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death from seizures

December 9th, 2005, 03:45 PM

We put our dog to sleep after he got seizures. Although it happened a few years ago the thought that maybe there still was a possibility to help him bothers me a lot. So if somebody here had similar experinece with his pet or is a vet, maybe you can tell if his symptoms were really hopeless. It's not of much use now, but maybe it will help me to get in terms with what happened. Sometimes I just feel extremely guilty for not doing enough for him.

When he was 12 years old he got run over by a car and was seriously injured, but got over it. A year after it happened he got his first seizure. It lasted for about two minutes and he seemed dazed for several minutes after it, but thats about it. After this incident he continued getting the same seizures every two months, but I wasn't very concerned about it, since otherwise he seemed ok. Then half a year after he got a terrible sequence of seizures which only ended with his death. He would have seizure every two hours for the first day. He would fall on the floor, have convulsions for several minutes and lose bowel control. He seemed dazed all the time between his seizures and it seemed like he didn't understand what's going on and he didn't react when we called his name. He also wouldn't eat or drink normally, but sometimes he would come to his bowl and eat or drink hysterically, getting himself dirty. On the second day he started getting seizures more often, like every half an hour. We called a vet (we couldn't call him home since we didn't have money) and he said that it sounds to him like hopeless and he thinks that we should put him to sleep. We then called the service and they came to our home. My dog was by then having seizures almost continuously. Obviously they weren't vets but they also said that he is gone for sure. So I held him (he was having another seizure) and they gave him the shot. He was 13 and half when he died.
So you see, I have a reason to feel quilty since I didn't show him to a doctor nor did he get any medication. If by chance you had similar experience with your pet, and saw a doctor, I would really appreciate it if you'll share your experience with me. Thanks for reading this.

December 9th, 2005, 03:59 PM
Lenap,I am really sorry you lost your dog:sorry:
The only experience I have with seizures is from my son who is epileptic.
Your dog should have been on anti-seizure medication after he had had a couple of seizures,just like people.
Every seizure kills brain-cells and several seizures in a short period of time can be fatal.
I don't know why your vet did not suggest meds for your elderly dog,they would not have been that expensive and would have probably kept the seizures at bay,however it's all water under the bridge now though.
Sorry again:sad:

Tuckers Paw
December 9th, 2005, 04:46 PM
I'm sorry to hear about you loss. I had to take one of my dogs to the vet today, for what I thought was possible a blockage in the digestive track. (Caught him eating a twig last night ). He started acting a little funny last night, was real cuddly with my wife and my other dog was virtually spooning him on the couch for many hours last night. (Extremely uncommon, this dog is a lone wolf) He seemed like he was not feeling well. I just figured that he had an upset stomach. This morning he would not get up out of his kennel (in our kitchen by the table, it is his den area) Anyway this A.M. he wined when he tried to get up, so now I know something was wrong, he ate his breakfast (while sitting down) then went back to the kennel. He eventually moved to the couch to lay there with his pillows. From there he did not move till mid-afternoon. He finally got up and went outside and came in and took a drink, only to continue to lay around. Now this dog is super energetic, barks at every noise even noises that I dont hear (super protective). He was even sitting funny. So I took him to the vet late afternoon and I just got back. Turns out that he had a seizure. I never seen him or hard him have it. So the vet did some blood work and gave me the low down on what I need to be looking for. The vet said that only when the dog is having routine seizures will she give medicine. This was the first one that we knew of and so now we need to look out for that and time the duration of any future seizure. The blood test she performed, she was looking for kidney disorders, nothing showed up (thank God!) but the vet mentioned that being hit by a car, hit in the head, or birth defects, or a blood clot or numerous other things can cause it. Sorry I am rambling, I guess I still in shock from hearing this from the vet. So I know that I will be doing my homework looking for info on the net on dog seizures. If anyone knows of any good links I would greatly appreciate any info or suggestions so I can give my pooch anything that he may need to keep him comfortable. Thanks in advance to all. :(

December 9th, 2005, 05:03 PM
I am sorry that you lost your beloved friend. I know you tried to do the best with what resources you had at the time.

I had a cat that I adopted from the vet clinic I worked at. He was brought in as a kitten with a huge bump on his head that he got when he was thrown from a car while stuffed in a bag with a bunch of other kittens.....unwanted and tossed.

His head was what took the impact of the curb. All of the other kittens were okay, but the folks that witnessed this brought "Beau", (he was indeed very handsome!) to the clinic I worked at because of his head injury.

No one came to claim him or pay the bill. He stayed for a loooooonnnnnggg time and we bonded. He recouperated and I adopted him. Not very long after, he had his first seizure. And another.....and so on. I took him to work where the Dr. did the necessary bloodwork etc. and he was put on Valium for life.

The prognosis was not good as cats don't seem to get seizures as often a dogs and his was no doubt caused by the head trauma.

I had Beau for about 3 years, and because of the Valium, he developed a bowel problem: he could not poop on his own. I had to manually work the poop out for him by gently squeezing his intestines daily and he was prescribed Propulsid to aid in the passing of poop. Poor fella....he was an extremely co-operative cat. Not too many cats would let you manipulate their tummies in such a way! Must have been horribly painful, but he never complained:o

One night, he had seizure after seizure. I counted at least 20. We had no emergency vet on duty or a clinic to take a pet to in case of emergency. I stayed up all night with him, caring as best I could for him, and knew that this was his last day on this earth. The vet had informed me that mass seizures, (status epilepsy), was a strong possibility.

