First seizure at 11 years old

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First seizure at 11 years old

Post by CAD » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:39 pm

Dog Seizures

Hi all,

My name is Chris and I'm from the UK.

Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of helpful information this side of the pond so going further afield to try and get some information about my dogs condition.

A bit of background information if I may? On Thursday evening we went to bed as normal, within half an hour my dog had fallen asleep and she started to semi bark and run in her sleep. She has done this since we've had her and usually she'll either wake herself up or I will gently stroke her and she will relax.

This time however was completely different, her legs got more and more violent as if she was running a race, her eyes were flickering and she would not wake. Her mouth began to open and her tongue started to curl backwards and she started to foam a little. This seemed to go on forever where in reality it lasted around two minutes.

She came round and was very disoriented and clumsy. We got her into the car and took her to the emergency vets. By the time we were seen she was back to her normal self and was just very thirsty.

The vets did some simple blood tests and had no concerns. However they did suggest that there was a slight irregular heart beat.

The following morning we took our dog to our regular vets who did further blood tests and again found nothing of concern.

However as she is 11 and this was her first seizure the vet has suggested an ESG test for her heart as there is a small possibility that this could be the course of the seizure.

Depending on the results of this test will depend on the next steps. She also suggested there is a possibility given her age that she could have a brain tumour, which to be honest scares the hell out of me.

I am hoping that it was a one off and that it was due to the fact it was a very warm day and that I was using air fresheners etc and cleaning the house but I know this is unlikely.

For a few years she has had what I can only describe as facial twitches which happen on a daily basis when she can smell our food, almost as if she's too excited. The vet at the time said as long as it didn't get worse there were no concerns and now I'm wondering if it's possible she's had epilepsy for a few years and the cleaning day has just pushed her over the edge and we've been very lucky not to have any other episodes.

My vet doesn't seem too concerned at the moment and has said that she may have another seizure and as long as it doesn't last longer than a 4 mins or more than one in 24 hour period that it's manageable at home until we know further from these tests.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I was terrified when it happened and for me it's the not knowing when the next one is which is stopping me sleeping.

Not sure the point of my post other than to get reassurance from others who have been through it. I am really heartbroken and sad that she has to go through this.

Thanks for reading


Gentle Jacob's mom
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Re: First seizure at 11 years old

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:04 am

Hi Chris,
It sounds like it's possible she's been having some kind of partial seizure for awhile. When we first got Jake he would howl in his sleep and start to paddle and then wake up. We thought he was dreaming but we were told after his epilepsy diagnosis it could have been a pre curser to a Grand Mal. Over the years there have been times when he howls during post ictal.
Depending on what household cleaners you used they could lower the threshold for seizures. I've heard varying opinions on that one. We've never used anything with heavy scents because I'm very sensitive to them, and I do think it helps Jake. It does sound like scents are a key issue for her too.
It is also possible given her age that it's a tumor. It isn't always. Some older dogs always had the genetic possibility of seizures and then for whatever reason, maybe a weakened immune system that comes with age, they start seizing later in life.
Seizures are scary and I don't think we got a good night's sleep during the first couple of years. Having an older dog that has them is even scarier. I was so focused on Jake's seizures and trying to find answers and the next thing I knew he was 12 years old with old dog issues. It was a though it happened overnight that he became a senior dog. Now we hold our breath that he will hold up when he has them.
If you can, you might want to take her to a neurologist. They deal with this everyday and have experience pinpointing what can be done.

Let us know what you find out.
Take Care,

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Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 3:05 pm

Re: First seizure at 11 years old

Post by anngt » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:23 pm

Your post sounds so much like mine would be that it is scary. Fergus had his first seizure at 12. Have gone the route of specialists etc... but no one knows. Maybe has had small ones all along; maybe a brain tumor; maybe because he has had allergies all his life and his latest immunizations set him off. Don't know. I do know it has been a year now. Sometimes he goes 8 weeks without one, sometimes one week. I don't know what it depends on, neither do the vets. The only thing that seems to help is acupuncture, and he does take meds now. It used to freak me out soooo much I worried constantly, but that subsides... a little. Let it go...he will have them or he won't. And you will be there for him. What breed?

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Re: First seizure at 11 years old

Post by anngt » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:50 pm

Every time Fergus has a seizure, and he has them at night, I can never go back to sleep and every movement and noise startles me. Even our puppy looks at Fergus for a few days every time he scratches or coughs. But after a few seizure free days, I start to settle down and sleep again.

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