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-   -   My boys had a few seizures. (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=83203)

reksav January 7th, 2013 12:52 AM

My boys had a few seizures.
 
We came home today and there was a urine spot on the carpet, we thought not too much off it other than maybe he really had to go or something scared him. (By him I'm referring to Flint, a 7 year old husky/lab.) Then a few hours later, around 6pm, his head cocked to the side with his mouth pried open, fell to the floor and started convulsing very violently, he urinated and defecated a little in that time along with very very thick saliva. We rushed him to the vet since we had no idea what was going on and had never seen anything like it before and were told "it was probably a seizure thanks for your money now go away." Here we are now at 1am and we just woke up to him having another, in our bed with us, what a mess ... We are going to get him into our normal vet today to see what can be done but I was hoping that I could get some insite on all this from some members here. Is there something we should or shouldn't do while the seizure is taking place? After?

Scariest thing I've ever ever seen before, really was hoping it was a 1-off and I'd never have to see it again.

Thanks in advance for any support, help and info!

pbpatti January 7th, 2013 11:24 AM

Wow, how scary is that! We have a member on here that has a lot of information about seizures. I will send her a message and have her check in here. I hope that your vet visit goes well.

Rgeurts January 7th, 2013 12:01 PM

Hi reksav :)

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Seizures are horrid, and so scary to watch. At your boys age, I would be concerned about underlying health issues, especially since these are his first seizures, and cluster (more than 1 seizure in a 24 hour period-sometimes back to back). Instead of researching all my links and taking the time to type everything out, I'm going to copy and paste what i had written for someone in a thread in November. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, or send a pm. I'm more than happy to share anything I have. What I am pasting is long, and a lot of info, so hopefully it doesn't overwhelm you:

A few of the first things I would have checked is liver,kidneys and Thyroid. When you request the Thyroid test, make sure your vet requests a full Thyroid panel, not just a T4. Sibes and Mals are both prone to Epilepsy, Auto-Immune disease and Immune-Mediated Hypothyroidism. If the liver and kidneys aren't functioning properly, or your girl has developed a liver shunt, those can trigger seizures, so good to rule those out first. The Thyroid can also cause seizures, especially if it is in the "low-normal" range. The best place to have a Thyroid panel is through Dr. Jean Dodds at Hemopet. She's the leading authority in Auto-immune disease in dogs and will tailor the Thyroid panel to your specific dog (breed, age, previous health issues etc). As she has proven, the "norm" for standard Thyroid tests do not fit all dogs. There are many factors involved when determining the proper range. I'll post a link at the bottom of the page. Your vet can draw the blood and send it off to her, or you can go to any vet, have the blood drawn and send it off to her yourself. She gives all the instructions on her website

Now for vaccines! Vaccines are a huge issue, especially in certain breeds (Northern breeds/Akitas are affected often). Vaccines and over vaccination can cause something called Vaccinosis, which is one of the likely culprits in my baby's Auto-Immune disease. If your girl has been vaccinated within the last 1-6 weeks, I would suspect that. Most vets will tell you that vaccines do not cause harmful side effects such as seizures etc, but they can, and often do. Some may say that due to lack of information/continuing education on their part, and some rely on those annual visits. So please, before you take someones word on anything (including mine), do some research on your own. There's so much information available now! Again, Dr. Jean Dodds has a lot of good information on her website regarding Vaccinosis as well as Hypothyroidism and seizures. And never allow the vet to give all vaccines on the same day. The Rabies should be given at least a week to 2 weeks after the other vaccines. Also, never let them vaccinate while your dog is having active seizures.

