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Confused, Anxious, Restless - Siezures? Tia's?


Guest KEWood
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Our 3 year old whom we've had for 8 months exhibited very strange episodic behavior yesterday. He woke us up at 4am wandering, pacing, head darting right and leaft, ears up, whining a little, looking completely confused like he had no idea where he was or what he should be doing. He even climbed onto our bed and just stood there, doing the same thing (he has NEVER gotten on our bed, even when we tried to convince him). He also was afraid to leave the room, and acted as though he had never manuevered stairs before. We finally carried him down, thinking he might be feeling sick, and took him out, he peed right away in his normal place, came in and ate his treat. He continued to wander and whine, acting confused, even after finishing his breakfast. Tried to go up a few stairs, go confused and stumbled while trying to turn around. I decided then to give him his Kong with some PB and a dog bone to try to settle him and give him something to focus on. A little bit after he finsihed that, he was FINE. Completely back to himself.

 

Fast forward to 1pm, he started the same behavior again. Took him a while, but he snapped out of it. Same thing all over again around 9pm, but by 12pm - though relaxed - he still refused to go up the stairs, so my husband carried him to bed. He woke up fine, and has been perfect all day - no issues or weirdness whatsoever.

 

All 3 episodes seem to have started right after he had been napping. We witnessed not other signs like seiziures, shaking, nothing loud happened, nothing to frighten him. I called the vet and short of taking him in for bloodwork or neuro tests, there's nothing to "see". I would love to hear if anyone else experienced this with their hounds, and what might have caused it.

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Next time it happens, film it and share with us. Perhaps it will look familiar to someone here.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
Angels: Charlie the iggy,  Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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Yes, video it. You can show it to use, but you can show it to your vet, too.

 

Also, when it happens, write down start time, ending time, and note how long he slept and how long ago he ate, what he ate, and how much--just a diary of details for the vet. If he's taking any meds or supplements, note them, too. (Don't forget heartworm preventatives, flea/tick remedies, and stuff like that.)

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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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Sounds a lot like partial seizures. For a hound with epilepsy, 2-4 is right about the time when their seizures would begin. My last boy started having seizures on his third birthday. Epilepsy can manifest by way of grand mal (full out, on the ground, twitching, losing control of bladder and bowels) or partial (confusion, glazed over eyes, bumping into things, a twitchy back leg). Seizures look super scary, but if you get them under control with meds, most epi-dogs live normal, healthy lives. In younger dogs, epilepsy is often idiopathic, meaning, we have no idea what causes them or why. They're random "misfires" of the neural connections in your dog's brain, which means he has no memory of what he's doing when the seizure is taking place. So when he "snaps out of it," he will likely act like nothing happened.

 

The crappy thing about epilepsy is that it's like making a path in the forest. When you cut down the branches and brush the first time, it's becomes easier to get through the next time, and even easier the next time after that. That is to say, the more often your dog has a seizure, the more often he's likely to keep having seizures in the future. It's best to get them well controlled sooner rather than later. There is no test for epilepsy, nor is there anything that will come up as a red flag on bloodwork or standard tests. The only way it can be diagnosed is by being vigilant about recording when they occur and how long they last. As Ducky said, it's also a good idea to take a video so that your vet can visually see what symptoms he's presenting. Seizure meds can have some unwanted side effects with longterm use, so vets typically wait until your dog is having at least 1-2 seizures per month before they'll start medicating. Some dogs have one or two, then may never have another one again.

 

If you notice that your dog is getting these episodes on a regular basis (it's good to keep a notebook where you can write down the dates, times, and durations), I strongly recommend consulting with a veterinary neurologist on the newest types of seizure meds. There are many different types, and it can often be a delicate balance finding the right med or combination of meds that works best for your dog. Not all general practice vets are well-versed in the pharmacology for all the different types of antiepileptics. If you really wanted to be proactive, you could consult with a neurologist now.

 

Best of luck, and hoping you get to the bottom of it!

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Thank you so much for the information - it is incredibly helpful and reassuring. We were in such a state of "wth is happening?" yesterday that we didn't realy think to video it. I will start tracking these episodes beginning with yesterday's, and try to get it on video when it happens again. I am fortunate that I have a good friend who happens to be a vet (an ER vet, so she's not *his* vet), so I will pick her brain about meds and get some advice from her before going back to our regualr vet.

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Guest Doddsboy

Exact same thing happened to me last night. Our 2 year old non-track rescue woke at 1 am and paced very fast for 20 minutes. Seems to be in a trance. We've had him 6 months. Never happened before.With this episode displaying some of the same symptoms as bloat, we were just about to get on the way to the ER, and then he just stopped. Went back to bed. Slept through the night and is fine this morning. Let me know what you find out. Good luck.

