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Dog Seizures

My dog suffered a seizure this morning. To say that it was scary is an understatement. I was terrified.

I took her to the vet immediately, where they took some blood to run some tests. The vet did not seem terribly worried… I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. That is, was he not worried because this is not life threatening, or was he not worried because he just doesn’t care? My gut tells me it was the former, which puts my mind at ease some.

If you’ve ever had a pet suffer from seizures, I’d be interested to here about your experiences.

Update (2013-11-06):
I found a response to this thread (from someone named “Jane”) particularly interesting, and wanted to highlight it. It talks about a holistic approach that has been successful for the dog owner.

Posted in General.


164 Responses

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  1. Brian says

    My dog Symon is a Jack Russell/Beagle about 4 years old, 35lbs and has been having seizures for roughly the last two years. The first time it happens can be very traumatic; but I think the vet pretty much responded the same way to me as they did to you above.

    From my understanding, the seizure is not really life-threatening unless they have continuous (little or no recovery time between siezures) or multiples (two or more siezures over a short time period). Just because he had one doesn’t mean that he’ll have more, but in Symon’s case he did have more and he takes medication for it.

    The Vet originally put him on phenobarbital which I think is usually the first preferred choice. The pheno worked great for approximately 6 months (no seizures) until he got really anemic and sick. His neurologist said that it could be a side effect of the pheno, so they weaned him off of it hoping he would just not have any more seizures. He got healthy, but then started having seizures again (6 in one day). They started him on Potassium Bromide; which he’s been on for the last 1-1/2 years. Every so often (4-6 months) he’ll still have a siezure or two, and they’ve upped his dosage. He had one approximately 7 months ago, and I was just thinking that maybe it was done, but then last night he had two and I had to call the vet…

    I wish you the best of luck.

    • Lisa says

      My dog Ching has seizures one every two months to the day. His vet has him on 3 tablets of Pheno aday. We will see if the increase will help him this time. He is scheduled to have one around the 11th of this month. We don,t know what is causing them, because of the time they come. If anyone has suggestions, please help.

    • holly says

      My dog is on the potassium bromide and she had two seizures today, though i didnt see the first one the seconed one she seemed to come out of more quickly than other times. What did the vet say when you took your dog in? I just gave her another dosage of her meds which made it to one extra pill in her systtem for the day…im very worried about her, any advice is much appreciated, thank you.

  2. Peter Foti says

    Thanks for sharing your story Brian. It’s somewhat comforting to know that the seizure itself is not life-threatening.

    As it turned out, my dog ended up having another seizure later in the same day. I returned to the vet where they prescribed phenobarbital but told me I should not give it to her yet. I think they basically wanted to get an idea for the frequency of the seizures. Fortunately, there haven’t been any more seizures and I haven’t started her on the medication. I’m hoping that it was a temporary thing.

    One good thing has come out of this situation. The thought that she might die that day made me realize how important she is to me, and how I take her for granted at times. I’ve started spending more time playing with her and giving her more attention. For now, I can hope there are no more seizures, but I’m actually grateful for the 2 she had already.

    It’s a wonder that with all the technology we have these days that we still seem to be in the stone ages with regards to biological sciences. We can treat the symptoms in many cases (often at the expense of other side effects), but not remove the cause.

    Anyway, thanks for your story and I also wish you the best of luck with Symon.

  3. jen says

    Thanks for sharing both your stories Peter and Brian.

    My dog Prince, is a collie of a little over 9 years old. Ever since he was born, he has always had seizures. We never thought it was a big deal because my father had a dog that used to have seizures too and they are more common in larger dogs anyway.

    So when things started to get out of hand, we took Prince to the vet and he prescribed phenobarbital which worked pretty well. He would have a seizure about every 5-6 months which isn’t too bad. But then, he started having them again, so we started to give him 2 tablets a day. Then, we finally got to 2 1/2 a day which has worked very well for about 8 months now.

    So this morning, all of a sudden i heard this banging from the laundry room where Prince was sleeping, and he was having a very bad seizure. He continued to have 2 more, but now he seems to be stabilized and is resting. Hopefully, he will be better by tomorow.

    Well anyway, i wish you both the best of luck, and thank you for letting me share my story.

  4. Peter Foti says

    Thanks Jen.

    This weekend my dog had 2 more seizures. The first one happened when no one was home. I think we walked in the door just minutes after it had happened. She was wet with drool and urine and some furniture was knocked out of place. Then later that night she had another one. This time, she was on the couch (yes, we let our dog up on the couch with us). I was able to catch her before she fell off, but I took a pretty good punch to the face from her flailing paws (the force behind it can be quite surprising).

    My wife and I soothed her as she came out of it and I think that made it less scary for her (I imagine she must have been scared when it happened and she was alone). This brings her total seizure count to 5 in just over 2 months. Our vet still advises that we don’t put her on the phenobarbital yet.

    I’ve been trying to determine what might be the cause. She’s not getting into anything (chemicals, etc.). We’ve changed her food since the first seizure. But I’ve also read that any dog food you can get in the grocery store is not really very good, and will probably contain preservatives like BHA that can cause seizures in dogs. Even the more expensive brands (Science Diet, Eukanuba, etc.) contain these same preservatives (or so I’ve read). So I’m considering switching to something like Merrick, Innova, or Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul. They are harder to find and more expensive, but much better for my dog’s health.

    I wish you the best with Prince and thanks for sharing your story.

    • Rita says

      The underlying cause of epilepsy and all othe fancy names to diseases are from vaccine damage. Vaccines severely weakens the immune system and nervous system causing all sorts of health problems. I have seen vaccines causing so much harm …. They claim vaccines protect !? In fact- they cause Chronic disease. Sadly but true. My dog started having seizures at the age of 2 and at that time little did I know about vaccines and what’s in them. Through a ton of research and finding a homeopath who is an expert in the field in treating dogs with vaccine damage has brought so much knowledge under my belt … It really made me aware of how intoxicating these vaccines are. The damage is done with my dog but I’ve learned alot if the Do’s and Dont’s.

      • Barbie says

        Rita,

        Can you point me in the right direction with the homeopath? My dog has been having seizures since being vaccinated as well.

      • Lee says

        Ive heard this too about vaccines. My lab has had a seizure a year since the age of 3 – the vet cant say its epilepsy because the seizures are so far apart. He suffered another one on Thursday whilst coming back from a walk. It was very minor in comparasion to his other 2. It was a hot evening and it lasted no more than 10 minutes in total. We wonder if it a hyperglysemic seizure as he does not suffer any in the winter months. Can anyone give any advice please?

      • Octavia says

        I completely agree, my puppy at 17 weeks who finished his vaccinations a month before started having seizures. Spent a lot of money (which I don’t regret) on tests. All came back clear so the specialist diagnosed him as the youngest ever puppy she has ever had with epilpsy and straight away prescribed him on chemical drugs. But with a little in depth research and talking to a holistic vet did I found the damage vaccinations can do. When I talked to the specialist, she got angry at me to even think that could be true and I talked to the vet who gave my puppy the vaccinations and again they just tried to cover their arses. I have been using the product Hampl, which is based in Perth and it is meant to detox all the chemicals from the vaccinations. Amazingly, after using it for a month, my puppy has not had a seizure for 2 days which he used to get up to 5 seizures a day.

    • rebekah says

      My name is rebekah and i have a 11year old boxer who just had a seizure last night at 2am and now again tonight. She foams at the mouth, but doesnt let loose of urine. We just had to but are 13 year old male boxer down last month, he had a bad heart and was having seizures. His symptoms were different than hers

  5. Molly says

    My toy fox terrier has had 2 siezures in 2 weeks… they are mild, his body gets stiff and his eyes dialate. He is aware of us, but scared and his eyes water and his jaw clenches. I think I’ll take him to the vet today. I’m worried about cancer…

  6. Peter Foti says

    How old is your fox terrier, Molly?

    I was really surprised to learn how many dogs have seizures. My dog has continued to have them, but we’ve decided to start her on the seizure medication. My vet has said that she’s too old for it to likely be epilepsy, but that’s not very comforting because we don’t know what (besides a brain tumor) might cause seizures, and we can’t afford the expensive tests and MRI’s to find out. But (I hate to say it) it is slightly comforting to know that it’s not as uncommon for dogs to have seizures as I had thought (and it’s often times unknown what the cause is).

    One thing that I am suspicious of is diet. Could it be that all that processed dog food is worse for dogs than we consumers realize? Are there preservatives and/or chemicals in these foods that could be building up in our dogs bodies, causing them to have these seizures? I’ve read alot about going to a more natural diet, and the BARF diet (mmmm… appetizing acronym). I think we’re going to try switching to a more natural dog food, like “Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul”. I’ve read good things about it. At the very least, even if it doesn’t affect her seizures, I will know that I’m feeding my dog more healthy meals.

    The quest for answers continues…

  7. Rita Thomas says

    Hi – Glad I found this site. An adorable little dog came to my door yesterday. Jack Russell mix I think. She had an owner I’m sure – she’s been spayed, nails clipped etc. She is a true joy and very well behaved and loving. I was thinking I’ll call the local vets and pound to see if anyone has listed her as lost. She slept with me last night and had two seizures. Scared me to death I’ve never experience anything like it. Took her to vet this morning they wanted to do extensive ad expensive blood work – I’m not willing to spend this kind of money on a dog someone may claim. Just wondered if anyone’s vet had given medication without appropriate blood work. I’m feeding her Science Diet same as my other dog. Peter mentioned in an earlier msg even you better foods contained BHA I checked my science diet ingredient list and couldn’t find a BHA wonder what it stands for – any help would be appreciated.

  8. Jo S. says

    I have had greyhounds AKC and NGA and now 3 Italian greyhounds.
    I know meds are a big problem, because they have no fat content. (this was in June.
    My 11 yr old male went on a med that containted both penicillin and pain elements and within 8 hours went into his first seizure. Yes, my children and I freaked out and cried and cried. NOthing seemed out of the ordinary after the vet immediate vet visit. That night 5 hrs. later he had another milder on (of course on the couch, we too believe what is good for us is good for them!) None since that time. Today at feeding am time, he had another one and there was no reason, as he is not on any meds or food change. I am wondering if this is an age thing? I just read on a natural homapathic treatment other IG’s have had seizure, is this common?
    I agree with you on the foods and chemical things put in both human and dog that there must be some effects!???!
    I know you all love your dogs and thanks for this info, I was truly lost.

  9. Jo S. says

    Excuse my spelling errors-My (ME) spell checker brain is out on Saturdays!

  10. Peter Foti says

    @Rita
    I wonder if someone abandoned that dog because of the seizures? I certainly hope not, but there are some people that would do such a thing.

    Anyway, the blood work is the first step (or at least it was with my vet) when evaluating a dog with seizures. My understanding is that this measures the amount of a certain hormone to determine if the seizure was caused by epilepsy or another disorder. I’m not sure whether your vet (or any vet) would prescribe medication without first checking the bloodwork to better identify a cause for the seizures, but I understand your hesitation to spend money on a dog that you might only be baby-sitting. :)

    Also, I’m not sure if they can give out this information, but you might check with your town clerk to see if you can find out who has registered that type of dog in your area. Perhaps from there you could try calling those people to see if they are missing their dog?

    BHA – Here is a good resource that explains what it is (essentially it’s a preservative): http://chemistry.about.com/library/weekly/aa082101a.htm

    Does Science Diet include BHA? I’m not sure. This site lists BHA in the ingredients for the Adult Original Dry dog food:
    http://www.doggyfriend.com/store/store_detail.asp?p=591
    But the Science Diet website lists “mixed tocopherols and citric acid” as the preservative:
    http://www.hillspet.com/hillspet/products/productDetails.hjsp?PRODUCTprd_id=845524441760616
    I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as BHA.

