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New to CEN

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:04 pm
by kims_ark
Hello All,

I am here because of Misty. She is a sweet 9 week old Shep/Border Collie cross that we brought home on January 26, 2008. The next day we were rushing her to the ER after having what I suspect to be her first seizure. She had a total of 3 seizures within a 24 hour period.

In the week that she has been with us she has gone to many vet visits and had tests done. So far we know that her liver is fine. She is in the process of being wormed (she did have round worms). She has also had her glucose levels checked and have come back fine. They have run 2 CBC tests, both of which came back fine as well. Now we are awaiting results for a test for Toxoplasmosis and Neosporia antibodies. She is not currently medicated.

This is what I know for certain. I know that she was given a "combo" vacination and wormed the day we brought her home. I also know that she would go into the seizures within one half hour to an hour after eating a high quality food that we have all our other dogs on (all natural, no by-products, or chemicals). After noticing a pattern I decided to try changing her food. We had a can of Hills a/d in the house so I gave her that throughout the rest of the day. To my amazement she didn't have a seizure after eating it and was seizure free for the rest of the day (she had seized after eating the other food that morning).

The following day Misty was scheduled for tests at our vet. While there the vet suggested feeding Misty Science Diet. Since changing her food to the Science Diet she has been seizure free except for Saturday (Feb 2) when I think she may have eaten some of the other food. We are now in the process of changing our other dogs over to Science Diet as well. If the food is to blame we want to make sure she doesn't get into it again.

I guess I'm here because I'm becoming frustrated. The ER vet was at best sarcastic. She acted as though she didn't believe us becuase puppies Misty's age aren't supposed to have seizures. I am also becoming frustrated with our vet, because it seems she's grasping at straws in determining what the cause of the seizures might be and refuses to even consider some of the research that I have done. I like to be informed when it comes to the health of our "kids" and have been doing a lot of research on Canine Epilepsy.

I guess I would like to ask the members of this site a couple of questions.

Is it possible that her seizures might be due to the "combo" vacination and/or wormer she was given? If the shot is to blame will it have long term effects? Will it be safe for her to be vacinated in the future?

Is it possible that something in the food I was giving her may have been to blame?

And, most importantly where do I go from here? If more tests are done what should they be? When do I say "enough is enough" with the tests?

I would like to add that we are familiar with seizures as one of our other dogs used to have them. Luckily we were able to determine that they were being triggered by stress (another thing vets don't think can trigger seizures) and he has been seizure free without medication for over 6 years. We have found that giving him some extra attention and one on one time with us during stressful periods seems to do the trick for him.

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions anyone might have.

Thank you,
Kim & Misty

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:21 pm
by MK's mom
Hi Kim and Welcome,

So sorry your little puppy is off to such a bad start, but please do not consider throwing in the towel just yet!!! Here is a link that states what may cause seizures at various ages, you may want to give it to your vet.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... izures.htm

If you got your puppy from a breeder, have you let him/her know about this??


Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:14 pm
by kims_ark
Hi Vivian,

Yes, I have contacted the people where we got Misty and have told them of her seizures. I was told that neither parent has a history of seizures. When I spoke to them they had not heard from any of the other people who took Misty's littermates (there were 9 of them). I'm hoping they were being honest with me.

I had already found the site that you gave me the link to but never thought of printing it out and giving it to my vet. That's a good idea. Don't get me wrong, my vet is awesome. She saved Bear, the other dog that used to have seizures, from a very aggressive form of cancer, and another dog when she impacted her stomach by eating too much grass. Bear is now 13 and has been cancer and seizure free for more than 6 years (he was 6 when we rescued him). She has been taking care of our "kids" for over 10 years now and has done a great job. I'm just getting frustrated with her because every time I bring up a possibility she says "that would be extremely rare" and I feel like asking her if it's extremely rare for an 8 week old puppy to be having seizures that aren't due to liver problems? But I bite my tongue and that's one thing I'm not normally very good at.


Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:27 pm
by MK's mom
There has been more than one Shepherd or Border Collie on this site with epilepsy, but none as young as your puppy (I don't believe). Being that your pup is a mixed breed, I'm sure the folks who bred the pups aren't that knowledgeable and can only go by the sire and the dam with no idea or history of the grandparents or any other previous generation. Hopefully they're being honest with you, but if not they sure aren't the first!!!!

If a vet is open and honest with us, we can understand that they don't know everything there is to know about any ailment. Is there a neurologist you can go to? I went to one when my boy started to seize and have only seen him that once, but he still consults with me. His expertise is seizure managment and my primary vet will defer to the neuro every time. Some vets are so full of themselves that they don't want interference from anyone else, but that doesn't help our dogs. If your vet feels this is out of her area, then hopefully she will find someone to consult with that knows.


Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:38 pm
by kims_ark
Hi again,

Apparently Misty's litter was an "oops" litter. According to what I was told they breed the Shepherds and the Border Collie is normally just a pet (I have no idea why he isn't fixed). They do know the history of the grandparents, etc on the Shepherd side and there's no history of epilepsy in the line, I'm not sure if they know the history in the case of the Border Collie.

Yes my vet is going to consult with a neurologist about Misty's case. I should be hearing more about that when I get the test results of her most recent blood work, hopefully tomorrow. As to whether there's one in this area, I have no clue.


Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:03 pm
by skrpio
Hi Kim
In answer to some of your questions..
Yes the combo vaccination could have a lot to do with the seizure
Yes the change over in food could also contribute. Did you change over slowly.
The vets all advise to put them on Hills Science but do you know that the vets own Hills and that is why they are pushing it.
The food given at the breeders may have been low quality as this is the cheapest for them to feed but when you changed over to the better stuff it may have been too rich for the puppy. Puppies have strange ways to determine what they can eat - they either vomit it up or poo it out or sometimes sieze.
You are going to have to experiment as to what food is safe but remember to add water to your puppy food if feeding dry food as the bits are too hard for their little teeth.
Check out Dr Jean Dodds protocol for vaccinations and also do not give any flea treatments with PLUS in them. Hearding dogs are very suseptable to this kind of stuff., especially those with Imverocin? in them.
Check this on Jean Dodds site as she has a bit on it.
I would suggest you give it a short time to see if the seizures are caused by the vaccination or food.
And yes I agree stress is a big factor in seizures and I have had may a fight with the vets over what can bring seizures on. For them to say Idiopathic means they do not know but will not consider any suggestions as to what may cause it.

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:41 pm
by adajadesmom
Hi and welcome to a wonderful resource!

I'm glad Jane mentioned about Science Diet, as I was thinking that myself. (about the vets making more $ pushing it)

I really don't have more to say than the ladies here have already said, but I wish you the best and definitely encourage you to read (or do searches) on this site as much as you can. I found pretty much every topic I was looking for here, and if not, the people here should be able to lead you in the right direction.

My vet still doesn't know what's caused Ada's seizures but we have gotten them under better control. (and I can't afford an MRI, especially considering it wouldn't fix anything) Give Misty a hug for us!

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:58 pm
by kims_ark
Yes, I normally switch the dogs over slowly when changing their food but didn't this time. I had thought to ask the people for some of their food but in the end forgot until we were half way home. They did tell me that they were feeding something from Agway and a Walmart brand and personally I didn't want it in the house so I just switched her over. So if the food is to blame it's my fault. This is what I was feeding her before changing over to Science Diet ... puppy.html - the Ingredients list is toward the bottom of the page.

I didn't realize that about Science Diet. Personally, when looking at the Ingredients list it looks like a lot of stuff you can buy off the supermarket shelf if you know what I mean. I don't see anything special about it. But, for now she's doing well on it (she gained 2 1/2 pounds in a week) and isn't seizing so for now it will do until we can finally say that maybe it was the food and find something better to feed her. I'm already being very careful about what she eats. The Vet Tech wanted to give her a cookie yesterday while we were there and I asked him not to. He probably thinks I'm strange but I wasn't going to take the chance that she might seize. I know it's going to be a long road of trial and error if there is no "medical" reason found for her seizures.

Thank you for the info on Dr. Jean Dodds, I had already come across that site and read the information. LOL I've been researching the subject for a week now off and on.

This is my first experience with herding dogs so maybe I should research a bit there too. I've already learned a lot and know there's probably even more to learn.

It's great that you are here for people who have questions about Canine Epilepsy. There's a lot of information here. Once I get my Web site back up and running I think I'll include a link to this forum for anyone who may need it.

Thanks for all the information and the warm welcome. If nothing else it gave me the opportunity to vent and ended up validating my suspicions in the process. My suspicions may be way off the mark but it's good to hear that others agree with my thinking.

I wish you all the best of luck and will keep you posted on how Misty is doing.


Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:10 pm
by skrpio
Kim - do a search for posting by lovemypups. Debbie had lots of great info about hearding dogs. Unfortunately she lost Casey and rarely posts here any more.

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:08 am
by Mandypop
Hi Kim & Misty

Agree with Skrpio on this - the vaccines could have a lot to do with your pups seizures, herding dogs are hyper sensitive to many things. Also what wormer was used? Miblemax has caused problems in collies.

I hope this link works re Ivermectin wormers and collies ... cd=1&gl=uk

I also had problems with diet changing, so I now have Poppy on the 'home cooked' diet from the Canine Epiliepsy Guardian Angels site.

Tests a neurologiust can do are MRI scans and spinal taps, and if these come back as not showing anything up, your pup will probably be diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy (no known cause).

