Tell me about canine epilespy.

We have an almost 2 year old Chow Chow Australian Shepperd Dog dog (I love to say that) mix who had his first seizure on September 5th, then 4 on the 25th and 3 smaller ones yesterday afternoon. He started Phenobarbital Friday and we upped the dosage at the vet’s instruction last night. If that doesn’t control it, they are going to add a med. I’m interested in your experiences with dogs with epilepsy.

Did you do more testing than bloodwork? When did the seizures first develop? What quality of life does/did the dog have? How long did the dog live?

Any input Vetbridge?

My parents had a rescued husky that had seizures a few years after they got it. The medications helped, and for maybe 5 years it, wasn’t too bad. The rest of it’s life after that, they had to stop walking it because of seizures. Finally the last couple years it would get excited over seeing you, which triggered a seizure. After a couple minutes, it would come out of the daze it went into after the seizure, and want scratching. You had to be careful or it would have another seizure. It lived the average life span for a husky.

Thanks for your response.

It’s funny because the first seizure Dingo had was right after eating his dinner. The second series started at 4:30 in the morning and ended when the vet sedated him and gave him Phenobarbital. Yesterday’s were when he was outside with our other dogs but not actively playing like a maniac as he usually is.

Hey, Lisa Ann–I’m sorry DDDD is still having seizures. :frowning: I hope they can get him on the right meds soon.

Oh, Lisa, I feel for you, truly I do.

First of all, you have a “clusterer”, he has them in bunches. This is bad. First thing is make sure your vet is on board with the Valium protocol. If she won’t, at least get liquid valium in rectal syringes from her and go searching for a vet who will. To have your dog have this many seizures right out the gate means you need to be ON this.

Secondly, search aronud that link and get an education. There are possible nutritional changes you can make, there’s some extra little things like an ice bag on the back…there’s a whole lot of information and support.

HOWEVER… let me caution you very strongly about one thing in particular: sodium bromide.

My dog Tucker, the dog I have loved most of all the dogs I have ever had, by a wide margin, was epileptic, probably due to a kick in the head he received at 8 weeks old which blinded him onhis right side. He was a clusterer, and his seizures progressed in spite of the PB getting increased.

He was five years old when he died in June, which tore me to pieces. What happened to him was not common, but it CAN happen, so I STRONGLY urge you to caution. The vet added sodium bromide to his drug regimen because the seizures were increasing. Somewhere around 4-6 weeks later, i’d have to go back and look it up, he developed a little cough that I didn’t even recognize as a cough on Friday, the first day I heard it. By Saturday night, it was obvious he was having respiratory issues, and he was obviously worse Sunday early, when I whisked him to the vet.

They diagnosed pneumonia, but they didn’t want to test him for what might have caused it because the test can be traumatc and they didn’t want to trigger a seizure and they didn’t want to anesthetize him for the same reason, so they gave him some high powered antibiotics, more for me to dose him and sent us home. (This was late Sunday after he’d been there all day, and he was markedly worse than in the morning.) They said he might get a little worse before he got better. On Monday he seemed like maybe, a little better.

Tuesday he was terrible. He wouldn’t even let me put water in his mouth. Off to the vet.

My regular, amazing vet was there this time and he looked grim. I spent FIVE hours that day (I am not exaggerating) holding an oxygen mask to his face to keep him alive while they told me that his lungs were “horrible” - their words exactly.

I spent thousands of dollars having him transferred to a ghigh-end facility in West LA that could put him on a respirator. They told me I had to leave, come back in the morning, I hugged him, left, and my phone rang right after I got on the freeway…they todl me that after they anesthetized him to place nasal pxygen, when they put in the tubes he gushed blood from his lungs and I had to come back right away, which I did.

I was truly hysterical, in the truest sense of the word. They had to call a friend to come and get me to sign the paper to let them euthanize him (he was unconscious, being kept alive on the respirator). I dug holes inthe (wonderful woman) vet’s hands who was caring for him, begging her in a strangled scream to please swear to me on her life that there was nothing to be done. I’d sell my house and everyting I had if she could save him, and I would have. (Fuck, I’m crying) I adored that dog, he got me through the hardest years of my life by being with me and loving me and bringning me joy all day long, and now they were telling me I had tolet him go. It was hell. My mother had just died a month previous, and this was worse. Much worse. He shouldn’t have been dying.

All this to say, further investigation revealed that sodium bromide can trigger pulmonary edema: water on the lungs. He drowned. We killed my boy trying to help him.

Now, remember this is not common, but you MUST be aware of it, because sodium bromide builds up in the body, like anti-depressants do. So you have to go VERY VERY VERY slowly, and be super-aware, and at the slightest sign of ANY problem, back off immediately.

Best of luck, dear. Love him well and brace for the vet bills to come.

Thanks TA! He doesn’t seem too worse for the wear, but of course I worry.

Oh, Stoid I am so sorry. I’m trying not to tear up too much here at work but I really feel for you.

We did try the rectal diazepam (10ccs) when he got the second seizure in the first series - he was defecating during the first seizure and I couldn’t get it in. Then he had another seizure an hour later and I rushed him to the vets before they were even ‘open’.

