Tips on how to deal with epileptic dog?

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Tips on how to deal with epileptic dog?

Post by GinaXYZ » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:50 am

Hey, thanks for stopping by!

I have a 3 year old Labrador-Vizsla mix (66lbs or 30KG and 70cm shoulder height) that recently has had his first seizure and immediately got diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. The vet did blood work and checked for all the normal diseases. Turns out my dog has a good diet and is otherwise very healthy. His first seizure happened on november 16th 2017, lasted around 90 seconds. He peed everywhere and for about the entire week after the seizure he had been sleepier and a bit less excited. He has also had smaller seizures, once where he walked like he was drunk during a walk (it didnt progress into a grand mal seizure) and one where he smelled a particularly delicious female dog and his teeth started chattering together and he seemed a little disoriented (not 100% sure if that was a seizure but he has never done that before). The entire morning before his first seizure which happened at around 12:35 he seemed lethargic, he didn't eat, didn't wanna play, he stood around for a while and then when the seizure began he started gagging. I was in another room and heard him gag and thought he might be throwing up so I went to check on him, only when I got there he was sitting with his mouth wide open and his eyes squinted and his ears laid all the way back. I picked him up at first thinking he was choking, trying to do a heimlich on him. Only then I realized just how stiff he was so I put him down and got my phone to call my aunt, whose dog had a seizure before. She explained to me what's going on and that I need to calm myself and the dog as soon as he gets out of the seizure. So then he got up shortly after falling down and started barking and growling at me for roughly 2 minutes before he decided it was time to cuddle and pretend he's a lap dog. After he immediately went to eat and drink, and he has been drinking a lot more ever since. He seems to have completely calmed down from his seizure now so he's not scared anymore or anything.

My dog isn't neutered and the vet recommended getting him neutered (he suspects a connection between a horny dog and seizures due to the dog being too aroused) but since my dog is incredibly anxious and nervous sometimes, we decided against it and instead put a hormone chip in him, at least that's reversable. Now all we can do is wait and see if he has another seizure, which to be honest drives me nuts. We are 2 people living in this apartment, my mom and me. My mom works all day and due to pretty bad depression I don't work and am alone all day with the dog. I don't have a car and there's no vet near me and my mom works a 90 minute drive away from where we live.
The doc gave me 10mg diazepam rectal tubes which I'm supposed to use if my dog ever has another seizure. The dog is fine so far, he hasn't had another seizure since then but I'm really nervous about the diagnosis and the disease itself. I'm scared something will happen while I'm not paying attention, or while I'm asleep. I haven't slept much since the seizure, getting up everytime I hear a noise just in case I have to go save him. I know there's nothing i can do but that doesn't mean that it doesn't scare me. I'm terrified because I feel like I have to deal with this all by myself and I'm almost as helpless as the dog (or at least that's how I feel). I'd also like to know if he can swim. He absolutely loves swimming and I've seen that there are doggy life vests, are they good enough?

If anybody has any tips about dealing with possible future seizures and how to be less terrified, please share. (and for anyone interested here are some pictures of my dog:

Thanks for any time you spent on reading or replying to this post and I'm sorry if this is a little disorganized and hard to read. English isn't my first language so I hope it isn't that bad :p.


Gentle Jacob's mom
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Re: Tips on how to deal with epileptic dog?

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:07 am

Hi Gina,

For someone not having English as their first language you did better than I can do sometimes :)
I'm so sorry you're having to take on this horrible disease. Is it possible for you to go with your mom on a day that she works and find a vet nearby? I think it would help you a lot to talk to a vet that knows about seizures so they can talk to you about possible medications and what you can expect. I'm sure having a mom with experience will also be helpful.
Unfortunately this disease can be very unpredictable and many of us learn to sleep with one ear perked. Please remember that you do the best that you can with the the information that we have and sometimes it can be so frustrating. On the other hand, I know several people that put their seizure dogs on Phenobarbital and the seizures stop and they rarely have another one. So it would be a good idea to either find another vet to talk to or sit down with the one you took him to after his first seizure. The gaging sound and peeing is something they do during the seizure. Barking and growling isn't unusual either. There were several times after Jake seized that he would bark, or cry for several minutes. We were told that they sometimes see things that are distorted or not there that frightens them. It's very hard to watch and hear, but over time you'll come to know what's happening and you'll be okay. You never get used to seizures but you adjust to them the best that you can and you'll find that you won't be scared all of the time. You're in the very beginning of all of this and believe me you are not alone in how you feel.
Jake had a very bad seizure once when he'd been around a female dog in heat. We did our best to make sure that never happened again. We all try so hard to find triggers and some people find them but we never did.
We always tried to keep Jake's life as normal as possible, and did the things we knew he enjoyed. He loved hiking so we bought a backpack for the other dog we have and carried his medications with us wherever we went. So if he loves to swim I would try it. Maybe just in shallow water to start, but be prepared just in case. I don't know about the vests, but your vet may be able to help you with that.
I know it's hard in the beginning to think about dealing with seizures with your beautiful dog, but we're here when you need us. Don't worry about how you say what you say. It's universal here, and we all understand.
I hope you're doing better.
Let us know how you are.

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Location: Oklahoma

Re: Tips on how to deal with epileptic dog?

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:25 pm

Hi Gina,

I'm so sorry you all are having to go through this. It's perfectly normal to be freaked out and spend your hours on pins and needles. I think there comes a day when you'll notice you're not as jumpy and scared of every sound, but this disease is a journey, not a destination. It is possible he may not have another seizure or that if he does need to be put on medication that it'll be well controlled.

Your dog can have a long happy life. As for the swimming, not sure how good the vests are but if it were me I'd probably put one on him and then buy a really long piece of rope to attach to it so if something did happen I could pull him back quickly. Plus it would give me peace of mind so I wouldn't be so stressed out the whole time he was in the water.

Not sure if you're doing it or not, but keeping a journal of the date, time, length of seizure, any behavior changes you notice, changes/additions to medication, etc can be really helpful.

Hoping for the best for you both.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

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Re: Tips on how to deal with epileptic dog?

Post by GinaXYZ » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:27 am

Thanks for the help, guys! I appreciate it :) We will be going on vacation soon so that's gonna be an adventure!

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