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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My 2 year old female GSD Lyric just had her second seizure this morning. She had her first one about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I was waiting for a second one to occur before taking her to the vet.

I'm devastated by this because about 16 or 17 years ago I had an Alaskan Malamute that began having seizures at a year old. We immediately took him to the vet and once he had a second seizure the vet prescribed phenobarbital. The medication would seem to help him for a few weeks, then he'd get worse. We would change his dosage, and again he'd get better - then worse. This cycle went on and on for a year, until he began having cluster seizures and they became unmanageable. My dad made the difficult decision to put him down after one long night of seizure after seizure after seizure. The next morning the poor thing couldn't even stand up. It was one of the worst things I've had to go through. My dad even cried like a baby.

Since then I've had quite a few dogs, but fortunately no seizures until now. Lyric is BY FAR one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I have ever owned. She has captured my heart like few others have. I can handle a seizure here and there but the thought of her going through what my malamute went through just devastates me.

I'm 5 months pregnant so my emotions are all over the place. That also means that money is tight so I can't afford a whole bunch of tests. I was just going to have them run one panel and just try the phenobarbital again...unless anyone has any other suggestions?

I'm also looking for anyone who has stories of epileptic dogs leading fairly normal, happy lives? I'd love to hear them as the only story I have to compare this too was tragic, and it doesn't leave me feeling very optimistic for my Lyric.
 

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My last GSD Diesel, her brother has epilepsy... He had his first seizure at a year and 9 months old. He was on medication and was good for a while, then he started having cluster seizures as well but they changed his medication and when things seemed to be going all down hill and was to the point of putting him down the new meds kicked in and he has been seizure free.. Im not sure of what the name of the meds are but I will find out from my friend. He still leads a fairly normal life.

Hoping the best for you and Lyric
 

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I don't have a good seizure story to tell. In fact it was terrible. I can tell you that they are caused by other things than Epilepsy. So be careful for treating the wrong thing.
 

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Kiya just turned 9yrs old. She had her first seizure at 18 months old. She has good control with meds. Her last seizure. Was Tuesday around 9pm it's still tuff for me to watch after all these years.
Canine Epilepsy Resource Center & Home of the Epil-K9 List is a GREAT support group and were on fb.
I only ran all the basic tests in the beginning. My vet said let's just get her under control and take it from there. Blood work including thyroid and theydid an xray at the er incase it was something in her all negative. She was put on pb & kbr after a loading dose she clustered and I really thought I was going to loose her.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you tell me what meds Kiya is on now? I agree, they are HORRIBLE to watch. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.
 

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Phenobarbitol 60mg & potassium bromide 1200mg. Shes been getting milk thistle for years and last year or so I doubled it to 2000mg her liver values are creeping up but still very managable. It took several months to adjust to the meds at first but I can truely say she's living a good quality normal life.
 

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Here is thread I posted on with some links (peer reviewed/pubmed) re: herbal skullcap, magnesium supplementation and other (diet, ketones, amino acids etc.)

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/222210-idiopathic-seizures.html

I good Holistic Vet would be able to help in this area - conventional vet will likely script phenol

However this is only good for control/maintenance - Allopathic can offer blood work, x-rays, brain scan - this may result in a diagnosis, but not the cause

addressing (even finding) root cause - again Holistic offers tests that allopathic medicine doesn't

Hair analysis for heavy metal toxicity (lead, mercury, aluminum), diet deficiencies (metabolic disorder), NAET

Kidneys can be a source of the problem (uremic acidosis)

Have to also look at Iatrogenic caused - vaccines (adjuvant aluminum has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier)...HW/Tick/Flea "prevention" such as ivermectin and milbemycin (revolution, trifexis) in an MDR1 afflicted dog can lead to seizures - permethrins (ingredients in advantex as well as flea collars) and pyrethrins also neurotoxin.
 

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Even the best holistic vet that I went to said in most cases holistic treatments must accompany traditional medications.
 

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I was actually thinking more mainstream cause like tick disease or tumor. Lady had both Valley Fever and a tick disease which it what they believed caused hers.
 

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My Labrador had her first seizure a year ago, then a second 3 weeks later. We put her on Zonisamide. No seizures since. Been almost a year. She is still a working dog. No side effects, minimal monitoring.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the suggestions. I will mention the Zonisamide to the vet. Both of my dogs are on Revolution because Rocky had reactions to other flea meds in the past. Both of them took Revolution all last year and were fine but I'll look into that possibility as well.
 

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From one of the links in the seizure thread

Natural approaches to epilepsy. [Altern Med Rev. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI

This article reviews research on the use of diet, nutritional supplements, and hormones in the treatment of epilepsy. Potentially beneficial dietary interventions include identifying and treating blood glucose dysregulation, identifying and avoiding allergenic foods, and avoiding suspected triggering agents such as alcohol, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate. The ketogenic diet may be considered for severe, treatment-resistant cases. The Atkins diet (very low in carbohydrates) is a less restrictive type of ketogenic diet that may be effective in some cases. Nutrients that may reduce seizure frequency include vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, taurine, dimethylglycine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Administration of thiamine may improve cognitive function in patients with epilepsy. Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin D, and L-carnitine may be needed to prevent or treat deficiencies resulting from the use of anticonvulsant drugs. Vitamin K1 has been recommended near the end of pregnancy for women taking anticonvulsants. Melatonin may reduce seizure frequency in some cases, and progesterone may be useful for women with cyclic exacerbations of seizures. In most cases, nutritional therapy is not a substitute for anticonvulsant medications. However, in selected cases, depending on the effectiveness of the interventions, dosage reductions or discontinuation of medications may be possible.
 