The next is Epilepsy. As I said, your girl is prone to Epilepsy, sadly, due to her breed. The onset for Idiopathic Epilepsy (meaning no known medical reason/cause for the seizures) is usually between 3-5 yrs old. Some dogs will have the onset between 1-2 years. If that's what it is, it's manageable with medication. There are several medications available, but Phenobarbital is the most commonly used. Now, having said that, I would not allow them to ever give my baby Phenobarbital as a first choice. It's extremely damaging to the liver and there are better choices out there. My baby doesn't take anything now (he was on Phenobarbital, Prednisone and Azathioprine for seizures and meningoencephalitis). The meds he was on caused severe internal bleeding and liver damage (and possibly in conjuntion with things he had eaten like toys-he has Pica as well) and had to have a blood transfusion at 8 months old, we almost lost him. They prepared us for the "end" and said his disease had probably run it's course. We started seeing a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) holistic vet who gave our sweet baby his life back. So he's on a combination of Chinese herbs and Homeopathics to control his seizures. If you have a holistic vet in your area, check reviews, google him/her and if they seem good, it's worth the money.

Here are a few links:

This is a wonderful webpage designed specifically with people like us in mind. There are many stories from people with Epileptic dogs who give advice on everything from medication to diet, specific items to avoid such as anything (food, treats, home scents) with certain items like Rosemary (in most holistic food and treats now), Lavender, certain chemicals, preservatives etc.:

[url]http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/[/url]

This is a link to Dr. Jean Dodds foundation called Hemopet:

[url]http://hemopet.org/[/url]

This is also a great website to help you understand what's going on, and possible causes:

[url]http://www.canine-seizures.freeservers.com/index.htm[/url]

One thing that helped me (though it may sound morbid to some), is watching dog seizures on youtube. It helps to see that what's happening to your baby is "normal" in terms of what a seizure looks like. Nanook has grand mals, and his seizures last sometimes upwards of 10 minutes, which is extreme. The first time it happened, I did the same thing as you... I freaked out and thought he was dying, and by the time we got to the vet, he was almsot back to normal. I had no idea what seizures in a dog looked like (or should look like) and thought his were much worse to see than they should be, but in fact, look very much like many others. The link just below is one of his grand mals. We take videos for our vet, which you should do as well. It helps them to see the type/severity and can help with the treatment. I apologize in advance for the focus. This was in the middle of the night and hubby was trying to focus with the zoom ... being awaken by a seizure is frightening and adds to the confusion:

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBRV...A&feature=plcp[/url]

If you stick around, there is another girl here who joined around the same time I did. I'll send her an email and see if she can come on and give you some advice. She also has a baby that has grand mals and has been through several medications trying to find one that helps, but doesn't damage the liver/kidneys as much. The last time I had spoken to her, they were about 8 months without a seizure (her dog had seizures weekly, and sometimes more often than that). Her name is Serenamlambe. She's wonderful

Rgeurts January 7th, 2013 12:10 PM

Ok, I just clicked the link I had posted for one of Nookies seizures, but it says the video doesn't exist. This is the right link:

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBRVl-Jy_0A[/url]

Rgeurts January 7th, 2013 12:17 PM

Just a couple more things! When Nookie has a seizure, we give him valium rectally. What it does is help to stop clusters or status epilepticus. Being that you're boy had 3 in a very short time, he's a great candidate for rectal valium, and it will help give you some peace of mind. If your vet isn't willing to provide that for you, find another vet. Clusters can lead to status, and status can be fatal. Also, if your boy has been to the vet recently for an infection and was given Convenia, that could be an issue as well.

reksav January 7th, 2013 08:40 PM

Well we took him to the vet today and he was started on 1.25 grains of Phenobarbital every 12 hours. I'm not very comfortable with it after much research but for the time being I'm OK with it. We're actively looking for a holistic vet in our area and hopefully will have luck finding one. Also I'm sad to report he suffered another seizure this morning at around 10 am but has been seizure free since. I'm not sure exactly what blood work was done but we were told that his liver and kidneys are fine. I really hope that we find out more info as to what is causing all this.

Two things that we had changed in the last week or so was his food, we switched from Purina One Smart Blend to Nutro Natural Select also we were spraying the house with air freshener things that we made with some natural oils. So we've stopped using the air fresheners and switched him back to his old food, I'm really hoping that one of those was a trigger and now we'll be in the clear. Though I'm sure that's not going to stop this from happening again.