I took him to work first thing: he used to ride on my bike in my sewing basket, and loved it:p , and the Dr. determined that we could dope him up beyond belief, but the odds were not in his favour. Euthanasia was the humane choice.....:sad:

I could obviously not let him live this way, suffering and with no hope, so the decision was made to let my friend go. I cried and cried and cried sooooo much that I should have shrivelled up.

My only consolation was that I gave this cat a chancd: for 3 years, he had a hope, a home, good care and lots of love. He was quite a clown! His chances may not have been as good had he not been brought to my clinic. In all likelihood, unadoptable like so many others out there. But, as they say, animals find YOU, and he certainly did! We had 3 lovely years together and Beau is still dear in my heart. I keep his photo, (and those of all of the pets I have owned), proudly and prominently displayed. He was such a wonderful cat and loved by many!!

I miss him, but there comes a time when we must say goodbye. Please remember the good times and joy this dog brought to you and that you did the best that you could possibly do, given your circumstances and the condition of your dog. He loved you as you loved him.:grouphug:

December 9th, 2005, 05:15 PM
Like I said...animals find YOu! Would you believe that we adopted another cast away, Rosie, who is an epileptic Great Pyrenees?? She has grand mal tonic clonic seizures, (the whole package!), and we took her in as no one else wanted this lovely girl. As luck would have it, with a little research, I discovered that the owners KNEW of her condition and ditched her because they did not want to do any tests, followup and treatment! Dogs can sooooooo live with this condition!!

She is on Phenobarbitol, 2X daily and has been seizure free for almost 2 years!! (knock on wood!).

We know that this will affect her liver(?) and likely shorten her lifespan, but again, she will have lived a happy and relatively healthy carefree life with us! She has quite the cushy lifestyle around here, I must say!!

Epilepsy can usually be managed quite easily and it is worth going thru what the vet suggests and playing around to find out the appropriate type of medication and dosage.

You will hopefully have many great years with your pet!

As for websites, I am a little rusty on where I looked in the past. I think if you just type in "dog, epilepsy" you will get a good start.

Good luck!!

December 9th, 2005, 08:09 PM
The doggy only started getting the seizures when he was older right? Our old yellow lab started getting small seizures at around 12 years old. They were so rare and so short. We brought her to the vet and he said it was probably a brain tumor. She ended up seizing endlessly when she was 14 and had to be put down. They had given her 6 shots of valium to stop the seizures (normally they give one or two) and the vet said she wouldn't recover because of the lack of oxygen from seizing too long.

I don't think there is much that you could have done, but I think now you know that you have to go to the vet sooner for this stuff, if anything just to avoid the "what ifs" and guilt afterward.

December 9th, 2005, 08:23 PM
My personal opinion is that there was nothing that could be done for your furbaby. I went through almost the identical situation with my 16.5 yr old golden.

We tried everything. She had one seizure (we figured out later) and nothing for a month; then two seizures a couple of days apart. Then seizures every 4 hours. (During the month that this took; we made the dash to the Er at 3 am and several trips to our vet. I slept in the living room with her (she could not climb the stairs to bed) I set my alarm to give her her heart medication every 4 hours - came home at lunch for meds, etc. Phenobaritol (spell??) did finally break the siezures when she was seizing every 4 hours BUT.... she would still whimper and cry every 4 hours (you could set your watch to her; I knew within a minute or two when the crying would start). There was no quality of life left and no hope or further options.

My girl's age and your boy's age were against them. Younger epi dogs can be controlled with meds, but when they start seizures later in life, the odds are against them.

So do not beat yourself up, you saved your boy some invasive testing that would not have changed the outcome.

December 9th, 2005, 09:07 PM
I'm with goldengirl on this. You did what you could for your dog.

In August I lost both of my girls. Maggie died of a brain tumour and had been having seizures for a few months. We had been treating the seizures with phenobarbitol and valium but they stopped working. The seizures were just a symptom of what was lingering under the surface that was much worse.

11 days afterwards, our epileptic girl, Guinness died of phenobarbitol induced liver disease. We treated her seizures for 5 years with pheno and potassium bromide. We also gave her a liver cleansing diet, Rescue Remedy and Milk Thistle (to cleanse and repair the liver). Personally, I think she just wanted to be with Maggie because 3 weeks earlier she had complete bloodwork done and all was normal for her.

I'm so sorry for your's horrible to lose your furbabies.

December 10th, 2005, 03:57 PM
Thank you so much for your replies - it was really comforting to get them. I'm sorry for your losses too. it seems like you all cared really well for your sick pets, too bad I can't really say it about myself.:sad: Anyway, one thing I can certainly learn from this story is that with all my future pets I'll be watching their symptoms more carefully and call the doctor right away. Only after my dog's death did it bump into my head that there is such thing as antiseizure medications, and later on I also read that even when an animal gets into a series of seizures there may be still a chance for him...I don't know if there was a chance for my dog since he was so old, but still I do belive I should've tried. The problem is I also blame myself for the accident he had (being run over)...I quess it can't be helped. He was really a part of our family, and I practically had him as long as I remember myself. He was very brave and loyal dog. It really makes me feel better that I wrote about what happened, so thanks for listening.