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So happy to have found you all!

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:31 pm
by MTM
Hello all! I am so happy to have found people that have gone through something similar. I know no one else personally who has dealt with canine seizures- I have actually had people tell me they did not know dogs could have seizures.

Anyway, I have many questions and I would love to hear from others. This is my story in a nutshell: I have two epis- Murfy and Toby. They are not in any way related. Murfy has been dealing with seizures for three years and Toby is just starting. Most people find it odd that I have two- as do I. However, my vets have reviewed their cases and consulted with a neurologist and they do not feel their seizures are related. Somehow, I just ended up with two. Murfy is quite controlled and only takes NaBr. He averages about two mild seizures a year. He has never had a GM and never lost consciousness. Toby, on the other hand, had his first bout of GM's last weekend. He had a total of 5 in 24 hours with an average of 4.5 - 5 hours in between each one. After that episode, we decided to put him on meds so he has been on Phb and NaBr. I discussed things with my vets and based on the severity of Toby's, we decided to start him off with two drugs right away.

I would like to know how everyone deals with their epi's- as in how do you personally deal with the stress of caring for them. Did anyone have problems with their vet? How old were they when the seizures started? If the epi experiences clusters, does the time between each seizure vary between cycles? How long and how severe is the postictal period? If the meds have not completely controlled the seizures, have you noticed a reduction in severity?

Basically, anything anyone would like to share- I would love to hear it. I am just so relieved to finally find people that know what I am talking about! Thank you and I hope today finds you and your pups well ;)

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:57 pm
by skrpio
Hi there,
Wow a lot of questions..
I could bombard you with a whole lot of answers but I think you will find it best to read through as many posts as you can.
Have you considered that it may be an external problem that is affecting your dogs. It's just that the chances are high of having two epi dogs not related.
To answer some of your questions...
With the personal stress side of things - you just get used to it. Dealing with our own stress does become secondary to helping the dogs. You could try a natural remedy like rapid relief. It is important though to alleviate as much stress as you can as this does have an impact on the dogs problems.
Nearly everone has problems with their vet - you just have to be strong and ask questions on everything you do no understand. Write down questions as you think of them and take this along to any vet visits you do. Keep a diary and note down seizures, weather , visitor, change of food and anything else you can think of as this may show a pattern forming. Vets will also tell you that vaccinations and flea, tick and heartworm treatments do not cause seizures but we have seen enough evidence to know that they do.
Seizures are appearing at any ages. On this site there are puppies to much older dogs but the average seems to be about 2 years old when they start.
You have to be careful if the dog begins to cluster. It is important that they get vets help as soon as you can and in the mean time keep them cool especially the head. Read up on epi-guardian angels site for the icepack treatment as this may help.
Post ictal varies greatly from one dog to another.
Meds in most cases do not stop the seizures but can reduce them giving longer periods between seizures.
Read through the Epi- Guardian angels site as there is heaps of useful information there as well.

What sort of tests did the vets do?
What ages are the dogs?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:46 pm
by MTM
Two epis- it is strange. As far as we can tell, they really are not related. I called today and scheduled an appointment to have our water tested, though. If anyone has any ideas on what else to test in the home please let me know. We do have carbon monoxide testers and the furnace just passed inspection in January. Everything has been painted in the last three years and the flooring throughout the entire house was replaced in Sept. 2006. It is an older house but the only thing that is still original is the wood work.

As far as food goes, the boys have eaten the same thing for two years now- IVET. The only thing out of the ordinary Toby ate the night before his big ones started was half of a mixed berry bran muffin from a local bakery. He helped himself to it from the kitchen counter- I don't know that he has ever had berries before?

Both boys underwent quite a few tests- Toby's all happened last week. He had the full panel thyroid, pre and post bile, blood counts, checked him for diabetes, they looked quite closely at his heart and lungs, too. Everything the vet suggested, I agreed to. He passed them all with flying colors. The neurologist that consulted on his case felt pursuing a spinal tap or an MRI would be unwarranted at this time. Both the ER vet and Toby's regular vets witnessed his seizures so they also did not have to rely on my description alone and all of them have said they were very typical. I am not sure if that should make me feel better or not...?

I have done a fair amount of research on canine seizures after Murfy started- I know the Epi Guardian Angels site well. That is actually where I learned about NaBr as Murfy could not tolerate the KBr and I did not want him on Phb long term. Toby has presented more severe so for now I am fine with the possibility of leaving him on Phb long term in additon to the NaBr. We also have the full valium protocol for Toby. He is a whole new ballgame, though- especially compared to Murfy. We will not be leaving Toby home alone anytime soon...

The other anomaly to Toby's story happened when he was 1.5 years old (he just turned 5 now). He was with my husband at a shop that services semi-trucks. My husband went into one of the trailors and the generator was plugged in but not grounded properly (which no one knew). Toby went to follow him and when he put his front paws on the first metal step, he received a pretty big electrical shock. We are unsure how much of a shock he actually got but we know of a person that sat on the same step and got the same thing. He said it was very painful. At the time, it was not found to do any damage to Toby but it makes me wonder now. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Possibly lower his threshold?

