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Thread: Doggy having Seizures...

  1. #1
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    I am sure some of you have seen the pictures of my beloved Sheltie, Finnigan. He is a 5 year old and just recently he has begun to have seizures. We are aware of three that he has had since early June. (It's September 13 now).
    He lies on his side and paddles at the air with his four legs running and his eyes rolled back for about 60-90 seconds. Then he lies still for another 60-90seconds before he tries to get up.
    He's not himself for a good five or six hours after and it is so hard to watch. I called our vet and she said that unless he was having them frequently she wouldn't medicate him. I don't know if I should call another vet or lie and say he's having them frequently so his own vet will prescribe medicine.

    Does anyone have any advice for us?

    Isn't he a beauty!?
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  2. #2
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    If there is a veterinary school near by, give them a call. Seizures are not uncommon in Shelties, but it won't hurt to get some test and an MRI, just to be safe. He certainly is a beauty, I have a soft spot for shelties.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    He's such a beautiful dog! And far too young not to do some checking it out.

    My sheltie had seizures but not until she was dying. so I would insist your vet check him out. seizures are common in shelties. My aunt and uncle used to raise them. My vet told us at the time to give her a reg aspirin but I don't think it did any good.

  4. #4
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    I would get a second opinion. How awful to have to see him go through that.

  5. #5
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    So sorry your little guy is having this problem.
    It sounds like you are not entirely comfortable with your vets assessment and recommendations. I don't think anyone, including your current vet would fault you for wanting/getting a second opinion. I would encourage you to do what gives you peace of mind.
    Hope you can find a solution for your fur baby. {{{Hugs}}} to you and to Finnegan.

  6. #6
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    He is, indeed, a beauty. I don't have any knowledge about seizures, so I can't help you. I, personally, don't like medication unless it is absolutely necessary, for me or for my fur kids. I can only imagine how terrible it is to watch him when it is happening.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    How sad for him, that's heartbreaking. If it were me I would have to make sure that I had checked everything which would at least include a 2nd opinion. The idea about the vet school is a great option, they might would go above and beyond checking him out to help teach the students. Good luck and keep us posted!

  8. #8
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I had a PomPoo and we gave her PHENOBARBITAL. When she would have the first one, I would medicate her for several days and then she would be find for awhile. I kept it on hand all of the time so I could give it to her when needed. A couple of times her seizures would last too long and I would rush her to the vet and she would get a shot. It was really hard because she was only 5 pounds. The seizures sound like they are very short and your vet may be right, but it wouldn't hurt to have a second opinion.

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltingfan's Avatar
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    My cocker spaniel also has seizures every now and then. we have not done anything about it. she is a happy dog and they do not happen that frequently maybe 2 a year? We told the vet but he did not seem that concerned so we aren't either.

  10. #10
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    I had two shelties, neither ever experienced any seizures, I didn't even realize they were common in this dog?! Did you ask the vet why she wasn't concerned? Do some research over the internet to help you make the right decision whether to see another vet. If it will give you piece of mind, it's worth doing. Finding more information on the internet may help you make your decision whether you would medicate the dog or not.

  11. #11
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    My cat has seizures and my vet and also a second opinion(my SIL who's a vet) have told me the same thing. Unless the seizures are severe and are close together, the meds are harder on them than the seizures. It wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion, but I suspect if you search long enough there will always be someone who tells you what you want to hear.

  12. #12
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamagus
    I am sure some of you have seen the pictures of my beloved Sheltie, Finnigan. He is a 5 year old and just recently he has begun to have seizures. We are aware of three that he has had since early June. (It's September 13 now).
    He lies on his side and paddles at the air with his four legs running and his eyes rolled back for about 60-90 seconds. Then he lies still for another 60-90seconds before he tries to get up.
    He's not himself for a good five or six hours after and it is so hard to watch. I called our vet and she said that unless he was having them frequently she wouldn't medicate him. I don't know if I should call another vet or lie and say he's having them frequently so his own vet will prescribe medicine.

    Does anyone have any advice for us?
    I have epilepsy, and if both vets tell you the same thing, then I would not worry. They are not painful, because during a seizure, you are out cold and feel nothing. It is actually much worse to have to see them. It takes me awhile to recover also. I will pray for him. If he is medicated, you will see a difference in his personality that will become permanent. Waiting WILL NOT make it worse.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Gramma B's Avatar
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    We have a golden retriever that has seizures also. We were told the same thing regarding medicine. Our vet and friend, who is a vet technician, said that unless the dog has seizures more than 1 a month, they usually don't medicate because the medicine is so expensive. I don't remember the cost of the meds but it was very expensive. If they don't have them more than 1/mo; just watch them and document the length of time per seizure. I know, easy for them to say, just watch, document and do nothing!!!!!!! The seizures look so painful; I want to help; but am just there for him.

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    One of our labs had seizures irregularly and she had the same symptoms you described - particularly the lethargic recovery. But then she would be fine for a long time. Keep an eye on that handsome lad and if he maintains, I would not worry either. If his seizures increase in frequency and intensity, then I would go back to the doc.

  15. #15
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    My JRT has had seizures also..ideo pathic? meaning they don't know why, but they put him on Phenobarbitol he is 12 now.
    i don't like him being on meds..but they said to watch his gums when in a seizure, if you can, and not get bit. if they go really dark, it means his brain is not getting any oxygen.
    they had him on twice a day..i have him on once a day..and it is perfect for him.
    it looks really scarey..he starts sidestepping, and he looks like he is staring into space..and shakes like crazy. i would just hold him, until it was over. since he has been on meds, no seizures.
    i pray your baby will be fine..!

