Two dogs with seizures

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lbk9
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Two dogs with seizures

Post by lbk9 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:22 am

I had one post all written and it apparently "poofed" into cyberspace when I hit the "preview" button. So here goes a shorter version! Last year I lost my 12-year-old Norwegian Elkhound, Molly, who vets figured had a brain lesion causing her seizures. About a month prior to losing Molly, one of my other dogs, Peppy (looks like a short-haired border collie) had a seizure.

I declined MRI's on both dogs ($1,000) because there was nothing they could do if they determined a problem anyway. Peppy's phenobarbitol has been increased to 1-1/2 pills two times a day and a little over a month ago potassium bromide capsules were added. About two weeks ago she began pacing around the yard squatting all over the place. That's exactly the same thing Molly would do when she had a bladder infection. But her urine specimen was perfect, no infection.

The vet was concerned that her central nervous system was going haywire (due to a brain tumor) or that she has diabetes insipidus. I was really bummed out when I got home, so did some online research and found out that her symptoms could possibly be side effects of potassium bromide. Unusual behavior, pacing, frequent urination, ataxia, etc. So yesterday I started her on a lower dose that will hopefully alleviate the side effects but keep the seizures at bay. She is not as wobbly (was always a very fast, agile dog) as before and does not get me up at night as much, but still peeing in the house a lot. Just glad I got rid of the carpet after Molly died -- much easier to clean! I feel like I live my life around giving meds and cleaning my floor. I try hard to keep her meds on schedule, so it's hard to go out with friends, etc. I know there's 2-hour window but I try not go outside the 12-hour time frame too much.

The vets have never seemed concerned that I have a second seizure dog. I always figured maybe her sister, Maggie, would be next but it was a completely unrelated dog. But now that Peppy's side effects have worsened, the vet has advised me to have a professional to inspect my house for various toxins. It's a good idea, anyway. I'm glad to have found this website where I can become further educated and also read about others' experiences with this frustrating disorder. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

claires friend
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:49 pm
Location: California

Post by claires friend » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:01 pm

Can you give a little more info on Peppy, age, weight, adoption history ( have you had her since a pup or was she a rescue)?? Have you had her thyroid check? Has she only had one seizure ever??
Susan Marie
Morgan -Foster Golden, now ours FOREVER !!
First seizure Aug 16, 2006 @9 months old ,very low thyroid
She has been with me since the end of July 07
150mg PB BID
.5 soloxine BID
400 Kbr BID

lbk9
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Two dogs with seizures

Post by lbk9 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:41 pm

claires friend wrote:Can you give a little more info on Peppy, age, weight, adoption history ( have you had her since a pup or was she a rescue)?? Have you had her thyroid check? Has she only had one seizure ever??
Peppy is about 10 years old. She was originally my parents' dog, adopted as a pup from a humane society. She is about 63 pounds. She has had the complete blood panel done, but not sure if that included the thyroid panel or not. I believe that is separate from the CBC and if I recall correctly, they didn't seem interested in checking for that. I think I inquired about it at the time. I don't know why they wouldn't at least rule it out. I will have to ask again. I know they say you have to be your own advocate. Molly, my last seizure dog was on thyroid meds but they never connected that with her seizures. (In fact the vet only reluctantly checked Molly's thyroid when she was overweight, thinking I was an overindulgent owner!)

Anyway, back to Peppy. Her seizure activity began about a year ago just before Molly passed away. The first one I have recorded in my notes was 8/3/08. We initially felt it might be caused by the stress I had in dealing with Molly. Looks like the seizure activity was about every two weeks. I took her to a university vet clinic in the fall (I believe) and then started her on pheno. She was still having breakthroughs and the pheno was increased. And lastly the potassium bromide added. Hopefully decreasing the dosage will help the side effects and still control the seizures.

claires friend
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:49 pm
Location: California

Post by claires friend » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:31 pm

