Epileptic dogs - any advice?

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Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby pixiesinthewoods » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:04 am

My beautiful golden retriever was diagnosed with epilepsy about 18 months ago. It started off as minor 'text book' (according to my vet) but has got progressively worse. She is currently on combination medication and is full of the joys of spring at the moment (fingers crossed!). Just wondering if anyone else can share their experiences with me as, at the moment, I feel I've got the only epileptic dog in the world - which I know is not ture!
Grateful for any feedback. :wink:
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby bjr » Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:03 am

To my critics
When I'm in a sober mood, I worry, work and think,
When I'm in a drunken mood, I gamble, play and drink,
But when my moods are over and my time has come to pass,
I hope I'm buried upside down, so the world may kiss my ar*e
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby ejm » Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:08 pm

I'm sorry to hear this pixiesinthewood.

I don't have any personal experience, but from what I've heard, once the dog is on the right dosages of treatment (which can take a while to tweak), the epilepsy can usually be very well controlled.
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby grabel » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:53 pm

JUst hope dogs dont get Geschwinds syndrome.

That hypergraphia woudnt be no fun for a dog.
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby pixiesinthewoods » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:15 pm

BJR - thank you so much for those links - I've glanced at them and Petz.co.uk puts it all very succinctly and basically explains all her 'symptoms'. I'm going to print off all 3 sites and have a good read! I've spent ages tyring to find decent sites but they all seem to be a bit to 'medical jargon' for me.

EJM - thanks for the advice. She is currently on Phenobarb and Pot Bromide. Went to 'uncle vetty' today for blood test so will get the results Friday latest, so hopefuly we can cut down the Phenobarb as, long term, apparently that can cause liver damage! You are a 100% right in that if you get the medication level right then everyone all round is happy - the b****r is finding the level that is so frustrating!

Grabel - Bit deep for me, having wikipedia-ed (?) it not sure if you if you might be taking the mick, after all she's only 2yrs 8mths and can't quite hold a pen properly yet (hypergraphia?) she could probavly do a good imitation of Picasso though given half a chance. Thanks anyway for your input!

P.S she's also been on obesity management diet (when they have fits they come out starving hungry, dying of thirst and needing the loo all at the same time!?) therefore had far too much food after fits - but I am pleased to say we have celebrated today as she is now down to her target weight :lol: Celebration = extra walk in the woods and a carrot!

Thanks everyone - love this site :P
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby perrito » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:51 pm

hola pixiesinthewoods. My friend took a rescue dog that suffered from epilepsy, a Pointer. The fits were quite bad when she first had him but once the Vet had the medication doseage stabalised he lived to a good age. The Vet guessed his age to be around 7 when they took him in and he was almost 13 when he died. Good luck with your dog, I'm sure you will cope just fine.
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby NeverPebbles » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:07 pm

My four year old miniature poodle had his first fit last summer. He's had about half a dozen attacks so far. The vet hasn't put him on medication. I buy pheranome plugs and feed him Denes calming tablets on a regular basis in the hope that the fits won't get worse. It's very frightening when they happen, isn't it?
Wishing you and your dog well. I'm sure you'll learn to cope with the situation. I'm told that fits in dogs are far more common that we imagine.
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby pixiesinthewoods » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:28 pm

Dear friends out there - thanks for the links and your own experiences. We have changed her medication and 'fingers crossed' she is still OK - no more fits (but you are right, they are scary when they happen).

At fireworks time (approx. end October through mid January where I live) I have DAP plug ins (like air freshener plug ins) and a DAP collar on her and this definitely seems to help. Recommended to a friend who has moved abroad with family including very nervous miniature yorkshire terrier and it worked (the DAP collar - bit difficult to do the plug in on an aircraft). DAP = Dog Appeasing Pheromone. Available on-line (but honestly I'm not a sales person for them!!!!) :)
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby pixiesinthewoods » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:53 pm

Just a quick update about my girl - she didn't like the storms and it set her into a couple more fits again. However, I have found out that my vet is attending a seminar hosted by the top European epilepsy consultant (for dogs) this Thursday and he is going to use my girl's case as a discussion point, so hopefully I will get some good feedback from that. I did ask my vet if he wanted a 'good profile shot' of her to go on the screen, but funnily enough he declined! :mrgreen:
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby NeverPebbles » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:32 pm

I have two small poodles, one has had a few fits. I use DAP plugs and Denes Tranquil tablets. Touch wood, they seem to work. :)

This evening I received this email ...