  16. #16
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    I agree with Candace. My son has seizures (athough not a dog but the physiology is the same). The side effects of the meds can be just as bad as the seizures themselves. My son is on 3 seizure medications. One of them interfered with his thyroid function so new meds were added to balance that but a side effect of that medication is hair loss which is happening to him--he's only 23 and has a big bald patch on the top of his head. Another medication he takes causes him to be depressed and makes his urine smell terrible! He also sleeps 18 hours a day.

    I say get your second opinion and tests but don't be in a rush to medicate unless the seizures become more frequent or tests show there is something wrong.

  17. #17
    pookie ookie's Avatar
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    I'm so glad MadameKelly gave a personal perspective. It's really helpful. Thank you. Edit: And, virtualbernie, too.

    If you want a second opinion, there's no harm in it. Just choose the second vet carefully. I've had as many as five opinions on a major surgery. No one minded. My primary vet is an Ivy League narcissist and he didn't care. :0) Vets are busy professionals.

    Finnigan is gorgeous. I hope you have a peaceful resolution to the situation.

  18. #18
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    My little mixed dog, 11 lbs, started having seizures daily sometimes 2 or more. Vet recommened 1/2 phenobarbital tablet twice a day. there was no change for the first week, now she is doing good. Little dog may have seizure once in a while but not as often or as long. She seems to be happiers. Only side effect is she like to eat, so now we have to be carful not to give snacks everytime she wants one.
    Get second opinion.
    You have a beautiful Sheltie.

  19. #19
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    My cat has seizures and my vet and also a second opinion(my SIL who's a vet) have told me the same thing. Unless the seizures are severe and are close together, the meds are harder on them than the seizures. It wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion, but I suspect if you search long enough there will always be someone who tells you what you want to hear.
    This is what we were told too about the seizures our poodle was having. As long as they are okay the next day, to let it go. The side effects of the meds can shorten their life span by causing damage to other organs.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Andii's Avatar
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    Mamagus,
    I'm sorry your baby is sick. We had a dog that had seizures and it is heartbreaking to see...we eventually did put Tasha on Phenabarb because her seizures were long but the vet had us wait for as long as she and we felt comfortable because of the side effects. After a few really long seizures it was worth the risk to us. It's a commitment because you have to keep that certain level of medicine in their system-for us it was twice a day. We were blessed to have a next door neighbor that would come over and give Tash her pill if we were running late or if we would be gone on a day trip. There also has to be blood work done to make sure the level of medicine is at a therapeutic level and to check the function of the liver to make sure it isn't being damaged. The medicine was expensive at the vet but after much cajoling she eventually started calling it into Target where it was a lot cheaper.

    If you're there when Finnigan(sorry if I've got the spelling wrong)has a seizure just love on him and be calm. Over time we noticed that Tasha would come over to us when she was getting ready to seiz. Once she was into a seizure she couldn't really respond but I know she was aware of us and the soft tone and stroking seemed to bring her out of it or make the transition easier. She was kind of wiped out for a bit after.

    Let us know how he is doing. He's beautiful.

  21. #21
    Super Member donnaree59's Avatar
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    Your dog is absolutely beautiful! I had a Yorkie who had seizures for several years and our vet did not medicate him either. Said they were not really that harmful to him (said they probably bothered me more than they did him) unless they became very frequent and very severe. As he got older (several years later), he did have to take one pill a day to help control them. Once on the pill, he was not as active as before, but also he was older then too. He lived to be 12...but had a good, alert and active life.

  22. #22
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watterstide
    My JRT has had seizures also..ideo pathic? meaning they don't know why, but they put him on Phenobarbitol he is 12 now.
    i don't like him being on meds..but they said to watch his gums when in a seizure, if you can, and not get bit. if they go really dark, it means his brain is not getting any oxygen.
    they had him on twice a day..i have him on once a day..and it is perfect for him.
    it looks really scarey..he starts sidestepping, and he looks like he is staring into space..and shakes like crazy. i would just hold him, until it was over. since he has been on meds, no seizures.
    i pray your baby will be fine..!
    I just looked at your link "but you don't look sick...". Thank you, I could not have said it better. I am printing copies for family members who don't 'get it".

  23. #23
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    Seek a second opinion.

  24. #24
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    Oh I do know what you are going through. My darling Jonah, my avatar, had idiopathic epilepsy. All that means is that they do not know why he has seizures. He started at 1 1/2 years and now at 8 years is on phenobarbitol, potassium bromide solution and leviteracetam twice a day. His seizures are under control but he now has cluster seizures, maybe up to 8 in a 24 hour period. He has not had any since the beginning of June. Jonah's seizures last about 30 seconds but then he has a period of blindness and agitation. Afterwards, he is his old adorable self. Then another one will come, and the toll they take on him is noticable, he gets progressively weaker with each siezure. He has has 2 episodes where he needed to be medicated in the doggy ICU for a few days, talk about expensive!! When the seizures start, we give him clonazepam to hopefully decrease the number of seizures. he is well drugged up for a few days. But then he recovers and is none the worse for wear.
    My advice to you would be to learn all you can about canine epilepsy, the medications available and to see if there is a canine neurologist available where you live. Jonah goes to a wonderful doctor in Toronto. She is terrific with him and gives us sound advice. I would be happy to answer questions you have if you wish. Just send me a PM. Good luck. Hope your beauty stays well.

  25. #25
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    Oh I am so sorry. He is a beautiful Sheltie. A good friend of mine here has a Schnauzer that has been having them for almost a year now. There is no place here in AK to have an MRI for a dog so they don't know what causes them--probably a brain tumor they think. He is on the same stuff they give humans for seizures--phenobarbital. Good luck and keep us posted.

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