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Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:25 pm
by egliteaw
It has been so comforting to discover the various support groups and forums out here for owners of dogs with epilepsy.

Before Tuesday, we didn't even know that dogs could be epileptic.

Around 4:00 Tuesday afternoon our 4 year old golden lab/retriever mix had his first (and only so far) grand mal seizure. I believe that was the longest 4 minutes of my life. We got him into the vet immediately and they were able to rule out any metabolic or disease triggers for his seizure and gave us the diagnosis of primary epilepsy. We will be starting him on PB today and hope that we have good results.

As a newbie, any information on side effects we can expect would be appreciated...I hate to risk any changes in his sweet personality, but don't think I can stand to see him go through the seizure again either...

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:39 pm
by MK's mom

If your dog has only had one seizure thus far, why did the vet put him on meds right away? Some dogs seize infrequently and medications are not warranted.

Did they do a spinal tap to rule out any toxins or immune problems? How about thyroid, did they do a full thyroid panel out of MSU or Jean Dodd's lab in California? These things are all pretty standard procedures for dogs who start seizing for no apparent reason.


Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:43 pm
by adajadesmom
Hi! I'm sorry you have to join us in this battle, but hopefully that's the only one your boy will have. (I too am wondering why they put him on meds so soon.)

They really are scary, but as members here have told me, it's important to try to remain calm for him as your stress can make things worse.

My dog is on phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Her side effects so far have been hind end weakness, incoordination, thirst and hunger. Most of the time these symptoms improve with time. And as others will tell you, if you're told you should medicate, the medicine's side effects aren't as bad as the seizures themselves.

There is a site under links (to the left of this page) called epi guardian angels. There is a great amount of information there you should read.

Let us know if you have questions. This is a super site to learn from!
Best of luck to you and your boy. I hope that was his only one.

Tests etc...

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:47 pm
by egliteaw
The vet we are lucky to have found close to our house is experienced with epilepsy cases...(there was another lab in her office when we went in getting his medication renewed).

she did a spinal tab and full blood panels including thyroid, pancreatic, liver, and other possible endocrine causes. The thyroid test she did was I believe the full panel out of MSU.

The one on Tuesday has been his only grand mal, but he has had a history of what we now believe to be "minor" seizures where he would get really weak, salivate a lot, full body quiver, and disorientation. He had two or three of these minor episodes over a period of about 6 months.

The vet wants to get him started on a very low dose of PB in hopes that we can head off any further grand mal seizures now. She is going to start him on a dose of about 4 mg be kilogram..(he weighs about 94 lbs...I haven't picked up his prescription yet so don't know the exact dose).

I hope that the doc is right and we can stop the monster before it gets a good grip on my precious boy...

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:50 pm
by MK's mom
Very good! reading your post it sounded like you took him in and they put him on meds before ruling anything out.

this epilepsy business is hard for everyone. I hope your boy will not seize again or at least not seize a lot, but that is something only time will tell. They can go for long spells then start seizing again and some of the dogs on here never catch a break.

What kind of dog do you have?

Keep us posted!!


Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:14 pm

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:26 pm
by skrpio
It's good the the vet ruled out so many things but what about vaccinations? When did your boy have the last lot in relation to the seizure(s) ?


Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:54 am
by egliteaw
The only vaccinations he has had within the last 18 months was his rabies. We have heard too many negative things about some of the heartworm preventatives so we never put him on it...he is only outside to do his business so he is not often exposed to any thing.

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:39 pm
by skrpio
Have you checked the house ? Air fresheneres, fabric conditioners, paint, changed perfume or aftershave? Anything with a strong smell ?

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:34 am
by egliteaw
No new new cleaners. That was the first thing we thought too is that he got into something he was allergic to...