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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:24 PM
Sad about dog Sad about dog is offline
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Post Will our dog come back from seizures?

Hi! Well here is a history..We have a black lab/ border collie cross dog. Her name is Katie and she is the best dog ever. She is very smart and a working dog, but most importantly she is part of the family to my husband and 4 boys and myself. She is 12 years old and was perfectly fine until last Thursday afternoon. She had a seizure. I guess it lasted a couple of minutes and we weren't sure what to do but after a bit of wandering around she seemed fine. Then 6 am the next morning she had another one, like the first one, a couple of minutes and then she was fine after wandering and restless for about an hour and then went back to sleep. Then at 9am she had another one before we could get her to the vet. So we let her wander it off and finally got her in the truck to take her in. The vet did blood tests on her and ruled out epilepsy and infection. She said that she figured Katie had a brain tumor and that the lumps on her stomach were breast cancer. (we never had her fixed as we had hoped to have pups off of her). The vet figured that the cancer spread to the brain. Well Katie had one more seizure around 1pm that day before we could get her back to vet to start the Phenobarbital that she recommended to stop the seizures and make her more comfortable. We got her to the vet and had her weighed and started the medication that evening. She hasn't had a seizure again and I wonder if the drug could have started working that fast as the vet said it would take a few days to kick in. Well a few days, I guess day four of the drug she started to be very wobbly and weak and dazed. Before that, for the four days before the drug must have kicked in she was almost like a lost puppy who didn't know any better about anything. We had a few instances of her urinating and pooping in the house but now watch for her to move. I know the drug causes the thirst and urination but I am wondering if we are giving her a drug that perhaps she doesn't need. We don't plan on not following the vets advice but she is gone this week and looking for someone else who could tell us more. Could the seizures of have stopped because the tumor moved or something? Are we giving Katie meds for no reason? We don't want her to be in pain and would like it that if she has to go she can go peacefully. It is just really hard seeing her like this especially since it come on so fast. Just the day before (the seizure) she was playing catch and wagging tail and now she isn't the same dog at all. We just really miss our Katie dog who knew what we were talking about and would hop around like a puppy trapped in a grown dog's body, when we'd say, "Do you wanna go out?!" It is so sad.
I look forward to any and all remarks that I can get on this.
Thank you!
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Old February 1st, 2008, 09:24 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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The tumor is not likely to have moved, so I suspect that if you take her off the drugs, the seizures will return.

It does sound like she might need some adjustment of the dose of phenobarb, however. Is there no other vet at the clinic that might be able to offer some advice? I wouldn't try to adjust the dose on your own without some guidance. However, the vet might be able to reduce the dose of phenobarb to a level just strong to control the seizures and prescribe something else for any pain your girl might be feeling.

Good luck with your girl, Sad about dog.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:09 AM
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Well Katie had what we think was another seizure tonight. It wasn't as violent as her earlier ones but I think that since she is so out of it from drugs that the seizure was less then, but we thought she was taking her last breaths. But she then just seemed to go to sleep. That was over two hours ago and she just now got up to go outside and had a pee. She drank some water and is sleeping now. I don't think there is much left in her but don't want to give up hope. Thanks for your reply.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 02:16 AM
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So here is something I was checking into. Katie weighs around 48 pounds, so the scale at vet said. Yet her meds state 42 pounds. Her dose is 60mg 2x a day. I am thinking her dose is too high for her. From what I can find her dose should be around 100mg a day. I think I am going to see if vet is open on Saturdays and call and see if we can split a pill in half or something. I think she started the dose high because she had so many in a short period. I know she said it would make her groggy but for how long? Are we seeing the end or are we seeing the side effects?? I'm not familiar with the vets at the clinic and only know of the one Katie saw and she has a good reputation, so that is why we only have talked to her. But I almost think a second opinion will be good, can you get a good second opinion from the same clinic?
Katie is snoring away right now like nothing is wrong, but it is wrong because she is on the kitchen floor and not beside the bed like before. Its just too much for her to even get up to have to lay back down. I want to be optimistic and hope I'll see her wag her tail again but am I just getting my hopes up??? I really think this drug has affected her big and we never really got a chance to see her recover from the first seizures. Man this is hard to deal with. Any more comments are welcomed, so drop a line...I know I have a lot of questions but I can't help but wonder about all of this... maybe I'm just being selfish and don't want to let go. But can I really if I don't try and get as many answers as I can?
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 01:12 PM
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I would definitely get a consultation about the dosage. Phenobarb is a very potent drug with lots of side effects. It is a barbituate and the symptoms you're seeing are consistent with the side effects of barbituates. You'll need to be careful, though, since she's already had a seizure at the high dose--lowering it will be a balancing act between the side effects and seizure control. But I'd definitely talk with a vet