  11. Peter Foti says

    @Jo S.
    Did you continue to treat your dog with that medication? Did the seizures stop if/when you discontinued treatment?

    As for food, we’ve switched to a more natural food in the hopes that it might be better for our dog (even if it’s not the cause of the seizures). It’s certainly a little more expensive, but I suspect it’s a small price to pay (especially if it saves us later trips to the vet).

  12. Angie says

    I am very glad I found this site.

    This morning my toy poodle Sophie went into a seizure, waking me up; she had been sleeping on my feet. She has had a few before, but it’s been a while since she has. Sophie is only three, and a good friend of mine said her toy poodle started a period of seizures around the age of three that lasted for a couple years. I definitely hope this is a stage, and I am also relieved to learn that this is actually quite common.

    My boyfriend told me the story of his childhood dog that had seizures: One day laying by the pool, his dog began having a seizure and slipped over the edge into the pool. It immediately snapped out of the seizure, so every time the dog had one from that point on, my boyfriend would apply cold water to the dog during a seizure. I tried that this morning, and Sophie snapped out of it pretty quickly.

    I’m going to notify the vet and see if starting Sophie on meds is advisable. And I will also look into this preservatives business. Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories and taken a huge weight off of my mind. :)

  13. Jane says

    I have a sweet bichon that has been having seizures. He has been with me since July. He seems to go about 2 weeks without any seizures and than has several over a two day period. Of course, he had some over the holiday weekend. He is currently on phenobarbital and I suspect he needs a medication change/increase.

    This is all new to me. I took him to the vet in July and he vet didn’t seem worried about the seizures, but since he has had several, I am worried.

    I am trying not to overreact, but think it’s time to go back to the vet. Does this situation sound “normal” for a seizure dog, or is there a chance of reducing his seizures. I am worried that he will have one when I am not home. I have tried to seizure proof the house as much as possible, but think he can still get hurt.

  14. Peter Foti says

    @Jane
    My dog began having seizures back in March (the reason I first posted about it). She’ll go about a month between “episodes”, where each episode usually includes several seizures over a 1 or 2 day period. Her last episode consisted of 8 seizures over a 2 day period, the most she had ever had. We decided to start her on the medication at that point. It’s been about 3 weeks since that episode, so at this point it’s just “wait and see”.

    Your situation does sound “normal” for a seizure dog (from what I’ve learned). I agree, you should take him back to the vet for a possible dosage adjustment.

    As for seizure proofing the house, I understand your concern. Our dog had a seizure on the couch once and would have fallen on the floor had I not been there to catch her. She also had one where she fell off the end of my bed. Luckily, she hasn’t hurt herself yet (except for some lacerations to the end of her tongue from biting it during a seizure). But I have a large staircase that she sometimes sleeps at the top of, and I’m concerned she could have one and fall down the stairs.

  15. Ann says

    Hi All:

    I was just searching for seizure information as our 4 year old boxer just had one and it scared the daylights out of me. I was home alone with him and our other boxer. He threw up his dinner tonight also, and was very thirsty, but seems okay now. He seems a bit nervous though. He also foamed at the mouth while having the seizure, does this sound familar to anyone? I called the emergency vet and they wanted to keep in overnight for a seizure watch. I just can’t take him there and leave him and it seems as though this seizure thing is somewhat common. I will take him to the vet tomorrow. Any thoughts?

    Thanks.

  16. Peter Foti says

    @Ann
    It’s very common for them to be very thirsty after a seizure. Our dog will drink and drink. As for foaming at the mouth, our dog salivates and drools a lot during the seizure, but she’s never really foamed at the mouth.

    Be prepared for more seizures tonight. It’s quite possible that she will have more. Usually, a seizure watch is needed when a dog is having multiple seizures and they need to control it for the dogs own health and safety. I’m not an expert, but I would tend to agree with you that a seizure watch is not yet required. I would take your dog to the vet first thing in the morning though.

  17. kelley says

    I have an 8 yr old pomeranian, who has been having seizures for the past couple of years, last summer we would see her have 3 or 4 per day, this slowed down as the weather got cooler so as they seemed to stop we did not take her to the vet, but now she has started to have them again. The weather is still cool but we see her have 2 or 3 a day, then she might miss a couple of days then they happen again. We spoke to the vet but they want to do lots of expensive tests that we cant afford. what do we do ? do we let her keep having them, will whe she die from them, it cant be a tumor if it has been going on for so long can it, it must be epilepsy, does anyone know if the meds for epilepsy are expensive, we live in Australia. Our dog drools, goes glassy eyed, vomits and goes shakey and stiff during a fit and she is aware of us while its happening and it usually lasts for about a minute.

  18. Jane says

    On Sept 3rd, I posted about my bichon Isaiah. He goes 14 to 16 days seizure free and then has seizures for 3 days (give or take a day). He currently takes Phenobarbitol. I just spoke with his vet and she agreed that every 14 days is to often. She gave me a prescription for Potassium Bromide. Now Isaiah will be taking two medications. Does anyone have a dog that takes both medications? I don’t want to over medicate Isaiah, but I don’t know what else to do.

    Kelley – In the US – the cost for a month’s supply of phenabarbitol for a 10 pound bichon is only $12 and the potassium bromide is $22.

  19. tami says

    I have a 3 1/2 year old Rott n Lab mix Roxy. She has been having what i think are seizures since she was 1. She averages 1 a month, and they usually last 1 to 2 minutes. But her most recent and most scary lasted around 3 minutes too long. She was in my bed sleeping with me. What woke me up was her falling out of the bed and hitting the floor. Where she landed was directly at the top of the staircase!! Her eyes get glassy and she drools, her body gets stiff but also shakes. She hasn’t lost control of her bowls, or urinated on herself. And i dont think she has bitten her tongue [ that i can tell ]. And yes her food does contain BHA. I also have 2 Rotts one is 8 /12 and the other is 4 1/2, neither one has ever suffered from seizures that i know of. But when the Rott n Lab mix does have one the others do seem very concerned for her, they sniff her alot. I never thought she was alert as to what was going on around her during the seizures but this last time when the other dogs were sniffing her she growled at them for a moment. I dont know if she was just scared or if maybe she thought they were going to hurt her. I have not talked to my vet about her seizures yet. They are very scary and i have cried during everyone of them. Sometimes there is no one home with the dogs, i haven’t seen any signs of her having them when we’re not home . But i can’t believe she only has them while in my presence.. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  20. Chelsea says

    my dog copper has been having seizures every 1-2 weeks since late may/early june.pretty severe lasting 2-3 minutes,lots of foaming,and very stiff legs.he was on phenobarb(it didnt help at all even when we increased the doses)and then potassium bromide.these made him very weak and thirsty and didnt help at all.so we are gradually taking him off the meds,he switched to a better food and the seizures still continue,i really am scared and worried and the vet says there are no signs of a brain tumor.

  21. sharedconcern says

    My dog was having seizures. Did the lab tests thru the vet. Told my vet that I’d read on a website that PBT, ABT perservatives in dog treats may cause it for some four paws. My vet said she hadn’t heard of it but to try it out. My dog had 2 mild seizures shortly after taking her off all treats with the preservatives and hasn’t had 1 since. It’s been 6 months and no seizures. I wish to get this message across to others. It’s not to say ALL seizures are caused by this, but it’s clear my dog’s seizures were caused by the treats. I now only give her all-natural treats with no preservatives. Try it out!

  22. sharedconcern says

    I’m sorry, the preservatives are BHA and BHT… sorry about that. I had to re-look it up since it’s been a while since I’ve had to worry about it.

    Read the labels – you’d be surprised by how many dog treats have
    these two ingrediants..

  23. Peter Foti says

    Update on my dog…
    We’ve switched her over to a more natural dog food (the Merrick brand). She’s also on the phenobarbital (though the vet said her levels are low and that we should increase the pheno dosage). She has had 2 “episodes” since we’ve made these changes, which means the frequency hasn’t really changed at all yet. On the positive side, though, her episodes have consisted of less seizures, so I still remain hopeful.

    I have considered switching her to all natural treats as well, but I haven’t made that change just yet.

  24. Dolald says

    Hello I have a 2 1/2 yr old boxer female two days ago she had a seizure in the morning flailing paws and foaming mouth ect. from the way it sounds pretty common. I think that she may have injested some chems. in our laundry room. She has acted sickly yesterday and today. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience? Thanks Donald

  25. Dara Lambert says

    I have a 4-5 year Treeing Walker Coonhound that I rescued from a gas shelter in GA who is the love of our family. He had his first seizure in June which sounds exactly how you are describe it…terrifying. Brought him to the vet the next day and they said to wait and see if it is an isolated incident; sadly he started to have them pretty regularly after that (about 3 a month). We did the blood test which showed no poison or anything alarming. He is now currently on 1.5 mg of Phenobarbital and 6 ml of Potassium Bromide and to say the least our lives are miserable. I have let it consume me as he reverts back to no house training even after hours of play outside. I have 2 other dogs so I have to now crate when alone so he doesn’t have a seizure and the other dogs approach him and get hurt. Plus the stage after the seizure seems to be the worst part as he paces the house for hours looking to replenish his loss…they say they are very hungry and thirsty. He has become very vocal and just whines and cries all day. If I pet him to sooth him he only gets worse. It is heartbreaking.

    My husband and I are that point where we may have to consider putting him down due to his quality of life being less and less. He is not the same dog on the drugs, though I am scared to take him off due to the possibility of increased seizures.

    Did any of you ever get to this point? Are you dogs suffering after each seizure from deafness or brain injury?

    Thank you.

  26. Peter Foti says

    @Dara
    Be sure you have his levels checked to make sure the dosage is correct. My dog just recently had an increase in dosage. While she does sleep more than she used to, she is still happy, playful, and loving.
    I know what you mean about the post-seizure stage. Whining, pacing, and drinking. And I know what you mean about it continuing or getting worse when you try to sooth him. For my dog, I feel as though she recovers much more quickly if someone is there to sooth her DURING the seizure. If she has one when I’m around, I’ll pet her and talk soothingly while she’s having one, and then once she comes out of it I try to clean her up as soon as possible (excessive drool and/or urination). I’m not sure, but I feel as though this helps her to move past it quicker.
    I also sometimes try playing with her (she likes to fetch) once she regains her balance and some of the clumsiness has subsided.
    I’ve never noticed deafness or brain injury. From what I’ve read, deafness or blindness can be symptoms of a brain tumor, so if you’re seeing that then you should probably consult with your vet.
    Sorry to hear your story, but hopefully (like me) you will find some comfort in the fact that this seems to be much more common than you might think. I hope you never have to put him down.

  27. Dara Lambert says

    Thank you Peter. It helps to know that I am not alone as in the wee hours of the night when you dog is having a seizure one feels desperate and alone.

    My dog doesn’t seem to want anything after the seizure but to go outside, drink and eat. I have a hard time getting him to settle down at all. It really does help to know though that others react this way as I haven’t been able to find much about this last stage; I think they call it the Post-Ictus.

    He does appear to be deaf after a seizure but it only lasts until morning. When he wakes up the next day he is his old self again. I would love to get a cat scan to check for tumor but I can’t afford the 2,000.00 they quoted me for the procedure. Very frustrating.

    I will call the vet today and schedule a recheck on the blood levels.

