epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

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.

Moderator: Box40Rin

Post Reply
pjpick
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:42 pm

epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by pjpick » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:39 pm

I have a 2 year old male schnoodle rescue dog which I've only had for 2 months. Last night he started to have grand mal cluster seizures and was somewhat unresponsive afterwards. After taking him to the ER and to CSU Vet hospital where he was treated with Valium for both. The CSU neurologist of course suggested MRI and CSF spinal tap to diagnose GME which I can't afford. Since I declined the tests he suggested treating him for epilepsy first and we've given him a loading dose of phenobarb. I'm concerned though that his symptoms may be more concurrent with GME.

My question here is: What kind of post ictal symptoms do you see in your dogs? For mine, it was quite a while after his Valium dose (4-5 hours) and he kept circling the examination room and didn't seem to want to be held (which is odd for him). It was hard for me to decipher if this was because it was a place he wasn't accustomed to or if this was a symptom.

Also, for those of you who have had dogs who have had cluster seizures (initial seizures without medication), were they just zonked afterwards? and for how long?

I appreciate any info you can give me.
Thanks.
Pamela

debs
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:05 am

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by debs » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:25 am

We unfortunately lost our pet last June to epilipsy. I can offer you only my own experiences with this devil! Our vet at the time said that having a seizure is comparable to running a marathon--they are completely exhausted. When you couple that with multiple seizures I can only imagine how hard that has to be on their little systems. We found it most important to keep things calm during and after her seizures. A darkened room and rest, if they can settle down, seemed to work best for our Saylor. Suggestions of putting a lavender candle/scent in the area also was made. I'd also like to add that her behavior was different each time. Sometimes you would not even know that she'd had a seizure, other times she would act oddly. Saylor started having seizures when she was just 1 1/2 years old, the age typically for idiopathic epilepsy. We didn't do any other tests as our vet really thought nothing would be found. Unfortunately for us, no medication gave us good control. She had seizures (cluster usually) about every 10-14 days, occasionally we went once or twice maybe 3 weeks. Ultimitely it was more than her body could take. The meds (PB and Kbr) took there toll on her. She was a 90 lb. german shepherd who at the end of the day didn't want to play, had trouble picking up her back feet, etc. She was just 4 when we lost her. To this day when I think of her I just cry--she was my very best friend! A more gentle soul I have not seen. I wish you the best for your pet. It's a difficult road to travel, but the joy our pets bring us is worth the effort.

pjpick
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by pjpick » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:51 am

Debs
Thank you so much for your response. Even though it's not the best of news it helps. With his first seizures, I was thinking he was exhausted but the vet was really concerned that he was so sedate so that's why we had to go further. Did your doc say anything about GME? I was concerned that his wandering was more a case of GME. The vets called me this a.m. and say he isn't wandering around anymore so maybe it was just a post-ictal thing or a new place thing. The Vet school docs are telling me that if the seizures don't stop after a month that I should start treatment with immunosuppresant steroids because it's probably GME.

I'm so sorry about your dog. My Bobby sounds like yours. He is very loving and likes to play (fortunately he also likes to lay on my belly and be petted). I appreciate you sharing your experience with me.
Pamela

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:00 pm

Jake had a few cluster seizures back in October and we put him on Keppra. So far so good. After each cluster he was exhausted, but didn't pace around for more than about 20-30 minutes. Before we started him on meds in 2007 he would pace around for maybe an hour. I think every dog is different, but you may need to consult a neurologist to see what they recommend. Our vet consulted for us. We didn't have an MRI done either because our vets really didn't think it would show anything, and it's very expensive. When they give a loading dose of Phenobarbital it can take awhile before your dog returns to their normal behavior. I'm really sorry that you're going through this. It can can be so confusing, and frustrating. Just read as much as you can and trust your instincts when it comes to what you think is best. It's very easy to jump into decisions when you're so afraid for your dog.
Take Care,
Linda

Gentle Jacob
Australian Shepherd-5 yrs old
First Seizure 10/04/06
Last Seizure 04/26/10

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

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by Apache » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:39 pm

Pamela,

Our Thunder used to be totally wiped after a seizure,...for hours on end. He was an 88 pound German Shepherd. Our current one, Apache, (115 pounds) also suffers from them, but he seems to snap out of the seizures more quickly than Thunder did. Unlike Thunder, who just wanted to go to sleep, Apache is more restless and generally asks for the door afterward. Perhaps it's the cool air that helps snap him out of it more quickly. Once he comes to, and is comfortable with everything, only then does he want to sleep. But, it can sometimes only be a cat-nap. He's ready for play shortly after.