"If you have a dog... PLEASE read this and send it on.

If you don't have a dog, please pass along to friends who do.

Written by: Laurinda Morris, DVM
Danville Veterinary Clinic
Danville , Ohio

This week I had the first case in history of raisin toxicity ever seen at Med Vet. My patient was a 56-pound, 5 yr old male neutered lab mix that ate half a canister of raisins sometime between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM on Tuesday. He started with vomiting, diarrhea and shaking about 1 AM on Wednesday but the owner didn't call my emergency service until 7 AM.

I had heard somewhere about raisins AND grapes causing acute Renal failure but hadn't seen any formal paper on the subject. We had her bring the dog in immediately. In the meantime, I called the ER service at Med Vet, and the doctor there was like me - had heard something about it, but.... Anyway, we contacted the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center and they said to give I V fluids at 1 1/2 times maintenance and watch the kidney values for the next 48-72 hours.

The dog's BUN (blood urea nitrogen level) was already at 32 (normal less than 27) and creatinine over 5 ( 1.9 is the high end of normal). Both are monitors of kidney function in the bloodstream. We placed an IV catheter and started the fluids. Rechecked the renal values at 5 PM and the BUN was over 40 and creatinine over 7 with no urine production after a litre of fluids. At the point I felt the dog was in acute renal failure and sent him on to Med Vet for a urinary catheter to monitor urine output overnight as well as overnight care.

He started vomiting again overnight at Med Vet and his renal values have continued to increase daily. He produced urine when given lasix as a diuretic. He was on 3 different anti-vomiting medicat ions and they still couldn't control his vomiting. Today his urine output decreased again, his BUN was over 120, his creatinine was at 10, his phosphorus was very elevated and his blood pressure, which had been staying around 150, skyrocketed to 220.. He continued to vomit and the owners elected to euthanize.

This is a very sad case - great dog, great owners who had no idea raisins could be a toxin. Please alert everyone you know who has a dog of this very serious risk .

Poison control said as few as 7 raisins or grapes could be toxic Many people I know give their dogs grapes or raisins as treats including our ex-handler's. Any exposure should give rise to immediate concern.

Even if you don't have a dog, you might have friends who do. This is worth passing on to them.
Confirmation from Snopes about the above...

http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/raisins.asp"
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby ejm » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:22 am

pixiesinthewoods wrote:Just a quick update about my girl - she didn't like the storms and it set her into a couple more fits again. However, I have found out that my vet is attending a seminar hosted by the top European epilepsy consultant (for dogs) this Thursday and he is going to use my girl's case as a discussion point, so hopefully I will get some good feedback from that. I did ask my vet if he wanted a 'good profile shot' of her to go on the screen, but funnily enough he declined! :mrgreen:


That sounds positive :)
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby PantsOfGanga » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:49 pm

pixiesinthewoods wrote:My beautiful golden retriever was diagnosed with epilepsy about 18 months ago. It started off as minor 'text book' (according to my vet) but has got progressively worse. She is currently on combination medication and is full of the joys of spring at the moment (fingers crossed!). Just wondering if anyone else can share their experiences with me as, at the moment, I feel I've got the only epileptic dog in the world - which I know is not ture!
Grateful for any feedback. :wink:


No advice, but I could do with your help! My 3 year old dog started having seizures a month ago. He had 3 in one day, then went 24 days without any. He's had 5 since 7.30 last night. I've been to the vets and he's given phenobarbital to start him off on. How did your girl go on when she first started. It's quite rare in TMs who are rare themselves and his breeder is as mortified as I am. The receptionist nearly gave me a coronary by saying the tablets would cost £28 a week, but having looked on the vet pharmacy site, I'm pretty sure she means a month as it's probably about double the £13.50 on the website it would cost me for a month's supply.