    Glad I found this website. Thank you

  28. Mr. Bob D. says

    My Boxer “Max” is 13yrs.old. Started having Seizures 3 months ago. They have all been during the night while sleeping. The First time he had 5 consecutive seizures in a row at 1:30 A.M. in the morning. No vet or help available. Got on the computer & found a Vet in Austria. He advised me to take a ice pack or Fill plastic gal. zip lock w/ ice cubes & gently rub the ice up & down his spine & around his stomack area. This will & did bring him out of the seizure quickly & gently. Told me to find a 24 hour drug store & getsome “Benadryl” & B-100 Vitamines W/ Pantothenic Acid 100mg. I gave “MAX” 1-Tab each. Then I him 1-Tab of Benadryl each night til monday A.M. & 1-Tab in A.M. & P.M. of the Vitamin B-100. Monday A.M. the Vet did Blood work & Brain scan. Results all Negative. He Prescribed Phenobarbital A.M. & P.M. w/ General pet Multi-Vitamins (8 in 1 @ Wal-Mart) & continue the B-100. This worked til the following month & he had another seizure @ Night. I followed the same instruction the Austrian Vet had previously gave me & he came right out of it. I Started doing alot of Study & research. The other night (month after previous seizure) “Max” had another seizure, Followed the same Emergency Procedure & he came right out of it. The Austrian Vet had also told me to give him small amounts of food after the seizures because they extract alot of energy during seizures. Also, Max has a great thirst. Give them what ever water they want. After this put them on a leach & take them for a short walk, if they are willing. This will keep their joints limber & not tightning up. Let them rest afterwards. Important to keep a date & time journal of ALL seizures w/ treatments given. Reason being I Think, I have found “Max” problem. I changed monthly flea Medication to a external application brand. Max on that same day or hours following the treatment went into seizures. I have NOW stopped the application of this medication Immediately. We are watching Max very carefully. I don`t like giving Max Phenobarbital due to the adverse reaction to internal organs. Also this is NOT correcting the problem. It is Important to find the problem & correct it instead of treating a symptom (seizures). I`m also researching Natural foods & treats WITHOUT PERSERVATIVES.Stay tuned folks more to come…..My Heart, Feelings & PRAYERS go out to you all…….. Mr. Bob “D”

  29. Peter Foti says

    @Mr Bob D.
    The ice pack treatment is interesting. I may give that a try the next time my dog has a seizure. And that sounds like good advice (some food, water, and a short walk) post-seizure.

    Especially important: Keep a seizure journal!

    That’s also very interesting about the flea medication. If you find that after stopping that treatment, please report back with what brand/product you were using.

    I agree, I don’t like relying on Phenobarbital (or any drug for that matter). Keep us informed of your progress.

    Best wishes,
    Peter

  30. Peter Foti says

    I just found this link with some interesting information:
    http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/epilepsy.html

  31. Dara Lambert says

    Very interesting about the flea medication and I really hope that is the source of you Boxer’s seizures. I hate give my dog the anti seizure meds as well (Pheno and Potassium Bromide) but I can’t find the source of the seizures and afraid to take him off of it.

    I have kept a seizure log since his first one and it does help to be able to track them. You can also note any medicine changes there as well.

    Has anyone tried any natural approachs such as this multi vitamin?

    http://www.cellhealthmakeover.com/productsforpets.html

    or http://www.nzymes.com/

  32. Marianna says

    Thank God for the internet. Thank you all for all of your stories, my little Babe’ he’s a 10 lb. pomeranian, and he had a seizure once last year for 5min, and 1 other time within that week, and just now this year, around the same time of year, I am freaked because he is the absolute love of my life, I’m glad to know that it hasn’t been as frequent as these other stories; however I am praying that it won’t get any worse. God bless us all for being blessed with such an amazing creatures.

  33. mindy10 says

    Hi everyone, my 10 year old maltese started having seizures in her sleep in March. She had two in March and for 6 months nothing. Now 1 in September and One in November and one in December. Of course the vet says probably brain tumor because of her age. I was so glad to read kellys post becasue like she said her dog has lived two more years after have seizures so it probably is not a tumor. I dont want to put her on the medicine because she has alot of energy still and is a happy dog and im afraid the meds are going to change her. Also she shows no other signs of brain tumor. Confusion, pacing, head tilting. For those pets on meds how often do your dogs have seizures? Thanks Mindy

  34. Peter Foti says

    @mindy10
    I too was hesitant about putting my dog on the medication. I was concerned about her energy level dropping and that the meds would change her. I’m happy to say that she is still the same loving dog. She sleeps a little more than she used to, but not to the point where she’s a zombie or her personality has changed.

    If your dog is only having an episode once per month, and if the episodes aren’t too severe, then if I was in your shoes I’d probably not start her on the medication either. My dog was having about one episode per month, but then she had a really bad one with 8 seizures in one episode and that was the deciding factor for us. Since starting her on the medication, her episodes have certainly been milder. And since we increased her dosage at the beginning of November, she has not had another episode yet (keeping fingers crossed). :-)

  35. mindy410 says

    Hi Peter, Thanks for your response. I was wondering how old your dog was? Does your vet think it could be a tumor to? Does he show any other signs or problems besides the seizures? I just noticed my dogs treats that she loves has BHT so Im going to stop them even though she has eaten them for years now. Its funny how you said you give him more attention I have a three year old so Lizzie doesnt get as much attention as she use to but today I bought her a new toy. Also after she has one in the middle of the night im up and playing with her for an hour hoping she won’t have another one. Now everynight I wake up around 6 times checking on her. I need to really get some sleep!! Mindy

  36. Peter Foti says

    @mindy410
    My dog is about 6 and 1/2 years old.
    My vet did not say he *thinks* it’s a tumor, but he did say that this is certainly one possibility. He did say, though, that he thought she was too old to get epilepsy (that is, she would have had it when she was young), so that certainly isn’t very comforting. But I think there could be other reasons besides a tumor, and my dog has not had any other problems besides the seizures.

    I’ve switched my dog to a much more natural dog food (I get the Merrick brand), and just recently we switched over to more natural treats as well. At the very least, I do find some comfort knowing that she’s eating healthier now.

    I know what you mean about waking up in the night. I think that will eventually subside (it did for me anyway).
    -Peter

  37. Bubo says

    My dog had his first seizure in late Oct and his second/third in late Dec. I then had him on Phb and I absolutely hate it. My dog eats a ton, urinates and deficates much more than normal. I am trying to ween him off the meds as he has been on them for a short time. He constantly whines at all hours of th enight and I cannot take it anymore.

  38. Cindy says

    My 6 yr old chocolate lab (Charlie Brown) has been having seizures since he was 6 months old! The 1st one was on July 4th and we thought he was dying! By the time we took him to the only vet that was opened, he was his old self again and we didn’t know what had happened. They told us about seizures and to contact our regular vet the next day. He has been on potassium bromide since then with seizures still happening on the average of every 6 weeks. We keep changing the amount we give him but when he gets too lethargic, I lower the dose. I believe it is not fair to have him so drugged up since he is normally a happy doggie who gets alot of exercise! But I get nervous everytime I’m home alone with him because I’m afraid a seizure will start! His seizures last a bit longer than others I’ve heard of….about 20 minutes from beginning to end and it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. The doctor did tell us to try to talk to him during the episodes and to take a cool cloth and rub him paws with it since a seizure will raise his body temp. I think after all these years we have finally gotten his seizures under control – it’s 1/1/08 (Happy New Year!) and he hasn’t had a seizure since last April. That is when he had cluster seizures and we had to give him Valium to stop them. He had had them once before and I made the doctor give us Valium to keep at home if they ever happened again. I was so glad we had it! But since that last seizure, we upped his potassium bromide to 8 ml and to our surprise, he’s been seizure free! I am finally starting to relax at night with him. We also switched his dog food around that time so I’m not sure if it’s the old dog food that gave him the seizures or what. The vet told us we could start lowering his dosage to see what happens which is what I wanted but now I’m not so sure….why change something if it’s working! Any thoughts?

  39. poorsickmaddie says

    My dog got bit on the leg by something on New years day. I think it was a spider. We were walking at the park, then she started shaking her back left leg – like she wanted to get something off her leg. Then she went into anaphylactic shock and had a horrible seizure. With it being New Years Day I had to take her to the emergency vet and he was a jerk. He did give her bendryl and steroid – which is what they give for a bite. She had another seizure later that night – and then I took her to a different emergency clinic and they said she has epilepsy. Both refused to believe she had been bitten – even though she had a bite on her leg and it was bleeding!
    So her regular vet said yes she probably go bit. She had a few more convulsive seizures since then and she is on valium – and since being on valium she is just having baby seizures. She is having odd behavior and I don’t know if it is the post-seizure stuff or if it is the valium. The valium ends today so I am worried about what happens when the valium wears off. Will she have another grand mal? The two I eye witnessed were horrible, horrible, horrible. She stopped breathing, her tongue was purple, teeth clamp body rigid after convulsing with teeth banging on the cement, lost bladder control, eyes bulge like they were going to pop. So I think sometimes our dogs get a spider bite or something and it makes them have seizures and I am surprised at how little literature is out there about getting bit by a spider – I think my dog got bit by a black widow – or a wasp or bee or snake.

  40. brigitesmith1 says

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for sharing this information my dog is about 3yrs old he had his first seizure in sep which sounds exactly how you are describe it.I have taken to the vet then it was given some treatment by the vet.The vet has give some suggestions during these type of diseases.I found some sites in which they have provided complete details regarding this

    http://HealthierDogs.com
    http://www.Dog-Health-Care-Information.com
    http://www.HealthyHappyDogs.com

  41. danni32 says

    I am so glad this info is here i have a 4 1/2 year old australian cattle dog/sheltie mix and i think she had a seizure last night i talked to my sister in law who is becoming a vet and she said that is what it sounds like i am very worried but really dont have much money to get all of that blood work.She was just laying on the floor and suddenly tried to get up but couldnt move and her mouth kinda puffed up around the edges and her eyes got really big and glassy and she dragged herself about 2 feet to the back door where i let her outside and after about 5 minutes she totally snapped out of it and was fine. Is that what happens? I am calling the vet today to take her in to get checked out.Thanks for being here.

  42. poorsickmaddie says

    Well after she came off the valium – she wasn’t having seizures, but she had another one this morning. I was getting ready to leave for work and heard some noises in the living room. It was like a door banging noise. So I went in there and she was laying in the floor with her back up against the door. Full seizure. It lasted about 2 minutes. It was a very violent seizure. She paddled her legs for about 1.5 minute then for the last 30 seconds or so, she pulled her legs up, toward her, they were all bent up and she was rigid. It was odd. I was calm this time – since I knew what it was. I just was trying to make sure her head didn’t hit the wall, and that she was breathing and I watched what she did more closely because the vets said to try to remember what she is doing- like did she paddle her legs.

    Her spider bite – has healed. We are guessing (me and 3 vets) that it was a black widow bite. If it were from a brown recluse, her tissue probably would have been rotting off, or she would have more of left over area. However, she does have a scar, her hair is burned off her leg , like down her vein, where the toxin ran through her vessel down her leg. She got bit up at the top of her leg, like in the groin area where the leg comes over the abdomen. The bite area itself has healed, but where there was a long scab down her leg -which oozed for about 36 hours after the bite – her hair is gone and you can see this completely white line of skin.
    So we are going to put her on Phenylbarbitol. They still think this is just related to the bite and that her seizure threshold just got lowered and we just need to get it back up.
    On a good note – she came out of this one fairly quickly. After her 2nd seizure (day of the bite) she was blind and confused and wobbly legged for about 20 minutes. Today she was blind and confused and only slightly wobbly legged for about 5 minutes, and once the 5 minutes were up, she recovered really well and was really back to normal. She also did not get thirsty or hungry after this seizure.
    I too was told that my dog was too old to just develop epilepsy. At six and a half, she would have already had symptoms.

    I just hope she recovers. She is such a sweet dog. On Sunday I had been down in the floor doing yoga and I swear to you, she laid down and did some stretches too! I wish I had it on video.

