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#1 Rocketsmom

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:24 PM

My five year old male border collie has had seizures since he was a year old. The vet has no idea what is causing them. I am scared because every time he has one they last longer than the previous one. Is there anything I can do besides the expensive medicine?
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#2 Liz P

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:39 PM

This is really not an appropriate place to get the sort of advice you need. Please listen to your general practice vet's recommendations and consider speaking with a veterinary neurologist. Every time your dog has a seizure it increases the likelihood that he will have even more in the future.

Border Collies are known for a genetic form of epilepsy.

http://www.canine-ep...sics_index.html

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#3 aljones

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:39 PM

Hi, Rocketsmom, and welcome to the board. I'm sorry to hear about your dog's seizures, though. One of my dogs has a minor seizure disorder, and even those mild seizures are unsettling.

It would be helpful if you could share some more information about your dog's seizures, such as exactly what happens during them, how long they last, and how often they occur. Also, what diagnostics has your vet already done to come to the conclusion that he or she is out of ideas? I am no expert in this territory, but the little bit I do know is that when dealing with seizures detailed info is very helpful since they can take so many forms, etc.

Best of luck trying to get a handle on what's happening with your dog.

ETA: I see Liz P has given a much better answer than mine. :) I hope you can get some answers from your vet and/or a specialist.

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#4 rushdoggie

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:03 PM

Like others have said, try a different vet. Also, not all meds are expensive, some are reasonable and you can get them compounded sometimes or buy them online. It doesn't have to be a huge financial burden.

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#5 Rocketsmom

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 07:54 AM

Like others have said, try a different vet. Also, not all meds are expensive, some are reasonable and you can get them compounded sometimes or buy them online. It doesn't have to be a huge financial burden.


When a seizure is about to happen Rocket is very clingy. I think its because he's scared and he doesn't want me to leave him. As the seizure attacks him he's immediately on the floor. He loses his bladder, his eyes dialate and he starts slabering. He trys to dig his feet into the carpet to steady himself. I always try and move him so that he's in the middle of the floor because the vet told me if he is in a corner or small space it will take longer for the seizure to pass because his body can't do what it needs to do to get rid of it. The seizures last ten minutes usually. The colder months are better than the warm months. He usually has one a month in the winter. In the spring and summer every 2-3 weeks :(

The vet I took him to is my neighbor. I honestly don't trust her because of an event that happend a couple years ago. She has golden reterviers. Her and her husband don't care what their dogs do they roam the neighborhood at their liesure. Their male golden decided one that that he was going to dig a hole under my fenced in barn and eat some bird meat. I had just gotten home from work when all this was happening.My favorite pekin duck came runing down the the hill flapping her wings to move not using her legs. I tan up to her and seen bite marks in her back......I scooped her up put her in my passenger seat and drove up to the barn. My ducks were all laying in the fence dead or outside the fence hidding in the weeds. I ran into the barn to see what was going on and there was the golden reteriver standing there ripping their feathers off and bitting my turkeys.......... I took a picture of the dog while it was to busy killing my birds, knowing I would need proof to get anywhere. I scared the dog away by throughing rocks at it and chasing it throw my main gate. I did first aid on my birds and helped them the best I could. My fiance had to shoot my turkeys because of the gashes in them. I was able to heal all my ducks however. I went over to the vet's house showed them the picture I had taken and she repeatedly said thats not my dog, even after the dog came running through my fields with blood on his face. The dogwarden was called and I was told that if I were to press charges, the vet would at most have to put her own dog down. That's all that happend! Both of my turkeys were 40lbs. easy. I got no money for damages. All the feed and what I would have sold my turkeys butchered and ready for the stove was a six month waste........

I will look into another vet. Rocket means to much to me to allow his seizures to keep happening :( :)
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#6 aljones

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:02 AM

Yikes--really sorry to hear about your birds, and about your neighbor's indifference to the destruction her dog caused. How horrible that event must have been for you to witness!

Yes, it definitely sounds like a new vet is in order. I hope you get some answers and treatment options soon so that Rocket can be more comfortable.

Angie
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#7 juliepoudrier

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:19 AM

A 10-minute seizure is a really long time. Have you actually timed them that long (it can seem like forever when they last just a short while)? My dog's seizures last less than a minute (usually 30 seconds or so). Longer seizures are probably doing some damage to the body (heart racing, temperature rising), so definitely see another vet and get Rocket on some appropriate meds to control them. I would think a vet would have you administer valium to stop seizures that are lasting that long, assuming something like phenobarbital and/or potassium bromide don't control them sufficiently.

