. I wonder if she got sick, too :sad1

 

I wish I could stay home from work to watch her, but I can't....

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Did she have accidents in the house after? Thyme peed twice in the house since the seizures. She never has accidents in the house, not since the first month or two she lived with us. Just wondering if she can't hold it as good or if she is a little confused. Today, when I came home, I food a yellow stain on the carpet upstairs, still damp, must have been bile. I wonder if she got sick, too :sad1

 

I wish I could stay home from work to watch her, but I can't....

 

 

The after effects from the seizures can make them nauseous, weak, and tired. I usually treat my dogs every few hours so Lucy always has something in her stomach.

 

The seizures (especially the first ones) are very scary for the dogs just like they would be for people. After her first seizure, Lucy walked around like a zombie for days - I would let her out and she would stare blankly at things -- it would take her a few days to remember that she was outside to do potty. Until she remembered, I was outside with her for 30 minutes or so trying to coax her to go pee and poo. I couldn't count on her "just doing it". In your case, you have to make sure she is doing it when you let her outside (she probably isn't).

 

I always give Lucy a bit of vanilla ice cream (the real stuff) after a seizure. The convulsions deplete the sugar store in the body and eventually the body will send signals to free up glucose but, I would rather give a little extra then her have too low of a sugar (which can cause seizures). Also, when they have long seizures, they heat up and you have to watch that. Some people will put ice packs on the back (or cool towels) to keep the temperature down. I don;t have that problem so far with Lucy, her seizures are short but, very violent convulsions.

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The only experiences I've had with seizures is with clients dogs (I'm a pet sitter). One dog was ancient and it was a one time thing.

 

The other had epilepsy. I was watching him (Ben), his owners daughters 2 dogs, my dog and my foster dog. (All greyhounds) I was feeding everyone dinner. I turned around from getting the food and Ben was seizing. One of the owners daughters dogs started trying to attack Ben, so I had to hold him off. Thankfully, it was only one dog. Please keep the dogs separated when you're not supervising so that you don't have an attack. It's pretty natural dog behavior, but is preventable.

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I can only offer my personal experience here, but Henry often has gas after a seizure. He almost always pees. The part of the brain responsible for controlling bowel/bladder muscles can be affected by seizures, which is why it's common for dogs to have accidents during the post-ictal phase. This timeframe can be anywhere from several minutes to several hours. Our vet also explained (and I had no idea) that having a seizure is highly exhausting. This is why many dogs pant afterwards. Thyme was probably feeling like she just ran a marathon. That, combined with being disoriented and confused would explain why she had an accident in the house. As for the diarrhea, my guess is that it was either a coincidence, or it was brought on by the stress of the seizure.

 

On the food front, there are a lot of conflicted opinions on whether or not diet can make a difference. There's not enough research out there to say definitively that kibble is worse than homecooked or raw diets. I can tell you that Henry had seizures no matter what food he was on, and we tried many over the years. I currently feed IAMS green bag, which, like Purina can be described as a "lower" quality kibble. However, he is healthy in every other way and has normal weight, teeth, bloodwork, etc. I don't feel guilty about feeding IAMS. I'm inclined to believe that epilepsy is more related to genetics than anything else. There are some supplements that are said to beneficial for brain support (specifically, those with L-taurine and L-tyrosine). They aren't substitutes for actual seizure meds, though. I used to give Henry a supplement called Cholodin and another by NutriVet called Healthy Brain. Although both of these are highly rated, I ended up discontinuing them after a few months. Henry's seizures were no better or worse on supplements.

 

Whether or not you want to keep your dogs separated is a personal decision. There is a theory that the likelihood of an attack is higher when you have a pack of three or more. This is because the dogs are attempting to preserve the safety and resources of the "pack." With that being said, my Henry had a seizure in a public dog park with at least five other dogs present, and none of them bothered him. So there aren't really any hard and fast rules. Whether or not the other dogs will attack really depends on their individual personalities and temperaments. I don't muzzle or crate my dogs because they are a bonded pair. Truman has never shown any aggression toward Henry during seizures. In fact, he seems to know that something is wrong and takes a protective stance. He will lay near Henry and wait until he's done seizing. Once, I saw him try to lick Henry's face. It's possible that that behavior could change someday, and I understand I am taking a risk. But at the end of the day, that's the decision I made, and I'm okay with it. You'll have to decide on whatever makes you most comfortable.

 

Other than using a webcam and monitoring the footage, there aren't many ways to tell whether or not she's having seizures in your absence. If you come home to an accident, you may be able to reasonably assume she had one. Or, if she's acting strangely (panting, disoriented, unfixed gaze, extra sleepy), that may also be an indicator. When we decided to put Henry on meds, he was averaging seizures at least once a month, and these were just the ones we actually witnessed firsthand. I figured he was probably having more while we were at work, but we just weren't there to see them.

 

Hopefully this helps you. :)

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Whether or not you want to keep your dogs separated is a personal decision. There is a theory that the likelihood of an attack is higher when you have a pack of three or more. This is because the dogs are attempting to preserve the safety and resources of the "pack." With that being said, my Henry had a seizure in a public dog park with at least five other dogs present, and none of them bothered him. So there aren't really any hard and fast rules. Whether or not the other dogs will attack really depends on their individual personalities and temperaments. I don't muzzle or crate my dogs because they are a bonded pair. Truman has never shown any aggression toward Henry during seizures. In fact, he seems to know that something is wrong and takes a protective stance. He will lay near Henry and wait until he's done seizing. Once, I saw him try to lick Henry's face. It's possible that that behavior could change someday, and I understand I am taking a risk. But at the end of the day, that's the decision I made, and I'm okay with it. You'll have to decide on whatever makes you most comfortable.

 

 

That is really interesting. I had one dog (JRT) who did want to attack a seizing dog but it seemed almost a fear reaction for her. It was really important to keep those two separated. If you are a dog, it must be shocking to see your buddy thrashing around, looking different and probably smelling very different from usual.

 

One other thing worth mentioning for those who have more than one dog -- I suspect that Olly may be learning to predict Caesar's seizures. He and Caesar often share a dog bed and snuggle together happily, but I'm beginning to notice that Olly seems to keep his distance from Caesar for about 6 hours before a seizure. I'm not certain yet that this is a reliable predictor but it is a definite possibility. Olly is a wise Galgo with a well honed survival instinct.

Gillian
Caesar (Black Caesarfire) and Olly (Oregon) the Galgo

 

Still missing: Nell (spaniel mix) 1982-1997, Boudicca (JRT) 1986- 2004, and the greys P's Catwalk 2001-2008, Murphy Peabody (we failed fostering) 1998-2010 and Pilgrim (Blazing Leia) 2003-2016,

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