  43. teeohseven says

    hello:
    i have a male pomeranian named bear who is three years old. For the first year and a half of his life he had about four seizures. He doesn’t have seizures anymore (which is good) but, now he has a really hard time walking, and he seems to shake all over a lot. we took him to the vet and got x-rays and nothing came up in the x-rays, and we really dont have the money for neurological work..so if anybody has any idea what might be going on Please comment back.
    thank you.

  44. kendra-k says

    Hi i have a 17 year old pom—-my luvees–to the rest of the world the one and only “Mr. Littles” He has been having these nasty fits since age 7, tested neg for all possible reasons. Usualy about every 5 to 6 months sometimes longer periods between he’ll have 2 to 3 a day for a period of 2 to 4 days (Varies). Ive learned to just talk him thru them get him into the tub as soon as i can(he loves looking handsome anyway)the water does seem to help them be shorter and just let him ride it out, there really isnt much more you can do. He is dazed and confused for approx. 20 minutes after walking laps around the house,walking into things,stumbling and panting , he gets very hungry and thirsty.i was just wondering— could the level of “my” stress be causing these awful fits to my little buddy?He seems to have them when im stressed out — and tonight he has had 3—i have been extremely stressed the past few days——also 3 months ago when he had his last fit—i was very stressed -am i nuts or could it be?

  45. Nancy Davis says

    Hello,
    About a month aga my dog had a seisure that lasted about three minutes. This was the first sseizure I ever saw. I took my dog to the Vet and she told me after examining the dog that the dog looked fine. She said if the dog experienced another seizure we would have to do some tests and possible medication. Last night my do had a seizure that would not stop. It lasted over one and a half hours.I took the dog to the emergency clinic were they told me they could do some tests but the prognosis looked grave. I put my dog dolly to sleep. Did I do the right thing please comment thank you Nancy Davis

  46. Peter Foti says

    @Nancy
    Hi Nancy. That’s rough. I can’t say whether or not you did the right thing, but I think the vet probably would have advised you if it wasn’t the right thing to do. I’m sorry for your loss, and I think your decision is certainly understandable. I know 3 minutes is scary enough… I can’t imagine what I’d do if it went on for an hour and a half. My sincerest condolences.
    -Peter

  47. Wumpus says

    Nancy, you did the right thing. Even on the medication, life becomes unbearable for all, at least in my case. I am almost certain my dog had another seizure today.

  48. phillydiva1 says

    My dog has had epilespsy for about two years; he is a 5 year old German Shorthaired Pointer. He had been doing well on Phenobarb. The original dose had to be increased in the first year due to having another seizure. Dash now has had one seizure in February. 2 weeks ago in March, he had another one. This morning, about 2am, he had another one, followed by one at 4:00am, and another at 8:30am. My husband is with him at the veterinarian right now and I am waiting to hear from him (I am at work). I am worried sick. What can this mean? Possibly only just needs an increase in Phenobarb? Try a new medication. My worse nightmare is that he has a brain tumor. I am sitting here on pins and needles. Thanks. Jan

  49. oldsurfrat says

    I have recently put my dog on a bromide for her seizures — the cure seems worse than the seizure — has anyone else had a problem with too much potassium bromide? she has most of her coordination, she pants, and paces and her breathing and heartbeat seem extremely shallow — AND she is horribly miserable — the vet just tells me they are just sideeffects — any experience to tell me

  50. Peter Foti says

    @oldsurfrat
    We noticed that when we put our dog on Potassium Bromide that she became much less active (very tired/weak). Our vet then recommended that we split her dosage and give her half in the morning and half at night (vs. a full dosage once a day). That seemed to make a difference. She is still not as energetic as she was before the medication, but at least she’s not totally wiped out.

    Also, your vet may adjust her dosage up or down, so if it’s really wiping her out you might want to ask your vet about a smaller dosage and/or splitting it into smaller servings.

  51. k says

    hi, i think my 7 year old bichon, has been having fits today. but they dont seem as dramatic as the ones here.
    one leg seems to go really stiff and rigid, then the stiffness spreads to her entire body, then she begins to shake, as though shes scared. during which she is still concious, and responsive (albeit a lil sluggish). they last around 2-3minutes, after which she seems fine.
    shes never had them before but today shes had 3.
    the vet doesnt seem worried either, i was just wondering if you had any advice for these more peaceful seizures.
    cheers x

  52. jstrebe says

    my pug(sophia 6yr) started having seizures in March of this year. What you described, she has experienced. It’s terrifying to see her go through this, only thing to do is comfort her letting her know she is not alone. This will help. Sophia’s 1ST vet put her on phenobarbital. Side effects were not good, her immune system began to shut down, almost causing liver damage. Wanting another opinion, 2ND vet did blood work. Both red&white blood cells were very low,also showing either too high or too low in other areas. Winning her off this nasty med. putting her on KBr Sophia is doing much better.New blood work showed every thing was almost back to the normal range.This took about a month. The vet was very concerned, thinking she might not make it. He was also upset that the other vet did not do any blood testing as we requested. SO! what you should know, from my experience is if she has to be put on any med PLEASE!!!! DO NOT start with PHENOBARBITAL. It’s very dangerous. KBr is a much safer drug, still there are side effects, as in any drug. You and her will be much happier. The side effects are lots of sleep, alittle sluggish, hunger more than normal. If her seizures are not in clusters, and lasting less than 5 mins, talk to your vet about KBr maybe one and a half cc’s twice a day or even less. Reason why I’m telling you this is I have read all I could on seizures and the different medicines and their side effects there is as well as talking to our vet. I do hope this will bring some comfort to you. Wishing you and her all the best.

  53. Peter Foti says

    For those who don’t know, KBr is Potassium Bromide. It is used to treat epilepsy in dogs, either as first-line treatment or in addition to phenobarbital when the seizures are not adequately controlled with phenobarbital alone.

    Phenobarbital does have side effects, which is why you’re supposed to continue having your dogs levels checked regularly, but I don’t agree that is “is very dangerous” (as the previous comment suggested). Every vet I have spoken with has said that phenobarbital is the recommended first treatment method, and my own research on the internet has confirmed this.

    My suggestion is to find a trustworthy vet, and discuss treatment. If you are ever unsure, get a second opinion.

  54. Toby Lee says

    One of my poodles had intermittent grand mal seizures – about 4 a year. He hasn’t had one in about 3 years, but the last few times he acted like he was going to seizure, I used the ice pack therapy. It was like a miracle, how it stopped the seizure from materializing… never happened. He had no post-ictal stage either.

    If you learn to recognize your dog’s behavior and actions when he appears to be going into a seizure state, grab the ice pack wrap a towel around it and keep it on his mid-back. Try to gently cool him down with a fan on low speed also.

    Toby Lee from Animals Index

  55. Cheryl C says

    I have a ten year old yellow lab that recently started having seizure activity. She’s had multiple short lasting seizures. (10 – 12 seconds). The vet started her on Phenobaribitol which doesn’t appear to be effective in controlling her seizures. She’s had blood work / x-rays with no significant findings. The vet is now starting her on a second medication potassium or sodium bromide. I’m concerned about the adverse side effects of the medications. The vet is trying to rule out seizures vs syncopal episodes. Please advise if anybody is familiar with this.
    This is a very informative webiste & I’m grateful for any information. Thanks in advance.

  56. rosiejo says

    I have a bichon frise that is 17 months old. He started having seizures when he was 7 months old and it has been a nightmare. He had 4 seizures within a 24 hour period when he first began having them. I took him to the vet and blood work was done. The vet said his liver enzymes were not normal and wanted him to go on lactulose to bind the toxins in his liver and zentonil. The only way to see if it was a liver shunt was to go through expensive tests that I could not afford. The vet did not want to put him on phenobarb unless he continued to have the seizures. He went 10 days without a seizure then had 2 in a 24 hour period. After that he went 1 week without a seizure then had 5 within a 2 day period. The vet then wanted to put him on phenobarb. After putting him on phenobarb he went 2 months without a seizure, then had 3 within a 24 hour period. He then went a little over 2 weeks without a seizure then had 3 in less than 12 hours. By this time he was starting to have bowel movements or urinating during the seizures. The vet ran more blood work and his liver functions were normal. For the next couple of months he would have frequent seizures, every day for several days in a row, then skipping up to a week between. The vet then put him on potassium bromide and increased the dosage of phenobarb. He had gone 19 days without a seizure until yesterday and he has had 3 within the past 24 hours again. He was stung by a bee the day before his seizures started back up and he had to have shots for the bee sting. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the seizures starting back up. It’s really hard to watch him go through this. I am afraid to leave him alone because I am afraid he will hurt himself. After he seizes he runs into walls, etc. and I have to hold him to keep him from hurting himself. After that he looses consciousness for about 5 minutes but not too long ago he was unconscious for close to half an hour. My husband and I have seriously considered having him put to sleep as we hate to see him go through this. It is heartbreaking. Any advise?

  57. Peter Foti says

    When I originally posted about this a year and a half ago, the seizure episodes were about 4 weeks apart, with about 2-4 seizures per episode (with each episode lasting around 24 hours). They gradually increased in frequency, despite being on phenobarb. When she had 11 seizures across 2 days, we added potassium bromide.

    These days, she has an episode every 3 – 5 weeks. 2 months ago we increased her potassium bromide dosage, which seems to have helped reduce the number of seizures per episode (the last 2 episodes have been 4 seizures vs. the 7 – 8 she was averaging before that). The down side is that she has gained a lot of weight since we originally started her on the potassium bromide and her energy level has dropped a lot.

    My point is that it may take time to find the right mix. Before you make a decision to have your dog put to sleep, talk with your vet to see if there are more options. I’ve heard that there may be new anti-seizure drugs available soon. If your dog is running into walls, he may be experiencing blindness after his seizure (my dog is clumsy and bumps into things, but still seems to have her sight), so make sure your vet is aware of that as well. Obviously, making the decision to put your pet to sleep is a difficult one, so my advise would be to make sure you give it a lot of careful consideration and that you’ve explored all options with your vet (or perhaps even go to a different vet for a 2nd opinion).

  58. laura says

    hi; i have a one year old bichon maltes she weighs 5 pounds since this summer shes been having these seizures where her back legs go stiff and she pants like shes very hot and some times she ll walk like shes drunk at first i thought it was because it was hot but know i dont know. t was wondering if anyone has had a situation like this ; and if so could you please let me know and how they found the problem and what treatments thank you

  59. rosiejo says

    Did you see any improvement with your dog’s seizures after you changed his food and his treats? I stopped giving my dog treats with preservatives in them and started giving him ones that are all natural. He has gained weight and is always hungry now. I don’t know if it’s from the phenobarb or the potassium bromide. He has a hard time jumping onto the couch or even running up the steps of the deck when he goes outside to eliminate. He loses his balance and falls sometimes. After he has several episodes of seizures in a short interval he seems to be really shakey. His head tremors like someone with palsy and his lttle legs tremble. He goes back to the vet in a couple of days for immunization shots and a check-up. I really don’t want to have him put down but sometimes I feel so sorry for him and wonder if he wouldn’t be better off if we did. We love him very much. I just hope and pray that his seizures start to go longer between episodes.

  60. Peter Foti says

    Unfortunately, the change to all natural food and treats did not seem to have any impact on the seizures. But I do feel better about feeding my dog healtier food, even if it doesn’t help with the seizures.

    My dog’s symptoms sound alot like yours. Weak, has a hard time getting on the couch, etc. This is especially true following an episode. One thing I have noticed, though, is that if we take her to Doggie Day Care where she can play with other dogs and be more active during the day when we’re not around, she seems to have more energy. The stimulation that comes from being around other days and playing seems to counteract the weakness.