As to whether you can get a decent second opinion at the same clinic, I guess it depends on the clinic. But the idea that they started her out at a high dose because she was having so many seizures is very logical--they may be intending to lower the dose as time goes on. At least at that clinic, they'd have all her medical records and be aware of her history.

that you get some good news.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 01:53 PM
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On a totally different thought... we had a Sheltie who had a heart murmur about 6 years ago. Shelties are known to often have heart problems (as are Border Collies, if I am not mistaken). She was about 8 or 9 when she was diagnosed, and wasnt being medicated for it, as it was just too expensive for our family at that time. She would do 5-6 hacking coughs when she was excited or during activity (a sign of the murmur), almost like a cat hacking up a furball if you know what that is like.

I have seen several dogs have "grand mal" epileptic seizures, and it's not a pretty sight, and is easy to recognise once you've seen it. At the age of 11, our Sheltie had two incidences that may have been "petit mal" seizures. She wandered kind of drunk-like, wobbly, and "out of it" although she'd still come if you called her, but only at a wobbly walk. I just picked her up, and she'd kinda snap out of it once I picked her up, then went to her normal self like nothing happened. She went to the vet about it, and the vet was more concerned about her heart murmur, and seemed to suggest that the "seizures" were related, and the vet wasn't sure that they were actually seizures. A thought there though...our vet was from a small town, and wasn't the best that's for sure.

Our Sheltie died at the age of 11 1/2, within about 6 months (I guessing as I don't remember clearly) of having the two "seizure" incidences. It seemed as though she died of some sort of heart attack, but we did not see the incident start, but were there as she died. We had just got home which means she had run up the back deck from the lower yard (a full storey). She had a ramp she came up as she couldn't get up the stairs because they were ridiculously steep. She would often hack from the effort to come up from the yard to the deck. So, we just got home, and we would let the dogs in within about 15 minutes of arriving home. Before we let them in our Sheltie started repetitively yelping, so I ran out to see what was wrong. She was lying on her side with her eyes closed still yelping. As soon as I got there I said her name and touched her and she stopped yelping. Her breathing was very deep, very full breaths, with exaggerated chest movement. Her breathing slowed (we thought she was going to be ok), but then her breathing stopped, and she simply died.

I'm telling you this because maybe your dog actually has a heart issue. I tell you how my dog died, as maybe your vet can lend you some insight, as we really do not know the exact cause of her death. I wish we would have been able to get an autopsy. It just seems like you were describing the "seizure" incidences that my dog had. Not sure if my post will help you at all...
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  #7  
Old March 16th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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CarolynInPEI CarolynInPEI is offline
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Hi! I hope all is well with your dog Katie. I know exactly how you feel. In fact, reading your description of what your dog went through is like reading about my own dog, Monty. He is 14.5 years old and started taking his seizures a little over a month ago. He has a brain tumor and he's on phenobarbital to stop the seizures. Unfortunetly he's been going down hill while on the meds. The PB makes him so out of it, running into things, falling down, disoriented. It's so painful to watch my best for the past 14 years fade away. I can't picture my life without him bc he's my constant companion for so long. But I know he will be better off. I won't be, but he will be and thats all that matters. I reluctantly come to realize that my best friend isn't coming back. He's just of shell of what he used to be.And it's so hard to deal with.
I hope that every turned out alright for you, your family and Katie.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:01 AM
jacqueline cory jacqueline cory is offline
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help for hollys seizures

hi folks, i am a 1st timer so i am not too sure what i am doing lol, but does someone have some advice?? my border collie cross, Holly, is 28 months old, and she had a seizure yesterday for the 1st time and another today, 22 hours later, took her to vet and they have said it may be epilepsy, waiting for rest of blood results to come back, some are back saying that her potassium is low and so is her phosphorus levels, does anyone know what that means because i think i am going crazy thinking about it, her twin sister died last july with a rare spinal disease (vertebrae disc disease) and since then Holly has developed a stomach ulcer (on Zantac) and has went deaf in her right ear, mite be stress, not sure, has anyone heard of all this happening through stress?????????? Help!!!!! from Jackie, Billy and Holly xxxxx

Last edited by jacqueline cory; March 24th, 2009 at 10:21 AM.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Hi, Jacqueline. Welcome to the board, although I wish it was on a happier note.

I have no advice for you, except to say that if you start your own thread in the health forum, you'll likely get more replies. Click here, then click on "New Thread". The title of your post becomes the name of the thread, so if you can make it descriptive, you'll get better replies

Good luck with Holly!
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