Is there a Link Between Canine Epilepsy and Sinus Issues?

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WalterSemp
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:07 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Is there a Link Between Canine Epilepsy and Sinus Issues?

Post by WalterSemp » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:55 pm

Hello all,

This may be a strange question, but I'm wondering if there are any known links between canine sinus problems and epilepsy. I read through the canine epilepsy basics page as well as a few of the other resources people here have suggested and I didn't see anything.

I ask because Charlie suffered his first seizure on Sunday and my sister, who is an ENT physician (for humans), mentioned that there's a known link between sinusitis and epilepsy in humans. Charlie has suffered from frequent sinusitis and related issues since he was about 2 years old that are very similar to the typical sinus drainage problems that humans often suffer from.

When I asked our vet about this possibility he told me that he hadn't heard about a link in dogs but that that didn't mean much since the amount of research into canine epilepsy is much lower than that for humans. I was wondering if anybody on the forums had heard of anything like this or if any of the vets could comment.

Thanks,
Walter
Charlie - Male Dachshund - Born 12/19/2005
Weight: 17lbs
First Seizure: 12/02/2012

JillandSmudge
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Is there a Link Between Canine Epilepsy and Sinus Issues

Post by JillandSmudge » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:19 am

I am beginning to wonder the same thing. My dog, Smudge, has been having lots of issues with congestion right before she has seizures. In keeping my diary on her, I have noticed that the day or night before an episode, that she is very congested. Also she has been having a lot of clear nasal discharge. Right before her seizures she will scratch one ear and rub the front of her face. Often times even pressing the front of her face on the ground. She scratched the back of her ear almost raw this last time. Have you uncovered any information since your post? We have not done a CT scan on Smudge. The cost is so prohibitive. I am actually going to my vet today to talk about a medication change for Smudge as the Pheno and KBr seem to not be doing the job. Smudge also has very bad allergies. I am going to ask about a decongestant. If anything, the sinus issues could be stressing her out enough to have a seizure. Let me know if you have any info on the sinusitis. I will also post what my vet says.

Thanks,

Jill

Apache
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:50 pm

Re: Is there a Link Between Canine Epilepsy and Sinus Issues

Post by Apache » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:29 pm

Curious to find out what your vet had to say regarding Smudge's sinus issues and seizures. Our guy has always had clear nasal discharge, and gets quite congested frequently. He gets itchy on the left side of his head 'usually' prior to seizure activity.

Brian

JillandSmudge
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Is there a Link Between Canine Epilepsy and Sinus Issues

Post by JillandSmudge » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:11 pm

I did not get much new information. My vet did do some research, but said that he did not find anything significant. He said that she is definitely presenting some strange behavior, but could not really tell why. Today, she scratched the left side of her face raw again. He did say that the only way we could tell if it has anything to do with her sinuses is to do a CT scan. Unfortunately, we just can't swing the cost at this time. So, Smudge is now on Zonisamide and we are going to try to start weaning her off of Phenobarbital in two weeks if her Zonisamide levels are okay. Her sinus issues also tend to coincide with weather changes. My vet also mentioned that the scratching and rubbing could be because she is having some sort of tingling or other sensation right before a seizure. I just find it odd that there is so much nasal discharge and congestion along with it. I saw about a teaspoon or more of clear, very watery fluid come out of her nose last week. She put her head down and it just poured out onto the floor. She will also sleep upside down sometimes, but that is not too unusual for a bulldog. If I find out anything more, I will let you know. I think my vet is scratching his head a bit with this one too.

Jill

DaisysDad
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:04 am

Wow, very interesting post ...

Post by DaisysDad » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:03 pm

Daisy just had her first cluster in 10+ weeks. She had been clustering every 4 weeks but we started Pb 10 weeks ago and it broke the pattern.

Daisy is a French Bulldog with sinus issues typical of breed. For the past three days she was super lethargic and also labored noisy breathing. She sounded like an asthmatic. We had her annual physical on Tuesday and we did some x-rays. Lungs were clear and the congestion was all upper respiratory.

Anyway, her lethargy was very goofy, and then today she had a cluster, mostly focals but one mild GM. I am hoping the lethargy and sinus issues were pre-ictal or auras, which is great to know.

I do not have a trend here yet, but I am definitely going to be watching for these sinus issues.

Also, I gave her Benedryl to ease the sinus, and my called me later to tell me to stop. She did some research and apparently there is a contra-indication with anti-seizure meds. I will get more details from her this week and post here.

JillandSmudge
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Is there a Link Between Canine Epilepsy and Sinus Issues

Post by JillandSmudge » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:33 am

I have also read that benedryl can reduce the effectiveness of some of the seizure meds, especially PB. Smudge is also still having the same types of sinus issues as your Daisy. VERY loud snoring and breathing the night before an episode. I know the sinus issues are not the cause of her epilepsy, but I think that these seasonal allergies are definitely aggravating the situation. She constantly has clear drainage coming from her nose. I am very anxious to hear what your vet says. Smudge has had her nares and soft pallet done. Smudge also shows the lethargic behavior pre seizures. I know that the KBr makes them more congested and I am wondering if it could be part of the problem. I hope that it is not, because her clusters have been greatly decreased by using it. I know you stopped the benedryl, but did it help with Daisy's breathing when you used it? Just wondering if it is worth looking into another type of antihistamine like Zyrtec. I have been reading that it can be used for dogs.

So sorry to hear that Daisy had some seizures. I hope that she is doing well today.

Jill

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