  61. rosiejo says

    Has your dog ever had a seizure while at the doggie daycare? My dog is not around other dogs except occasionally when he is with his brother. My daughter has the brother to my dog. They are really wild when they are together. Has your dog ever had a seizure while awake? Mine has always had his while sleeping.

  62. Peter Foti says

    No, my dog has never had a seizure at daycare. Yes, my dog has had seizures both when awake and sleeping. I have noticed that during an episode, she does seem likely to have a seizure when she is awakened. For example, if we’re asleep and someone gets up to go to the bathroom and the dog wakes up (from the noises of doors shutting, etc.), then within minutes she might have a seizure. I’m not sure exactly what that means, just noting.

  63. Peter Foti says

    It’s been a rough few days. Over the past 48 hours my dog had 20 seizures, the most she’s ever had in one episode. So once again, it’s time to increase the medication levels and have her re-tested in 2 weeks.

    Here’s another useful link. I learned that certain breeds are notorious for difficulty in seizure control (including mine, German Shepherd).
    http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_seizure_disorder.html

  64. rosiejo says

    My sympathies are with you. You’re more of a person than I am. I could not handle 20 seizures in a 48 hour period. What is the dosage you have your dog on now?

  65. Peter Foti says

    We’re at 4 ml of potassium bromide twice per day. I’m not sure what the pheno. dosage currently is (I’ll have to check later).

  66. rosiejo says

    Has your dog had any more seizures since the last episode that you posted?

  67. Peter Foti says

    No, she has an episode once every 3 to 5 weeks.

  68. BigBadBugsy says

    The potassium bromide is the drug that affected my dogs hind legs. When he was on pbr he had no problems getting around. We are currently giving him 4 pbr and 3 sodium bromides per day.

  69. rosiejo says

    What did the potassium bromide do to your dog’s hind legs? My dog has had 2 seizures in the past 36 hours. It had been 10 days since his last episode.

  70. moggish1 says

    I have a 4 month old border collie. I answered an ad on craig’s list for a free dog. The lady said her daughters refused to care for the puppy.
    Anyway, she was fine for 2 days and on the third day began having seizures, She’s had 6 in the last 48 hrs. The vet has done bloodwork which doesn’t show anything and a bile acid test to rule out a liver shunt, results not in yet. She is not the same dog I brought home 4 days ago. She just sits and stares. She can’t even stand or walk most of the time. I am terrified and heart broken, does anyone have any thoughts?

  71. BigBadBugsy says

    He has a hard time getting up. Doesn’t run too much anymore.

  72. Peter Foti says

    moogish1, she will probably act very disoriented for a few days after the seizure episode… this is to be expected. She will probably return to her old self within a couple of days (assuming she does not continue to have seizures). Until then, just give your dog lots of love… it’s got to be scary for her as well.

    Do you know if your dog is a full breed? I’ve read that full breeds are more likely to have seizures because no new genes get introduced into the gene pool. My dog is a full breed.

  73. BigBadBugsy says

    Moggish1,

    Didn’t the vet put her on Phenebarbitol to possibly reduce the seizures?

  74. moggish1 says

    The vet put her on potassium bromide. She had her first dose yesterday and had I think a seizure in the middle of the night. When I woke up she was sitting in her own feces and drooling. She couldn’t walk and I had to carry her outside. She had her second dose this morning. We have her at the vet now on seizure watch and he can pretty much rule out a liver shunt, so we wait…..

  75. Peter Foti says

    Note, potassium bromide and phenobarbital are both medications that need to “build up” in the system before they are effective. In other words, don’t expect immediate results. There are other medications out there that can be given to stop and prevent additional seizures in an episode (valium, etc.) but they are expensive. Just an FYI.

  76. BigBadBugsy says

    Thats so sad. I know what you are going throught. Bromide can take up to 4 months to take full effect. We have been instructed to give Bugsy valium after his seizures in order to calm him down. They don’t work too well.

  77. moggish1 says

    The vet said she had another seizure today and is now resting. He is waiting to talk with a specialist about her. My husband is upset and frustrated and ready to put her down, but I want to wait and see if the medicine helps. How long do you think before the medicine stops the seizures (at least temporarily)? How many days before she can at least function? The vet wants us to bring her home tonight as there is no one there at night.

  78. Peter Foti says

    My understanding is that it’s different for all dogs. My dog has an episode at least once every 3 – 5 weeks. Some people have dogs that have seizures daily. My advice would be to not do anything prematurely. I’ve learned that seizures in dogs is a lot more common than I would have suspected, and for some it’s easily controlled or could even be a temporary condition. Unless your vet is recommending you have her put down, I would not even begin to consider that at this point. It may take months or it may not. If you are considering putting the dog down, I would recommend getting a second opinion from a different vet (it sounds like your vet has not had much experience with dog seizures). My 2 cents.

  79. moggish1 says

    Thanks for your ideas and support, It’s nice to know someone understands. I will give you an update on Seven’s condition tomorrow. We named her Seven to celebrate our 7th anniversary. Needless, to say, not the greatest day.

  80. lilsmokinchic says

    I have a 1 1/2 yr old Blue Pit who started having seizures 2 months ago. She was having them every week. Last month I put her on Pheno and she went a month with no seizures until today. She has had a total of 8 seizures today! 2 Grand mal and 6 that were not as severe. When she has them she paddles her feet, shakes, foams at the mouth, and urinates. The first one she had today she was growling afterwards which was rare and bumping into everything. The other 6 were weird, she was running around the house, trying to hide and just looked scared(after the twitching stoped and she didn’t urinate after these). I am going to take her to the vet in the morning, the ER vet wanted to much money for me to bring her in tonight.(which I really wanted to do because I am scared for her) She has never had this many, especially in one day… I am afraid she won’t make it through the night or something.

  81. Peter Foti says

    lilsmokinchic, bumping into things and being clumsy after a seizure is not unusual. Disorientation is normal too, and many dogs will pace back and forth, so your dogs symptoms don’t sound unusual to me (for a dog that’s having seizures). Though I understand your concern.

  82. lilsmokinchic says

    Thank you for the reply! She finally stopped having them at 12:30 am after having a total of 12. I am watching her closely though and praying they don’t return any time soon. I just wish I knew of something to help her…a more natural approch to go along with the pheno to help keep her relaxed more which might make them less or less severe. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for the support, its nice to have a place to vent!

  83. stanley says

    Hey everyone w/ a seizing dog, here is a web sight to check out http://www.dogtorj.com/ . i have stanley who started having seizures at 9 mo. old went on phenabarbatol did well for a while then more seizures went to dr.podell neurologist he went on potasium bromide as well. then he got pancratitis. so we went off potasium bromide. then he went on keppra along w/ the phenabarb. he did ok for a little while but his seizures are becoming every 4 to 5 days gand mals. i have found this vet in mobile alabama dogtor J. he has a very extensive web sight. now dr. podell has put stanley on zonisamide instead of the keppra that just started today. he had to go to emerg. vet the other night he had 3 seizures and 3 of rectal vol. after that they say go to the emerg. vet. this dr. j says phenabarb and other anti seizure meds can cause seizures later. which i am really wondering if that is the case here. i have changed everything food cleaning supplies ect. this guy makes the most sense so far. but i am very hesitant and afraid of wheaning him off any meds but i must say its becoming the common denominator. i see 4 vets. i have spent an enormous amount of money figuring him out. he has had 2 spinal taps normal, mri normal, checked for addisons , thyroid , and many many more things liver shunts ect. to no eval. they say ideopathic epilepsy. well i dont believe in that there is a cause and effect for everything. it how hard are you willing to look for the reason. stanley is an amazing dog. he deserves my best try. has any one ever wheaned a dog who still seizes off all seizure meds after being on the meds for a yr? if so what were your results. i am very confused and at a loss. reg. vets say stay on the meds yet there is evidence that seizure meds can cause seizures. any ways check out dogtor J ‘s web sight i found him a week ago. and am really considering following his advice. tx stanley and his mom.

  84. rosiejo says

    Does anyone else notice behavioral changes in their dogs after starting the potassium bromide? My dog started taking the potassium about 3 months ago in addition to the phenobarb. In the past month or so he doesn’t urinate regularly. He goes to the door acting like he needs to go but when we take him out he just sniffs around and doesn’t do anything. He comes back inside and is at the door again just a few minutes later. This goes on all day long it seems. He may go until 3:00 in the afternoon before he ever urinates or has a b.m. He is only 19 months old and before he started doing this he went fairly often. Not only that but his sleeping habits are all messed up. He wants up all hours of the night and acts like he needs to go out but still doesn’t do anything. Needless to say, we are having lots of sleepless nights and it seems like we are getting nothing done other than taking him outside. It’s really frustrating. I don’t know if this has anything to do with his meds or not.

  85. Brett says

    I am happy to have found this site. My 14 month old Australian Shepherd, Maddux, started having seizures 6 weeks ago. Just one, then another 2 weeks ago. This morning he had what seemed like a smaller one (less than an min.) but he has continued to periodically salivate and foam at the mouth. He would relax, sleep briefly (10 min.) and then sit up suddenly and foam and cough. He is scared and comes to me and then is settling down again. No other issues. He generally takes a half hour or so to settle down after the full seizure. He is agitated and a little woozy which from the descriptions I have read above is pretty normal. We spoke with the vet after the first one and they did not express concern and indicated that due to his age their guess would be some sort of slight genetic issue. Has anyone else experienced the seizure followed by the multiple foaming occurences?

  86. Lana says

    My pug is 21/2 don’t know his exact age because I picked him up through a friend and his estimated age at that time was 10 months. I have owned him since March 2007.
    This past Saturday he was layiing on the bed and all of a sudden his body started jerking, his tongue came so far out of his mouth and he started foaming at the mouth. It felt like it last 10 minutes. My fiance held him and petted him to calm him down.
    Now within the last 24 hours he has had four minor seizures. He gets out of them and seems like his normal self. These seizures seem to happen out of no where.
    I am home sick and have been crying because I could not find a vet that would take payment plans. Finally I called Banfield and they said they could probably work something out. My fiance and I have to find a place to live by April 1 and our wedding is May 23. We already live paycheck to paycheck and we aren’t even having that expensive of a wedding. I feel horrible because I am sure people think my wedding is more important than my dog. That is not true. My dog is our baby. I am just so stressed out and don’t know what to do.

  87. Dana says

    Lana, If anyone thinks that your wedding is more important than your dog then they don’t deserve to be there in the first place! Your dog is more important.
    My fiance called me tonight and said he was bringing a dog home and hung up. When he got home with him, I was shocked.
    He found this guy down a long dirt road in the middle of nowhere. He wasn’t able to pick his head up. When he got here to my house I held him and lifted his head up so he could drink some water. He drank quite a bit of water and then threw it all up and starting having violent convulsions. After reading allll night, I know he’s having Grand-mal seizures. He’s had 6 so far… and they were all back to back. It was almost 2 hours ago when he had the last one and he’s STILL laying on his side with his eyes fixed and dialated. His tounge is out of his mouth and his jaws are clamped shut. I don’t know what to do. I’ve called every vet office near our town and NO ONE offers emergency services for a pet they haven’t treated before.
    I’m not going to give up on this fella. I go to the room he’s in every 10-15 minutes and rub his head and whisper to him. He’s fairly healthy looking… just having all these crazy seizures. I’ll probably be up all night on ‘seizure watch’.

  88. Dana says

    UPDATE:
    Unfortunately, The trip to the vet wasn’t a good one. The poor dog had renal failure due to ingesting antifreeze. We had to put him to sleep.