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

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by richmauer » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:36 am

My Peanut has had post ictal behavior almost every seizure. Some times it is very mild pacing, sometimes much more severe. Sometimes it would last for 10 minutes, sometimes for 2 days (unbearable). A few years back, it was much worse than it is now. She would pace and bark and cry. At times, she was actually "blind", bumping into things and lost. Be very careful because she was lost at neighbor's properties several times. One thing I have learned is the symptoms constantly change, so don't be too surprised when they do. Not to discourage you, but I did not find any treatments to lessen the postictal period. And I took Peanut to the neuro at Univ of Pennsylvania and they had no suggestions either!!!
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

pjpick
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by pjpick » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:24 am

Wow! Thanks guys. This really really helps. My Bobby wandered around for a day and half after I brought him home (could have been the phenobarb too, who knows) and now he seems fairly normal except for some side effects of the phenobarb. I'm still watching him like a hawk though. His main side effect now seems to be hind limb weakness.

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

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by Apache » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:24 pm

pjpick wrote:Wow! Thanks guys. This really really helps. My Bobby wandered around for a day and half after I brought him home (could have been the phenobarb too, who knows) and now he seems fairly normal except for some side effects of the phenobarb. I'm still watching him like a hawk though. His main side effect now seems to be hind limb weakness.
Ditto, here. Apache has been dragging his rear legs off and on since the introduction of Phenobarbital. Well, perhaps not dragging them, but occasionally I'll hear his nails scrape the ground.

Brian

milla04
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:10 pm

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by milla04 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:07 pm

my cat is on phenobarbital and doesn't seem to have any side effects.
it seems as she knows when she is about to have a fit as she climbs down if she is at a height. after the fit, she wanders around the house looking slightly dazed as if she doesn't recognize where she is. she will do this for an hour maximum and then go back to normal.

SneakyPete
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:59 am
Location: Hyderabad, India

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by SneakyPete » Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:33 pm

Pardon my ignorance, what is GME

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

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by richmauer » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:29 pm

Granulomatous meningoencephalitis

Hope Pete has stopped!
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

anita
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:53 pm

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by anita » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:34 pm

i dont know if this will help your dog or not, but i had a specialist recommend the glucosamin/chondroiten combo. lucy currently gets 750/400 and it has helped her movement immensely. i buy the pet naturals hip and joint brand from petco. before she started this, she had great difficulty moving, didnt want to play, or go outside. she is much more active now. sometimes still has jerky movements out of her hind legs, but overall, much better

Dogue Lover
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:45 am

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by Dogue Lover » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:46 am

Pjpick- We just rescued a dog 4 weeks ago with epi. He was seizure free for 4 weeks then had seizures in a cluster of 5. After the 5th one we got him to the vets since this is all new to us and were scared.
It sounds like our guy was the same way except he didn't circle very long in the vets exam room. He found a comfy spot and was down snoring and didn't even budge to move when the vet came back in. My husband had to carry him (119 lbs) It was 48 hours after before the dog came back to wanting anything from food or wanting any type of affection(which is not like him) He was dazed and confused.

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

Re: epilepsy vs GME--post ictal symptoms

Post by ShilohsMom » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:20 pm

The only thing predictable about Shiloh's seizures and post ictal phase are the unpredictability. Most of the times he paces, drink LOTS of water, and whines but settles down after 15-20 minutes. Then there are times, especially when he has quite a few clusters where it can take him hours/days before he's back to normal (at least normal for him :D ) During those times he may bite on all sorts of stuff he normally wouldn't like dog bowls, dresser knobs, clothing, furniture, etc. He may also have ataxia to the point of not being able to lift his leg to pee. He can be VERY clingy and paces for hours. Nothing like wet dog nose in your face every 15 seconds all night long... "Mom, are you awake, Mom???? Mom?" Somehow though, wet dog nose is better than a finger in my face. Funny how we're so forgiving of our hairy babies.

Shiloh did have an MRI and extensive testing back in August because his back legs weren't working right and they were concerned it was a brain tumor. Thankfully he didn't have a tumor, but they did find that he had damaged/collapsed a disk in his back.

Are you able to get a second opinion on the GME? I'm curious as to why they are so quick to start treating for GME if the seizures don't stop in a month. Shiloh has had seizures for almost 5 years and we've never really had good control over his seizures. From what I've read it sounds like most people spend a long time trying to find the right combination of meds to get seizures under control and a lot of them never really do, Shiloh included. If it's not GME and they're treating him for that, what are the risks?
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Post Reply