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Old June 22nd, 2011, 01:13 PM
Islandgirl Islandgirl is offline
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Dog barking strangely after seizures?

Hello! One week ago today, my previously healthy 7 year old German Shepherd had two seizures (approx 5-7 min each, involving his whole body) within a 12 hr period. We took him to the vet immediately, where they did bloodwork, urinalysis and a full physical checkup. The vet said that all his results looked fine- no sign of illness, stroke, epilepsy, etc.- and no follow up, other than to return if he continued to have seizures, was recommended.

Since that time, he's been eating and drinking well, but seems somewhat subdued. Additionally, although he used to always bark when someone came to the door or another dog came by the yard, he has stopped barking almost entirely, and when he does bark, it comes out as a high pitched "yip," not his usual deep bark.

He doesn't seem to have any trouble swallowing, breathing or eating, and is not panting or drooling abnormally, so I'm really not sure what could be going on...does anyone have experience with this? Thanks for any advice!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:11 PM
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Rgeurts Rgeurts is offline
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Originally Posted by Islandgirl View Post
Hello! One week ago today, my previously healthy 7 year old German Shepherd had two seizures (approx 5-7 min each, involving his whole body) within a 12 hr period. We took him to the vet immediately, where they did bloodwork, urinalysis and a full physical checkup. The vet said that all his results looked fine- no sign of illness, stroke, epilepsy, etc.- and no follow up, other than to return if he continued to have seizures, was recommended.

Since that time, he's been eating and drinking well, but seems somewhat subdued. Additionally, although he used to always bark when someone came to the door or another dog came by the yard, he has stopped barking almost entirely, and when he does bark, it comes out as a high pitched "yip," not his usual deep bark.

He doesn't seem to have any trouble swallowing, breathing or eating, and is not panting or drooling abnormally, so I'm really not sure what could be going on...does anyone have experience with this? Thanks for any advice!
Hi Islandgirl
Welcome to the board. So sorry it's under these circumstances. If the seizure lasted 5-7 minutes, there's a possibility of brain and organ damage. You said the vet checked him and ruled out epilepsy? Unless there was an MRI done, that isn't possible. "Idiopathic Epilepsy" can be caused by many things. The term "Idiopathic" just means the origin is unknown, but suspected to be genetic. The thing I would be concerned about is the dogs age. Idiopathic epilepsy usually has a much earlier onset, though it isn't impossible at age 7.
Our baby started having seizures at 2.5 months old. After a lot of testing, it was discovered that had meningoencephalitis which was causing the seizures. We did get him over the meningo, but they suspect he now has brain damage which has caused Epilepsy.

There are several medical issues which can also cause seizures. A common one is a liver shunt. Being that your dog has never had any issues until now, I would hope that your vet is looking at all the possibilities. A Bile Acid test is a pretty easy one. That's one of the first things that should be ruled out. A lot of vets will look at the liver enzymes and if they aren't elevated, they will not look into it any further. But what our vet had said is the enzymes won't always be elevated and will look quite normal as the shunt inhibits the function, so, in turn, will not show elevated enzymes because the liver isn't working. If your vet hasn't reccomended any additional testing, I think I'd be looking for another vet.

Good luck and please let us know how your boy is doing! Pictures would be nice
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Oh, one more thing... did your dog have any vaccines (Rabies, Distemper etc), or tick/flea treatments just prior to the seizures? Or had he been given an antibiotic?
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"Obey my dog!" - Mugatu

"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!" ~ Theophile Gautier


"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:27 PM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Welcome Islandgirl, I hope your pup is doing better now. You've come to a great place with your concerns, although I can't help you out at all, Rgeurts has been through the wringer with her dogs and will be very helpful to you.
Good luck.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 09:00 AM
Islandgirl Islandgirl is offline
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Thank you for your responses! I assume the "not epilepsy" diagnosis (well, it was more like "probably" not epilepsy) was based on our dog's age and history. No MRI facilities anywhere near here, so that's not really an option... But the vet definitely wants us to follow up if there are any more seizures, or other signs of illness, at which point she'll revisit the possibility and do further tests (not sure which specific ones). Our vet has been seeing our dog since he was a puppy and has always had good advice, so I'm inclined to trust her judgement at this point... it's just the change in his barking that's a mystery to me- he sounds like an entirely different dog!
Oh, and no vaccinations, flea treatments etc. were given prior to his issues...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Rgeurts Rgeurts is offline
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Hi Islandgirl,