I would have her thyroid checked. Make sure you get the 6 panel test. I think Dr. Doods at Hemopet is the best. All of the dogs that have come through my rescue with seizures have also had thyroid problems. 50 % of the time the seizures cleared up once the thyroid was stabilized. This has been about 15 dogs total. I wish it had been true for my poor little Morgan, although I am sure that getting her thyroid back in check does help combat the seizures. I am thinking if this were caused by something around your home, Peppy's seizures would have started when Molly's did. So I am not sure I am buying that. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this so soon again. Once is too much !! Tell me about food, shots, flea and heartworm treatments?? Also where do you live? Do they spray crops nearby or anything like that? Do you used products in your yard and garden?
Susan Marie
Morgan -Foster Golden, now ours FOREVER !!
First seizure Aug 16, 2006 @9 months old ,very low thyroid
She has been with me since the end of July 07
150mg PB BID
.5 soloxine BID
400 Kbr BID

skrpio
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Auckland , New Zealand

Post by skrpio » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:05 pm

I would still get your house checked for toxins. In most cases it takes a while for toxins to build up in the body especially for heavy metals and this could be why your second dog began seizing later on. Can you remember if both dogs began seizing at a certain period of time after they began living with you?
Vets - other than Dr Dodds will not admit thyroid is linked to seizures. Neither will they admit that tick, flea and heartworm treatments cause seizures.
Jane
In loving memory of my special KiKi Bean
Seizure free forever now
Nov 25th 2002 - Nov 1st 2006
Dogue De Bordeaux

lbk9
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Post by lbk9 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:05 pm

claires friend wrote:I would have her thyroid checked. Make sure you get the 6 panel test. I think Dr. Doods at Hemopet is the best. All of the dogs that have come through my rescue with seizures have also had thyroid problems. 50 % of the time the seizures cleared up once the thyroid was stabilized. This has been about 15 dogs total. I wish it had been true for my poor little Morgan, although I am sure that getting her thyroid back in check does help combat the seizures. I am thinking if this were caused by something around your home, Peppy's seizures would have started when Molly's did. So I am not sure I am buying that. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this so soon again. Once is too much !! Tell me about food, shots, flea and heartworm treatments?? Also where do you live? Do they spray crops nearby or anything like that? Do you used products in your yard and garden?
Wow, you've seen that many seizure dogs at your rescue? Yes, it is frustrating to be dealing with it again so soon. On the suggestion of a friend, I switched dog foods. I was feeding Nutro Natural Choice for a long time, then switched to Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet. I was on Solid Gold for a time. I don't think I've had her in for any vaccinations since her seizures began. Don't think I will now. The vet says there's no conclusive evidence of a correlation between shots and seizures but I really wonder. I think Molly had a seizure later the same day after one of her shots.

I won't use flea treatment unless I see a problem. There are too many chemicals in our environment as it is. I read online that Interceptor is better for epileptic dogs, so I've switched her to that for heartworm. I live in a small city. Many residents spray their yards (which I hate) but I refuse to spray any weed killer, etc. and I don't believe either neighbor beside me does either. I have also quit using most household chemicals as well. I use Method and 7th Generation (more natural ingredients) and most of the time I have a vinegar water solution in a spray bottle. I stopped using my Swiffer WetJet and now have a steam mop -- water only.

I neglected to mention that one of my other dogs also had an isolated seizure several years ago. Jenny, my Cairn terrier, had one several years ago. She's about 10 now, too. I saw an episode of Emergency Vets once where one by one, all the puppies in a litter were brought in with seizures (Welsh Corgis). Don't know as they ever figured out what caused them. Thanks so very much for your concern. You've asked more questions than some vets have! I appreciate your help.

claires friend
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:49 pm
Location: California

Post by claires friend » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:02 pm