Fortunately, the dogs do have their own savings account. Don't even talk to me about pet insurance - total rip off 99% of the time.
Last edited by PantsOfGanga on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby lj » Fri Mar 21, 2008 6:08 pm

We have seen some success in treating dogs with seizures after distemper (!) with neurontin. They did not react on any other treatment. They did not seem to be very sedated by it. Dosage can been found in veterenarian literature, but I can look it up if needed.
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby sina » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:23 pm

Hi pixie! Although I can not provide help in a practical way, just a few words of encouragement.

We had a dog (a small poodle) who suffered from epileptic fits from time to time. Otherwise, he was fine. This was almost 20 years ago, so I don't think he was even on medication (but can ask my parents). When he had fits, we just held him and tried to calm him down (dunno if that was right or just us thinking it would help?)

However, he lived a long 15 year long life!!!

xxsina
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Re: Epileptic dogs - any advice?

Postby pixiesinthewoods » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:00 pm

PantsofGanga

My girl started on (epiphen - trade name) = phenobarbital/tone (?). After a couple of weeks she had a blood test to check the levels and they seemed fine. However, a couple of months down the line the fits were increasing so we upped the dosage and then another blood test). Again, after a while (can't remember all timings off the top of my head, but I've got a full written log of all fits - so has the vet) her fits were increasing so my vet put her on 'combination' meds i.e. Epiphen + Potassium Bromide. So far, since we have done this course of action she has been absolutely fine.

My vet advised me that you cannot 'up' the epiphen too much, because it can cause liver damage. Currently my 25kg retriever is on 1PB+1.5E in the morning and 2PB+1.5E in the evening. However, we will be looking to decrease the E fairly soon (she is due another bloodtest in June). There are apparently no long-term side affect with the PB. Obviously I am sure your vet has advised you that the medication has to be taken at consistent and regular intervals. Apparently if you 'miss a couple/few' and then give a few en masse this can cause the type of epilepsy to turn into 'Status Epilepticus', which means they start fitting and do not have enough time coming out of one fit before going into the next. He advised that if that is happening for 30minutes (constant fitting) then you should get to the vet asap as there is a '3 hour window' for treatment, before major damage (brain I think he said) or even death could occur. However, he hastened to add this is very rare - but obviously more likely if you don't have a strict medication feeding regime. When I first started I actually bought a 'dual alarm' clock, so whatever I was doing she was fed on time, or if we were going to be out and about I would set the alarm on my phone and have her meds with me. The clock however, is now not needed as she nags me about 10 minutes before it is due!!!


Regarding the cost, I get my meds from the vet a) because I get it back on the insurance*, b) she is on a diet so has to be regularly weighed and the whole practice are so nice it's good to have a good rapport with them and c) she likes going there because they always give her a treat - especially after she has been weighed a god a good result?!

My Epiphen costs £14.05 for a month's supply (60 tabs) and the PB £13.65 for 100 tabs - so lasts longer than a month (both ex VAT). However, as mentioned above, when I first got her I trawled through about 20 insurance companies and the best one I could see was Direct Line. A lot of companies won't insure for epilepsy, and when she first went on meds I had to phone to double check, but YES (thank goodness) they do cover up to £6,000 for epilepsy meds. I have always had insurance for my dogs and personally have found it very worthwhile as my previous dog had to have a couple of unrelated ops and it was a godsend to have the insurance. Obviously I don't think you would get cover now as it would be treated as a pre-diagnosed condition, but it might be worth you giving them a ring/e-mail.

If you want to get any pet products/food/medication etc. on-line then I have found the BEST site is VetUK. Their prices are brilliant, delivery is fantastic and they have special offers on different things every month. I get my girl's Obesity Management Diet from them and save about £20.00 as opposed to getting from my vet. The real bonus is that it is delivered to my front and as I don't drive it saves a hell of a lot of hassle rather than trying to lug 14kg of food on 2 buses!

Sorry, for the delay in replying and sorry for the length, but hopefully you will find this useful!! :D
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