Was this a seizure?

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Janice
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: New England

Was this a seizure?

Post by Janice » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:02 pm

Hi, glad to have stumbled on this network. Last Saturday, I got up at 7:00AM while my husband and our 7-year old border collie mix "slept-in." When I came to get Juniper for our usual morning walk, I found her up by my husband's pillow shaking, with a slight head tilt. She was happy to see me, but the poor dog could not stand up. I picked her up and put her on the wood floor, but she collapsed. I carried her downstairs to the carpet where she could stand a little better, but was still wobbly. I took her outside to do her business, and she was standing slightly better. We had her to the vet in twenty minutes. By that time, she was completely normal. All her blood work, urine, etc. have come back fine. My husband said that after I had gotten up, Juniper crept up to his head--which is unusual because she always sleeps at the foot of the bed. My husband just thought she was needy...so in his half-awake state he held her and gave her pats until I came in two hours later. Could she have been having some type of seizure during this time? Her legs were never stiff or rigid. She never drooled. She made no sounds. And, her paws were not thrashing. (Some fast background...we got Juniper from a shelter as a puppy so we have no health history. She is 35 pounds, very fit and lean, and in excellent health. She is an extremely sweet and gentle dog...with a bit of a nervous personality. She has a very border collie soft side in that she is highly noise sensitive. If the vacuum cleaner or hair dryer is turned on, she's under the bed in a flash.) Our vet said this event could be a one-time thing or the start of epilepsy. Does what Juniper experienced sound like anything you have seen? Was it, in fact, a seizure? Thanks for listening and sharing any views you might have. Janice in Massachusetts

High_Voltage_Head
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Post by High_Voltage_Head » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:43 pm

Hi Janice, i've seen mild seizures like that a few times. I agree it could be a one-time thing or the start of something worse, and it's impossible to know which. Just to pick a number, i'd say if she goes 6 months from here without any more issues, it's likely to have been a one-time deal. At least that's how i'd look at it if she were mine. But i like to worry. It might be healthier for you to assume she'll never have another one until proven wrong. It's good that you're learning about it just in case. Hopefully it will be unused knowledge.
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

MK's mom
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Post by MK's mom » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:20 am

HI Janice,

I agree with Kurt, keep an eye on her and start a journal to record her episodes, describing the episode itself, duration and date. That will help you remember everything in the future.

There has been more than one Border Collie on this forum with problems. By chance, is your pup on heartworm medication and did you by chance just give her a dose? One of the posters here learned by accident that his BC was seizing after the heartworm medications were administered and when they forgot to dose him one month he stopped seizing. Haven't heard from them in awhile, so I don't know what the outcome was.

Vivian
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

Janice
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: New England

Post by Janice » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:06 pm

Thanks Kurt and Vivian for your fast response and advice. I will be watching Juniper closely. The journal is a great idea. And, no, she did not just receive heartworm medicine...but I will remember that this medication can be a trigger. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is a one-time thing. Reading this forum, my heart goes out to all of you that work so hard keeping your dogs going strong. Thanks again. Janice in very snowy Massachusetts

adajadesmom
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Post by adajadesmom » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:38 pm

Hopefully you won't need to continue a journal, but for you and others, I thought I'd share how I keep track.

I use a monthly calendar (for office use, like appt's and such) and put a yellow highlighter streak across days with no seizures. If she has one, I write it down, the time it lasted and any triggers I can think of. I highlight the seizure days with a different color. I keep track of new medicines or dosage changes and highlight those with another color. This way I can easily see any changes. Works great and I can show the vet easily also.

Good luck and we hope this was a one time thing!

Dylans Dad
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Post by Dylans Dad » Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:53 am

hi Janice and juniper, sure do hate to see another border collie here.
haven`t heard from tux in a while, sure hope he is doing ok.
it is possiable that she just pinched a nerve trying to get up quick.
we can hope she never has another.
Wags & Slurps
Debby & Dylan
6 yr old Border collie
1st aug 7 2006
last 7-18-08
375 MG kbr twice a day
1 47.5 pb twice a day

jazzypad1
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:12 am
Location: UK

Was this a seizure

Post by jazzypad1 » Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:24 pm

Hi
i was interest to read your post. I have a lab (now 3) who has had collapsing episodes since August 2006. He is fully conscious and very alert throughout (and is even seen to be wagging his tail on the DVD of his episodes). He collapses and cannot stand but there is no loss of bladder, bowel control, and no drooling. Like you, we took him straight to the vet after each of the first few attacks - but he could find nothing wrong with him by the time we got there.
With Monty, excitement is usually the trigger. Episodes last anything from a couple of minutes up to about 25 mins. He's had a full neuromuscular workup and every test proved to be "normal". Epilepsy was considered as a possible diagnosis but after all the tests the neurologist gave a diagnosis of Paroxysmal Dyskinesia - a movement disorder.
In total he's had 20 episodes in 18 months. Intervals between episodes have been as long as 8 weeks and as little as 5 days.
We are trying change of diet - and more recently have put him on melatonin. Too soon to tell if it's work
I'm keeping my fingers crossed your collie has no more episodes.
Kind regards
June
.
June

Monty
Black Labrador Retriever
DOB June 1st 2004

Mojo
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:20 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Post by Mojo » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:17 pm

Hello, I was very interested to read this post, as well--I just found this website last night.

