Jump to content

Epilepsy in Dogs


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 fairymagic

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

Hi all. I don't normally post in this section often but was wanting some reassurance or advice I guess.

We have a 3 year old labrador cross rottweiler. He is gorgeous, friendly and so good with our kids. We have had him since he was a pup. We realised that with the breeds he has in him he was at risk of getting hip dysplasia. Thankfully he didn't but he did develop elbow dysplasia in his left front leg. We had that operated on a year and a half ago and he has been great.

Last Monday, as usual, our alarm clock goes off. Our dog always jumps up at this as he knows if I get up he goes back to bed until I leave for work and feed him or he gets fed if my DH gets up. My DH didn't immediately hear our alarm so when he did, he jumped up quickly scaring our dog. He bolted into our heavy bedside table then collapsed and had a seizure. It was the most frightening thing Ive seen in any pet I have ever had. He came out of it relatively quickly, went outside to the loo and then waited patiently to be fed. I took him to the Vets who said the bump to the head may have been the cause. They gave me the option of getting blood tests done to rule out anything else wrong and they came back all normal.

We relaxed somewhat thinking the knock to the head was the cause. Monday just gone, similar thing happened again this time without any knock to the head. Back to the Vets - they diagnose him with epilepsy and we start him on phenytoin. Im devastated that he has to be on these tablets the rest of his life and that it may not necessarily stop him having fits. He seems okay with it all - even when they took blood from him after the first seizure, the Vet commented on him being a favourite with the nurses already because of his nature. He needs to go back again in 2 - 4 weeks to get bloods taken again to check his phenytoin levels (Im a REgistered Nurse so understand all the reasons behind this).

Im guess what im hoping for is that some of you pet owners on here may have had pets with epilepsy and I was wanting to see how they did generally and whilst on meds. We have changed our alarm clock to music when it goes off since the alarm might have triggered the fit - Im now finding Im waking before the alarm to keep an eye on him and pat him to keep him calm. Any stories would be great.

Thanks for reading

#2 ritten

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:40 PM

Not personally, but my sisters dog has epilepsy.

She will be on meds for rest of her life, and she has to go in and have regular check ups/blood tests to check the levels of meds, and adjust as needed.

Once stabilised on the level of meds she is fine, she has had a few fits recently, but they also recently moved to australia from nz, so a bit of stressors there.

they also have changed her diet to a mainly raw food diet, raw meats with rice and veg grated through, and her 'treats' are carrot sticks lol.  this helps with the epilepsy in general i think, but they also have to keep her at a certain weight for the dosage to work properly - she is only a small dog though, this might not be as important in a larger dog. Also the medication makes her hungrier, so by having veg as fillers and treats, she is able to eat more without gaining weight.

basically apart from that she has no issues related to the epilepsy at all.

#3 fairymagic

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

Thanks so much for the reply. Im hoping our dog will lead a relatively normal life with this. I dread watching him go through another seizure - the first one he didn't really make a lot of noise -the second he cried a little toward the end of it poor thing. I just sat with him talking to him and crying trying to comfort him.

We did get warned he may get more hungry and be wary re his weight. He is a 49kg dog so we don't want him getting any bigger!! He has been on the meds a couple of days now though and seems ok with them. They warned us he might be more drowsy than usual but he is still a sleepy dog anyway unless we go outside or do something and then he wants to be with us so follows.

Thanks for replying though.

#4 runnybabbit

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:08 PM

Hi OP,

You mentioned that you'd had your boy since he was a pup. It's not unheard of, but it is unusual for first seizure in an epileptic to occur at 3+ years old. Advanced brain imaging (CT/MRI) to rule out intracranial causes might not be a bad idea, if you have a specialist facility where you live and can afford it.

A lot of epileptic dogs do all right. Most can and will have breakthrough seizures over the course of their lifetime; some take a lot of tweaking medication-wise, I've come across dogs who also end up being on a bit of a drug cocktail to keep their seizures in check. It takes a lot of commitment and money, and acknowledging that it's a disease that needs to be managed, but ultimately can't be cured.

Knowing what to do when a seizure occurs and when to take him to the emergency vets would be a good start. Many owners start to recognise the pre-ictal aura and can see a generalised seizure coming before it actually starts.

