Seizures

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CJ
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Seizures

Post by CJ »

So I'm calming down after freaking out last night. Was out grouse hunting with my boys and a friend and his youngest Britt. My youngest (about 3 yrs old) started whining after about 2 hrs. Called him in a few times to check for cuts or something obvious... nothing. He didn't want to stay put to get checked (tried 3 times) so I figured he was just frustrated at not having to retrieve many birds. Well... about 1/2 hour after he started whining he dropped and started having a seizure. He's never had one before and wasn't working that hard. Temperature was cool, about 60 deg. (maybe a bit cooler), light rain/mist on and off keeping things cool, plenty of water. Had fed him a little less than his normal portion that AM which is normal for us. I do that because I'd read that a dog working on a full stomach tends to lead to bowel irritation and other problems, so I feed them double the night before (I feed them 2x per day). Soo... my friend has seen these before (my first time) and said probably one of two things... maybe his sugar level went wacko or epilepsy (and that this was the age where a lot of dogs get that if they are going to get it). He recovered fine and ate like no bodies business afterword. Any thoughts on this? I'll be watching him for a while now to see if he has problems when he's not working (taking off from hunting for a few weeks just in case). Only thing different this year from last year is a food change (from Euk performance to Proplan performance) and... a year older.
Any words of wisdom from people that have been through this or are versed in this stuff will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! cj

Dave
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Post by Dave »

Hi, I would start by checking where you were to see if he got into any toxic chemicals . By this ranchers use them all the time for weed control . Round up comes to mind along with a host of others used for spraying Knapweed , Thisels etc. I worked in an EEG lab for testing human infants and the first things to rule out are enviromental causes . I'm sure others will chime in but anyway I can help let me know . I have a very knowledgable vet friend . Dave

CJ
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Post by CJ »

No ranchers, we were up deep in the grouse woods. One thing I forgot to mention was that (as I always do) I gave them both a big squirt of Energel, it's like a power bar thing... Nutrical is another similar product people might be more familiar with. It's just a kinda of high caloric easily matabolized paste. I give them that before hunting or hunt tests since I cut back on their food any morning that they're going to be working hard so they have the nutrients they need to do their work but not a full intestine.
Anyway... the other two dogs were all in the same area/vacinity and probably would have gotten into anything that Caleb would have. So while I'm not ruling out some toxic ingestions, I'm leaning more towards it being some type of hypoglycemic thing, or (God I hope not) epilepsy. Thanks for the feedback.

CJ
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Post by CJ »

Once more... something I left out. He was down for about 5 minutes locked up, but then another 5-10 seemingly trying to figure out what was going on. He didn't recognize me for a while and was growling while he was getting it toegether.
I remembered that because I had wanted to ask those who know... how does this affect them mentally? Does it kill part of their memory or anything? I ask because of how he acted for a while after, like he knew he knew me from someplace and that I was an OK person, but didn't remember that I was dad. He did however know that he hadn't had enough hunting because it was all I could do to keep him at heel on the way out of the woods.... He kept trying to go off and dive into the brush to search out birds. I'd have to call him in several times... he'd heel, then wander a little farther every 15' or so, then make a lunge for some brush to sniff around and I'd have to reel him back in. I didn't want to keep on him to much because it seemed pretty traumatic and didn't want to stress him any more mentally, but he sure seemed to want to stress himself physically.

Karen_P
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Post by Karen_P »

I've had 2 epileptic dogs and unfortunately, if the dog has had seizures at times of normal activity, it's probably not hypoglycemia (sorry!).

But don't rule out toxins yet. Toxins can build up in the system and eventually cause a seizure. It's not an immediate reaction to exposure. If his owner had his lawn treated, put down some kind of fertilizer, or anything out of the ordinary in the last week or two, that could have been the cause.

First thing is first. This dog should have blood work done, liver & kidney function and definitely a thyroid panel. If within the budget, an MRI would also be helpful to rule out any kind of brain tumor or abnormality.

If the bloodwork comes back normal and the dog has more than 1 seizure episode a month, medication would be advisable. The owner should also start a seizure log, making note of what kind of food and treats were given the day of the seizure, times given, any activities that went on that day, how long the actual seizure lasted, and how long it took the dog to recover. This may help correlate the seizures to a specific event. Seizures are always scary and can seem much longer than they really are. Timing them will let you know if they are getting progressively worse over time.

