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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wendy Morton - YouTube There are 7 videos total that follow her post-seizure for about 30 mins. sorry for the wonky angles - my camera is weird.

We are the smitten owners of Bear - an 8 month old female GSD. I am posting this for both feedback and to help anyone else dealing with seizures.

The video is of a suspected seizure - filming starts about 5 sec into it. Her seizures are odd. She will be acting normal when she gives a quick yelp or two and goes down as if paralyzed. There is no shaking or limb movement and she comes back quickly. She does not lose control of either bowel or bladder. She does have the “drunk walk” for several hours afterward, but it eventually resolves as well. Between seizures she is completely normal. The seizures started when she was 7 months old and she has had 5 total. They are increasing in frequency and we will most likely start her on medication asap (appt today).

We have our vet and the University of Florida vets involved. The vets have eliminated a neck injury as the cause. Her sides are shaved because she had 24hr heart monitoring. She does have an irregular heartbeat (throws PVCs), but the 24hr monitoring did not record any runs of Vtach. I have noticed that her heart rate is very irregular post seizure, but that is not surprising. We are not doing a MRI ($$$!) as a tumor is uncommon at her age.

I don't feel that the cause is toxins or ticks - of course, no real way to be sure of anything with seizures. She did have a severe upper resp infection at 8 weeks and had a seizure then, but it was very different and caused by the infection. The infection was treated with gentamicin, however the vets don't think this is vestibular.

Like I said, it is an odd case...
Thank you for watching our video and reading this long post.
 

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Poor puppy! She looks so sweet.

What are you using for flea and tick? My vet said that she has seen a lot of seizures in dogs that are on Advantix for flea and tick. She said that if a dog is sensitive to Advantix he can even have seizures from laying next to a dog that uses Advantix.

GSD's are also have a higher likelihood of the gene mutation that can lead to a bad reaction to the heartworm preventative. My Australian Shepherd has a mutation in one of the two genes and so far (since they stopped making Interceptor) he is doing fine on Heartgard. The vet said it shouldn't be a problem, but if he had two mutations I wonder if he would have seizures.

Just a couple shots in the dark that your vet has probably already considered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any Trifexis given to the dog?
regretfully, yes.
It could be a possible source, however she had no reaction w/in 48 hours either time she got it. Also, I can't remember if she had the first incident before or after we started it.

My other two dogs are on it and it works well for them. Bear will not be getting any more of it.
 

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So sorry you're having this problem with Bear, hope they can help you!!!

Since you're going to stop giving her Trifexis I assume you know not to give her Comfortis. Slider had his seizure caused by Comfortis less than 24 hours after ingesting it. I had the other two Hooligans on the Australian version of Trifexis for a while (I'm switching everyone over to Interceptor Spectrum) and gave Slider Heartgard ... he's never had another seizure.

I hope you can figure out what's causing the seizures ... have they mentioned if there's any medication you can give her?
 

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My heart was breaking for her... she seems so sweet. I hope you guys can find a way to help her! Good luck, wish I had more experience with seizures. My only recommendation is to go completely vaccine/drug free as much as you can, other than possible seizure meds...
 

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Here is a great place for info on CE - Canine Epilepsy: Canine Epilepsy Resources

And this is a must read for anyone dealing with CE. It not only tells of how the owners all but cured their dogs seizures it also gives info on all the different methods they tried:

Emma
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the links and support.

We are going to start her on phenobarb - she is otherwise very healthy and with close monitoring of her liver should be able to tolerate it well.

The odd bit about the seizure is that it is a combination of seizure and sycopal behaviors:
Yelp prior to falling = seizure (aura)
Boneless fainting type of fall = sycope
Lying still w/out eye rolling or body movement = sycope
Slow "drunk walk" recovery to normal = seizure

If the Pb stops the seizures and she tolerates it well, we will keep her on it for about a year and then trial her off.

If the Pb significantly reduces, but does not completly stop the sz, then she will most likely take it for life if the control is good enough.

If the Pb does not help, well then it is back to square one.

I'll keep you posted.
 

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It is definately not the normal behavior after seizures that I've witnesed. After a seizure it is normal for them to stumble around due to loss of vision. If I let Kiya walk around she bumps into things but she has control of her limbs. Since your dog has not started meds the loss of control of limbs is strange. When starting meds a side effect "ataxia" causes the dog to wobble stumble about but not to that extent.
It almost reminded me of when our GSD Chazzy had a pinched nerve and lost control of her hind quarters.
I was glad I didn't see video of a full blown grand mal because even after 7 years it's hard to watch. Kiya's been on pb since 2005 and only now showing liver issues. She was started at 97mg plus potassium bromide which was a low dose. Canine Epilepsy Resouces is a great group and now we're on fb.
Good luck with your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It is nice to hear that Kiya has done so well.

We thought it was a pinched nerve or spinal problem at first too. That is what sent us to the university vets as our vet does not do spinal work. Multiple specialty vets at the school got involved and ruled out spinal - Bear's seizures/behaviour was so odd that she became a grand rounds case.

She started the Pheno last night. A little ataxic and dopey, but seems to be adjusting well. Fingers crossed!
 

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What dosage?
 

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That's good, it's actually a low dose. Kiya started 97mg but since she was on both pb and kbr I don't know which drug gave her the side effects. It was pretty bad for the first 3 months. She was a zombie.
Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That makes me feel better - thank you.

She is actually pretty perky - she is the biggest clown by nature - I just don't like the sloppyness in her gait. I miss seeing that lovely trot...

I'm off to look for a "pill pocket" knock off recipe on the web. The real thing cost more than the pills you put in them! :eek:
 

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I had her back out on the trails probably 2 months later. Kiya clustered so bad I really thought we were going to loose her. I got her to the vet that morning and she continued to have seizures. The had to give her a loading dose. I was supposed to pick her up at 3, I was speaking with the doc and a tech came in and said doc we need you in the back right away. He looked at me and said come back at 7. I really didn't want to bring her home but they didn't want her left alone over night, I was so scared I'll never forget that day.
I use liverworst as small of a piece as I can. Poor dog is so good she takes her pill with nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am so glad she does not have the tonic/clonic or clusters. It would kill me to see that.

Funny thing is that I am an intensive medical care nurse. My job is pretty horrific at times - does not faze me. On the other hand, seeing my dog hurting ruins me.

Due to her "mild" seizures, the vet decided not to do a loading dose. We are just trying to keep her calm and minimize triggers until we do a 2 week blood test for therapeutic levels.
 
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