Tell me about canine epilespy.

I hope you follow up on the valium protocol. Really wishing you the best.

The problem is the valium makes him very anxious/hyper and thanks.

Oh, honey, that is really tough, especially seeing that it is accelerating in frequency.

My mother’s dog had eplilepsy. We didn’t get her until she was around 18 months to 2 years so it’s not clear when it started. She was a rescue dog so her history was unknown and she had a lot of problems (starving, mange, general poor health) when we first got her.

Her attacks were fairly infrequent at first but gradually increased though medication did help somewhat. One thing we noted was that after a fit she was extremely thirsty. If your dog is the same you might want to do what we did and have one person steady the dog so it doesn’t hurt itself and have another one bring the water bowl through (our dog was unsteady on her legs afterwards so couldn’t go to the water herself).

She died recently at a fairly young age (around 8 or 9) although that was from problems with her kidneys. Presumably this was unrelated. Had that not come along she’d most likely have lived a reasonably long life - she was perfectly happy, lively and as healthy as any other dog in spite of the eplilepsy.

How nice, zz, and thanks for the positive feedback!

Dingo is very thirsty (and hungry) but we think it’s the meds. He gets up alright after a seizure and we’ve been filling the water bowls more frequently. He hasn’t had any more since his last three seizures on Thursday. :fingers crossed:

Epilepsy is very common in canines. The cases I see either are well controlled with single agent therapy (phenobarbital) or poorly controlled no matter what is done pharmacologically. I would wait to see what pheno blood levels are before being alarmed.

Whatever you do, don’t run out of medication. Phenobarbital is a schedule IV controlled substance in the US. Every year or two I’ll have someone come in wanting to buy phenobarbital because they are vacationing and have run out. I cannot sell it to them, and they do not want to wait a few days for an appointment. The DEA is rumored to run stings like this. The primary withdrawal sign is seizures, often life threatening.

Phenobarbital can cause increased thirst and appetite, but although you should offer all the water the dog wants, do not permit weight gain!

Thanks for responding, Vetbridge!

We have lots of Pheno, so no worries. I’ll renew when we get his blood tested in a few weeks.

He’s a skinny little guy, extremely active and even more so now, so no chubby dogs in our household! :slight_smile: It’s just that he’s been trying to steal food, even raiding the trashcan and that’s a new and not so attractive side effect.

:smack: double post

I had a Boxer who was subject to occaisional petit mal seizures (she kinda went out of it, and her head bobbed). We gave her the smallest dose of phenobarb (5 mg?) one time daily, and that did the trick. She lived 11 years, and succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

Interesting, Dingo has always done a bit of head bobbing.
He is getting 1.5 mg twice daily, which is the max dose for his size according to the vet.
I wish they live longer, VunderBob.

Phenobarbital is one of a few drugs that is still measured either in milligrams, or in the archaic grains. I think your dog is likely receiving 1.5 grains twice daily. A 1 pound dog wouldn’t be kept seizure free on 1.5 milligrams twice a day!

Sorry to nitpick, but the difference can be a big deal. And 1.5 grains twice daily is a shitload of phenobarb!:eek:

I hope your pup gets through all of this ok Lisa Ann.

My 7 year old mix(Irish Wolfhound, some sort of terrier, and who knows what else) *Norton * started having seizures 3 years ago. Petit Mals. The vet had us keep a seizure journal to see what might be setting it off. The first one was in the morning but everyone after that came in the evening.
Our vet elected not to start the phenobarb unless they got worse. What we did was change our dogs’ diet to natural food. (No dyes, preservatives or additives) And also we stopped allowing them to chew on rawhide bones. A week later the seizures pretty much stopped. He was having them almost weekly and now he has one maybe once every 4 months or so.

I bring this up because my friend has a Dane that had grand mals, so bad she once knocked my friend down a flight of stairs during a particularly violent seizure. A diet change, eliminating rawhide bones, and a canine vitimin once a day did the trick. She’s 9 now and hasn’t had a seizure in 4 years.

This was also the case with a vet tech I once knew.

Obviously, you want to do all the things your vet is telling you to do but talk to her/him about what more could be done.

Don’t apologize - I’m going right home after work and reading the bottle again.


TCGM we started a seizure journal at the vet’s request.

I wonder what eliminating rawhide from a diet has to do with a natural diet? Is it what they cure it with?

I’m sorry I wasn’t very clear in my post. I was in a hurry so it was sort of a drive-by.

I don’t know what, if any, the science is behind the rawhide or the natural diet. It’s basically troubleshooting. The vet tech in my post mentioned it. Apparently she had a similar issue and eliminating rawhide drastically reduced the incidence of seizures in her dog. I and several people I know with epileptic dogs have noticed a similar phenomenon but it’s purely anecdotal. My vet is wondering, in regards ot the food issue, if it’s not something in the preservatives or dyes in certain brands that contribute, not necessarily cause, to the increase in seizures in dogs that are prone to having them.

The way I see it, my dog doesn’t need rawhides (he may argue with me so he gets one on Christmas morning from Santa) and he doesn’t need colorful food so I’m not hurting him by taking that away. It works for us so we’re sticking to it.

I hope you can find something, anything to help your dog. Some dogs have to have the phenobarb and there’s no way around it. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to take a look at food, environment, and such to see if there are things that set it off that can be eliminated.

Here’s something funny. When Norton has a seizure we turn off the t.v. if it’s on, cut the lights and curl up with him, petting and and soothing him. My other dog, a shepherd/chow mix gets ridiculously jealous so I have to keep her away from him and give her love too. One day when Nort was having a seizure Meisje went ot a corner and started shaking and writhing. I called her name, and she jumped right up and ran over to me. She faked a seizure to get attention. :eek:
My partner and I busted out laughing. She had seen Norton shake and tremble then get lots of lovin’ so she figured she’d do it too.
Smartest dog I’ve ever had, that Meisje. :smiley:

Look at where most rawhide comes from. Ever wonder how it could be more economical to ship rawhide from China (for instance) rather than use USA rawhide? One reason I’ve heard is that US rawhide cannot be from condemned carcases. Other countries do not have as stringent regulations. This predates by at least a couple decades the melamine situation.

My dog likes an occasional rawhide treat, but I only buy that which is produced in the US, even though it can be difficult to find.

Good point.

Bump to update.
Well, we went a few weeks without one and then at 1AM this morning I heard him doing the fish on the kitchen floor. It was violent but didn’t last very long. Why does the foam smell so rank? Hub brought down my pjs and blanket and I cleaned Dingo and myself up and spent a restless early morning on the couch. I want to call the vet after work and see if we can get him in just a couple weeks early for blood tests and try to get this under control. I’m worried that it will just get worse. I just love the little bugger so much and it’s not his fault.
I also feel guilty because I gave him a little rawhide bone this weekend - I get them in bulk so I don’t even know where they’re made. Any suggestions?

I don’t know if your veterinarian pointed this out, but epileptic dogs seizure. On or off anticonvulsant medication. The goal behind treatment is to decrease the frequency and severity of events. Some veterinary neurologist go as far as to say that with single agent therapy, a dog that doesn’t seizure is being treated inappropriately.

Personally, I never start treatment unless seizure frequency exceeds one per month, or there are clusters. I then compare pretreatment and post treatment frequency/severity. Of course, all of this is done knowing the blood levels of medication. I guess my advice would be to see if blood levels can be checked now. I like to wait until 4 to 6 weeks have gone by, but really anytime after 2 weeks should be OK.

If your dog’s epilepsy proves difficult to control, you might want to talk with your veterinarian about Diazepam Suppositories (for the dog). They help smooth the postictal period.