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from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:46 pm
by Eley's Mom
As most everyone knows, Eley has only had grand mals. When she has them, she clusters very badly. A typical episode is 8-10 grand mals in about an hour's time (give or take a little).

Last night was weird. We went out and when we came home I opened her crate door to let her out. She was just sitting facing the back of her crate. I called her name and she didn't respond whatsoever. She stayed like that for probably 30 seconds. She finally stood up, but still was not responding to me, but her hair stood up on her back. She finally turned around and walked out of the cage, but wasn't her normal happy self. I took her outside and she did her business...then ate it :shock: That's VERY odd for her. Even as a puppy I had never seen her do that. Sorry for the grossness of that...

When we came back in, instead of coming by me she went back to her cage.
I kept eyeing her like a hawk expecting her to fall down into a grand mal, but she never did.

I gave her an extra pill (16.2mg) of phenobarbital just in case. Other than that, it turned out to be uneventful.

Today she's just clingy. I called the vet to talk through it with her and she said it definitely sounds like a neurological episode and likely a focal seizure.
She decided that since it was likely a focal seizure and not a typical grand mal cluster that she didn't think it was necessary to change around any meds.

Anyone else go from always clustering to having just a focal seizure? I don't know whether I should rejoice in the fact that she had just a little focal seizure of be weary of something lurking around the corner...

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:03 am
by ShilohsMom
Even though each and every one of knows how unpredictable this stupid disease is, it's still unnerving when they do the unpredictable from what we consider normal for them. I think Shiloh has also started having the occasional focal seizure and like you, not sure if it's something to feel positive about or if it's a sign of progression. I'm pretty sure he's had other episodes where it hasn't been as obvious as the one he had this week where he was opening/closing his mouth and making smacking noises for about 15-20 seconds then acting completely afraid of me and his surroundings for a while. I have caught him staring off into space then acting weird for a while after like he's not sure what's going on. Once he comes around he's clingy as well.

I did have to chuckle about apologizing for the "grossness" of her eating her own poop. If that was the grossest thing Shiloh ever did, I'd be plumb happy! :D I remember walking into the house greeted by the smell, seeing what had happened and saying "holy cow, where do I begin to clean this up?"

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:42 am
by Eley's Mom
lol, I know exactly what you're talking about! I always have a moment when I have to chuckle when we've had to take her in to the emergency vet because by the time we get there she's no longer black and white....she's brown and yellow...
We call it her "seizure juice"...haha

I'm just glad they give her a "courtesy bath" and clean the crate too. :lol:

Like you, I'm now curious if this is something new or just something I had never seen her do before. Oh, the joys.
For now though, I've decided to be ecstatic that she didn't have to go through all those grand mals!!

By the Miss Eley celebrates her 5th birthday!!
9 months ago when she was diagnosed I was terrified she wouldn't make it this far, and here we are!!

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:10 am
by cesullivan
Yes, Jim is doing the same. Went from horrible cluster Grand Mals to these weird episodes. Monday he went blind, sat on all fours, trembled like a scared little kid and was the clingiest doggie ever, alert and responsive. Next one 10 minutes later, he started goose-stepping over to me, didn't look like he could see, got to me and was trembling, alert and responsive.

Doc said "sorry to hear, but definitely an interesting pattern".

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:16 am
by ShilohsMom
Well, give Ms. Eley a big birthday hug for us! Yesterday was Shiloh's 9th birthday. Don't suppose Eley's into older men? Shiloh's available and quite the catch in spite of his issues. And once the severe ataxia wears off he should be able to court her in style.

Oh that's a good one, "seizure juice"! I've been lucky so far in that Shiloh usually doesn't poop during a seizure but he does pee and being male, it's amazing at where that can end up. I've said before that I hope I'm never the victim of a violent crime in my home because when they whip out the black like they are seriously going to wonder what the heck I was into!

I'm like you in that I can't worry about what "might" be going on, just try to find the victory in what didn't happen. If I worried about Shiloh's seizures and damaged disc I'd be a basket case which isn't helpful because I'm doing everything I can and have to find the comfort in it.

Hope Eley has a wonderful, joyous day!


Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:17 am
by Gentle Jacob's mom
Jake has done the smacking mouth focal seizure thing from time to time, mostly after a Gmal, but sometimes by itself. I've always been told that it's definitely better than a Gmal, but I'm always still on guard thinking the Gmal (or another one) is right around the corner.
Last year we had this heavy duty cold front that came through and Jake had a really weird time of it, so I called our vet and she said that all of her other epi dog owners were calling her about weird seizure behavior too. She did some checking and found out that these big weather patterns can definitely affect epi dogs and their seizures. This massive cold front hitting most of us would probably qualify! It's not here yet, but I'm busy making sure all of my veggies are tucked in, and keeping a very close watch on Jake. He loves that!
Jake would eat a mountain of poop if we let him. And if he got it on himself, I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning it off because he'd probably beat me to it! He used to pee and poop all over the place when he seized, plus his anal glands would express. It was lovely! Luckily that stopped a couple of years ago. Had to laugh when I read "seizure juice". That is a good one!
Happy Birthday Eley and Shiloh!!! Hugs to all!!
They wouldn't have made it so far without such great parents!
By the way, if Eley's smart she'll check out the photo of Shiloh posted here. He's one sharp looking guy.
Hope you all make it through the deep freeze.
Take Care,

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:57 pm
by Eley's Mom
That's interesting with the cold fronts. The day of her first seizure, the high temperature was a whopping -14 degrees.

Monday night the front had not *quite* hit yet. It hit less than 12 hours later. I know it was probably still affecting her though...

Eley is single and ready to mingle! He might have to get through her big, little brother though. lol Hopefully Shiloh doesn't mind she's not always lady-like. She farts and snores...A LOT!
Her hobbies include eating, sleeping, playing fetch, and cuddling :)

She's having a wonderful day at work. Everyone has been giving her extra treats (like she needs anymore food! :roll: )
Tonight she'll get a piece of the homemade doggie-friendly cake I baked and of course extra hugs from everyone here!!

Happy birthday to Shiloh as well!!

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:21 pm
by ShilohsMom
That is interesting about the cold fronts, we had one come through a few days ago. Looks like it will be with us for a while to. Wasn't as cold as -15, but this morning was a windchill of 10. Downright nippy!!!!

I'm sure Eley's little brother would love Shiloh. He's very undemanding. When he was little I would take him to the dog park and puppies would climb all over him, sometimes a dog would try to hump him and he'd just look at me like "are you going to help me out here?" As far as Eley not being lady like by farting and snoring, Shiloh's used to it cause I'm not that lady like either! :lol:

Hope Eley's day continues to go wonderfully.

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 2:32 pm
by Eley's Mom
Well good, they'll be a match!

The -14 degree weather was this past February. haha, Chicago hasn't gotten THAT cold yet this year. We're just a little chilly...lower 30's right now.

Re: from grand mals to focal seizures?

Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:41 am
by cforecatsmeow
No. 1 - Happy Birthday to all of the above :) Another milestone! No. 2 - "seizure juice" has been all over my house along with the copious slobber goop that gets on everything and if anyone comes in there with a black light I will be mortified. No. 3 - I'm in Florida, we're getting down to 38 tonight and we are not happy about it. Yes, I am originally from Virginia, lived in Colorado many years ago, but when it is 75 - 80 one day and then down to 38 the next night, it's just unbearable :) Even my pets are spoiled to this weather now. The cats won't even dare to exit the back door tonight. I have not paid too much attention to fronts coming in and a relation to seizures but who knows!!!! Full moons? Maybe. No. 4 - I think farts and snoring are common to female dogs. My Patty Cake poots all the time, even when she jumps up on the couch, and snores like a bear. Winston does not seem to mind though so maybe the Shiloh/Eley union would work!

Back to the subject at hand, Winston has "weird" moments as well. I have found him staring at the wall in a complete hypnotic state, and staring at himself in the full length mirror like an Alzheimer's patient that doesn't recognize their own self. He does the gum smacking at times. He gets overly hyper (which usually is a really bad sign of what is to come). I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing though if it is not turning into a full on Grand Mal. It means the medicine is working, keeping the brain from going into total freaking chaos, and the seizures are not progressing into something much worse like clustering. When I do find him in those states now, I try and change his focus to something else and have started doing a bit of ocular compression to calm him down. It does seem to work. My neighbor is into energy healing and she has been working on him and, no matter how odd it sounds, it seems to have an effect as well. We are still holding tight at 1 Grand Mal a month so I cannot complain.

Happy Birthdays to all again :) Here is to many, many more!