Although I haven't tried this yet, I was told by a holistic vet that supplementing with lecithin and taurine can help. He'll want to do vaccine titers instead of yearly vaccines (Zach has a seizure every time he gets a kennel cough vaccine) and switch to an all natural or raw diet to eliminate any chemicals in the dog's system too.

Karen_P
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Post by Karen_P »

Oh, and the recovery can be horrible! I had a shepherd with severe epilepsy and the first seizure he had freaked him out so badly, he chased us out of the bedroom barking and growling. He didn't have a clue who we were, and I have no doubt that he'd have bit me if given an opportunity. He barked for 3 hours straight and then calmed down a little bit.

He became manic after every seizure after that. He'd pace the floors for hours and usually had another seizure the minute he relaxed. He had horrible cluster seizures for 4 yrs (starting when he was 3 yrs old). He had them 2-3 times a year and had to be sedated for 2-3 days after to get he seizures to stop. When he was 7 yrs old the seizures stopped and he never had another one. He died at 11 from unrelated medical issues.

The period after a seizure can range from a deep sleep to manic, and anywhere in between. An epileptic seizure is a reaction to a built up electrical charge in the brain. A single, short seizure does not cause brain damage, it's more like a trauma that takes a little bit for them to come out of, but a long seizure (say 10 minutes) or a cluster of seizures one after another can cause permanent brain damage. People with dogs at risk for cluster seizures can be given injectable valium to sedate the dog in the hopes of stopping the seizures and giving the brain a chance to rebound.

Think of it this way....your normal threshold for a seizure is 10, after one seizure it's a 9, after 2 seizures it's an 8, and so on, making a seizing dog more likely to seize. Sedate the dog and after 12 hours without seizures, the threshold is back up to 9, after 24 hours it's back up to 10.

A seizure event spans 24 hours. More than 1 seizure in a 24 hour period is considered a single.

Anyway, it certainly doesn't sound like this dog's seizures are anywhere near as bad as Gunther's (the shepherd). If he came from a breeder, definitely contact the breeder after the blood work is done and let them know what's going on. A reputable breeder will want to know to be sure they don't repeat that breeding.

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

CJ: What dreadful news :( It just breaks my heart to hear things like this happening, and to such a young dog, just awful :cry:

From reading the other posts you are getting some good input...hope it helps you get Caleb back on track. I had a couple thoughts to pass on too...

Besides environmental toxins another place to look for cause is recent vaccinations and/or preventative shots of any kind. More and more data is coming forward that over-vaccinating is causing any number of diseases...allergies, seizures, liver and kidney diseases, aberrational behavior incidents.....the list is long ! New protocols are coming forward increasingly advocating fewer (if any) vaccinations after one year old.

If this was a chemical reaction, possibly brought on by the stress and excitment of hunting but nevertheless founded on embalances in the immune and neurotransmitter systems in the body, at least you will have the chance to get Caleb de-toxed over time by stopping all vaccinations and chemical preventatives. Hopefully, the blood tests will show no liver or kidney damage and you can work on rebuilding his health.

You're in for a rough emotional ride on this one....hoping and praying that all goes well and you get a handle on the cause soon.

CJ
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Post by CJ »

Well... my vet was out but her dad, as it turns out, is her partner. Took blood tonight and will have results Thursday. He said it's nothing to panic about. Could be dozens different things and only a few of them reason for worry. Next to none of them good, but only a handful long term/lasting/progressive. So I feel a lot better. Caleb likes him too... He told him he could go back hunting, so now they're buds (Caleb is easy like that). Still going to lay low for a few weeks so I can keep a better eye on him. Thanks everyone, will update when the results come in. Have a great night!
c.j.

CJ
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Post by CJ »

Just got off the phone w/ my vet. She said his blood worked looked great, no abnormalities at all. Soo.... she said to start a log book to track if it happens again. Hopefully it won't, but... just in case so they have a better idea of how to treat it if it becomes a common occurance. That's it for now.... hopefully this is it, no more! Thanks everyone, appreciate the support & feedback. c.j.

Rebecca
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Post by Rebecca »

CJ...I am sorry to hear about your dog. I had seisures as a child but they were just short micro second star type siesures. They were awaful non the less. I am sure you are relieved to hear that the blood work was all good. Now just make sure you watch him for more. I know that once you have a siesure there is a better chance to get another one. I am hopeing for the best that he does not have any more. Thinking and praying about you and your dog. Give him a greate big hug for me.

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