Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

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Apache
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:50 pm

Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by Apache » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:20 pm

I am so happy to have found this forum, but saddened at the fact there are many, many dogs who have been inflicted with Epilepsy. Our Veterinarian mentioned to us that there's been a steady increase over the past decade or so.

Anyway, I can't really say that I'm new to Epilepsy/Seizures, as we had another German Shepherd roughly 15 years ago that started having seizures, but they only began at the age of 6 years. Unfortunately, there was an underlying reason for his seizures, and 8 months later, we had to put him down.

Our most recent German Shepherd, Apache, is now 23 months old. His first ever *witnessed* seizure was on January 18th at 9:15 in the morning. It was followed up by another early in the afternoon. My fault, as I exercised him slightly at noon when I came home for lunch. (I say *witnessed* because he may have had another one prior,...just before the Christmas holidays. Anyone familiar with German Shepherd's, know that when they're frightened, they secrete an awful smell from their anal gland. I came home at noon hour one day, and it smelled like he may have defecated in the house. Extremely unusual for this fellow, even as a pup. A search proved nothing, so it may have been his actual, first ever seizure).

Three weeks to the day, another seizure occurred. Then, a week and half later, yet another one. This past Wednesday (a week and a half later, again) he suffered two more. From reading the forum and digging up as much info as I can, there doesn't seem to be a pattern (time-line) for these seizures. Yet, as it stands now, there is a slight pattern, but a worry-some one. Has anyone else experienced such a pattern, whereby the seizures start showing up on a more frequent basis at kind of,...regular intervals?

Also,....and I find this to be odd, but Apache seems to get very loose stools, and diarrhea once every seven days or so. This is accompanied by itchy ears and a runny nose. Our Veterinarian suggested that this could be a by-product (for a lack of better words) from his seizures. I have yet to find any related info concerning this, but it does concern me. Could this be a post symptom from the seizure, or a prequel to one? We're now 7 days from his most recent bout, and he's come down with those exact symptoms again. Loose stools, diarrhea and a runny nose. I'm holding my breath,....

As it stands now, he had blood work done from A-Z, a 30 minute physical examination and a complete urinalysis. Everything checked out just fine, so he's been put on Phenobarbital, twice daily. Can't say as I'm happy about it, but if it can help him out, it's worth it in my opinion,...at least for the time being. He's only been on the meds for 4 days now, but he's going from extreme highs, to extreme lows. Is this normal?

Thanks for listening/reading. And, thanks to this forum for allowing me to vent a bit and for the valuable information that has been provided! There's nothing like sharing personal experiences, as any and all info provided gives us comfort and insight into this disease.

Brian

richmauer
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Morristown, NJ

Re: Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by richmauer » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:05 am

Sorry to hear about Apache. It seems that all the seizure cadence seems pretty typical as do the reactions to Pb. It is curious about the "allergies". It has been known, from my reading, that some dogs have seizures from environmental or food related problems. Have you changed food, bowls, cleaning products, anything? It is possible he is having reactions and those could be causing the seizures.
I'm sure you will get some very good suggestions as to how to proceed in this forum. There are some interesting articles about seizures related to environment you could research. Best of luck.
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by MK's mom » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:33 am

Welcome!

There was a gal on the list with an English Setter who was having diarrhea then started to seize at about 5 yo (I think that was the age) she had a test done at Texas A and M for folic acid and one of the B vitamins. I will contact her and see if she'll help you with this.

The age that Apache started seizing is a common age for the onset and to start out clustering isn't the best. Is he on any medication yet? If not, you'll have to get him on something because you don't want him seizing too often or going into status.

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

Apache
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:50 pm

Re: Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by Apache » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:34 pm

I appreciate the responses, and thanks for the welcome and well-wishes!

richmauer, we did change Apache's food, and ironically and that very same time, he also caught Kennel cough from one of his playmates. Since that time, it's like he's had constant cold symptoms that rears its head every week or so. Roughly a couple of months later, the seizures began.

We made the switch from a well known brand (you can purchase this food just about anywhere), to a food that's much more costly but contains no preservatives, by-products or grains. The change of food was our first suspect, but we were told that if it was a food allergy, he would constantly have diarrhea. We have since started giving him half and half, and since then, his bouts have extended from every 5 days to roughly every 7 days. We tried reverting back to just his old food for a couple of weeks, but the results remained the same.

Never thought of his dish,...maybe I should buy him a new one. He's been eating out of a large plastic one. Anything is worth a try.

MK's mom, (Vivian) I'm intrigued by this vitamin B and folic acid suggestion. I gather this would not show up in any normal blood work? I was told he was tested from A-Z but perhaps this is a test that is conducted separately? I shall continue to conduct a search for this info on the forum.

By the way, Apache is on medication now. Since Saturday, he's been on 15mg of Phenobarbital twice daily.

Thanks to both of you for your insightful information and help. I'll keep digging for as long as these accompanying symptoms exist. I never did like coincidences, but I could just be looking for something that is not there.

Brian

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by MK's mom » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:30 am

Brian,

I contacted the gal that found her boy malabsorbed his B12 and folic acid, this is our conversation below:

A man just started posting to the list that has a German Shepherd who just started seizing/clustering and he said the boy has had diarrhea and a runny nose, then the seizures come. Does this sound like the same thing Edward was presenting with?



Well, not exactly..Edward had cyclical diarrhea since he was 12 months old..I think over time he malabsorbed his B12/B9..my concern would be the runny nose (does his dog have fever?)..sounds like something is triggering the seizures..but again, a blood test to send to Texas A&M would not hurt his pup and could easily measure the levels..certainly I would do that..I wonder if he picked something up somewhere??

Please keep me informed on this poor pup.

Also, by the way, I contacted Texas A&M directly to update them on Edwards progress and tell them how frustrating it is that most neuros don't see the connection between Bcomplex and seizures. The supervisor told me there are many dogs throughout the country that the B complex has stopped the seizures.


Have you had Apache's full thyroid panel done? As for the runny nose, my boy started with that last year, too, and a bloody nose for a couple of months that turned out to be a 'blood vessel anamoly' that just started and stopped for no apparent reason. If Apache is seizing secondary to another problem, you'll just have to keep digging like you said and hopefully you'll find a cause that you can treat.

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

Mandypop
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:29 am
Location: London, UK

Re: Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by Mandypop » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:56 am

Hi there

Sorry you had to join us. Another thing to look at is; has your dog had any vaccinations, worming or flea treatments lately?

Although many vets will say these do not cause seizures, many on here have linked them to the start of their dogs onset of seizures.

Good luck with your dog.
Mandy
Poppy - 9 year old whippet/greyhound (20 kg)

First seizure- 17th Oct 2006
Last seizure - 17th Nov 2009

90mg Pb twice daily
320mg KBr daily

Apache
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:50 pm

Re: Trying to Make Heads or Tails Of It All

Post by Apache » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:02 pm

Again, I can't thank you all enough!

I'm at work currently, so I'll make this as brief as possible.

In regards to Apache's diarrhea, I would definitely say it's cyclical. Once every 7 days we can count on him developing it for roughly a 36 hour period. Then, it disappears. It's been like that since probably November.

Would you happen to know the dosage of Vitamin B-12 and folic acid that the gal was giving her dog? Apache is 111 pounds at the moment. I would like to try him on that seeing as how the B complex of Vitamins would easily pass through his system should he not require them anyway.

No temperature with Apache and his runny nose is of the clear variety. His physical went extremely well. As the vet said to us, he's the picture of health.

His shots were all current, so no, he had not received any vaccinations in the past while.

Thanks again. Well, back to the grind,.....

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