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Old 04-15-2014, 02:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Seizures

Hi everyone....my husband and I are adopting a 1 1/2 year old male GSD from a rescue to add to our family. We go to pick him up on Friday. When I was looking at the GSD rescues I saw him and for some reason knew he was the one. His previous owners had to give him up for personal reasons. After reading his information he has seizures, but this was not a deterrent for us. I was just wanting to write and ask if anyone has any experience with this medical condition in dogs. We also have a 4 year old female GSD and was wondering if anyone would possibly know how she would respond to seeing him have a seizure. Any information would be great. I've been reading a lot about epilepsy in dogs since we knew we were going to get him, but I just thought I would ask for extra advice on here. I've also attached a picture of him...isn't he beautiful? Thanks , Jamie
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We've owned several dogs that had problems with seizures, and they lived mostly normal lives, and the other dogs didn't pay much attention to the canine that was affected. We were lucky that most seizures were mild, of short duration, and not very frequent. We used anti- seizure meds to manage the seizures, with no Ill effects to the pet's health over time.Anti- seizure meds have come a long way in the past few years. I hope your new GSD doesn't experience severe episodes, it is important to have a good relationship with your vet, and try and get the dosage to level the dog out to control and hopefully prevent future seizures. Good luck and best wishes for the future. Bob

Last edited by K9POPPY; 04-15-2014 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Addition: and yes, he is quite beautiful!!!!!
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We had a dog many years ago that had seizures. Our vet told us to give him a teaspoon of honey to lick while he was coming out of it to help replenish the sugars he used up during the seizure ( all that seizure activity uses up blood sugar). The dog was a beagle, he never suffered any ill effect that I noticed, he'd be just a bit dazed and confused coming out of it. We had 3 huskies also, who completely ignored him before during and after seizures. (I think they didn't think he was a dog).
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Old 04-16-2014, 01:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a dog with epilepsy. When she had seizures, we took our other dog out of the room, just in case. Some dogs don't care, some get worried and get in the way (dangerous for the dog since they could get bit while the other dog is seizing) some dogs react aggressively. So it's best not to risk it and take the other dog out of the room, while the other person stays with the dog that is seizing and makes sure they don't hit their head or bump into things. I like to pet Xena when she is seizing and tell her it's ok to help me keep calm When they are done and can eat again, honey will work but that can raise the blood sugar too high too fast, that can trigger another seizure just like low blood sugar can, a lot of support sites recommend a spoonful of PLAIN vanilla ice cream with a drop or two of a product called rescue remedy. It also helps some dogs come out of the post ictal phase a little bit quicker. Another thing that helps after the seizure is turning off the lights, tv, radio, etc. and trying to get them to lay down. It's hard because a lot of the time they want to walk, and they aren't really all there yet so even if you hold onto them they will still kick their legs as if they are walking. They walk into walls and stuff, but really they are VERY tired, so once they go down they might be down the rest of the night/day. Hope that helps
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would inquire into great detail what meds he is on and how well the seizures are being controlled. Some dogs can live long, full lives with epilepsy. Others do not. If the meds are providing good seizure control at this point, he will probably be ok. If he is one of the cases that is not responding well to meds and getting good seizure control, you may be setting yourself up for huge heartbreak. Seizures can also lead to other problems. We had a dog who developed epilepsy just short of her 2nd birthday, the seizures damaged her heart, and she died in her sleep from a heart attack before she was 3.

Also find out his meds and dosages and then call around to see how much those are going to cost. If he's doing well on the standard drugs of pheno and bromide, those are very affordable. If he needs the newer drugs like keppra, zonisamide, gabepentin, those can easily run hundreds of dollars a month. So you want to make sure you'll be able to afford his meds long term.

How other dogs react during a seizure depends on the other dogs. Some barely notice, but there have been cases of attacks on the seizing dog being triggered as well. So to be on the safe side I would plan to keep him separated from other dogs when unsupervised to minimize risk of a problem should he have a seizure, at least until you know how the other dog will react.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just wanted to thank everyone who responded to my post...very good information that is very much appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi jparker,

So, I typed out a long response and lost it due to a time-out on the site.

Anyway, I just want to tell you that I have an epileptic dog and I would not hesitate to adopt one now that I have the experience of having lived with an epileptic dog.

I would, however, want to know some details about the seizure history so that I could best inform my vet.

Specific questions I would ask:
-How many seizures has the dog had?
-How long were the seizures? Any observations of the pre-ictal, ictal or post-ictal state that I should be aware of?
-Has the dog had cluster seizures, i.e. more than one on the same day?
-What medication has the dog been on, is the dog currently on? What impact has that had on the seizure frequency/severity?

My dog has had ups and downs on his journey with epilepsy, but he is a wonderful dog and he has no idea that he is epileptic… he has a “joie de vivre” that is contagious to all around him : ).

He is on Phenobarbital and that has proven to be the best medication for him.

Here is a website with good basic info:
http://www.vetneurochesapeake.com/in...t-dog-seizures
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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And, regarding other pets in the household... I would be very careful about that. After my dog's first seizure, which was the worst one he has ever had, he was temporarily blind (not uncommon after a seizure), scared and confused. I was the only person he would allow near him.

After that first seizure, he has not shown the same level or disorientation or fear towards other members of the household (which are made up of my significant other and a cat).

A final note, I would not crate an epileptic dog in a standard wire crate unless I knew the seizures were under good control. If you do not trust the dog having free roam, I would dedicate a room for them or use a different type of crate with fewer openings for a dog to potentially injure him/herself during a grand mal seizure.
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