We're terrified and really do appreciate all of the info and support, such a great community here.

Thanks so much for everything!

Oh while I'm thinking of it, while his seizures are happening, we've been holding him and trying to sooth him. Is this a good idea or should we just make sure he can't hurt himself and stand back?

Again, thank you so much.

Dog Dancer January 7th, 2013 09:23 PM

I have no experience with seizures in my pets so I can't offer you much advice unfortunately, but it may be a plan to try to catch a seizure on your cell phone or something if you can so that you can show it to a vet or naturopathic vet if you find one you like. Sometimes it helps for them to see the event in the process of happening. Just an idea for you. :pray: that things settle down now.

Rgeurts January 8th, 2013 09:56 AM

[QUOTE=reksav;1051929]Well we took him to the vet today and he was started on 1.25 grains of Phenobarbital every 12 hours. I'm not very comfortable with it after much research but for the time being I'm OK with it. We're actively looking for a holistic vet in our area and hopefully will have luck finding one. Also I'm sad to report he suffered another seizure this morning at around 10 am but has been seizure free since. I'm not sure exactly what blood work was done but we were told that his liver and kidneys are fine. I really hope that we find out more info as to what is causing all this.

Two things that we had changed in the last week or so was his food, we switched from Purina One Smart Blend to Nutro Natural Select also we were spraying the house with air freshener things that we made with some natural oils. So we've stopped using the air fresheners and switched him back to his old food, I'm really hoping that one of those was a trigger and now we'll be in the clear. Though I'm sure that's not going to stop this from happening again.

We're terrified and really do appreciate all of the info and support, such a great community here.

Thanks so much for everything!

Oh while I'm thinking of it, while his seizures are happening, we've been holding him and trying to sooth him. Is this a good idea or should we just make sure he can't hurt himself and stand back?

Again, thank you so much.[/QUOTE]

Strong scents, like essential oils (Rosemary and Lavender being two very big ones) can trigger seizures in dogs and people, so it's good that you stopped using those :)

It is possible that he has idiopathic epilepsy as northern breeds are prone to it, but due to his age at onset, it's more likely a medical issue. If your vet just did a regular blood test for the liver values, that can be deceiving if he has a shunt. The enzymes aren't always elevated with a shunt because the liver isn't producing them on a normal level. Your vet would need to do a bile acid test, which is fairly simple. Shunts cause a fair amount of seizures. Also, your vet needs to complete a thyroid "panel", not just a T4 test. Most vets will not do this unless you ask for it. You don't have to send it to Dr. Jean Dodds, but she is the authority when it comes to the thyroid/seizures. When the first vet we went to did the T4 for our baby, it came back normal. When the holistic vet sent it off for a full panel, to Dr. Dodds, he came back in the very low "normal" range which is extremely bad for causing seizures. Again, sadly, the northern breeds are prone to hypothyroidism, so that should be either ruled out, or, if he does have hypothyroidism, treated.

When Nookie has a seizure, the first thing we do is give him rectal valium so he (hopefully) doesn't cluster or go in to status. We just lift his tail and put it in ;)
Some people say you shouldn't touch them while having a seizure, others say it's fine. We just let the seizure happen, then when he starts to come out of it, we will pet him and talk softly to him in hopes that he's comforted by it. One thing you can do after the seizure is to give 1-2 tablespoons of Hagen'Dazs Natural Vanilla ice cream. It has to be that brand and flavor. Something about the way it's made and the ingredients they use that helps to regulate the blood sugar after a seizure. Nookie used to pace and cry for a good couple of hours after a seizure. The epi-angels website recommended the Hagen'dazs. Since we started giving it, he only paces and cries for about 15 minutes, then he will settle down and go to sleep... so it does work :)

Good luck and please keep us posted on how your boy is doing!