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And Magnesium link

Can magnesium supplementation reduce seizures i... [Epilepsy Res. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI

Dept of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK.

Magnesium is required for over 300 enzyme systems and is critical for many cellular functions including oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis, DNA transcription and protein synthesis. Studies suggest that the modern Western diet and lifestyle may lead to magnesium deficiency, and this appears to be associated with a wide range of medical conditions. Magnesium deficiency decreases seizure thresholds in animal models of epilepsy and indeed low magnesium concentration in the perfusate is a common method of generating spontaneous epileptiform discharges from rat hippocampal slices. Magnesium is a potential modulator of seizure activity because of its ability to antagonize excitation through the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor. Some studies have shown that people with epilepsy have lower magnesium levels than people without epilepsy. There are case reports of seizures being controlled with magnesium supplementation in people with specific conditions, and recently in an open randomized trial, children with infantile spasms responded better to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) plus magnesium than to ACTH alone. We hypothesise that magnesium supplementation can reduce seizures in people with epilepsy. This hypothesis can be tested in a controlled randomised supplementation trial. If proven, magnesium supplementation needs to be considered in the overall management of people with refractory epilepsy.
 

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Re: MDR1

Breeds affected by the MDR1 mutation (frequency %)


Breed Approximate Frequency
Australian Shepherd 50%
Australian Shepherd, Mini 50%
Border Collie< 5%
Collie 70 %
English Shepherd 15 %
German Shepherd 10 %
Herding Breed Cross 10 %
Long-haired Whippet 65 %
McNab 30 %
Mixed Breed 5 %
Old English Sheepdog 5 %
Shetland Sheepdog 15 %
Silken Windhound 30 %

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcpl/breeds.aspx
 

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I don't know what the climate is on these boards, but I can tell you that there are many things that can help with seizures that are natural. You can invest a small fortune trying to figure out which will serve you best, but I would start with two things... a good, effective detoxifier (and no more vaccinations until you get it under control) such as Waiora natural cell defense, and there are several options on essential oils, but I believe it's young living oil frankincense that I read was having great effects on seizure activity. Some, with regular usage, have been able to prevent further seizures, too. It's one of those things that we haven't really run across (except in one over-vaccinated dog), so I haven't kept all the articles I've read close at hand. I'll keep an eye out for them, though! But maybe that will help you get started, and some key words to use in searches.
 

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Well, I can't provide a success story as I am new to this too. I would be happy to share with you what I have learned. My dog had his first seizure December 26, 2012. If you look up the thread titled, "Riley had a seizure... it was terrifying" you will gain some insight into my journey to date.

Riley is on medication now - Pheno 64mg 2x p/day. I have had a lot of great conversations with his neurologist and vet. They are optimistic as am I. So, please do PM (private message) me with any specific concerns you might have!

As I indicated earlier, I too am on a learning curve... but what I have heard so far... and my experiences post medication lead me to err on the side of optimism!

Wishing you all the best,
Anne
 

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I just re-read my post and realized that by focusing on the medical aspect, I am probably contributing to your fears.

So, let me tell you about my life with my dog despite his diagnosis.

We go biking together pretty much every other day. He LOVES it. We cover several miles at alternating pace. Sometimes on our rides, we run errands together. Lots of businesses in my area LOVE my dog so he comes inside with me. Other times, we take a time out at our neighborhood dog park. Again, we love it.

We spend a lot of time in our backyard together playing fetch or just hanging out. Again, just part of a day in the life.

On weekends, we often go to the lake. Great times had by all!

Finally, we are starting agility classes this Sunday. I know that he will love it. Whether or not I am a good handler is probably the biggest x factor.

The reason why I am saying all of this is that, for us, epilepsy has totaled at most 6 hours of our life together (if you count pre, during and post ictal states). In other words, don't let a diagnosis define your relationship with your dog. They don't. My dog would probably be shocked to hear there was something wrong with him. Enjoy your dog and all the moments you have with him/her.
 

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Here is a semi-success story for you. My old dog, Jack, first had a seizure when he was one. This was followed shortly thereafter by others. These seizures were not mild; he would go down and violently convulse for what seemed to be way too long. Quite difficult to watch and quite upsetting.

Our vet diagnosed Jack as having idiopathic epilepsy (no known cause) and prescribed phenobarb. The phenobarb worked. His seizures became more mild and the time between seizures began to increase. I do not recall the initial dosage, but over time as we got the seizures under control, the vet lowered the dosage. Eventually, after a long time of no seizures, we weened him off phenobarb (under the advice and direction of our vet) and he went several more years without an observable seizure.

I wish i could report that he remained seizure free for the remainder of his life, but unfortunately he had another seizure. Looking back, the seizure after so long was likely a harbinger of the end as his seizures always seemed to be tied to stressors - we lost him to osteosarcoma soon thereafter at barely eight years old.

While seizures are serious and upsetting there is room for optimism. I wish you and your dog the very best.
 
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