Good luck OP, it's hard caring for a pet with a chronic disease, check in whenever you need support. original.gif

#5 FiveAus

Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:05 AM

Sorry to hear about your dog. Epilepsy is a cruel and horrible disease. My son had a beautiful English Setter who developed the disease at age 3, he deteriorated rapidly and despite the very best of care, and the very best medication, had seizures that were longer and nastier each time. The meds made him very anxious, he drooled and paced constantly, and eventually they did very little good. He was put to sleep at age 4 1/2 as the seizures were extreme by then, lasting up to an hour and the medication used to stop them no longer worked.

I hope your dog has a better outcome, some do and lead a reasonably normal life. But it's a nasty disease so best to be prepared for everything.

#6 fairymagic

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Runnyrabbit - the Vet told us that between the ages of 3 - 6 years is the most common times epilepsy seems to show up in dogs. Since he is 3 we didn't think it unusual. Both Vets we saw didn't recommend doing CT or MRI right now. They said if it is epilepsy, the scans whilst expensive and requiring anaesthetic to do, would show nothing. Since he is otherwise healthy and showing no other neurological signs of anything else going on, they said to leave it as an absolute last resort.

You talked about recognising pre-ictal auras? Can you explain this please? I must admit that on the Monday just gone when he had his second seizure, the running around blindly for a second or two before the fit warned us it was coming but otherwise, he simply got up quickly from his bed and went round to my DH's side of the bed which he does everyday. I must admit though, the last couple of days when the music has gone off he hasnt' jumped up like he used to. Im hoping the alarm we used to use was a trigger and that not using it will keep his seizures to a minimum.

FiveAus - that is terrible. Im hoping our dog does not go down the same route as your son's dog. He too is a big dog so Im hoping he will be well managed on his meds.

#7 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:22 PM

Our labbie has his first fit at 2 1/2. Labradors are prone to epilepsy. Our boy has one about every 6-8 weeks so our vet is happy to keep him off medication until they get closer together. He is currently 8.

He feels them coming on and rushes over to lean against us. We just clear the floor for him and stay near him to give him confort. Our labbie has never bitten during a fit but apparently this can occur so please keep any children or other pets away.

Sorry your dog has this. It is very frightening for them.

Edited by AllegraM, 28 November 2012 - 02:22 PM.


#8 CFMummy

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:23 PM

We had a duckling born with epelepsy saddly nothing could be done and it drowned during a siezure. With good care your dog should be fine

#9 BetteBoop

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 28/11/2012, 05:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry to hear about your dog. Epilepsy is a cruel and horrible disease. My son had a beautiful English Setter who developed the disease at age 3, he deteriorated rapidly and despite the very best of care, and the very best medication, had seizures that were longer and nastier each time. The meds made him very anxious, he drooled and paced constantly, and eventually they did very little good. He was put to sleep at age 4 1/2 as the seizures were extreme by then, lasting up to an hour and the medication used to stop them no longer worked.


I had a chihuahua cross who developed epilepsy around age 1.5.

The medication did not work. It simply made him fat and sluggish. He still had fits and they lasted for around 20-30 minutes.

I was finally given a sedative to administer mid fit. I noticed no difference with that either.

The seizures eventually lead to a heart attack when he was 9 years old after which, I had him put down.

#10 overtired

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:42 PM

I have a male lab and he has epilepsy. I inherited him off a family member with no known medical history (wouldn't of changed anything even if I knew), about 2 months after getting him I walked outside one morning and he walked up to me shaking with tail  between him legs (very unusual). I walked him inside to my DH who was still in bed and he just made it to the bedroom before collapsing on the floor and having a fit. I completely freaked out (I thought he was dead at first), DH got up and tried to calm him down. Once he came out of fit, DH took him straight to the vet. Vet suspected epilepsy, and said that it was very common for most dogs to have at least one fit in its life but most times it goes un-noticed. He gave us 7 days worth of tablets (can't remember exactly what they were) and said that he would probably be fine and have no more, but if he did to go back and have some blood tests done and that if it happened he would probably be on medication for life. He was only 2.


The week went by without us seeing another fit, so we thought all was good. It was not to be a couple of days after he finished the tablets we saw him have another fit, so back to the vet we went and he was put on 1/2 a epiphen (sp?) tablet morning and night.


