Late onset epilepsy?

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Across10725
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 10:11 am

Late onset epilepsy?

Post by Across10725 » Wed May 31, 2017 9:38 am

Hi everybody,
I am so happy to have found this forum. Our 6.5 year old Valley/American bull started having seizures about 2 weeks ago. At first she would just zone out and get really foamy at her mouth and we didn't know what was happening. Then on Thursday night last week she had a grand mal seizure, convulsing on her side, flipping over and foaming at the mouth. It lasted about two minutes and then she laid on her side panting and seemed to not recognize us (or maybe not see at all?). We took her to the emerge vet because we were absolutely terrified. She had another grand mal seizure while at the vet. They hooked her up to an IV of Valium and she was sent home the next day after going 12 hours with no seizure activity. They tested her thyroid, liver, kidneys and did a blood cell count. All came back normal. She is now on 75mg twice a day of phenobarbital. She hasn't had any seizures since we have been home, but has been doing a bit of weird twitching/head shaking off and on and is having the usual side effects of phenobarbital that we were warned about (but honestly now we are over analyzing everything she does so much it's hard to even separate what is normal and what is new behaviour). After that huge explanation here is my question: has anybody had a dog 6+ years of age that started having seizures and it resulted in epilepsy? Several vets have pointed out to us that because of her age it unfortunately could indicate a brain tumour. I know there is no way of knowing for sure unless we have an MRI done, but I'm curious to hear of others experiences.
I have found a lot of comfort in reading posts on this forum in knowing that we are not alone in our fear of these seizures... so thank you to all!
-Amanda

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Late onset epilepsy?

Post by ShilohsMom » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:57 am

Hi Amanda and welcome to the boards. It's so hard not to overanalyze and be jumpy at every little sound, especially in the early part. It can take a bit for the side effects of the Pheno to wear off so hang in there and try to document what's going on.

The older a dog is when it starts having seizures CAN mean that there's an underlying cause. Maybe tumor, but would suspect that you'd be seeing other signs such as head pressing, weakness, vomiting, etc. It could also be a reaction to something, ticks, medications (I had Shiloh on K9 Advantix for a year and then all of a sudden he had a neuro issue and had to be rushed to the vet, that was before his seizures started), food, infection, etc. It can be really frustrating and expensive trying to figure out what's going on but don't give up hope. Listen to your vets but don't be afraid to ask a second opinion if you don't feel comfortable. Are you able to see a neurologist?
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Across10725
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 26, 2017 10:11 am

Re: Late onset epilepsy?

Post by Across10725 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Hi Shilohs Mom. Thanks so much for your reply.
It's funny you mention that with brain tumours often come other symptoms because we just took Dallas to see our regular vet (the other tests and information came from the vets at the emerge) and he said the same thing. We have an amazing vet that even said I could call him at home for advice if she seizes when they are closed because he could tell how stressed I was about the situation. We are so thankful for him! I am wondering if we should look further into the tick thing because in our area there is actually a huge tick problem right now and our pup spends lots of time laying in the grass. To see a neurologist we would have to drive about 5 hours from where we live. We have talked about making that decision if Dallas starts having frequent seizures. I am happy to report that today marks one week from when she was started on phenobarbital and she hasn't had a seizure since! I know a week isn't much, but we will celebrate any and all small victories we get :)
Amanda

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