My Mojo is a mixed breed rescue, presumed to be about 5 years old now, and an Aussie x Border Collie cross. I found him on the street in Dec. 2006, and after a full blood panel and fecal exam at the time, he appeared to be in prime health. He is also very fit and lean--32 lbs, 18" at the shoulder--and very active and very responsive, and quite coordinated--we have been training in dog agility over the last year. He also has an anxious/excitable disposition, but can settle down quite easily when asked. He is very leash aggressive/reactive, but it is never inappropriate--he will bark/growl at oncoming dogs and certain people (mostly men), but once introduced as "friends," he is quite friendly with everyone/everything. Thus, again, I do not believe that Mojo has inappropriate aggression as related to an organic medical condition--being a stray, I assume that he was very unsocialized as a puppy. He lives happily with my other 14 yo Bichon without any issues whatsoever, and actually seems to enjoy her company after having gotten to know her over the last year.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, Mojo began having "episodes" in April, 2007, and has had approximately ten since then. He has never "seized" at the vet, and when I initially described what I saw to both an internal medicine veterinary specialist as well as a regular vet, after a full negative workup (standard complete blood panel, lead levels, thyroid panel, insulin:glucose ratio, x-rays, ultrasound), both vets stated that they thought Mojo was having partial seizures due to idiopathic epilepsy, and that if the "seizures" became more frequent (i.e., more than once a week), I should consider getting an MRI and putting him on phenobarbital. He went from April to August without having any episodes, but this past November, he had had three, and so far, two in December, including one last night.

Yet, I have never really been comfortable with the diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy, as to me, Mojo's "seizures" have a very strange and atypical appearance: he will collapse to the floor with two front feet extended awkwardly forward--like Superman flying, but above the level of his head, so his head is actually between his paws, and his hind legs are curled with hind toes spread wide. He is almost frozen in this posture--he will fall to the ground on his side as if his entire body is being paralyzed/consumed by a total-body muscular cramp, and if you try to roll him upright, his whole body will maintain this strange posture, as if he were a wax doll. Mojo does NOT lose consciousness, and if you call his name, or offer him a spoonful of ice cream, he *WILL RESPOND* and try to look at me and/or lick the spoon, all the while continuing to maintain his bodily posture. When he looks at me, he seems, in fact, quite distressed, and keeps trying to get off the floor, but can't, and will stagger back to the ground. Throughout this time, however, he is also having fine tremors of his head/neck. There is no facial twitching, no facial grimacing, no repetitive tonic-clonic movements, no aggression, no fly-biting, no other aberrant behavioral changes, and no loss of bowel/bladder control. A couple of times, I have seen muscular rippling in the thigh muscles of his hindquarters, but it is not every time. The very first "seizure" he ever had, he drooled a tiny bit, but there has been no drooling since then. So, to me, this didn't really sound like generalized seizures without a loss of consciousness, nor even partial/focal seizures. I have rushed him to the vet in the past, twice, and by the time we get down to the car, Mojo has typically recovered completely.

I have noticed that if I do not give him ice cream (say, if we are not at home when this happens and ice cream is not available), the episode can last as long as five minutes. If, however, he does get ice cream, the episode is no more than two minutes, and often seems like it is about one minute. Mojo is *completely* normal after these episodes, both cognitively and physically. While there IS an aura/prodrome--he definitely seems to know at least five to ten seconds beforehand that an episode is imminent, and will pace nervously or will simply lie down and look at me plaintively with ears back and plastered to his head--there is no post-ictal period, as far as I can tell. After the episode is done, Mojo can respond, run, and jump just as usual--I have tried to keep him quiet, and he won't have it--he is completely ready to resume activity. The one time he did not receive ice cream, however, his hind legs did seem a tiny bit weaker than usual for a few extra minutes, but that, too, resolved quickly and completely.

Because of his tremendous response to ice cream, I used to believe that he had hypoglycemia, but blood samples sent to Michigan for more accurate evaluations of his blood glucose and insulin:glucose ratio were normal. I tried to determine what the triggers for the seizures were, but there is no clear pattern--once he was in the middle of the dog park, running around happily, once he was at home sleeping, once he was waiting at the door getting ready to go outside, and everything in between. Sometimes he will have one right after a meal, sometimes when his stomach is empty. They have happened during the day and the night.