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:38 pm
by Merlinsmom
I have two seizure dogs, also, but I doubt very much Merlin is epileptic- more likely his is from some other cause. But as I noted below, mine have three times had back-to-back seizures. And I've never been able to identify a common cause ( or any triggers, for that matter.)


Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:35 pm
by MTM
Merlinsmom wrote:I have two seizure dogs, also, but I doubt very much Merlin is epileptic- more likely his is from some other cause. But as I noted below, mine have three times had back-to-back seizures. And I've never been able to identify a common cause ( or any triggers, for that matter.)

I read your posts yesterday- that is very strange. Your vet has no suggestions on why they could be having them so close together? If you do ever notice any common connection, please post.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:47 am
by skrpio
Seizures are an electrical short circuit in the brain and I would expect that he would have begun seizures immediately if the shock was going to start them off. I don't think it would lower his threshold but has anything like this happened recently to maybe remind him of this unpleasant memory and thus causing stress.
I am wondering if he got re-shocked from static electricity in the house. Sometimes floor rugs wind up a charge from the floor coating.
Another thing maybe the smell of the paint or polyurathane coating on the wooden floors. I know when we did our house we had to keep KiKi outside as the smell was very potent. She was already having seizures at this stage but we didn't want the strong smell to trigger any.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:09 am
by Merlinsmom
In our case Jack has a seizure within 24 hrs AFTER Merlin, but not always. And if there is common trigger I haven't found it. I've been logging seizures and there is nothing. But I'm not sure it is so unusual as if they both have low seizure thresholds, a common trigger WOULD possibly set them both off.

Our thought, though, is stress causing Jack's.

There are two possible ways two dogs with seizures could be related. One, a common thing has CAUSED seizures in both. For example, lead, or another toxin, or the food they eat.

The other is that they coincidentally both have some kind of unrelated seizure disorder, and a common trigger causes the seizures at the same time.

What is the incidence of seizures in dogs? Just epilepsy is said to be up to 4% in all dogs. The odds are 4/100 if you have one dog it will have epilepsy. If you have two dogs, the odds both will have epilepsy are 4% of 4%, or .0016. (16/10,000.) Which, considering how many households have two dogs, isn't that unusual. Even if the real percentage is 1%, we are still talking a 1/10,000 chance your two dogs will have it.


Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:28 am
by MTM
Wow- those are some interesting facts! I certainly hope Toby and Murfy don't set each other off.

My husband and I were talking last night and maybe we have missed some of Toby's early signs. He has always had (well, starting 2 yrs old or so) what we have called his "spooky" days. Kind of out of the blue he would have an off day- startle easily and sulk as if he had done something wrong. He would kind of hide out in our bedroom on these days too. Normally he is in the middle of the action at all times. We just figured something had spooked him. It didn't occur often- maybe 2 or three times a year? It has always been pronounced enough, though, that we both easily recall it. The next he would always be fine. More questions than answers, I guess.

As for static electricity, that is a real possibility in our house. The majority of it is carpet and the rest is ceramic tile with area rugs. It has been a long, dry and cold winter. I am very interested to get the results of the water testing back - has anyone found anything contributing in the water the dogs drink?

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:05 pm
by skrpio
No so much the water but what the water is in. Ideally their water should be kept in a stainless steel bucket or bowl and changed daily or in a ceramic bowl. Plastics can sometimes taint the water and plastic containers are not usually made of good quality plastic ie buckets

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:08 am
by adajadesmom
And just to add to should be careful that the ceramic is not from China as I've read about lead in those too.

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:35 am
by MTM
I noticed in a lot of the other threads many of you are very careful what you put on the dog's skin. We don't use flea or tick treatment or anything like that but he does get a bath every so often (and he could really use one now). Has anyone had problems with just regular dog shampoo? What should I use? Neither of the dogs have ever seemed to have a problem with it before but I am trying to be extra careful to not aggravate the situation.

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:45 pm
by skrpio
The only products I would suggest you stay away from is your Heartz brand. I think that is how it is spelt. We do not have it here in NZ that I have seen but I have seen a web site about the poor dogs and cats that have been affected by their products and if you go on-line to look at it I recommend you have a strong stomach. It is not nice and many of the pets shown have passed away.

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:44 pm
by MK's mom
I use regular baby shampoo on my two being that it's so mild. If they're doing something special, I was them with Plush Puppy shampoos out of Australia, but can be purchased online here in the US. Their products are awesome and MK hasn't had any negative reactions to any of their products.


Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:34 pm
by MTM
I never thought of baby shampoo- I do believe I will try that. I can get it easily enough ;) Thanks for all the input!

Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:04 am
by claires friend
The ph levels in baby shampoo is not good for dogs. Morgan's last 3 Grand mals came right after a bath. The one time she did not have a seizure after a bath, I had used Dawn dishwashing soap, at my vets suggestion. She has not had a bath in 3 1/2 months . I don't know what I am going to do, at some point she will need a bath. She is a house dog and sleeps in bed with us. I am thinking maybe I can give her a Valium right after her bath. We had not started using Valium yet the last time I washed her.