  89. Peter Foti says

    @Dana, that is unfortunate. I guess antifreeze has a sweet taste so is a particular danger for animals. But I admire you and your fiance for doing the right thing and putting in the effort to help out a poor dog. Had you done nothing, that poor dog would have suffered longer and alone.
    @Lana, one thing you might try is asking friends and family if they can help you out financially for your dogs sake. If you explain to them that you simply can’t afford the medical coverage for your dog and ask if they would be willing to help, even if only with $10 – $20, then you might be able to raise enough money. Alternatively, I wonder if there are some animal groups out there that might be able to help (I really don’t know). I hope it works out for you.

  90. Andrea says

    @Lana The initial office visit and blood panel screening will be about $150.-$200. This is mainly to rule out any organ problems. Then the vet will probably want to get your dog on Phenobarbital. I just got 120 pills from my vet for my 75lb Golden Retriever. $18 for a 60 day supply and that is for a large dog. Please ask your friends and family if they will donate to The Save My Puggy fund instead of wedding gifts, but you need the money now so treatment can be started immediately. Good luck.

  91. Andrea says

    @Lana, I am not one that approves of credit cards but, alternatively, if friends and family can’t help, you may need to just get one real quick a pay it off monthly.

  92. Dana says

    My Veterinarian was very sympathetic and he said that he admires anyone who takes on the problems of an animal that isn’t theirs. He only charged me for the medication that he used and the tests that were done. My total bill was only $150.00. I would do it again. The poor guy needed help and comfort. Those who do good deeds are always rewarded in time.

  93. Manda says

    Hopefully someone could help me.
    My beagle is 6 yrs old and we’ve noticed over the past few years she has these episodes. She falls down and her back legs become like paralyzed and her whole body shakes and her whole body becomes stiff and her eyes bulge. These can last up to 15mins. Then she is fine and just acts tired and lays down. She also has hypo-thyroid disease so she is prone to being very tired. Does anyone know if thats a seizure episode. She has only had this happen maybe 5-6 times that we’ve seen over a period of 4 years I’ve tried to explain this too the vet and they said they cant help unless they see her do it. Otherwise its a very expensive list of blood work which sadly we cant afford at the moment. I just want some comfort if anyone has seen their dog or knows of a dog that has had the same rare few episodes. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  94. threasa says

    my dog chopper is 9 month old he had is frist sSeizures like 3 day ago he doing batter but the fisrt time i seen him do it omg i did not now what too thing he was having them alot he had 35 of them in one day the vet put him on zonisamide it seem like it working he has not had one in going on 2 days now but i thought i was going to lose him he my baby and i love him so much i had him when he was 10 week old and got him off thses popole that were not good too him he know 9 month old is 57 pound and doing ok for the last 2 day but reaaly dont know nothing adout what going on with him and very very new too this and would like to read more adout it and like to talk to popole that can help me undersand what going on if

  95. jml says

    This is to Manda, 2 posts above even though she posted months ago!

    Thyroid conditions can CAUSE seizures, so please if you haven’t already have your vet do the necessary tests to make sure whatever thyroid medicine you’re using is is at adequate levels. If something so easily medicated is causing your dog’s seizures, you must follow through on this one.

    (By the way, I found this site searching for info to help my 8-year-old Boston Terrier, who just started having seizures in May. He had two 24 hours apart, then a third one about three weeks later. Our first vet appointment in May included the full blood work to rule out some common causes of seizures. Now we have an appointment to go back this week and discuss what our next step should be. )

    I just learned about the “ice pack” trick on another site while browsing the Web tonight and I am definitely going to prepare an ice pack for the next time my BT has a seizure. It certainly can’t hurt, and if it might help then I am definitely going to try it.

  96. Lauren says

    My standard American Eskimo had a seizure the other day, the 2nd time I’ve seen her have one. She will turn 16 yrs old in about 2 weeks. The first time, about 1.5 yrs ago, it only lasted maybe 10-15 seconds and she was completely fine afterward. She didn’t get into anything; her gums were normal.. She just stumbled over, her eyes jittering back & forth (nystagmus), & her legs paddling. Then she got up just fine. But the other day, she let out this awful cry, as if she got hit by a car, and started convulsing. It too lasted 15 or so seconds, but this time, her gums were pale & clammy and she was rather lethargic afterward. She was outside at the time to “do her business” when it happened, do you think a spider could’ve bitten her? Her hind-end wobbles a lot more now, since she’s gotten older and she loses her balance more often.. Do you think she could have Vestibular Syndrome?

  97. JO ANN says

    hello, my name is joann i have a jack russell terrier just 2yrs old. his name is puck , he started haveing seizure’s 1 month ago . He had 2 in 1 month then one morning he started haveing 6-9 all at one time , everytime he fell asleep. I was so scared they were getting worse he would pee himself and poop himself. so i rushed him to the vet hosp. they took blood and put him on Phenobarbital . 15mg 2x a day well it doesnt phase my dog he still is very active. he hasn’t had a seizure in weeks. they put him on a low fat diet no treats 1 cup of food a day . he weighs 30 lbs and they said he was over weight. so far everything is good , now he developed a rash ,itching, problem they say the pheno, mase be the cause. I ve noticed in the last few years all breeds of dogs are haveing seizure’s . Is something going on?? why so many diff. breeds haveing this problem?? worried that if this doesnt help in time he will be put on other meds that lay him back like he is a zombie. i have hope it will not get worse. thanks joann in florida.

  98. karina Miyama says

    My golden retriever of 17 years of age just had seizure. This was 24 hours ago and her neck and front legs are still stiff and unable to move. I live in Japan and the vet came over to my house and she is on IV and some other medication for her brain. The doc says wait 3 days to see if she recovers? Does anyone know anything about this stiffness lasting this long? She seems to know who I am and has eye contact but juts cant move. This is the worst thing that has ever happened and I just cant sleep. I am praying that she comes out of this.

  99. Ahjzi Allen says

    I am very sorry to hear that Karina Miyama…I dont know anything…i will keep you and your pet in my prayers
    -I have a mini schnouzer and he had his very first seizure 5 days ago…it was horrible..my family and i remained calmed ((thank god)) I had been gone away from my dog about 3 months i recently came back only to find him not eating any of his food my family would give him to eat…I then noticed his food was rotting-and had a horrible smell and light yellow liquid seaping((which was not what we first thought to possibly be his urine)) from the bag his food was in…though i checked the label to his found and found no BHA listed–could it still be the cause of his seizure?

    i changed his food to beneful and he has not had a second seizure so im assuming that could have been the cause…our vet–along with several others we called–had no idea what the cause could have been..

    Please help

  100. Wendy says

    Hi everyone, my dog Mags, a toy poodle, has been having seizures since she was just shy of one year old. She will be 3 yrs old in February 09. She is currently on potassium bromide and phenobarbital 2x/day for the last year. She had a seizure on February 5, 2008 and she was doing great for about 7 months with no seizures to speak of. Then yesterday morning she had a small, short seizure. I comforted her while she was seizuring and then gave her food and water. She seemed ok the rest of the day. Then again this morning, she had another seizure which lasted a little longer than the last one, about 30 seconds to a minute. She previously had a hypoglycemic episode (low blood sugar) about 1 1/2 yrs ago. I agree, it is very, very frightening and difficult to see your dog, this little creature that you love with all of your heart, going through this and you are helpless to stop it. I have never heard of the ice pack idea so I will try it out the next time (hopefully there won’t be a next time) she seizures. I thought that since she had gone almost a full 8 months without any seizure activity, that she was well on her way to being seizure free but now I am afraid that maybe they are starting again with a vengeance. I am worried sick about her. She is an otherwise very playful, happy, energetic little dog and I can’t imagine what life would be without her. I don’t even want to go there. I am thinking of increasing her potassium bromide slightly. I have also kept a seizure journal and it helps a great deal to be armed with this information when you see your vet.

  101. Peter Foti says

    Hi Wendy. Make sure you talk to you vet. If she has been on the medication for a long time, it might be time to have her levels checked again. The vet will do a blood test to make sure that the levels of potassium bromide and phenobarbital are in the therapeutic range (I would advise against increasing her medication yourself without consulting your vet first). The test is a bit pricey (I think it cost me $75 the last time we had it done), but will verify that your dosage is still correct. Good luck.

  102. Wendy says

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions Peter, very much appreciated. I took Mags to the vet yesterday and the vet, without doing a blood test, suggested that I increase her potassium bromide just slightly from 1/2 ml in the morning to 3/4 ml in the morning and 1ml in the evening. Thank you again Peter, it helps alot to know that others are experiencing the same thing with their dogs and to know that Mags and I are not alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. W

  103. Wendy says

    Very happy to report that Mags hasn’t had another seizure for several days now since the increase in the potassium bromide. It seems to be doing the trick, … keeping my fingers crossed and remaining hopeful and optimistic!

  104. Cathy says

    HI
    My name is Cathy. I have a Shepard, probably a mixed breed who is around 10. We rescued him 8 years ago, this accounts for all of the uncertainty. He had a siezure a few hours ago. It is his second one in 2 years. I took him to an emergency vet and then my own vet after the first seizure negative on blood work, both vets felt there was nothing to do.He is having severe allergy problems at this time, he was having them when he had the first seizure also. He is on Wellness food and 2 tabs of Benadry 2 times a day as precribed by the vet. I wonder if an overdose of Benadryl could be the cause of these seizures. His body gets stiff and he flails arounf for about a minute, no lose of urine, foaming at the mouth and he recovers immediaely.
    Thanks for any help, I can’t rush to the vet this time as my husband has been laid off from his job. I know if it happens again I will bring him in as he is the best dog and deserves the best treatment.
    Thanks

  105. Adam says

    Hi, my almost 3 year old Lab Roxy started having seizures about 6-months ago. We first noticed them when she would come right up to your leg, then lock up and basically lean into to you. Of course we would calmly get to her level and just hold her up until the seizure would subside.

    Her seizures weren’t of the shaking variety, just very stiff, deep breathing and eyes dilated almost looking like they were rolling back a bit. Afterwards she would go into a 15-20 minutes, sometimes longer, pace to what I called it, “walking it off.” I want to say she had between 8-10, 30 second seizures in a 3-month time period. We went to the vet and it was the typical wait and see approach.

    On Nov. 15th she had a very bad seizure lasting nearly an hour an a half. We immediately took her to the E-Vet, in which she stayed for 2 night. They put her on a twice a day, tablet and a half dose of phen and to date she has not had one since.

    My problem is that she will not stop whining. She will sit right next to you and whine for a hours and sometimes bark. She doesn’t want outside, she’s not in the mood to play, she doesn’t want to be petted. She has always been an anxious dog but this whining is driving me CRAZY!!! Obviously it has to be a side effect of the phen because she was never this whiny, does anyone have any tips?