Robyn

Rgeurts January 8th, 2013 10:02 AM

Oh, one more thing! Pheno is the "go to" drug for most vets, and I have no idea why. There are many other choices (better ones) out there. Pheno is very damaging to the liver, so you may want to use Milk Thistle while he's on it. Milk Thistle won't hurt him, it's very safe and also very effective at helping to minimize the damage caused by the Pheno. Our Nookie had some serious liver damage just from the few short months he was on it. Our holistic vet weaned him off it and immediately started him on liver support. His liver was back in the healthy range within a couple of weeks :)

MaxaLisa January 8th, 2013 02:00 PM

If it wasn't already done, he should have had a blood test. Thyroid should be checked, and tick diseases and other parasitic infections ruled out (like toxoplasmosis).

Some dogs do okay on nutro, and others don't at all, so you might look toward another food down the line.

Good luck, seizures ars scary.

serenamlambe January 8th, 2013 05:51 PM

Hi reksav -

So sorry to hear that you're going through this, it's certainly very frightening when your baby starts to have seizures. As Rguerts mentioned, I also have a little one that had seizures fairly regularly for the first two years of her life. Lately, she's been doing so amazing with only two seizures in 2012! We owe our success to a drug called Zonisamide, but there are a lot of things that need to be investigated before you can find the right treatment! Every dog and situation is different!

Rguerts has really given you a lot of great tips about trying to find a diagnosis, so I'm not going to go on too much about that. The bile acid test is a good start, as well as the thyroid panel. We ended up doing an MRI for our little one in the end, but certainly no need to rush to that right away. We just wanted some peace of mind that we were proceeding with the right treatment, as she started having seizures as 3 months old, much younger than normal for epilepsy... but she had no signs of anything else being wrong.

In the beginning, our dog was put on phenobarbital and it has caused some problems with her liver. We also didn't find it effective and now she's been weaned off of it, but I would certainly advise you to take Rguerts's advice and get Flint on something with Milk Thistle in it right away. We have Keely on Hepato Support capsules and they have Milk Thistle in them. We noticed that this helped a lot with her liver, even though we still have to monitor it and do blood tests and the bile acid tests on a regular basis.

Also, just one more tip. We also use rectal Valium (diazepam) to prevent Keely from having clusters of seizures, however, we have found that a bag of frozen peas or a gel ice pack or something frozen placed on the middle of the back (spine) on the neck/upper back has helped to stop seizures, sometimes even before we get the Valium into the syringe and up her butt! Maybe it could help you. Oh, and if you do end up getting the Valium from your vet, you may want to ask about a protocol that involves multiple smaller doses, as the Valium is metabolized very quickly. For example, we do one dose while the seizure is occurring, then another 20 minutes later, and then a final dose 20 minutes after that. We haven't had any clusters since starting on that protocol, even when Keely was having the weekly seizures.

Okay, hope that helps and, certainly, if you have any specific questions, please ask! I'm on this forum infrequently, but I will check back to see how Flint is doing :) Rguerts and I have shared quite a few conversations on our dogs and I know I've found it immensely helpful, so hopefully you will too!

Good luck :)

reksav January 9th, 2013 05:05 PM

Ahhh thanks so much for all the great info!! It's a bit of an overload for us but thankfully there's two of us to digest it and make sense of it all.

Just to report in, we're over 48 hours and seizure free!! He's been on the pheno for 2 days now and I'm not liking how it effects him. He doesn't seem to have the best balance in his hind section and he's very excitable/nervous, need to get him off of this stuff asap. So in that regard we were contacted by a friend of a friend of a friend who has been an absolute saint. She spoke with us about her pets and the success she has had with the 2 vets that she uses. One being an online holistic vet and one being a local vet that practices both holistic medicine and traditional medicine. So we're going to be in touch with them right away and get Flint in and started in a new direction.

Another thing she gave us was a book by Richard Pitcairn, "Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats." We've been reading that and learning a LOT!! We've already started the process of switching Flint off of his store bought food and following the recipes in the book. He absolutely LOVES them!

Oh and we have started mixing Milk Thistle capsules into his food once a day as well, not sure if that is too much or not?

Thank you again for all the great information and support, I will be sure to keep you all posted! :goodvibes:


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