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Since I posted this, he has had 3 more episodes. He has an appointment to see the vet tomorrow. Are these things hereditary? We know the owners of his sister and would like to let them know if so. So I consulted with my vet friend and here's what she had to say:

 

"I'm sorry to say that this does sound like some type of seizure activity. The first episode may have been post-ictal behavior (how they act after a seizure, if you were sleeping you would not have witnessed it). The other episodes could have been post-ictal (it can take some dogs up to 24hrs post-seizure to act/feel completely 'right'), pre-ictal (leading up to a seizure), or 'mini' seizure (actual seizure activity just not as 'big' as a grand mal seizure). I would recommend getting baseline bloodwork performed to make sure there is no organ involvement (ie liver, kidney). Definitely start a log as well. All the parameters you mentioned (including time of last meal, composition of meal etc) should be noted. If it continues to happen frequently (more than once every 4 weeks), I would consider medication...especially if they turn into grand mal seizures! The only way to fully work up a suspected neuro case is at a neurologist and have spinal taps and MRI = $$$$. Otherwise, we make sure there are no organ or infectious causes (your vet may recommend a course of abx) and treat as idiopathic epilepsy. Epilepsy can develop anytime from birth to 3-4 years of age. Seizure activity after that is much less likely to be epilepsy (vs some other cause such as organ disease, infection, cancer).

If he does have a grand mal seizure, the best thing you can do is make sure he is on the ground and in a safe/warm location. Do not try to pet him- they do not know what is going on and may inadvertently bite. It is scary to witness but the seizure itself causes little damage. If it lasts longer than 5 min, get him to a vet ASAP. The heat produced by the muscle movements produce heat. Prolonged seizures can cause severe hyperthermia and that can cause brain damage and organ failure."

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I have had three different greyhounds that had seizures for three different reasons.

 

Surprise had one super size grandmal seizure that lasted for over an hour. He was not even two years old at the time. So Scary. Started on a Sunday night, so we took him to ER. They cooled him off and explained to me that it is good to get them cooled down by placing cool packs along their backs if possible, till it is over. They gave him medications to stop the seizure after we got him to the vet ER that was 20 miles away. He stayed the night, and never had another Seizure again.

 

My little girl called Heart Suit (we called her HeartSweet, as she was so sweet) had seizures for five months, before we discovered that she had bone cancer that had spread throughout her little body. they were very violent. As soon as we learned how much pain she was in, we decided to allow her to cross over the rainbow bridge that day. She has began limping and when they took xrays, they discovered just how serious it was. We were heart broken, as she and Surprise arrived together and he was now without a partner. He searched high and low for her for days, every where they spent time together. they even slept on top of each other. Always hugging. So we found the next little girl on PetFinders.

 

Not being one to allow myself and Surprise weep forever, I found San Tan Snuggles. She is truly a charm. But ten months after she came to live with us, she got GME and also had one seizure while at the vets, before we sent her to BVNS in Rockville, MD. Dr. Cuff discovered her condition and put her on several drugs as well as phenobarbital. She has not had another seizure since and is gradually improving. Snuggles has some very strange personality changes prior to her being ill. Since she was so playful, we did not realize that she was developing a neurological condition: Diagnosis:

Meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown etiology (MUE), severe and causing diffuse I multifocal brain
(forebrain, cerebellum) disease. Immune-mediated granulomatous disease (e.g. granulomatous
meningoencephalomyelitis I GME) considered most likely.

 

So Surprise's seizures went away and seems like Snuggles has too with the right professional treatment. It sometimes takes a lot out of us time wise, emotionally and financially I wish the very best to you and your puppy. Snuggles still has a ways to go, but so far so good.

 

Seeing a neurologist is costly, but after all we have been through with our grey babies, I would skip the vet and go straight to the specialist. It will save you some dollars there. As you can see just by my small experiences, there are many reasons seizures can happen.

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Auggie's bloodwork revealed elevated creatinine levels (yes, vet is aware of greyhound norms), so has ordered a urinalysis - we'll have results tomorrow. She is concerned about his kidney function. Fingers crossed that he's ok.....we have not had any episodes in 2 and a half days now.

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We've had 5 greyhounds since 2004 and both of our girls had seizures - through batteries of tests no one could ever find any reason either was having the seizures and both were put on phenobarbital. Both were very different seizures, too. Our first girl would shake, drool, become disoriented, etc. - but we never saw her lose consciousness and she seemed to snap back within an hour or so.

 

Our (present) girl has massive attacks and loses consciousness completely. Afterwards, she experiences blindness, extreme disorientation and we are convinced she has no idea who we are or where she is. In fact, in 2014 she experienced "overnight blindness" and no vet could find a cause. She regained some sight, but her pupils are always dilated - I am convinced she had a massive seizure the night before and it caused brain damage (and thus her vision issues). She is currently on phenobarbital and just had her dosage upped after suffering a seizure the night before Halloween.

 

If you really want answers, I'd recommend a neurologist instead of a regular non-specialized vet. We opted against it for multiple reasons, but you'll have a much higher chance of finding "real answers" going that route, I think.

 

Good luck to you - they are SO scary to witness. :(

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