    Thanks

  106. Janet says

    Hi Adam,

    My mini wirehair Dachshund started having grand mal seizures, 4 hrs. apart New Year’s Eve and was also put on Phenobarb twice a day. He paced and whined too until the dosage was decreased and to once a day given at night. He is pretty much back to normal. If she is still whining ask your vet about possibly decreasing the dosage. Good luck

  107. Kathy Preston says

    Hi, My Clyde is 10 and has had seizures for about 6 or 7 years. Phenobarbatol has controlled them almost entirely over the years but recently he has had them more often – every two months or so for the last several months. Those are the ones I have witnessed. He goes to holistic vet who says that as long as they are mild they are not as dangerous as the danger to his liver if his liver is damaged by overmedication. Anyway, with these last few seizures I have noticed that his eyes are bulging out a bit which concerns me. That will be my next question to the vet. He does aquapuncture for seizures and it looks like that is the next step for Clyde. Expensive, but he will by my only dog.
    .k

  108. All for the Love of Beca says

    My dog has been having seizures since November 2008. The best thing I can say is keep a record of what might be the cause of the seizure, it is very difficult to figure out and sometimes you won’t ever know the cause, however i do believe diet helps. ABsolutely no preservatives, I’m not even sure mixed tocopherols as a preservative is ok, definitely not BHA BHT, but best to cook for your dog if you can. It is easy – everything however should be organic. You can both eat same thing. Avoid rosemary – there are so many things to avoid it is best to cook a stew of chicken barley green beans green peas carrots celery zucchini sweet potato and barley – add a little garlic. put all in pot and boil then simmer for two hours and mush it all together ( debone the chicken of course first ) you can freeze some. Ice packs might work. Feeding ice cream might work ( if caused by low blood sugar). I’m best to avoid any harsh drugs but one never knows what is best for each situation. Try to extend time between seizures and avoid drugs if you can in the case of non-multiple seizures, and those lasting under a minute. Low music, being calm during a seizure I think all helps. Use all organic products at home, to clean and bedding. I know it can be a little nuts but it is worth it for a best friend. REad and research all that you can, knowledge is power. But if you keep a diary it could help you. Seizures happen more often at a full moon. Last night was a full month and Beca had a seizure, she had been seizure free for 3 weeks. Also, put pillows around where she sleeps, and protect your dog from stairs etc.. You do not want your dog to hurt herself during a seizure.

  109. Jenny says

    My dog has had a couple of seizures over the past three years and was on no medication becuase they were so rare. On Monday night for no apparent reason she started fitting at 9.30 pm and wouldn’t stop. I took her to the emergency vet who gave her diazapan and cold towels to reduce her temp (which apparently goes up with the muscle contractions). At 10.40 she finally calmed. The vet then said she had likely now got brain damage given the time lapse. We agreed to take her back in the morning and have her pts. Next morning a different vet convinced us we shouldn’t do this and to put her on meds. Since then she has had four on Tuesday and three yesterday. In the meantime she is constantly pacing, crying, bumping into furniture and getting stuck in corners. She doesn’t recognise us or know her name, she The vet has prescribed phenobarbital and says to keep increasing the dose until she calms. However, all this seems to do is make her sleepy but even in her sleep she’s twitching as if in pain. She’s had no seizures today but is still very disturbed and displaying this disorientated behaviour of pacing, vocalising, not wanting to be touched and she doesn’t know where she is or who we are. Add to this, she has been blind since she was a puppy and I’m seriously wondering what quality of life is this? I love my girl to bits but I feel I lost her on Monday. Will she ever come back from this?

    Any advice much appreciated. I can’t leave her alone for a mintue, can’t sleep in case it happens again and am breaking my heart for her as she stumbles around the place banging her face.

  110. Peter Foti says

    Jenny, if it’s any consolation, my dog went through a period (usually about 3 – 7 days) of disorientation, stumbling, pacing, and whining after each seizure episode, but eventually came out of it. I think the best you can do is just try and make her comfortable and soothe her.

    Hope she recovers quickly.

  111. Tracy says

    My dog has had 4 seizures in 3 years. The last one was last night. Afterwards it was like he was coming out of sedation, after a general anaesthetic. he seemed subdued for an hour or so but is now as right as rain. I thought the seizures were related to raised temperatures from fighting off infections. The 3 times previous he had been suffering from ear infections (cocker spaniel). Last night tho it may have been through insecticide ingestion from the gardeners spraying everywhere or even from changing his dog food. I don’t know. All in all dogs seem to forget easier than humans and just bounce back to normal. In my dogs case his quality of life is far better without medication. Each case is clearly different. i just try to keep my dog cool by pouring water on his neck and letting him get outside into the fresh air as soon as he tries to walk.

  112. Matt says

    My dogs name is Daytona. he is a lab/beagle mix. weve been fighting seizures with him since February. Right after he turned 2, he started having seizures. They were about a week apart for a few months. Then, the seizures became unpredictable. one or two per week, sometimes two in one day. One day, he had one and then another one. A few hours later, he had another, so we took him in. Vet talked with us about medicines, so we decided to talk a homeopathic doctor. He gave us supplements for Daytona’s nervous system. These seemed to work because he went 3 weeks without a seizure! Then they started coming back one per week, then that one was followed by another one where his mouth and jaw would lock up, and he couldnt breathe properly. And each time he had these seizures, he always was in a dead sleep, then would wake up and begin the seizure. After an episode of back to back seizures, we took him into an emergency vet, we felt it was time to start pheno. Doctor gave him a loading dose. We came home, and he had another one a few hours later. I gave him a pheno pill. Then 5 minutes later, he started another seizure, but stopped about 5 seconds into it, and acted like nothing happened. We took him back into the hospital, he stayed overnight. No seizures. Hes now home, taking pheno twice a day. We are praying that this will help him get through this and reduce his seizures. Dogs are such amazing creatures, and it kills me to see this happen to him. But hopefully itll get better in time.

  113. Peter Foti says

    I wanted to offer a quick follow up.
    It’s been just over 3 years since I first posted about my dog’s seizures. I am happy to say that her seizures are almost non-existent now. Her last seizure was several months ago (probably 4 or 5 months… I stopped keeping track). She is still on both Pheno and potassium bromide. She has developed some other problems (bladder cancer), but I’m very happy to say that she is basically seizure free now.

    So for those of you who are worrying about your dogs future after having had seizures, please stay positive and know that it may not be a permanent condition.

  114. Doug Anderson says

    What an informative blog. I have a German Shorthaired Pointer (he’s almost 3 yo), he’s been having siezures for the last 15 months. We have been treating by the usual methods,pheno and kbr, and he just had his 6th seizure of the day. He has 3 or 4 bouts of 10+ seizure days, maybe 60+ seizures in those 15 months. Vets seem very uninformed I have discovered. Your ongoing story Peter has given me some hope that there is a solution to his problem other than putting him down, which I was contemplating doing this morning. Thanks for the follow up information, it has been more helpful than you can imagine.

  115. Lou Johnson says

    My dog is a Mini Schnauzer (rescue) named Bowline. We’ve had him since he was 1 1/2 yrs. The curious thing about our situation is that he’s never had seizures until the last couple of months. (He’s almost 14 yrs. now) The Vet finds his bloodwork to be normal, and the dog to be in exceptionally good health for his age. He always has his seizures when he is sleeping, usually after midnight. Frequency has varied from a couple of weeks to as much as 6 weeks between episodes. The emergency vet we contacted after the first episode immediately offered to put him down, but his regular vet has been much more compassionate, and helpful. They are currently recommending that we monitor the frequency of the seizures, (and the duration) No medications, and no diet change. He’s been on Science Diet for as long as we’ve had him. We found it very helpful to purchase a couple of extra beds for him. That way we can clean him up and switch out beds, and leave the soiled bed in the garage until a more convenient time. A friend sent me to this blog after he saw me up with Bowline in the middle of the night. I’ts been somewhat comforting and informative to hear all of your stories. Thanks…

  116. teresa says

    vets dont know anything about seizures in dogs. from all my personal research, its the same thing from vets. Wait and see, as if its perfectly normal and ok for dogs to be going through this. most things i’ve read from owners have had horrible experiences with vets and meds. and their dogs never seem to fully get over having seizures, even with meds. my greyhound has had two grand mal seizures in the past few months. i’m scared for his life and quality of life. and from my own research its not the food that causes seizures. i’ve been feeding my grey holistic all natural food with no preservatives, no soy, corn or wheat, and he still has seizures. dont fool yourselves, your vets dont know anything, and dont care. YOU must demand from them a full battery of blood tests to rule out any other disorders or diseases in your animals. SOMETHING is causing these seizures, they dont just happen for no reason. Tommorrow i am demanding from my vet blood tests, they talked me out of them last time..not this time. if they dont, i’ll seek another vet.

  117. Kelly says

    My lab shar pei mix (7 1/2 + years… he was adopted so no clue on his exact age). had a seizure last week. Grand mal. Lasted less than 2 min. Afterwards his back leg was very weak. Took him to the er vet, they gave me liquid valium to admin. rectally in case of another seizure event and a couple of days worth to take to prevent another seizure. His back leg remained weak, took him to the reg vet, put him on Phenobarbital 2/day. His drinking and urinating increased dramatically after the seizure so the vet now has me giving him desmopressin injections for possible diabetes insipidus brought on by the trauma of the seizure. He walks somewhat sideways and falls a lot. His head bobs around and he whines a good bit when trying to lay down and sometimes while laying down. The vet thinks it’s out of frustration and not pain.

    Anyone have problems with rear leg weakness for a long time after a seizure? I’m just wondering if it will ever resolve. I am hoping that once the phenobarbital ‘kicks in” in a few weeks, that he may regain some of his strength and act more like himself. I agree with the poster that said they felt that they already lost their dog. He hasn’t been the same since his seizure.

  118. Lou Johnson says

    I was just looking back at this site for some reason I can’t explain, and I saw Kelly’s post. We’re currently at a loss, but just the same I’ll share the conclusion of our story.

    Bowline died this week just a few days after his 14th birthday. He had a total of 10 seizures since about May. His heart was strong, but his body couldn’t take the constant setbacks. I think at some point he lost the will to carry on.

    But the end of our story is about Loyalty. You see, just a few days before his death, I was mowing the lawn. Bowline, for so many years has been dedicated to watching for me to round the corner to the back yard where he could watch me from his favorite window until I drove back out of site. On this particular day, he was mostly bedridden, and I was taking breaks every few minutes to check on him, when as I came around that corner, I saw him there in his favorite spot, watching… I rushed inside to see, and there he was, shaking, and unsteady, wedged between a planter and the wall, watching, waiting for me to come around again…

    Bowline had lost most of his mobility. His hips and back legs would hold him up for only a few minutes at a time, but he never forgot his human counterparts, so my closing advice would be to do everything you can to let your ailing friend know that you are there for him, and cherish every moment you have left with him… Thank you all again for sharing your experiences…

  119. Sharon says

    My 4 year old Rat Terrier has had several in the last 3 years, the last one was a week ago , she was sleeping on the couch and I heard some banging and thought it was my son. I was in another room and Bella came stumbling toward me into my arms. She cupped my arm with her front paws and legs as her body stiffen and began to drooling. I felt her clinging to me for help. I held on to her and carried her to the door to get some chilled air untill she started to come around and respond to me. It is very upseting to go through this with her. I have had her tested and all results come back normal. The Vet said to log the times and dates of any recuring ones. It’s so odd how they come out of the blue and how she knows to come to be for help. I pray they stop they are scary and I only hope she comes back to me ok in the end.

  120. Margaret says

    my 14 year old pug started having seizures a year ago. 5 in a day then 3 two days later. My vet found out right away he is diabetic. Got the sugar under control and no more seizures. He takes pheno 1 time a day and is crazy at night. I think I might stop giving it and see if it helps. It is disrupting our life because of continual barking.

  121. Stacey says

    My 3 and 1/2 year Poodle X Cocker Jack just had a seizure tonight. I was working on my computer when he fell of the couch, foaming out the mouth, with a loss of bladder control, growling and all of his muscles going rigid. All night he had been acting strange, barking at things that weren’t there, when he’s usually a docile dog.
    He gained muscle control back when I was holding him and started backing away from me (across the house) growling, foaming and still lacking control of his bladder.
    As I am dog watching for my parents (who are on vacation) and am a high school student, you can imagine how freaked out I am. I tried calling the only local 24 hr vet, but they’re apparently shut tonight. This website has truly helped put me at ease, but his growling and odd behavior is still worrisome. He calmed down after a minute or two and is now his loving self. I gave him a bath and cleaned up his mess and he is apparently doing fine.
    As far as I know this is his first incident, and any advice as per his quick temperament change is highly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Stacey

  122. mary says

    I have a 10 year old pug ,he has addisons disease and gets fluid on his lungs.He just started taking seizures,the vet. put him on phenobarbital along with his 3 other medications.when he takes his phenobarbital,he is confused,can,t walk very well and his tongue seems like it paralyzed. has anyone else had this problem with their dog after taking phenobarbital?