Fast forward 5/6 years and he is now on 2 different types of tablets (epiphen & epibrom (sp?) twice a day, and all up he is taking 6 tablets a day. He has just had his bloods done again and all his levels are in the normal range and the fits are being controlled. Was told that even with medication he would still be likely to have at least 1 fit a year. He has a couple a year but for the most part they are controlled. The medication is very expensive but he is very much a part of our family. We consider him to be our 6th child.

I will say the hardest thing is going on weekends away/holidays. I can't just leave him for other people to feed and walk. He either comes with us, or goes to my parents who I completely trust to give him his medication on time every day.

#11 FiveAus

Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

My sons girlfriend thinks the English Setter was having mild seizures before he was properly diagnosed, as she says now when she looks back, she can recall the dog staring off into space and being "not with it". Not a seizure but maybe a forewarning of what was to come.
It was a truly devastating thing to happen. Epilepsy is awful, there's no two ways about it. They loved their dog like a child and to lose him at such a young age was terrible. They came to a dog show with me last weekend and saw an ES there, the same colour as their dog and spent ages patting him (with the owners permission). They really miss their boy and I'm sure they'll get another one eventually.

#12 countrychic29

Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:10 PM

Hi OP

We have 2 x German Shepherds (same litter) that began having seizures at age 5.
The female had one the day after charging head first into a huge tree (we heard the thud)
Male had one approx 3 weeks later, very mild but then he had one 4 weeks after that Vet put him on medication - i was not happy about this so only gave him half dose as in a previous dog growing up it just turned her into a vegetable.
Anyway 6 months went by - levels tested - not therapeutic - we took him off and saw nothing.
Female never had another one until 3 months ago - Male had one 2 weeks later first in a year and he had one on the weekend in the middle of the night.

What im trying to explain is that it can be environmental as well .. there are too many coincidences with my 2 litter mates (with only 2 other dogs out of breeders 250 plus dogs bred having seizures) we put it down to the weed spray DH used on the property and something about springtime ... as they have only got them this time of the year and not long after he sprays ... he now no longer sprays the weed
And we just keep a very good eye on the them...i find a good way is when on Christmas holidays generally one of us is home at all times or dogs are with us and we didnt see any seizures in 3 weeks so im happy not having them on medication i can handle a couple a year ... but would of course prefer they didnt original.gif

I hope your doggy gets better on his meds. original.gif

#13 fairymagic

Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:59 PM

Thankyou Countrychick29. I too was hoping it was either the bang to his head or he has Cartrophin injections every three months for his arthritis and his last one, they have changed products. It was given a couple of weeks before he had his fit so I asked the Vet if it were possible and was told no. I should research the drug a bit more but I am not sure of its name - it is supposedly chemically the same as the Cartrophin he was on but still......

Thanks for all the replies. I don't think I will rest easy for a few more weeks yet to make sure he doesn't have another fit. We too will have problems if we want to go away. Friends of DH looked after him for the first time in the last school holidays and fell in love with him. They live next door and still pop over to take him out for a walk and have said they will have him anytime but Im not sure they will want to now he is epileptic. We don't go away often I guess but still, having them so keen to look after him made it a possibility in the future. We'll see what they say when DH talks to them when they get back from their holiday.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Trying to understand why your baby is upset

Working out what?s underlying your baby's fussiness can be a case of trial and error. Here are a few common causes and how you can remedy each one.

When those you love judge your parenting

In today's society, never has it been harder to parent without judgment. But what about when judgment is coming from closer to home?

Don't play the victim blame game with family violence

It's not a woman's job to teach violent men how to behave.

11 truths about having two under two

When I told my mothers? group that my husband and I had started trying for our second baby they told me I was crazy. Now I can see why.

'How do you say goodbye to someone you've only just started to get to know?'

New mum Sarah Sutton was faced with a shattering scenario no person should have to endure.

It's a ... boy! Couple welcomes son number 13

"It's a boy!" That's the phrase Kateri Schwandt has heard in labour delivery ward for the 13th time in her life.

Six reasons to go for a walk

Can't find time to get to the gym? It could be just as beneficial to put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.