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#8 jenkshipley

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 08:28 AM

My five year old male border collie has had seizures since he was a year old. The vet has no idea what is causing them. I am scared because every time he has one they last longer than the previous one. Is there anything I can do besides the expensive medicine?



Actually, neither of the two medications most commonly used to treat epilepsy in dogs are very expensive. You absolutely must get your dog on medication.

I would strongly suggest that you find a veterinary neurologist and make an appointment. I spent close to $1500 dollars at my regular vet on testing and treatment before I ended up seeing a neurologist. Not only was the appointment very reasonable in cost, but under his expert care, my Border Collie has now been seizure free for over 15 months.

I chose a rather expensive medication after discussion with Fever's neurologist because of the lower risk of side effects. However there are many options available now and quite a few, as I mentioned are reasonable in cost. The two most common are both decent in price, they are potassium or sodium bromide and/or phenobarbital.

If your Border Collie has consistently had seizures since he was one and they are getting worse, I am afraid that they will continue to do so without the intervention of medication. There is an increased risk, with more severe or prolonged seizures of permanent brain damage, possible neurological damage, loss of vision or hearing or other problems.

I am not sure where you live. If you are in or close to PA or NJ, I can give you two neurologist references. If you are in a different state, consult your local vet for a referral to a neurologist.

Best regards,

Jen Shipley
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Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy
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#9 Rocketsmom

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:16 PM

I am in PA what where are the two neurologist references


Actually, neither of the two medications most commonly used to treat epilepsy in dogs are very expensive. You absolutely must get your dog on medication.

I would strongly suggest that you find a veterinary neurologist and make an appointment. I spent close to $1500 dollars at my regular vet on testing and treatment before I ended up seeing a neurologist. Not only was the appointment very reasonable in cost, but under his expert care, my Border Collie has now been seizure free for over 15 months.

I chose a rather expensive medication after discussion with Fever's neurologist because of the lower risk of side effects. However there are many options available now and quite a few, as I mentioned are reasonable in cost. The two most common are both decent in price, they are potassium or sodium bromide and/or phenobarbital.

If your Border Collie has consistently had seizures since he was one and they are getting worse, I am afraid that they will continue to do so without the intervention of medication. There is an increased risk, with more severe or prolonged seizures of permanent brain damage, possible neurological damage, loss of vision or hearing or other problems.

I am not sure where you live. If you are in or close to PA or NJ, I can give you two neurologist references. If you are in a different state, consult your local vet for a referral to a neurologist.

Best regards,

Jen Shipley
ADCH Enna TM - Silver, MX, MXJ - rescued champion
Ignited's Molten Rush, aka: Lava AAD
Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy
Flute AAD, AX, OAJ, OAC, OGC, NAJ - retired


1 amazing Border Collie named Rocket. 3 ducks, 4 bunnies and a Paint gelding named Cash.

#10 Dal & Mad's Mom

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:59 AM

I might even take a trip to cornell or one of the Pa vet schools and see if they can help your dog if cost is a factor.
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#11 jenkshipley

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 02:29 PM

I am in PA what where are the two neurologist references


I would suggest a trip to Dr. Northington. He is Fever's neurologist. He is accessible to regular patients via email once he sees your dog. This was an absolute lifesaver for me. My appointment was $125. I also order Fever's potassium bromide from them directly. It costs $48 for about a five month supply. I order her other medication, she is on zonisamide, a human anti-convulsant, from Costco because Dr. Northington told me to as it is cheapest through them. I believe they also can provide phenobarbital if that's what he decides to put your dog on. They mail medication directly to my house.

Dr. Northington requires blood work once every 12 months and for the dog to see him - bearing any complications or need - once every 24 months.

I cannot say enough good things about him. I have referred several people to him, two who drove several hours for an appointment.

Here is his contact information:

http://www.metro-vet.com/

2626 Van Buren Avenue
Norristown, PA 19403

610-666-1050

Best,
Jen

#12 Kate@JIm

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:05 PM

"Is there anything I can do besides the expensive medicine?"

