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Epilepsy

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by jan-c, Nov 10, 2007.


  1. jan-c

    jan-c Guest

    Epilepsy and Seizure.

    Epilepsy is a term used to describe seizures that can not be explained by identifying a source of the seizure activity. So it is a pretty broad term really. It covers any unidentifiable brain disorder that leads to seizure activity. Congenital epilepsy normally shows up in by the time a dog is two or three years of age.

    Brain tumors are possible in almost any case of seizuring but brain tumors often have some other identifiable clinical symptoms since they often damage nerves exiting the brain or the centers that control these nerves. So gait abnormalities, facial paralysis, vestibular disorders, blindness, or other signs of nervous system damage may occur with a brain tumor, helping to identify it. Viral illness, fungal diseases, trauma, vascular disease or other problems can also lead to seizures by direct effects on the brain. Liver disease, kidney disease, and hormonal disorders cause seizures by more indirect effects. When nothing is found we fall back on the term acquired epilepsy to define the problem, even though it really just means we can't identify the problem.

    Seizure control is usually possible. When to start is a issue of some debate among veterinarians. The standard rule of thumb has been to use seizure control medications (usually phenobarbital) when seizures occur more than once a month. Some veterinarians feel that it is wiser to start sooner than this because it appears that "mirroring" and "kindling" of seizures can occur in dogs. Mirroring is when a seizure focus occurs in one side of the brain and then an identical site occurs in the other side of the brain after several seizures. Kindling is when the seizure focus in the brain develops strong enough pathways that it makes it easier for the seizure to occur -- almost as if the brain "learns" to seizure. It is possible that by controlling seizures quickly through the use of medications that these effects could be stopped and that may lessen the amount or duration of need for seizure control medications.

    We try to decide on an individual basis what the potential for all of these risks are, whether the pet owner can administer seizure control medications on a set schedule and the risks of the medications themselves. Then we decide when to start attempting to control seizure activity. If a dog has a really violent seizure we may start immediately. If there is a mild seizure and then subsequent seizures occur at long time intervals we may never attempt to control them. This decision just has to be made on a patient by patient basis.
     
  2. Magik

    Magik Guest

    When I was a kid I had a cav king charles that had epilepsy, and a heart condition and she lived to 17 years old. Nearly twice the life span of cav king charles!!
     
  3. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    I had an eight month old dog die during a seizure, in hind-sight we realised he had been having them before, just petit mal (I think thats what they are called). I think when they can control seizures with drugs its wonderful, most of the dogs I have known, they've never really found the right dose and the seizures have increased.
     
  4. dh.dti

    dh.dti Guest

    Good informative post!
     
  5. Stephny691

    Stephny691 PetForums Senior

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    My Border Collie has had epilepsy since she was about 7months old, she's 5 in Feb. Sometimes she goes weeks and weeks without any, then she'll either have a couple of fits, or she'll go all the way and have laods. For example just last weekend she had nearly 20 fits between Saturday and Tuesday.
    The worst we ever had was when she first began fitting, she had to be put on the same meds used to put animals to sleep, she was kept on that until they could bring her round without her fitting. She wasn't back to normal for almost 6mnths afterwards. But she's a fighter, I think we'll always ask ourselves whether we should have let her go when she was put into a coma when she had severe fits the first time. But when she isn't fitting- she loves life.
    She loves being taken for walks and when you throw things for her to catch and she adores playing tug. She's an amazing pet. I know there will come a time when we have to have her put to sleep, she'll have one too many fits and fry her brain and it won't be fair to her anymore. But people that automatically have epileptic animals put to sleep don't see the greatness that those animals can be.
    I'm lost without my dog (I've moved to uni and had to leave her with my parents, the landlord did let me take my kitten though!)
    Money is always an issue though, luckily we got her insured before she had fits so all her meds are covered thank God! I just think it's sad that dogs that are basically normal apart from a couple of episodes every 4-6weeks, get left behind or put down because there arn't enough people willing to put in the time and energy it takes. I'm not condenming thing, it's just sad for the dogs.
    Steph
     
  6. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    :)hi everyone im new to this site ,iv got an american bulldog,she will b 2 years old next month and she has epilepsy since being a yr old a wee shame shes been through the mill ie shes had all sorts of scans&blood tests to try sort out a level of meds&so far think we.v got it sorted..at last...not to mention she got the lid off a full tin or roses chocs last week & spent the night in the vets:mad:...she is costing me a small fortune:rolleyes:....just as well i have her insured :D iv put some pictures on,,hope it works,,,does anybody find their dogs gaining weight while on epiphen???wood like to hear ..thanx:):)
     
  7. tarot

    tarot PetForums Junior

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    Hi bully

    We also have a collie who has fits and we have to watch his weight althiugh it can be difficult as he is always hungry and will steal anything that is edible. The vet says the medication makes him feel hungry all the time so all bins etc have to be moved out of the way or he empties them. He will try to eat anything he can get hold of, he even pinched the bird food.

