Riley had a seizure!

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Kristy
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Riley had a seizure!

Post by Kristy »

Not 30 minutes after Mike and I were talking about what a great dog Riley is, except for his bladder problem, he stumbles out of the bedroom into the living room, not looking like himself. I noticed he was sitting funny and shaking. He tried walking over to Mike, but was shaky and it looked like something was wrong with his hind legs. Mike picked him up, put him on his lap, and he was all stiff and staring into space. I thought he was going to die! He was really hot to the touch too. He wasn't responding to his name and looked dilerious. We drove 30 minutes to the nearest Animal "ER," where they told us they think he had a seizure. He was "high stepping" and very wobbly, he also was dripping urine (which is not part of his normal bladder problem). They did a blood test, and everything looked fine they said. By the time we got home, about 3 hours later, he was recognizing his name again, but still wobbly. He reminded me of a Parkinsons patient. The vet said Epilepsy usually comes on around his age, he is almost 3. They said to wait and see if he has any more episodes. I dont understand how they dont know for sure if he had a seizure, based on how he was acting. Obviously something happened. We couldn't think of anything unusual he would have eaten.

Since the vet did a blood test, what other tests are there to check to see what caused the seizure?
I've been reading on the board about possible causes, and the only thing that I can think of that's changed recently is switching from Iams to Nutro, and hiring a lawn service, which sprayed 2 weeks ago. Could the lawn spray have done this? (two weeks later) They said it's safe for pets to be around after several hours.

This was so scary to see. My mind immediately starting thinking that THIS is the reason we kept Colby, because Riley was going to die. And what a good decision it was. Well, thankfully he didn't die, but it was awful to watch. Mike had a friend growing up with a Brittany that had seizures, is this fairly common in the breed?

Sandy
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Seizure

Post by Sandy »

Kristy, Rusty had a few seizures (four exactly, over 4 years) very similar to how you described Riley's. All of a sudden, he would get up, try walking, wobble side to side really exaggerated, and had that same high prancing step. Each time, it lasted just a few minutes, but it takes years off your life - it's so frightening.

Each time, we've taken him to the vet who said if it wasn't happening frequently there wasn't much to do. The last time it happened, the vet did blood analysis (twice) and urinalysis. Everything came back fine. In the first blood test, they thought they saw elevated fat levels (not sure what the medical term was), but the second tests were perfect.

What I noticed was that each time this occured, we had given Rusty a nice size portion of steak leftovers. The last two occurances were in November and December of 2003 - so they were close enough that I remembered exactly what he ate, did etc. Since then, no table scraps, and no seizures.

I would imagine that this is not Riley's situation, but wanted to let you know that Rusty has had the same type of seizure, they said it was not epilepsy and were not sure what it is, but he is doing great. Good luck, I know how horrifying it is to watch.

Kristy
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Post by Kristy »

Thanks Sandy.

We'll have to really pay attention to what Riley's been doing, eating, etc if/when another episode happens. My husband thought maybe it was brought on by lots of playing with Colby. But, I dont think he was playing any more than usual.
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Karen_P
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Seizures

Post by Karen_P »

Seizures are one of the more common ailments Brittanys are afflicted with. My Zachery has seizures also (we adopted him almost 2 years ago). His seizures sound very similar to Riley's. He looks like a drunken sailor, high stepping, loss of equilibrium, staring out into space, sometimes drooling.

Start keeping a log of any suspected seizure activity and what you did that day. We've been able to correlate Zach's seizures with days he's more active than normal. Your vet probably won't recommend medication unless the seizures are more frequent than once a month or they get progressively worse in intensity. Zach now takes Phenobarbital twice a day (I just throw it into his food).

Zach has seizures every month or two, but lives a perfectly normal and happy life otherwise. He has learned to come find me when he is going to have a seizure, and I just comfort him through it.

The best thing you can do right now is keep that log. If he has a seizure, write down how long it was, how long his recovery took, what you did that day, anything you can think of that might help establish a pattern. Best of luck and my prayers are with you!

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

Kristy: I'd sure be suspicious of the lawn treatment....check with the manufacturer of the chemicals used to see if they will admit to any adverse affects with small children or pets. Check with the CDC to see if they have any adverse reports on the chemicals used....one thing to check thoroughly are the inert ingredients, some mfgr's won't tell you what they are even though they may be 90% of the total ingredients. Use of the word "inert" is very misleading, it does not mean they have no effect, rather it means they are not part of the patent for the chemical that is being used for a specific reason.

