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Cheri McDonald

Help I'm SOOO Worried

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Our new adopted girl had a seizure this morning at 5AM. Robbie woke us up and ran us to the diningroom, where Briar was stiff and twitching, foaming at the mouth. She came around after a minute or two and wobbled around like a drunken sailor for about 5 minutes. We rushed her to the emergency vet hospital and they are doing blood work and observation. Vet thinks it is epilepsy. Has anyone seen this, what do they do for it anything else we should ask the vet. We have only had her for a month and a half. She is 3 years old and the previous owners did not mention this so I don't think it has happened before. Any help or advise would be soo apreciated!

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Hi,

 

I am so sorry to hear about your pup. I've lived with a severely epileptic border collie for almost 10 years. They began when she was 9 months old. She will be 10 yrs. old in 10 days. Most people would have put her down. If it is your intention to live with an epileptic dog, what I would do is keep a seizure journal. Write down the dates, times and, if possible, duration of seizures. Generally speaking, and with seizures, there are exceptions to every rule, unless for example, there is a tumor that shows up on a scan, or possibly even a toxin that she could have gotten into, I would just assume it's epilepsy. Also, generally speaking, usually if seizures begin at about 1 to 3 yrs. of age, it could be assumed that they are genetic in origin. There are other age parameters which point to different causes of seizures.

 

My Dolly, from the time she was 9 months of age would cluster seizure---IOW, never 1, bot 3-4, all within an hour or so. They usually came at night. She was on phenobarb which at best, a handful of times, she would go for 4 weeks without a seizure, not matter what the dose of the medication--and she was on some pretty high doses.

 

In your journal, note behavior that might indicate a seizure coming on, restlessness, whatever. One time Dolly lost the use of her back legs. Within 24 hours, she went into a severe bout of seizures.

 

After a particularly bad bout, two years in a row, she went on a combination of phenobarb and potassium bromide capsules. I noticed an improvement. I gradually (on my own) weaned her off the phenobarb and she is only on potassium bromide. She still seizures, but now they are spaced from 2 to 5 months apart. I'll take that over every 3 weeks.

 

And, for what it's worth, seizures are still upsetting for me to watch, even after all these years.

 

You might also want to join an epilepsy group on the internet. I didn't have that option when I really needed it years ago, and I'm glad it's out there for others now. Helps to know others who are in the same boat.

 

What works for one dog, may not work for another. These have just been my experiences with Dolly.

 

 

Vicki

 

P.S. Dolly just got recertified by Delta Society as a therapy dog.

 

Also, it's too early too tell, but since I changed her diet several months ago, her seizures appear to be less intense and not as many in a cluster. But again, other factors might be involved, but I'd sure like to think it might be a diet change.

 

Keep us posted and good luck.

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I don't know about seizures in border collies but a vet friend has a golden that has seizures. Seems that a couple in his litter are having problems. And the litter before his had some seizure problems that showed up after the age of 3 so the breeder did not know until it was too late. The breeder is no longer breeding the sire and dam.

 

Anyways, it seems that these litters are very sensitive to chemicals in general, ie: fertlizers, cleaning products etc...seems that something in the products are causing the seizures. My friend's golden also has seizures more often after a lot of exercise and excessive stimulation.

 

My friend has decided to try the holistic route along with modern medicine. The seizures do not happen often and they are not severe any more.

 

Vicki's advice is right on about keeping a journal. The only thing I would add would be to keep track of what the dog did that day (play outside--was it hot, cold---, whether you cleaned, did house or yard work, did you go someplace that recently did landscape work...I would possible try to keep track of a few days beforehand. I only say this because, it could be a delayed reaction to something, not immediate.

 

Good luck...

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I wouldn't panic yet. Seizures are scary things, for dog and owner, but it is possible your dog will never have another seizure, or if she does, very few. A few of my dogs have had one or two - then never any more. While she may be epileptic, she may not be. You may never know why she had a seizure. If she is epileptic, there are medicines that can control it in most cases. The seizure journal is a very good idea. It's the best way to keep track of how often, how long, and how severe they are. If she is put on medicine, I would also log dosage and when she received it. Good luck.

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Several of my dogs have had siezures. Can be caused by all sorts of things. Can happen once and never again. Can be something they just happen to get into - or food allergy - or reaction to heat - or low blood sugar - licking lead paint. Lots of stuff.

 

Don't panic until you need to. Siezures are a big problem in dogs. But they can be controlled except in the very worst cases.

 

I never did put my dogs on medication. Their siezures were very mild and far apart. But I have seen grand mal siezures and they are very scary. But the dog feels nothing. And they usually just come out of it. They may be sore afterward from the stiffening of muscles and they may have a headache - but I think by 24 hours should be back to normal.

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My Dolly's seizures seemed to be without rhyme or reason, but the purpose of a journal, over time, perhaps would show a common denominator in their occurrances. The other posters were right, in that some dogs seizure once, and never have another one. Frankly, after my own experiences, I'm rather paranoid.

 

I would still notate the circumstances around this one particular seizure, what the dog did that day, etc., etc. If it turns out that your dog has to go on medication, notate time & dosages as well. Admittedly, sometimes I got lazy, missed a few doses and off she'd go into another set of seizures. I was even told by someone to notate the phase of the moon, that a full moon might bring on a seizure in certain dogs. (Wasn't the case for us). The thing is, idiopathic epilepsy, just happens. It's like a short in wiring, the nervous system. It varies from individual to individual & there is no rhyme or reason.

 

If your dog has a seizure every few months, he/she more than likely will not need meds. Once a month or more, would warrant looking into medications.

 

I hope for your & your pup's sake, that it was a one time occurrance. But if it wasn't, know that you're not alone.

 

Vicki

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Well, Briar stayed at the vet office all day for observation and blood work. Nothing came back to worry about on her blood tests and she came home found her ball and was our same happy girl! Now it is a wait and see game and I guess we will go from there. Thank you for the advise and I will keep you posted. I hope she never has to go through that again!

 

P.S. Found out how much she means to Rob Dog. He was right there to wake us up when it happened and Was thrilled when she came home that night from the vet after moping all day!

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sorry to hear about Briar's seizure. Did they check for tick-borne diseases? My BC Casey had seizures caused from erlichia. Keeping a journal is a very good idea. Seizures can be very scary, especially that first one...I remember how scared I was when casey had her first one. try to keep other dogs away when Briar is seizing. also watch her to make sure she doesn't overheat.

 

Good luck and I hope it's something simple like Casey's was!

 

-Laura

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Most any breed of dog can have seizures. Again most any thing can cause the start of them and can be heriditary.

I know a lot about epilepsy for I am one. The gran mal is no longer call such. There medical name is Local. There is a variety of types of epilepsy and many types of medications for them.

I would take my dog to a vet who truly knows about neurological conditions before I would worry too much. Depending on the age of the dog has a lot to do with the continuance of seizures. If a puppy or dog less than three years of age and this is the first seizure, the dog may not have another one. Moreover, if the dog suffered some type of head injury while playing and its serverity, the dog may have seizures for the rest of its life.

Again, have the dog checked out by a doctor that has studied in neurological conditions. Pets today are being seen more for what was normally human conditions and diseases. The newer the vet the more they have studied in treating animals as humans.

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