I have had hundreds through my rescue, so it really isn't that many. Some of them were caused by their owners accidently kicking them in their heads while playing ball. Others were caused by the misuse of shock collars. I had one girl that had a bookcase fall on her during an earthquake. Unfortunately the breed I rescue, Golden Retrievers, are very prone to seizures. I found it very helpful to read through all of the threads on this forum, many great ideas and experienced people. Some more ideas:
How do you store your dog food.?
Do you ever use rose or plant food on plants that have saucers where the dogs could drink the water?
Is there any chance the dogs could be chewing on something with lead paint.
Do you ever give pigs ears or rawhide?
What kind of bowls do you use for their food and water?
Any chance birds could poop where their water bowl is?
Susan Marie
Morgan -Foster Golden, now ours FOREVER !!
First seizure Aug 16, 2006 @9 months old ,very low thyroid
She has been with me since the end of July 07
150mg PB BID
.5 soloxine BID
400 Kbr BID

lbk9
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Post by lbk9 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:12 pm

claires friend wrote:I have had hundreds through my rescue, so it really isn't that many. Some of them were caused by their owners accidently kicking them in their heads while playing ball. Others were caused by the misuse of shock collars. I had one girl that had a bookcase fall on her during an earthquake. Unfortunately the breed I rescue, Golden Retrievers, are very prone to seizures. I found it very helpful to read through all of the threads on this forum, many great ideas and experienced people. Some more ideas:
How do you store your dog food.?
Do you ever use rose or plant food on plants that have saucers where the dogs could drink the water?
Is there any chance the dogs could be chewing on something with lead paint.
Do you ever give pigs ears or rawhide?
What kind of bowls do you use for their food and water?
Any chance birds could poop where their water bowl is?
Sometimes I store their food in a plastic stacking bin (holds 50 pounds) but lately I just leave it in the bag. I don't have plants in the house and none in back where the dogs are. As far as lead in the paint, I suppose that is a possibility. My house was built in the 1950's. I quit giving rawhides to them because it scared me when they started choking! I use only stainless steel food and water dishes and I primarily give their water indoors. They do drink occasionally after a rain from puddles in the yard.

I also have a golden retriever (a rescue). She is my second golden I have had and have never seen seizures in them. I do know they are one of the breeds prone to them.

I just wish I knew what the cause was so I could eliminate it or fix it! Thanks again.

skrpio
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Auckland , New Zealand

Post by skrpio » Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:44 pm

Go up to seach and put in rate dog food then Finndog.
This is a good way to find out if the food you are giving is good.
Jane
In loving memory of my special KiKi Bean
Seizure free forever now
Nov 25th 2002 - Nov 1st 2006
Dogue De Bordeaux

lbk9
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Post by lbk9 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:01 pm

skrpio wrote:I would still get your house checked for toxins. In most cases it takes a while for toxins to build up in the body especially for heavy metals and this could be why your second dog began seizing later on. Can you remember if both dogs began seizing at a certain period of time after they began living with you?
Vets - other than Dr Dodds will not admit thyroid is linked to seizures. Neither will they admit that tick, flea and heartworm treatments cause seizures.
It must have been about a year or so after Molly began having seizures that Peppy began. In fact it was a little before I lost Molly. I have lived in this house almost 20 years and Molly had lived with me for 11 years. Peppy came to live with me in 2005 when my parents moved to assisted living. I have lost previous pets to various diseases, including some cancers, but I always attributed it to old age. I do not currently administer flea treatments, but I do give monthly heartworm meds. I will have to check with my vet to see if Peppy's thyroid was ever checked. Molly did have thyroid problems but apparently was not connected to her seizures. She continued having seizures even while on medication.

Thanks much for your comments and concern!

claires friend
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:49 pm
Location: California

Post by claires friend » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:20 pm

So you have other dogs besides Peppy now and they are fine???
Susan Marie
Morgan -Foster Golden, now ours FOREVER !!
First seizure Aug 16, 2006 @9 months old ,very low thyroid
She has been with me since the end of July 07
150mg PB BID
.5 soloxine BID
400 Kbr BID

lbk9
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Post by lbk9 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:37 pm

claires friend wrote:So you have other dogs besides Peppy now and they are fine???
Yes, I have 5 dogs currently. Peppy is the only one with a seizure problem (so far!). As I previously stated, my Cairn terrier did have an isolated seizure several years ago. I always assumed if anyone else had seizures it might be Molly's littermate, Maggie, thinking it may be genetic. But Peppy is of no relation and a different breed. Also have 3 cats who are fine. I was just shocked when Peppy started having seizures. I have read on here of others who have had multiple dogs with them, so guess I'm not alone!

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