Riley could be having a gradual build-up of the chemicals over the two week period....sometimes "they" will say stuff is safe because it doesn't make anyone sick in the first day or so, but some of those chemicals keep on working for a long time, and in fact can be stored in the body and build up to an amount that is finally noticeably harmful. Unfortunately, the connection is not made because of the time lapse...just something for you to check out thoroughly, don't let anyone dazzle you with BS, find out everything you can until you are satisfied the chemicals used are in fact innocent.

Environmental factors that affect our health are a real nightmare to home in on as the guilty party for any affliction. If the vet rules out organic reasons for the seizures with blood, MRI's, all the tests, then I would really set my sights on environmental causes. As Karen mentioned, keep a daily journal, it is the only way you will be able to see if a pattern is developing.

There is so much to learn about this affliction, but there is also a lot of information available, just start digging!!

Barb Wright

lara
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drooling

Post by lara »

is drooling considered a sign of seizures? or is it usually combined with other symptoms? Jemee drools unbelievably. I wonder (jokingly) if she's part mastiff, sometimes. I haven't noticed any of the other things you mentioned (high stepping, etc...)

Barb Wright
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Drooling

Post by Barb Wright »

Lara: When does the drooling occur? Surely you aren't saying constant?? And what is the consistancy of the drool...opaque, clear, slimy, watery?? Anyway, seizures usually evidence multiple physical symptoms during the event, so a single presentation just means something else is prompting it.

With a Brittany, drooling usually means there is food present or food aromas wafting....the nose says "lovely" and the saliva glands say "We're ready!!!!".

One other consideration.....something lodged in the gums or mouth somewhere....give a good examination, see if you notice anything that shouldn't be there. For sure, *constant* drooling would not be normal.

Barb Wright

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Post by Mark »

I dont know anything about the seizures, but I do know a bit about the drooling. Make sure your pup isnt getting into anything. For a few days, Monty was drooling all over the place.. a half an onion had somehow missed the back of the garbage can (I guess that was from me cooking iron chef style ;) ), and he was back there, taking a bite of it, here and there. I guess they are allergic to onions or something, as it was making him drool all the time. A couple days later, I caught him, threw away the onion, and no more drooling..

-Mark

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Drooling

Post by Cindy »

This is all very interesting. My dogs got into copperhead snakes when we took them on the river to swim. We never heard them bark or whine but they both came back to the canoe drooling, unable to walk very well, and generally appearing dazed and confused. We called our vet and he immediately said "copperheads, get them here ASAP." On our way, their breathing became quite labored and their necks began to swell so much that we had to remove their collars! Massive doses of antibiotics, a couple days at the vet, and they both recovered fully. So ... I guess the drooling was related to a type of poison or maybe a severe allergic reaction. It almost makes you want to keep them in the house all the time! I guess "curiosity can kill the dog" too!

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drooling

Post by lara »

barb I notice Jemee drooling almost every day...at least once. It does seem to be related to scents or stimulation. I am pretty convinced that she must just have a highly sensitive nose. I had her on dyphenhydramine (benadryl) for a month to determine if her weepy eye was an allergy and it (the benadryl) didn't seem to stop the drooling. So I don't think its an allergy. Sometimes she's just looking out the window and she'll be drooling. She is very mouthy and I think that may be related to the drooling....she just has a sensitive mouth and nose.

When others were saying that, when having a seizure, dogs may drool, that scared me a bit because Jemee does drool. But she doesn't show any other signs, so I guess she's ok there.

I've been dating a vet for a few months now (how convenient! :lol: and he thinks her weepy eye is a blocked tear duct and has no relation to her drooling. Her vet and my vet :wink: seem to agree that the drooling is not a concern. so.....

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Post by Janice »

Haven't had any experience with seizures, but thought I would add that I met a woman at the dog park with a Standard Poodle. The dog had a couple of them when he was younger. This woman lives on a golf course and would run him there at night. Golf courses used lots of chemicals and she attributed them to the chemicals as once she stopped taking the dog there the seizures stopped.