Thanks so much for the warning - I have read up online but never saw such a terrible side effect of the sodium bromide. We’ll be very careful and we have credit cards if needed.



Thanks. I got a new boy (see the pit!) - he’s a sweetie, and we are developing a lovely relationship. I’ve had him since 2 weeks after Tucker died. And I still have my Mags (She’s in teh picture with TUcker on the bottom of the page I linked to…c’mon, he was insanely cute, wasn’t he? And here’s the thing: he was a truly exceptional dog, and I’m not the only one to think so. Pretty much everyone who ever spent 5 minutes with him said what a fabulous dog he was. Only the good die young…) But none of that stops the pain and grief of losing Tucker. I cry for him all the time, i think of him all the time, I miss him terribly. I named the new kid Preston as an homage to Tucker. )Preston Tucker built the Tucker automobile)

Weird fact: all my mothers childless daughters, who all have multiple dogs, all lost a male dog in the 6 weeks following my mother’s death. One was on the brink of death already, but mine and my oldest sisters were both in the peak of their lives. Very strange.

Well, read up on that site and get the emails, this is more than simply the rectal during the seizure, this is about trying to stave off the clusters by dosing him with valium consistenly for a day or two after.

Best of luck. Don’t ever take him for granted, I never did with Tucker and boy am i grateful!

I’m very sorry for your dog’s problem, Lisa Ann. My dog Linus has epilepsy too, but so far his seizures have not been frequent enough to require medication. But they’re awful to watch and for him to have to go through, poor guy. His seizures started around the same age as your dog’s, just after he turned 2.

Here is a really good link on basic canine epilepsy information. Best of luck!

Thanks, Jodi, that was actually one of the more informative sites I found and I just added it to my favorites. I’m glad Linus isn’t having too tough a time - you hang in there, too!

STOID can you post the link again? I’d love to see the pic.

Dingo Devil Demon Dog is a ‘replacement’ for my first dog Patch who died almost 2 years ago and I still mourn for today. He had a lot of medical problems, too, and I loved him like a son. Dingo was whining the other morning and it sounded just like Patch. :frowning:

Here’s my boy , I’m always happy to show him off (the grown up pic doesn’t really do him or maggie justice…for awesome Maggie pix you need to go here ) - he was deadly cute as a baby.

Maggie’s a purebred Golden with a serious haircut, and Tucker was a golden mix of some kind, not sure what.

They’re both just gorgeous!

I want to go home and hug my boys!

I have had dogs that went through many years of infrequent seizures, and lived to a ripe old age with no modifications to their life. I have also had a dog that was on valium for many years, and changing his diet helped.

I also had to put a 4 year old dog down last December for uncontrollable seizures that developed form nothing to unstoppable in less than two months. That was tough.

Like people, every dog is different.

What specific changes did you make to his diet? What kind of breeds, fisha?

We had two black labs, each with seizures. The first lived to be very old, and we finally had to put him down because he was too decrepit to function any more. The second one had more severe epilepsy–he had bad seizures, and afterwards would get up and insist on trying to walk around although he kept running into everything. It was very sad. He finally, around age 4 or so, had a fatal seizure. Before that, I had no idea you could die from a seizure.

Let’s see, the valium dog with diet changes was a border collie. We went to a real high quality vet dog food, can’t remember the name, with absolutely no human food, ever. That helped a lot. But we tried about 4 different brands first. I want to say it had real low filler content-corn or rice, most of the protein came from actual meat. That was almost 20 years ago, the details are hazy. She still had seizures a couple of times a year.

One of the infrequent seizure, long lived ones was a Norwegian Elkhound cross, the other dog was a Spitz mix. My dog that had to be put down last year was a pit mix.

Poor doggie. I hope you can get the meds straighten out.

Our oldest dog has seizures now and then. We think she has them from getting hit in the head by a swinging golf club. It was an accident. Her previous owners, good friends of mine, used to rent a place that had a lot of land. He used to drive golf balls and Cassie would chase them and bring them back.

One time he went to swing and she got impatient and went to grab the ball just as he was swinging on it. Hit her square in the head.

She takes no meds as they are very far and few between. She just turned sixteen and I am surprised she is still kicking it.

There seems to be nothing that triggers them. When she does have one I just sit with her and talk and pet her. She is disoriented for at least a half hour to an hour after she has one and I have to watch her because she is wobbly and I am afraid she will fall over.

We had a lab-beagle mutt that developed seizures later in life, maybe around 10 or so. He lived to be nearly 20. I can’t remember what kind of testing we did, or the meds as it all developed when I was a kid.

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback.

He had another three seizures yesterday-very minor ones in the early morning and afternoon and one severe an hour following the second. The vet can’t test his blood for another week at least and doesn’t want to add another med until after then. Dingo seems happy but wired. I slept downstairs in case he had one in the middle of the night but he didn’t.

The vet told us that it’s probably not brain damage because effects would have been seen before now and most likely not a tumor as that would be more probable in a older dog.