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Seizure In 11Yr Old Hound


Guest Greyt_dog_lover
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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Well our oldest boy Bart had what appeared to be a seizure on Monday. My wife called me in tears and I couldnt really understand her. I got that there was a problem with our boy Bart so I raced home (12 minutes) to find him normal. My wife explained that she was taking two of our other hounds out into the yard to play and when she turned around at the sliding glass door she saw Bart "winking" at her. She looked at him for a second and realized his eyes were rolling around in his head. He was standing stiff and not moving. She gently guided him to walk back into the living room by pushing on his rump and guiding his front shoulders. He never lost control of his bladder or had a bowel movement. He didnt foam at the mouth or otherwise have involuntary muscle movements. He never fell over either. The entire episode lasted between 2-3 minutes. Bart is a healthy boy, 4lbs over his race weight, eats regular with minimal changes in diet/treats. On the day of the event nothing out of the ordinary, no special treats, etc. This is the first time we have seen this, but there are times when my wife and I are not home (we both work). Our hounds are typically alone for 3-7 hours daily except on weekends.

So all this said, any ideas? Environmental? I spoke with my vet and she recommends monitoring and if it repeats, bloodwork. She also has mentioned that typically if a dog has seizures from epilepsy that will exhibit itself between 1-7 yrs old in the dog, not 11. I asked what would typically cause this in an older dog, she said brain tumor. Any ideas other than the brain tumor?

 

Chad

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If it repeats and you have to take him in, I'd suggest the full thyroid panel. Reportedly, thyroid issues have been known to cause seizures. But I'm not surprised your vet's mind went straight to the tumor possibility; in an older dog, that's often the issue.

 

If the dogs are loose in the house when you're away from home, you might want to consider finding a way to separate Bart from the other two for his own protection. Sometimes, dogs turn on a sick/injured companion hound. Nothing happened today, but your wife was there, and Bart's seizure was on the mild side. But crating or baby gating the dogs apart might be needed if there are repeats of the episode.

 

On the other hand, some dogs have one seizure--for a reason no one ever figures out--and never have another one. Fingers crossed for Bart.

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Your wife's description of his eye movement - could it have been that the eyes were moving back and forth horizontally? If so that may have a been a "vestibular incident" rather than an epileptic seizure.

 

How has he been acting since the incident?

Edited by macoduck

 

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

All of my hounds are muzzled when we are gone, so that helps with the safety issue. My bridge girl Jesse would have definitely tried to attack if he had this episode when she was around, but the three that I have now, i doubt it, but you never know what they can do.

 

Maco- I dont know, i will definitely ask her. If it is a vestibular incident, what other things should I look for?

 

We havent had any blood values on him in a few years, he's due. His stomach does not look distended or otherwise enlarged.

 

Chad

Edited by Greyt_dog_lover
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Get his blood pressure checked. My girl had the same thing. Eyes moving rapidly, but did not fall over, lasted just a couple minutes. I already knew she had a BP problem and she was on meds. I called her cardiologist who said bring her in now. Her BP was over 200. To high even for white-coat syndrome (fear of doctors in white coats).

 

Her BP was never controlled well, but it was monitored closely (she passed away from cancer at age 12)

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I dont know if this is related, but Bart occasionally has heavy breathing like he is out of breath, but there is no reason for it. He will do it when he gets up from laying down, he will do it when he runs around, so its odd. I have spoken to the vet about this, he had a heartworm and it was negative, he has had his chest xrayed with nothing noted, he had a test for LP (he wretches many times a day after drinking water and other times for no reason).

 

Thought I would add everything.

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My vet told me one time that darting eyes (back and forth) could be vestibular, etc. If they're truly spinning in circles, he said that was almost always a brain tumor. We had a foster dog who had eyes that were actually going in circles. Very odd. Mimi's darted when she had vestibular. I think if it's that, they just need rest.

 

Rocky used to have seizure like episodes. Usually in the middle of the night I'd wake up with him panting, shaking slightly and not really responsive. I don't think I ever turned on the light to see his eyes. I'd get him settled down and by morning he was fine. Never did meds or anything since it was so infrequent.

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I would run Bart in for an exam and bloodwork. Bloods will check his liver and renal function. I would make sure your vet runs a T4 and a cTSH to check thyroid function. (Very important to run both).

Sorry to say that a brain tumor needs to be a consideration because this is a new finding in an older dog. I'm sorry it was so scary for your wife-seizures are very unsettling.

If the blood work returns within normal parameters then, I'm sure your vet will just recommend to monitor Bart at this time.

I would jot events down on a calendar-it will be helpful to document events if you need to see a neurologist in the future.

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It might be a seizure or another issue.

 

Any renovation work done in the house - if lead is ingested by dog that could cause a seizure. Any new "scents" in the house, candles, cleaning agents and such -- sometimes these can trigger a reaction.

 

With most people and dogs, the chance of having a second seizure is quite low but, it doesn't seem to go this way with greyhounds (from my experience in being involved in online epi groups). Most greyhounds tend to get the 2nd and 3rd seizure and so on ... and many go on to cluster. Maybe it's the life they lead at the track with the possibility of head trauma.

 

With this in mind, I might suggest looking for a neurologist now, don't make the appointment - just select one and find out what their appointment calendar looks like (Lucy's was booked out further than 1 month). Also, seizure dogs have the possibility of going into non-stop seizures (status epilectus) and because of this, I suggest that you get a dose of rectal valium from your vet (make sure it is the proper dosage - most vets do the oral dose rather than rectal) and make sure they show you how to use it. The reason I am suggesting this is that if your dog goes into status, the valium might buy you time to get to the ER vet and get on a drip which can save the dog's life.

 

edited to add -- you also want to start reading up on all the medicines that are used to treat seizures. Once a dog goes on a seizure med, they may never not come off. If there are more seizures, additional meds get added and they stay on the old ones. So, if you start this journey, you want to make sure that you know all the pros and cons of the meds before you are faced with a decision. You also want to look at whether you want to do tests like an MRI and spinal as they can be quite expensive (2K) and can be of questionable value as most neurologist will treat the symptoms. Lastly, if you wanted to do a holistic approach, you probably want to look at the options now because you may not have time later.

Edited by MaryJane
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I would check some bloodwork as tbhounds suggests and get a blood pressure. Hoping it was just a minor, one-off, vestibular kind of thing. Scritchies to the awesome Bartman :wub:.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Thanks for all the info and suggestions. We do have a neurologist already for our other hound Olive who they suspect had a HGE some time ago and does not have the use of one of her rear legs. I will get bloodwork scheduled asap. Thanks all

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