Yes, there's many options besides just medicating. I see a holistic veterinarian that helped my dog without meds. She likes to find the REASON for the seizures, if possible. In my dogs case it was heavy metals causing seizures, he's now on supplements and no more vaccines for the rest of his life. Each animal is treated differently, no animal responds to treatments the same. There's chiropractic, acupuncture, herbs, supplements and many other treatments available. If you just want to put him on meds, that's fine. I'm just telling you there's other options. I always want to explore all options and take the least invasive. Now, my supplements and follow-ups are probably more expensive then meds, not sure, but I was looking for a reason and a gentler approach. So far, my dog went from having 2 grand mals a month, to one a year. And that was because I "had" to vaccinate rabies by law, he seizured the next day.

Not sure where in Pa. you're located, if you're interested, pm me and I can send some names.

#13 Rocketsmom

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 12:38 PM

I visited the website and I am planning to call Dr. Northington on my lunch break. The only thing that worries me when it comes to vet trips is when I am asked to leave the room and Rocket can't see his mommy.....he doesn't listen so they always end up calling me back in.....:( and I can't stand to see anyone I love have needles in them or anything like that.




I would suggest a trip to Dr. Northington. He is Fever's neurologist. He is accessible to regular patients via email once he sees your dog. This was an absolute lifesaver for me. My appointment was $125. I also order Fever's potassium bromide from them directly. It costs $48 for about a five month supply. I order her other medication, she is on zonisamide, a human anti-convulsant, from Costco because Dr. Northington told me to as it is cheapest through them. I believe they also can provide phenobarbital if that's what he decides to put your dog on. They mail medication directly to my house.

Dr. Northington requires blood work once every 12 months and for the dog to see him - bearing any complications or need - once every 24 months.

I cannot say enough good things about him. I have referred several people to him, two who drove several hours for an appointment.

Here is his contact information:

http://www.metro-vet.com/

2626 Van Buren Avenue
Norristown, PA 19403

610-666-1050

Best,
Jen


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#14 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 11:25 PM

I feel so bad for you! We had a BC/Aussie mix who for years had epilepsy. It's so frightening to go through. We got her seizures controlled with phenobarbitol, but it was utterly wrenching until we got things sorted out.

I definitely wish you luck with the new vet. I insist on clear communications with my vet, and for non-invasive procedures I just stay in the room. They can draw blood or whatever else with me right there. In fact, at my last vet visit, my young dog, Gael, tried to bite the technician who held her for her shots, so the next time we go in for shots, I'll insist on holding her, myself.

Don't be afraid to talk straight with your vet, when it comes to handling and information. I wish you the best of luck.

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#15 Rocketsmom

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:43 AM

I put a two pictures of Rocket in the peoples border collie gallery :) for some reason every adorable pic I have of him is to large to be an avitar picture. :(
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#16 elegy

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:29 PM

I saw Dr. Northington with an old seizuring (not BC) dog several years ago and my experience with him was very positive. I'd also recommend him. I've been to Metropolitan a number of times for a number of reasons. They're kind of expensive, but I've been very happy with their services and with their staff.

Best wishes to you and to Rocket.
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#17 jenkshipley

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 12:18 PM

I visited the website and I am planning to call Dr. Northington on my lunch break. The only thing that worries me when it comes to vet trips is when I am asked to leave the room and Rocket can't see his mommy.....he doesn't listen so they always end up calling me back in.....:( and I can't stand to see anyone I love have needles in them or anything like that.



I am so glad you are taking Rocket to Dr. Northington. You will not be asked to leave the room. Make sure you have your regular vet fax all of Rocket's records over to Metropolitian before your visit. If you have not had recent blood work done, they may ask you to do it. Dr. Northington is very good with the dogs and he is very willing to listen and discuss options.

Let us know how things go.

Best,

Jen

#18 Rocketsmom

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:41 AM

THANK YOU ALL!!! I took Rocket to Dr. Northington and he's doing so much better :) its all thanks to my wonderful BC Boards Family :)
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#19 aljones

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 01:18 PM

Very glad to hear this update! What great news for you and Rocket--thanks for sharing it! :)

Angie
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in memory: William, Kate, Johnson, Odysseus, & Mildred


#20 jenkshipley

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:38 PM

THANK YOU ALL!!! I took Rocket to Dr. Northington and he's doing so much better :) its all thanks to my wonderful BC Boards Family :)


Great news! I am certain that Dr. Northington will be able to help you get better control of Rocket's seizures. Keep us posted!

Jen


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