As far as his bark changing, it could be many things. One of Nanooks seizures caused Pulmonary Edema and aspiration Pneumonia. His bark changed and became a bit raspy. He would also cough a lot. The weird bark went away for the most part, but he now has scarring of the lungs and coughs on a regular basis, though is still raspy on and off. Heart diesease and problems with the Trachea can be a cause for a change in barking as well as laryngeal paralysis which can be brought on by a few things.

A couple of other things for your vet to check if your boy does have another seizure is low blood sugar and Hypothyroidism. Both can cause seizures, and he's the right age for Hypothyroidism. I've pasted a few links for you that give some signs/symptoms of different things. It may trigger something for you, some odd behaviour you may have just shrugged off etc. At 7 yrs old, it likely isn't Epilepsy, but again, not impossible. GSD are prone to may health issues, Epilepsy and Hypothyroidism being just a couple. GSD's, just like Malamutes, are also prone to immune-mediated disease (which can also cause seizures/neurological issues), which is what our little Nookie struggles with. I hope yours has no more seizures and you won't have to worry, but just in case, please take a few minutes to read through the links. I understand you trust your vet, and that's wonderful, but it never hurts to get second opinions in something as serious as this if she is stumped (and a lot of vets get stumped, but the good ones admit it!). We went through several before we found 2 that are just amazing! The others just told us there was nothing we could do, or we had done everything we could and to just put him down. That was over a year ago and he's doing far better now than he was then

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/lary...paralysis.html
http://www.bodeus.com/health.htm
http://www.canadasguidetodogs.com/ge...eparticle2.htm
http://www.purelypets.com/articles/epilepsyarticle.htm


This is a GREAT article by Dr. Jean Dodds. Her lab is where we send Nookies blood for his Thyroid panels. Which, btw, Hypothyroidism can also cause laryngeal paralysis. If your vet wants to check the t4 levels, that isn't good enough. There needs to be a full Thyroid panel completed. The great thing about Dr. Dodds is that she will not only run the test, but evaluate it based on the breed/age of the dog as well. She is an amazing woman.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-...oidDisease.htm

Good luck!!
__________________
"Obey my dog!" - Mugatu

"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!" ~ Theophile Gautier


"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012

Last edited by Rgeurts; June 23rd, 2011 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Forgot to add links!
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Rgeurts Rgeurts is offline
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Originally Posted by Dog Dancer View Post
Welcome Islandgirl, I hope your pup is doing better now. You've come to a great place with your concerns, although I can't help you out at all, Rgeurts has been through the wringer with her dogs and will be very helpful to you.
Good luck.


You've given some great advice on here
__________________
"Obey my dog!" - Mugatu

"Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!" ~ Theophile Gautier


"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Ok... whoever said this has never had a sick or special needs baby. They ARE our whole life!

R.I.P. my sweet, handsome Thorin. You are missed dearly Dec. 25, 1999 - Mar. 4, 2012
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:00 AM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Aw Thanks Rgeurts. But really, my knowledge and assistance here is so limited because I have been fortunate enough to have fairly healthy pets. You, on the other hand have - and share - a vast wealth of knowledge on so many health issues for the dogs due to your boys serious issues. It's just wonderful that members like you are willing and able to share their knowledge with people who are confronting these same things. As my two age it's helped me so much to be able to search out advice on their issues here. Bless you for helping - I'm sure Islandgirl will find a lot of knowledge and comfort in your helpful messages.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 01:04 PM
Islandgirl Islandgirl is offline
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Thank you so much- these links look very helpful and I'll be reading through them carefully once my daughter is napping =)
I'm not actually sure if the vet did check his thyroid, so I'm going to give her a call to follow up on that- I'm hypothyroid myself so I know firsthand the havoc it can play on one's health.
Thanks again!
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