Idiopathic Seizures?

General questions about tests and procedures for diagnosing canine epilepsy. Please note that we cannot make a diagnosis or interpret specific test results via this forum - please consult your veterinarian for specific advice for your individual pet.

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Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Idiopathic Seizures?

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:52 pm

Has everyone here who's dog seizures, been diagnosed with "idiopathic seizures? Or is there another reason why your dog seizures?

Carolyn
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:08 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Post by Carolyn » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:55 pm

Without going thru extensive testing my vet said "idiopathic" basically I think its a term that covers a wide range of endless possiblities & it sounds better than "I don't know why".
Carolyn
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

Bethelonia
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by Bethelonia » Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:04 pm

The way I understand it, if they have not figured out something specific that is causing the seizures, for instance seizures caused by a brain tumor, then they say idiopathic seizures, or idiopathic epilepsy, which just means seizures/epilepsy of unknown origin. This doesn't mean there isn't a specific cause, it means they don't know what it is, either due to deciding not to run extensive (and possibly expensive) tests or simply because testing and examination have not brought the cause out.

My dog had seizures in addition to other neurological problems but no testing determined the exact relationship or cause of the seizures.

Epilepsy definition:

A disorder of the nervous system, characterized either by mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness (petit mal) or by severe convulsions with loss of consciousness (grand mal).

Idiopathic definition:

Relating to or being a disease having no known cause.
TJ: JRT born on 9-11-01. Genetic neuro disorders including seizures, first one at 5 mo., after that many clusters, may she Rest In Peace, PTS on 12/31/07.
KC: 8 mo. golden lab/terrier who is lost without her best buddy.

Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:16 pm

I guess the reason I ask, is because I am just looking for answers. My dog too, is idiopathic. I thought someone else maybe was diagnosed with a specific problem. So let me ask this.....has anyone done a MRI on there dog? That was the next step on mine, but for $1500.00 and if there was a tumor, who would do surgery? And I guess I am assuming that everyone has done all the blood work every 4 - 6 months? And still no answers?

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

Post by claires friend » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:12 am

I have done every test including an MRI, the only thing that has come back is low thyroid which we have corrected for the last 3 months and it still hasn't helped. How old is your dog? And how long has he had seizures? Morgan will be two this month and has seizures since she was nine months old. Even before the MRI, none of her Doctors thought it was a brain tumor because she was still alive. I don't know what to think any more. This dog started out as a rescue but now we love her so much and have spent so much trying to fix her, I can't imagine giving her up at this point.
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

Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

MRI

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:04 am

Trucker is a German Shepherd mix. He is almost 5 yrs. old. We adopted him from the Humane Society when he was about 4 months old. He started seizuring Sept of 2005. The odd thing is that he was abused, big time! They would not give us specific details, but we do know that a neighbor rescued him and turned him over to the Humane Society. I have always thought that he maybe suffered from some sort of head trauma, thus the seizures. My vet suggested a MRI, but like I said, it would cost us $1500.00 and my husband I both agree that it would do him no good. If he did have a brain tumor, or something else wrong with the brain, who would do surgery? He had a really bad New Year's. He clustered 3 days in a row. What I noticed this time is that his pupils dialated and they did not retract when I put a light on them. It was like his eyes were bulging out. This was something new.

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

Post by MK's mom » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:06 am

I had the MRI and a spinal tap done. If I had to do it all over again, I would skip those tests because my boy started seizing at 17 months old, the right age for most dogs to start seizing. Dogs that exceed 5 years old when they start to seize have a more likely chance of the seizures being caused by a brain tumor, so the MRI makes more sense. An MRI can also show if there's a head injury that can cause seizure activity.

How old was your dog when it started to seize? Unfortunately, most of the dogs on here have no known cause for the seizures. There's one dog that the owner suspects is having secondary seizures due to reactions from heartworm pills, but he doesn't post much so I don't know what the status is.

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

Bethelonia
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Virginia

Post by Bethelonia » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:41 am

I remember a few years ago I made the connection myself, without having read or heard anything about it, that my TJ might have had an increase in seizures on the heels of being treated with anti-flea stuff and/or heartworm preventative. At that point I told my vet I didn't want to use either of those on TJ anymore, and he agreed it wasn't worth the risk.

I also stopped having her immunized. Last year I wanted to take her to the school where I worked for the kids to meet her, but ultimately decided against it because she had not had the rabies vaccine, even though the chance of TJ having rabies or biting a child were pretty much zero.

When I got another puppy in May, however, I went ahead and had TJ vaccinated because her exposure to the new pup was constant and she needed to be protected from possible diseases.

All decisions regarding what products to use, immunizations, diet, etc. are difficult when you have an epileptic dog. Vets sometimes aren't as aware as you are of how different things might affect your dog. I was very pleased with my vets when they were willing to listen to me.

Beth
TJ: JRT born on 9-11-01. Genetic neuro disorders including seizures, first one at 5 mo., after that many clusters, may she Rest In Peace, PTS on 12/31/07.
KC: 8 mo. golden lab/terrier who is lost without her best buddy.

Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:08 am

Trucker was 2 yrs old when he first seizured. I just talked to my vet and she said the eye bulging and dialated pupils could be that there is a tumor and that it could be moving. Bummer. He also started licking this week, like someone gave him a tablespoon of peanut butter. She said that could be a sign of pain. This has been a rotten week!

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

Post by MK's mom » Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:11 am

That said, are you going to go ahead with the MRI? Ask your vet if in fact the pup has a tumor, if it's treatable. If not, then I'd have to rethink the expense of an MRI.

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

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:10 pm

I don't have any more input than the other folks here, but want to wish you and Tucker the best. I hope it's not a tumor and that things come under control.

We decided against the MRI because it costs too much and wouldn't fix anything. We're fairly sure our dog was abused and heard through the grapevine that being hit in the head was one of the abuses. Ada isn't quite two yet, so we're hoping to get things under control with meds and supplements.

Good luck to you.

Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:59 pm

I am sorry for you and your dog. I know what you are going through. I hope all works out.

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

Post by skrpio » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:23 pm

If your vet said the licking may be a sign of pain - what are you going to do about it ? You cannot leave your dog in any kind of pain. You need to find out if this is caused by a tumor or indeed a skull fracture that has healed incorrectly ASAP.
Jane
In loving memory of my special KiKi Bean
Seizure free forever now
Nov 25th 2002 - Nov 1st 2006
Dogue De Bordeaux

High_Voltage_Head
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by High_Voltage_Head » Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:09 pm

Nancy, if your dog starts licking the way mine does, prepare to be driven insane. It's almost every waking moment, all day long. A bunch of different vets have seen it and none of them know what it is. It could be lots of things, but nobody ever mentioned pain, and i'm sure it isn't pain with Jackson. The most common reason i hear is nausea. Or it could be seizure related.....there is something called a "chewing gum seizure". Or OCD. Or funky taste in mouth. Or overactive salivary glands. Or maybe drug related. I didn't notice what drugs your dog is on.
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

Nancy Antoniak
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:20 pm

Licking

Post by Nancy Antoniak » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:30 am

My vet was just guessing. There was a boxer that had to have knee repair and it did not heal well. They have to go to a specialist to have it repaired again. Anyway, the boxer started doing the same thing, licking that is. I don't know if it is related or not. Just a thought. And yes I am going to do something for Trucker. I am going to talk to the Dr. today.

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