Poppy's seizures started after being wormed with Drontal PLUS - you will see other postings on here about people having problems with products with PLUS. Your vet will tell you that vaccines/wormers/flea treaments are not linked (as mine did), therefore, none of these possible links to seizures and worming/vaccines/flea treatments get reported as adverse reactions. Unfortuantely, unless vets start to take notice of clients and report these adverse reactions, more pups will have to suffer this dreadful monster.

You have probably also read on this forum about the 'kindling effect' the more seizures your dog has, the more the brain will learn to seize.

Poppy was put on Pb as her seizures began to get too close and she had clusters, since being on Pb she has been seizure free for over a year!

Good luck with Misty - and please keep us updated.
Mandy & Poppy x

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:56 pm
by kims_ark
Hi Mandypop,

I have no idea what wormer they used on Misty as it was given to her before I picked her up. I do know that apparently it wasn't working because she still had round worms when the vet checked her and it wasn't until after worming her with what the vet prescribed that I knew for sure we were getting rid of them (if you know what I mean).

With the research I've been doing I'm finding that Ivermectin is used in quite a few things, including HeartGuard which is what I normally give my other dogs.

I'm doing everything I can to learn as much as possible about Border Collies and their "sensitivities". I'm not sure my vet is going to appreciate my new found knowledge on the subject because I intend to change a few things including having everyone tested before yearly vaccinations. I'm hoping I won't have to argue with her on the subject and that she'll agree with me. If not I'll just have to find a vet that will, as much as I'd hate to leave the vet we're with now, but I can't see risking a seizure needlessly.

Thank you so much for the information. All of you have been great and if you have any more information about Border Collies or herding dogs in general I'd more than appreciate hearing it.


Ps I got word to day that the Toxoplasmosis test came back negative so that's good news.

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:53 pm
by lovemypups
Hi Kim,
I don't post here very often anymore but still feel very much part of the group and do try to keep up with the post's as much as I can. Welcome to you and all of the newcomers. I am very sorry you as well as the others have had to join but you will learn valuable information from all of those here based on our experiences. One very important thing to remember is no two dogs are alike and how one will react to medications, foods, shots, etc...another may react totally different. My Casey never had problems with his shots, but once we found a found a diet he tolerated well, we stuck with it and never changed. We tried to keep everything from treats, to chewies the same. Someone had mentioned to me after losing my Sheltie about the sesitivites those belonging to the herding group seemed to have with heartworm medications so when I brought my two mini aussies home (Callie and Casey) I decided right then and there I wasn't going to take any chances and started them on Interceptor for heartworm preventative. We live in a highly infested state of mesquitos during the summer months and my dogs stay on the heartworm meds almost all year long. As stated in one of the other posts, we also veered away from Frontline PLUS, using just Frontline. Here is some information you may find helpful:

It is well known that Collies and related breeds can have adverse reactions to drugs such as ivermectin, loperamide (Imodium�), and others. It was previously unknown why some individual dogs were sensitive and others were not. Advances in molecular biology at the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine have led to the discovery of the cause of multi-drug sensitivity in affected dogs. The problem is due to a mutation in the multi-drug resistance gene (MDR1). This gene encodes a protein, P-glycoprotein, that is responsible for pumping many drugs and other toxins out of the brain. Dogs with the mutant gene can not pump some drugs out of the brain as a normal dog would, which may result in abnormal neurologic signs. The result may be an illness requiring an extended hospital stay--or even death.

I do hope your little one will improve and you won't have any more problems. Please keep us posted and if I can help in anyway, please don't hestitate to ask.

Angel Casey, Callie and our new addition Caiden-who is quite a handful right now.

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:22 pm
by kims_ark
Hi Debbie,

Thank you so much for the information.

I'm the "better safe than sorry" type so if there's the slightest possibility that Misty may have a reaction to something I'd rather not take the chance of giving it to her. That's why I'm trying to learn as much as possible. I also have another dog who used to suffer from seizures but we were able to determine that they were being triggered by stress and he's been seizure free for more than 6 years without medication (he's now 13 and still growing strong). We're hoping that we will be able to do the same for Misty.

Bear's condition was much different than Misty's though. At most he would have one seizure a week for maybe 2 to 3 weeks in a row and then would go for months without another one. Misty on the other hand is having what I believe they call cluster seizures (she had 3 within a 24 hour period) although the last time she had a seizure she had just the one (thank God). It's now been 5 days since her last seizure which isn't a record yet but getting close.

In spite of everything she's doing great. She's full of energy and is eating well and gaining weight. I can't believe how much she's grown in the almost two weeks that we've had her. She's really blossoming.

Thanks again for the info. I will make note of it.


Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:13 am
by Dylans Dad
hello, sorry you are here.
there are ,unfournatly several border collie or crosses here.
and yes it does seem the shots affect them most. so do flea and heart worm. one of Dylans worste clusters came 3 days after his yearly shots. he does not get them any more.
the abca has epilepsy listed as the #2 genitic illness, fast climbing to pass the hip dysplasa. and would like all border collies with the illness to be reported.
good luck