Janice

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Riley Had a Seizure

Post by DualCH Brits »

The reason the vets say they "think" that Riley had a seizure is because without actually seeing the dog in the middle of the seizure, and without an ECG ( heart monitorization during the seizure activity) is cannot be totally confirmed. They are just being careful in how they word things. Yes, it sure sounds as if your Riley had a classic one, though!

Epilepsy is in the breed on a wide spread basis. Several things can trigger the onset and like Barb said, I would sure ask more questions of the lawn service people.

BUT that said, you mentioned that Riley also has a bladder problem. What exactly is the problem, and could that be related in any way? Kidney malfunction as well as diabetes can present clinically with Seizure activity. Have the Kidney & Glucose levels been thoroughly checked out in those bloodpanels? Did the vets run complete panels or just look at the basic kidney/liver ( usually cheaper by about $100) functions?

2 things that I would do since Riley is so young. 1) Change the diet yet again to an even better quality kibble or better yet, try to go to a natural, home cooked ( or raw if you can stand it) grain free diet. 2) Keep a log of EVERYTHING Riley does, eats, is exposed to so you can try to detemine if there is a pattern AND a trigger! Lot do dogs live long healthy lives with epilepsy so don't get discouraged.

On the subject of excessive drooling these are all reasons for it happening:
Physical ailment (teeth, gums, foreign object)
Stress ( lots of dogs will drool when they are extremely stressed or excited)
Contaminate ( they got into something like onions or spiders or even snakes)
excessive drooling should brought to your veteirnarians attention if it lasts more then an hour or is followed with swelling, pain, vomitting, diarrhea and elevated temps.
Helen
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juliette
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Re: Riley Had a Seizure

Post by juliette »

DualCH Brits wrote:Epilepsy is in the breed on a wide spread basis. Several things can trigger the onset and like Barb said, I would sure ask more questions of the lawn service people.
You should definitely ask them questions, but don't bother with, "Is it safe, or might it have caused a siezure in my dog?" You will get only the boilerplate answers that they can legally give you. I worked for a major lawn care company for many years, and there is not much they are allowed to say in answer to "Is it safe?" Not because it isn't safe, but rather, to make a long story short, no one can legally claim that any product is "safe," not even bottled water.

The more significant question to ask would be, "What exactly was sprayed/spread on my lawn?" Get the chemical name of each product, don't accept generic terms like, "pre-emergent crabgrass control," or "grub protection." Ask for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for each component of the application. No - don't ask for, insist on it. That is what you should copy and show to the vet. Keep one copy for yourself, to put in the dog's "health file" that you are no doubt compiling at this point.

If you don't get what you want from the lawn care person you speak to, insist on speaking to a manager. Try to remain calm and reasonable, and if possible, don't cancel the service until AFTER you get the answers you want. :wink:

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Post by Soopermum62 »

Just a FYI...If your dog is seizure prone, he/she should not receive Acepromazine maleate as a sedative. It causes seizures in seizure prone dogs. I learned of this first hand. Buddy is very excitable in the car, and He Whimpers, whines and paces constantly. Even if he is crated. I gave "ACE" on my vets advice, and Buddy not only seized, he also stopped breathing. Not once but more than once. He received mouth to snout rescue breathing. Buddy recovered completely, Thank goodness, But it is now noted on his chart, and The whole family knows of it too.
He has not had a seizure since.

Lisa
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Brandi 9/6/2002 from a breeder
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Kristy
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Post by Kristy »

Helen-

Riley's bladder problem is that it won't expand, so he needs to pee every 3-4 hours while awake. He gets through the night, thankfully just fine. He went through a ton of tests over 2 years ago, the last of which I think was called IVP where they put dye in him to check things out. They said while under anesthesia even, his bladder would not expand.

About the lawn service, I canceled it right after he had the seizure. I've been asking for a list of chemicals, and I just got a huge brochure yesterday, which I haven't looked through yet. The person on the phone says Riley would have had to eat like 6lbs or some crazy amount in order to have any adverse effects from the spray. I'm just mad because I don't think we should have to pay, and they've been calling to collect recently. I just want to freak out on them and tell them where to go. I've considered threatening to tell the entire neighborhood about what happened, given lots of people have their service. I doubt that would have any effect on the "customer service" person who I've been talking to. Maybe I'll call and talk to a manager, but I feel like I don't have "proof" that the spray caused the siezure, and the vet can't say for sure, so I don't have a very strong case to argue. It's so frustrating!
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