Thanks DD and Robin
I checked a few times and didn't see that you had responded, but, just in case you do come back (and I sincerely hope you do), I'll leave some info.
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, expecially 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, previus 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.:
This is a link to Dr. Jean Dodds foundation called Hemopet:
This is also a great website to help you understand what's going on, and possible causes:
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:
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
Good luck to you and your sweet girl
If you have any questions, please ask. I'll also pm you my email address and my FB. Feel free to add me if you use FB