Page 1 of 1
New to CEN
Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:56 am
I have a Labrador Retriever, Tony, who will be 7 next month. He had his first seizure when he was 4YO, then another four months later. They were diagnosed as idiopathic. After that, he didn't have any until last year. The vet said he does not need meds unless they are more frequent than monthly. They were becoming more frequent than once a month until March when I put him on CBD oil and MCT oil. He has had two since. Probably too soon to tell if it helps.
I also have a male 12-year-old blind diabetic Lab and Louise, a four-year-old rescue Lab. She is my problem and the main reason I'm here; to ask if there are any other multiple dogs in a home where one is epileptic. Whenever Tony has a seizure, she comes for me, then appears to attack him. She jumps on him, growling and snapping at him, but never seems to injure him. Nevertheless, I pull her off and hold her away from him until it's over. Then she's OK with him. They normally get along well but she is obsessed with his seizures: If he is sleeping on his side and has a running dream, she runs up to him and smells him, then decides he's just sleeping and leaves him alone. If he just moves too suddenly or scratches himself with his rear paw, she runs up to him, inspects, then decides he's OK then leaves him alone.
I'm home most of the time, but worry if he has a seizure when I'm away. Should I separate them?
Does anyone else with multiple dogs have such a problem?
Re: New to CEN
Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:08 am
Hi Tony’s mom,
Welcome to this forum – and I commend you on your perseverance with two very needy dogs.
Spencer first fitted at 4 years old but only a few months later commenced treatment. (We never had the opportunity to consider CBD products in our care).
We had Spencer and his mother together and for the most part mum was very good with Spencer during his fits. She would become anxious and aware of his seizure/post ictal activity but she would not get involved. Our issues were with Spencer’s post ictal confusion – he would wander blindly, aimlessly and invariably stumble over his mother, or as he was rousing he would become emotionally needy and he would seek comfort/companionship but still be dis-coordinated and disrespectful of personal space (I never minded him coming to me for comfort). At this point mum would snap at Spencer nipping at his ears. There were a few circumstances where bitten ears were the most serious side effect of the interaction or seizure activity.
I still wonder if mum dog's reaction was a caring mum concerned for her sick puppy or if she was a leader dog shepherding away a sick member of the pack – all the more reason I was happy to comfort Spencer until he had recovered. He was always a welcome member of our family.
I had never got to the point of considering separating them so I can’t advise you. I wonder if separating them will cause some level of anxiety – might this be a trigger for Toby? I know a few members here have crated their epi-dogs whilst unattended. Do you have a fit-safe environment for Toby? What happens if you don’t pull the aggressor off – have you let it go further? In the absence of any firm or intelligent counsel I’m just putting some thoughts out there. It is hard and I feel for you.
Please let us know how you are getting on.
I will keep you in my prayers.
In memory of Spencer 7-12-2005 – 22-8-2017
Re: New to CEN
Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:03 am
Hi Tony's Mom,
I recently lost my little Phrynie to uncontrollable seizures. I have two other dogs--Daisy and Sparky--who did very well with her until the last couple of months. At that point, Daisy began attacking Phrynie while she was seizing. As with your dogs, there was never any sign of injury, but it certainly made a bad situation even worse.
As with so many questions, this is a hard one to answer. I had all of the same thoughts as you. But I can tell you this much: you should do what is best for YOU. If separating them will make it easier for you to relax while you are away, then do that, and don't worry about triggering a seizure. The truth is, even if the added stress causes a seizure, Tony will still be fine. There isn't all that much you can do for him when you are home, anyway.
An added benefit to sequestering Tony will be his own safety from other dangers, such as falls.
If you want to use this approach, I would suggest you set up the separation, however best works for you, and then leave the house for five minutes. Do it again the next day, and leave for ten. Do this until you feel comfortable about leaving them to really go somewhere. Dogs are remarkable at adapting to changes. You may be pleasantly surprised at how un-traumatic the whole plan is for them.
That said, you could also leave them together. It sounds like Tony's seizures are infrequent enough that you don't need to be too concerned about leaving him for a bit. The fact that Louise has never hurt him is a good sign. (Dogs can put on quite a show and never hurt each other.) It's also possible that she won't even attack him if you're not around. She could be attacking him because she sees his behavior as a threat to you, but if your aren't there, she may not care. (My Daisy puts on quite a show, howling and crying at the vet, until I leave the room. Then she's a perfect angel!)
Whatever you choose to do, remember: do what is best for YOU. You may be dealing this for a while, and you can't put your life on hold until it's over. You are already giving all of your dogs a wonderful life that they may never have had without you. It's not a crime to inconvenience them occassionally so you can have a life, too!
Beth (Phrynie's Mom)