Last Friday night, I had to rush Keeta, 10 yrs old, in to emergency for seizures. She ended up having cluster seizures, went into shock, and the vet wasn't even sure if she was going to make it to morning. Blood work was normal and didn't pinpoint any internal organ problems of toxicity. X-rays were taken, and part of the abdomen cavity was showing a strange haziness which disappeared in follow-up x-rays the next day. Vet even did an ultrasound, but no organ abnormalities or tumors were found.
She was shot up full of Valium, and kept seizing, so she got a shot of phenobarbital, and that seemed to do the trick. We've done follow-up more in-dept bloodwork and urine analysis, and she is healthy as a horse! There is no explanation for why she went into shock, other than the severity of the seizures, but she has not had seizures, not even minor tremors all week since being on phenob.
The phenobarbital is making her very tired, very groggy, very unsteady, desperately thirsty, and incontinent. She does have spay incontinence that she had since she was around 2 years old, but it was kept under control with her raw diet. I know there is usually a 2 to 3 week adjustment period for her body to get used to the phenobarbital, so I'm hoping the fatigue, the constant thirst, and the incontinence will all resolve themselves in the next two weeks or so.
So I'm looking for other stories of apparently healthy dogs developing epilepsy - if anything inducing the seizures was found or not, how your dog responded to phenobarbital, how long the side-effects lasted, and how your dog has been doing long-term.
Have to say I was very impressed with the vet clinic - all the vets in my town (80,000), take turns being on call for emergency. I didn't know this vet, but she stayed the night at the clinic to watch Keeta, and the vet tech that was called out came by the next day on her day off just to see how Keeta was doing. I was very moved by their concern for my old girl.