    Yvonne
     
  8. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    hi yvonne,good to no there is someone out there in the same boat as me with my dogs weight :confused: my vet told me to cut out all treats,go on a light food diet and i done that ...apart from the tin of chocs:eek: but its not working atall.must be her meds :confused: marie
     
  9. tarot

    tarot PetForums Junior

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    Hi Marie

    It's surprising the amount of dogs that do suffer from epilepsy. i know there are a lot of border collies with it.

    Kenny started fitting 3 years ago and as with Stephny691 they have to totally knock him out to break the cycle so he often spends the night at the vet's. We often say he has his own kennel. The last time was 3 weeks ago and he went in twice in one night. The first time the vet knocked him out and we brought him home but he came round in the early hours of the morning so he went back and we left him there. He does not settle very well when he's there so the last time we had to fetch him early as the vet said he was barking and upsetting the others dogs:eek:.

    As with yourself he has to have regular blood tests which are a nightmare as they can never get any blood so it takes 2 of us to hold him down.

    After the last fit we had the same problem and to hear him crying was awful, but if he did not have it done the only other option would have been to let him be put to sleep.

    I do wonder whether we are doing the right thing at the time but when he is running around playng and enjoying life I know we have to carry on.

    I know one day we will lose him thro the epilepsy or the drugs but until then we will carry on trying to let him live as normal a life as possible as long as he has a good quality of life.

    Yvonne
     
  10. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    hi yvonne,sorry to hear about kenny,he sounds worse than mia....how scary is it when they fit :confused: i think its so heartbreaking for them...dont think i asked u do you have kenny insured because the vet bills!! il say no more:eek: marie
     
  11. tarot

    tarot PetForums Junior

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    Hi Marie

    Kenny is insured but not lifetime cover so after the 1st year we had to start paying. We were looking into changing but never got round to it so at the moment it costs a small fortune for mediction at 55.00 a month plus blood tests and staying at he vets. On top of that there is still injections for him and the other 2.

    He's booked into the vets for blood tests on Monday so thats another bill to pay.

    Yvonne
     
  12. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    hi yvonne aw....thats a wee shame at the vets again,hope he gets on ok. ps dont no how you manage without insurance..hope to hear how he gets on ..marie
     
  13. tarot

    tarot PetForums Junior

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    Hi Marie

    Kenny had blood testd on Monday and he was really good. He had 2 lots taken, one from each leg and he was really good. As he has to have hem every 3 monthd I think he is just resigned to the fact that they will be done so he lets the vet get on with it now. Hope to get the results in the next few days.

    Yvonne
     
  14. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    hi yvonne,hope his results are ok...its just a shame to see them go through all of this,i took mia a trip to the vets on thursday for her meds & to get her weight checked & she has put on another kilo & thats me cut down on evertthing [poor soul] so must be the meds!! let me no how kenny gets on :) marie
     
  15. tarot

    tarot PetForums Junior

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    Hi Marie

    Had a call from vets about Kenny's blood tests. Because he had 3 fits and had to go in to be brought out they raised his medication. It wasn't much but apparently the tstes have shown the level in his blood has doubled so we have had to go back to a lower dose and he has to go bavk for more blood tests in a month. That was on Thursday and on Friday he had another fit. Luckily it was not too bad and he came out. Now we just have to see what happens over the next few weeks and wait for the results of the next test unless he starts fitting bad again which means he will be back there sooner.

    Yvonne
     
  16. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    hi yvonne,thats not so good news about kenny,,wee shame :( .what meds does he get ,cant remember if you said :confused: do you no what brings the fits on?does he act strange or anything? anyway hope all is well at the vet..hear from you soon. marie
     
  17. tarot

    tarot PetForums Junior

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    Hi Marie

    At the moment keny has 120mg of epiphen and 120 mg of potassium kbr in the morning and 120mg of epiphen in the evening. We had to cut the epiphen by 60mg as the level in his blood was too high and could have caused liver/kidney damage.

    We don't know why he fits as we had him from a rescue centre when he was 5 weeks old so all we know is that the litter came from Wales. He was found with the rest of his litter so they probably have it too.

    Here's a picture of Kenny

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Yvonne
     
  18. snowey

    snowey PetForums Member

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    My nearly 15 year old toy poodle suffers from this, and is not on medication, as after a fit, might not have another for several months. I spoke to the vet and he said that as long as we could handle her and keep her calm, we would be okay, but to come back if it was a problem. We reassure her after and let her parade the garden until she has been sick and back to nearly normal. She has had this for over 6 years now
    The funny thing is that when we got a new puppy she went for 8 months without a fit - the longest yet, we put it down to the puppy dry food.
     
  19. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    :confused:puppy dried food:confused:
     
  20. bully

    bully PetForums Junior

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    this is news to me about food:eek: iv heard about pigs ears but nobodys said to me about their diet before :( i must look this up..
     
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