Last night was really the turning point, however. When Mojo started to have his episode, I called my boyfriend down to come help me administer the ice cream while I carried Mojo to the sofa. Then, my BF did something that he had never done before--he held Mojo's head firmly between his hands and told him he was a good boy, and IN DOING SO, Mojo's fine head/neck tremors STOPPED. Completely. As soon as he LET GO, the tremors resumed. I couldn't believe it. Mojo was still "frozen" in his waxy, awkward pose, but the fine tremors had stopped, and then started again. As far as I know, TRUE seizure activity does not just STOP due to touch or change of focus--i.e., you can't just "hold down" an epileptic human or dog and expect their tremors/tonic-clonic movements to stop...but I knew a disease that DID have that feature! Suddenly, it seemed that my dog had PARKINSON'S disease, like in humans! I ran to the Internet, and within minutes, I had found "canine paroxysmal dyskinesia," and also the website with the video of "Chinook seizures." MOJO'S EPISODES LOOK ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE WHAT THE DOG IN THE CHINOOK VIDEO HAS, with the exception that his forelimbs are extended forward a little bit more and above the level of his head, rather than curled in front of his chest.

Thus, from the descriptions here, as well as the portion of the website dedicated to "Chinook seizures," it is now my firm belief that Mojo has paroxysmal dyskinesia, and NOT idiopathic epilepsy. I am *so* glad that we chose not to put him on phenobarbital...but I am wondering if studies have been done with dopamine agonists, such as L-dopa in humans, and if that has any effect. I have not yet been able to find any definitive information, but I will continue to research the topic. From the very small amount of information I have been able to gather on the Internet, it sounds like this is NOT a very common problem in dogs--either that, or the majority of cases are misdiagnosed, like mine, as partial epileptic seizures.

I am very interested to learn what both June (jazzypad1) and Janice (the original poster) have to say about their experiences, and how they are managing these conditions, what treatment they have tried, etc. Jazzypad, may I please ask about the rationale for melatonin? I am planning on calling my vet today to report on this, and of course, I will post anything of interest that I learn. I have not yet taken Mojo for a neurology consult as neither of my vets thought it was necessary (seeing as they thought it was idiopathic epilepsy), but I will be making an appointment with a neurologist shortly. I look forward to reading any responses, as well! Thank you!
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Saving just one dog won't change the world, but surely will change the world for that one dog.

MK's mom
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Location: Michigan

Post by MK's mom » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:51 pm

HI Mojo and welcome!

Your post was a very interesting read!!! In the information you found online for Parkinson's in canines, what did they say the typical Tx was? It may behoof you to take Mojo to a neuro so he can be treated appropriately.

You may want to send a private email to the folks you want to chat with, neither one of them post here often I don't believe.

Vivian
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

Mojo
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:20 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Post by Mojo » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:28 pm

Hi, Vivian--thanks for the welcome and the private messaging tip. I will do that now. Unfortunately, the problem I am encountering is that I cannot find much about how CPD is treated, but I definitely am planning to consult a neurologist shortly. Thanks again!
[img]http://www.koianunta.com/2007_08090013.sigbanner2.jpg[/img]
Saving just one dog won't change the world, but surely will change the world for that one dog.

pelufo
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: Ojai, CA

CPD

Post by pelufo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:08 pm

Hi, I am intrigued by reading about your post, even though our dogs genetically little or nothing in common. I have been frustrated dealig with my dog's occasional episodes, and am concerned in that he had 3 in teh past month instead of his usual 4 per year. As with your dog, my dog is a little disoriented during the events, trembles, but never ever violently shakes, froths, nor loses bowel or bladder control. He was diagnosed as isiopathic simply because they found nothing, but I am adamant that his seizures are not at all epileptic. I had an epileptic schnauzer as a child, and am all too familiar with a real seizure. Last night I tried something different when his episode began, and I'm wondering if what your boyfriend did was inadvertently the same thing. As soon as I noticed my Chihuahua/Italian greyhound go into his trembling, I applied pressure on both his eyes. As soon as I applied ocular compression, i could feel his little body stop trembling. I kept doing it, pausing briefly between intervals. When I stopped pressing, the trembling resumed but it stopped as soon as I applied the pressure again so I continued. Within a couple of minutes, I stopped the episode dead in its tracks and he was back to his normal self. Any chance holding your dogs face was accomplishing the same thing?

luis.costa
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 4:07 am

Re: Was this a seizure?

Post by luis.costa » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:30 am

jazzypad and mojo: were you ever able to control your dogs' seizures?

I have a 6,5 years old french bulldog who has been having the same type of seizures as yours, and the latest neurologist we took him to also thinks it's a paroxysmal diskenesia and not epilepsy. He's been on a trial diet-therapy for about a month now but so far with no results, so the doctor wants to start Levetiracetam to see if it has any effect on reducing the frequency and lenght of the episodes. :(

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