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Hello guys,

My 9 year old GSD/Rottie cross (female) had a seizure about a month ago. She had another one 2 nights ago. Heavy convulsing, foaming at the mouth and tongue hanging out, lasting no more that a couple of minutes. The morning after, I took her to the vet and she was still quite unsteady and weak. The bloods came back completely fine today and they've said I ought to wait until another seizure just to see when it comes to try and understand what might be going on. They've given me a dose of diazepam to use in emergency.

I've asked to be referred for an MRI because I've read of GSD proneness to cancers and in the past year she has become very intolerant of other dogs' company and growls/barks even snaps.... I've had her since a pup and would have her off lead around any thing any where, for 7/8 years she had an amazing temperament and I was so confused why she changed. Now since the seizures it's making me thing. I've read on a post here that a lady's GSD became aggressive and that cancers on frontal lobe and cause a change in behaviour and is a big cause of seizures.

I'm insured with Petplan in the UK and have £7,000 a year cover per condition on a lifetime policy. If we begin epilepsy medication it's around 6-700 a year plus quarterly blood tests coming to about 400. I'm thinking if we are going to claim on the medication then why not just do an MRI for around £2,000 and use up this year's cover to just rule out (or god forbid find) this possibility of cancer. Should I just do an MRI and claim, the insurance is going up next year regardless because of medication?? I'm really worried, am I right to be? :crying: Has anyone had similar experiences, what were the outcomes??

Here she is with her friend Hugo
 

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With a notable change in behavoir and the seizures the MRI might be a good idea. My experience with seizures in dogs is pretty limited. I know of two dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and neither experienced behavioral changes that I'm aware of. I Hope others with more experience will chime in.
 

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I would do the MRI, especially considering the behavioral changes. Diabetes, liver, and kidney disease can cause seizures in older dogs but the blood work probably rules out those for the most part (?). Epilepsy onset at that age is often brain tumor.

I had a dog with idiopathic epilepsy that died about 1.5 years ago. He was only 3. I got an MRI for him to rule out brain tumor at 1 yr and then got him into a dog brain MRI study at a local veterinary hospital which required me to take him in for a MRI every couple of weeks.

Unfortunately the seizures increased in frequency quite linearly (I charted them) from 9 months to 3 years. The last few weeks of his life he was having them every half an hour or so. I put him down in the end. He bounced back from the seizures almost immediately though. After about 10 minutes he was right as rain. I slept in a bed with plastic covers for 2 years with him to make cleaning up afterward easy.

My dog was on phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Some dogs respond to the meds and some don't. Once you start the meds you really can't stop. It is also extremely important to administer them at the same time each day. I'm pretty sure my guy had a few seizures because I was off in his meds by an hour or so. :*(.

I've never heard of behavioral changes in idiopathic epilepsy. I don't think there's any reason to expect it. As I understand it seizures generally lead to more seizures. Something to do with the brain activation patterns that occur during a seizure being reinforced with each seizure.

Be very careful with the diazepam. Its only appropriate use is to end seizures that won't stop (status epilepticus). These only become dangerous after the seizures have gone on continuously for quite a while (>1hr?) and the brain heats up to the point that damage starts happening. My dog was almost killed by veterinarian administered diazepam 3 separate times.

Good luck. She looks great and very healthy.
 

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So sorry to hear that asibley... it's terrible. I don't know what I'd do if it came down to having to make those choices.

The blood work did rule out all of that, there weren't any abnormalities whatsoever. The fact she is 9 and having epileptic symptoms scares me. She has never had any issues whatsoever, we've been so lucky.... no hip issues, no behavioural.... anything. She has always been very active, loves chasing her kong, has always been vaccinated and on good quality food. Also the couple days before this 2nd seizure, we hadn't had her out for walks because of the heat... only exercising in our decent sized garden. We know all the neighbours so no worry of any lunatic leaving poisoned food either.


She could be getting old and grumpy..... she might just be having genuine epilepsy..... I hope but I'm really worried. She seems so well but who knows.
I asked the vet if it'd take around a month to get an MRI appointment and they said I should be seen a lot sooner so will keep you updated.


Just a heads up for anyone reading in the future. Regarding the diazepam, the vet said it should be used after 10 minutes of seizuring OR if a shorter seizure has occured but they are entering a 2nd. The issue in a longer seizure or multiple concurrent seizures (clusters) is that it can fry the brain due to such high activity, causing permanent damage or death.
 

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It wasn't so bad. It was a lot of work for me but he deserved it. Very special dog. He still had a great life. It was just short. He was completely fine in between seizures. It was impossible for anyone else to tell he had them. All they really did was tire him out.

Oh yes, environmental contaminants are also important (and very difficult) to rule out.

Also, on the diazepam, he almost died on those several occasions because the seizures wouldn't stop and the vet gave him very large doses. This depressed his breathing to the point it almost killed him. The after effects of those large dosages of diazepam were just awful. Took him about a week to get back to normal. He acted like he had severe brain damage but after about a week was completely back to normal. I'm positive this was an effect of the diazepam and not the long seizure because in the last few months of his life he was having seizures that went as long as an hour. He was totally fine after these seizures, though completely exhausted.

I could never detect any signs of the seizures damaging his brain. He was very well-trained, attentive, and intelligent to the end of his life.

Also, this dog was a cross between a german short-haired pointer and a chocolate lab. My sister got him from some girl at her school who had an accidental litter of puppies. I traced down his ancestry. His parents were both pure-bred hunting dogs. It turns out the german short-haired pointer's genetic line had a long history of genetic epilepsy.

One interesting story I came across in my epilepsy research was a prominent german short-haired pointer in britain (one of the first imports) that led to epilepsy in a lot of genetic lines in that country. This is well-known now and people avoid that line.
 

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I left her for her MRI today and they found a meningioma. She said it's large... but also that it's in a part of the brain that's not very active and that might be why there have not been such strong symptoms.

I'm in at 10am (midnight now) to see her and go through things properly with the specialists.

I am shocked :( :( :(
 
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