  123. Lily says

    I have two biewer yorkies that suffer from seizures. Mona has been on phenobarbital and potasium bromide for a few years now and Bambino is on phenobarbital only. Recently he had a really bad seizure that lasted for a long time, we thought we were going to loose him. Our new vet recomende we put them on zonisamide instead of the usual combination of potassium bromide and phenobarbital. Phenobarbital is known to affect the liver. Also, I started them both on a new diet of dehydrated food (the honest kitchen). Dog foods with ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT are thought to cause seizures in dogs. The following website has been a good source of information www,canine-epilepsy.com.

  124. Doug Anderson says

    Sorry to have not followed up for folks needing information. My GSP barely made it to his 3rd birthday before we finally had to put him down. His last siezure lasted over an hour and he only survived the trip to the vet because we gave him a major dose of liquid valium. This whole experience left me sapped for weeks, a horrible affliction for any living animal. Vets are almost no help with this problem, i believe, because whatever is causing this, it is poorly understood and varies greatly from case to case. Any pet owner going through this has my prayers and sympathy and my only suggestion is to love your pet who is struggling with this to the nth degree and be the driver in dealing with this problem with your vet.

  125. Doug Anderson says

    and to mary, those were a common signs when my GSP had his meds changed. Usually it was a couple of weeks of struggling with walking and unbelievable thirst. It seemed it would get better as he “settled” into the new dosage but the vicious cycle was just down the road. It does seem the problem of siezures varies greatly from dog to dog – our dog was a strong, “healthy” looking dog but he only was able to survive 2 years after he had his first seizure. Good Luck with you pug

  126. Tekla says

    to Rita and Peter
    The other option is that the dog escaped the yard during his episode. My otherwise homebody Newfie cross becomes an escape artist when she has episodes, don’t know why but she bolts. In fact today she was gone from the yard when we returned home, luckily she was found by a neighbour. All the indicia of a seizure were there and sure enough a few hours later she had another…I’m waiting for a third as I type and deciding whether I will have to put her down given this will be her second cluster of three seizures in the span of a month.

  127. sunny says

    seizures in our canine compainions are heartwrenching and we feel helpless. After trail and error, Rukie (Rhodisain Ridgeback)was prescribed Zonisamide and after 6 months had a whole month (August) seizure free. For a year and 1/2 he had seizure approximatley the 3rd week of the month, having at least 2 within 24 hours and then the next month the same. but this August seizure free! he has been on Zonisamide 6 months
    Hope this info helps.

  128. Angi says

    I am so thankful to have found this site. I have been up all night with my 10 year old Beagle mix. He has no history of seizures, but had one at about 10:30 pm that lasted about 2 minutes. He had a second one at 2:00 am that was a little shorter. He was resting/sleeping both times. I called the emergency vet, but we would be looking at a minimum of $1000 for him to be seen and hospitalized until a neurologist could examine him in the morning. I just can’t do that. I am hoping to get through until my regular vet opens today. The postings here have made this a little less terrifying. Thank you all!

  129. Ronald says

    Hi all

    I have a 5 year old Shih Tzu who has been having seizures approx once a month after his first birthday. He’s having another one tonight and when he has seizures he always has like 3-6 before he’s done. I have him on Pheno but on a low-ish dosage that was just recently upped. It’s been like 1.5 months since his last episode.

    Vets keep saying as long as he keeps coming in and out of seizures it’s fine. I really want to up the dosage more because of sleepless days like this, or try Potassium Bromine.

    Poor dog, I’m icing his back right now because it’s been said to be effective, but I haven’t seen much success in the seizure sessions we get. I always found it interesting that my dog knows his episode is over because then he will finally plop down and fall asleep next to me (leaving me to clean up his messes!) But when he just sits there looking at nothing, then I know that he still has a few more seizures in him tonight.

  130. gemma says

    my 13 year old dog (border collie) out of the blue about 6 months ago had 17 seizures in less than 24 hours, ended up taking him into emergency 3 times to get them under control. They put him on phenobarbital(twice a day), and potassium bromide(once a day), he is still on a low dosage of of it but he was back to normal within about 2 months and hasn’t had any more. has this happened to anyone else? most people i tell are amazed he survived that many seizures within that amount of time and went back to being his normal self.

  131. patty says

    I have a 17 yr old dachshund who has recently started to have anxiety, stress, seizure type symptoms. Been to every Specialist in the field of Vet. care and we have yet to control them. She was put on Phenobarbital and got it to a level of 10.5 but the symptoms keep coming more often (multiple times day and nite). Along with this she has had a UTI that took 4 1/2 months to rid of.

    The medications all seemed to increase the symptoms, occurring more frequent, though I was reassured by the many Dr.s that this was unlikely the case. We stopped the Pheno and finished the Chloramephenicol antibiotic treatment a few days ago.

    Neurologist Specialist do not feel this is stemming from Brain Tumors nor likely to be Seizures but rather from Degenerative Back Disease. She is a real mystery case as it came on suddenly and has rapidly been consuming her well being.

    Seems logical to me as for her past history with surgeries, not to mention IVD which we treat with Rimadyl that there could be anxiety stemming from the neck and back disc issues.

    I have given Diazepam (1/4 tab) several times in a 24 hour period the past few nights. Since it is a short lived drug it doesnt seem to give us much relief, if any it is very short.

    The restlessness and anxiety is getting the best of me. Sleep comes in spurts and I cant just lay there and listen to the whining and feeling of helplessness. I dont feel she is ready to let go, but we havent came up with anything to help relieve these symptoms that are playing havoc on us both.

    Back to the Internal Medicine Center we are looking at trying a anxiety medication but it will likely take month (s) to see if it helps. I was wondering if anyone has tried the Melatonin approach to help them get through a sleepless night.

    The symptoms seem to have a pattern that ranges from 2 am to 4 am and periodically throughout the day. It is hard to see her go through these states, especially when I can no longer get them to respond to past methods of soothing her out of them.

    We humans need rest at some point or we break, not fair for either of us. Desperate to help her get to a relaxed state again. Anyone with this like situation please chime in. I would like to hear from you. Email me if you have some information that could help in this case @ lasvegasgirlie@clear.net.

    For those whom may want to try some of my once useful techniques to arrest the attacks I will list them here. Hopefully they can help you and your pets ease out of this awful state of being.

    I learned acupressure point at the shoulders towards the base of the neck and neck decompression were very helpful and would melt her down from a severe attack in seconds. Information can be found on the internet on the correct finger hold positions (generally held for about 1 minute would do the trick even in the worse cases).

    For those with a smaller pet with a large sink, giving a warm bath and wrapping in towel would seem comforting. Also, the use of a spray nozzle to gently massage the back and neck.

    Holding, cradling in arms and walking seems to be calming.

    Small bits of their favorite food can break the cycle. Ice Cream seems to work quite favorably. Thirst usually follows. Offer water or Broth to keep them hydrated during these times.

    Splashing cool water on the belly and over the head seems to disrupt the symptoms as well. Sometimes only briefly, just about anything that breaks the attention span seems to wake them from what is actually happening.

    I have tried the ice pack on the back but never seen any real bonus there.

    Getting them to walk about , offering plenty of water again.

    Best wishes to the owners that endure these times of hardship in the lives of those we care for. Happy Holidays! and may they be seizure, stress free for you and your pets.

  132. PBrik says

    I have a French Bulldog that will be 7 in April, until last month she has been a healthy energetic little pup. She is like my baby and I would do anything for her. In December she was going out for a pee, she fell on her side and started shaking. I didn’t know what was happening and carried her inside and my husband helped calm her down. Her seizure lasted about 20-30 seconds and she foamed from the mouth and became stiff. She snapped out of it by the time we got to the emergency vet hospital ,which is only a few minutes away. They said that maybe she ate something and to just keep an eye on her. After that she was totally fine but a week later she had 2 in her sleep and I took her back to Emergency and they recommended I take her to another emergency hospital that has a Neurologist on site. Once I got there the vet examined her and said they wanted to keep her just in case she had another one. I was a complete mess not wanting to leave her there. I got a call the next day that she had another one and they wanted to keep her until she was seizure free for 24 hours. I was able to pick her up the next day and she started Phenobarbital. We had a appointment with the Neurologist booked for later that week. At the appointment the Neurologist told us because of her age and breed he thought she may have a tumor. We did blood work and it was normal. We still changed her diet to low protein due to her enzymes being a little off in her liver. He said the only way to know for sure was to get an MRI. We went home to think about it, she went 3 weeks without an episode. Out of the blue she started having seizures every night so we decided to get an MRI done. I was on pins and needles all day and had not been sleeping for a week scared she would have another seizure. When the vet called and said she had a tumor I felt like I couldn’t breathe. He asked my husband and I to come in and discuss the options. In our appointment he suggested doing a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. We thought she has been through so much this would be the last thing to do. The results were negative. Which only left the possibility of a glimoa. We were absolutely devastated. I cried for 2 days but my husband said we needed to stay positive and have positive energy for our pup. He said without treatment she would probably only live a few months. With Chemo and radiation he said she could live 5-7 months. My husband and I decided as much as we love her it would be selfish to put her though all that treatment to keep her for a few extra months. It makes me sick to think she will not be around for much longer. We still have her on Phenobarbital and steroids to control swelling. She didn’t have a seizure for a week and now she has had 4 in the last 2 days. We are just trying to cherish every moment with her. She is still her happy and funny self except for the 20-30 seconds she has the seizures and the few minutes afterwards. Everyone enjoy your dogs….

  133. Peter Foti says

    PBrik, I’m sorry to hear your dog’s diagnosis. I agree with your decision regarding Chemo and radiation. Keep her comfortable and give her all the love you can.

  134. matthauslookitup says

    Hi everyone, I have 1 year old duch hond, yesterday she had and foamed at the mouth, I freaked out and rushed my little girl to the vet, by the time we got there, not even 10 minutes she seemed fine just a little out of it, the vet let her stay there for a couple of hours to keep an eye on her and all seemed fine, I picked her up and she was fine, just a little dazzed from the sedative, he said I could take her home, she slept the rest of the day, and this morning she seemed a little better, but, she’s still drooling more than what she ever did, she hasn’t been herself, she’s very bleak, shed normally be running around, very affectionate, but now she’s just walking around, avoiding everyone but will now and then lay with me on the couch, and yea, I’m just a worried owner really need to find out what’s going on, she’s practically family…. Any suggestions? Please email me matthausbause@yahoo.com

  135. matthauslookitup1 says

    She had fits and was foaming at the mouth *

  136. Val says

    Hi everyone, I really appreciated reading all these posts because it can seem like there’s no information to be had regarding this confusing problem.
    So, in the interests of sharing yet more information, here’s my story:
    Our dog Nelson, a very healthy and happy 10-12-year-old English Pointer mix (not really sure of age and breed) began having seizures the day after Thanksgiving last year. These are grand mal and generally last from 50 seconds to 2.5 minutes. After rushing him to the vet (crazy scary experience, that first seizure) the blood work came back normal for all things tested (kidney, liver, thyroid, etc.) and we were told if he had more seizures, we would have to start him on the pheno/kbr protocol. A few days later he had another, and we returned to the vet who recommended x-rays to check for any masses internally. These came back normal as well and we were then told an MRI would be necessary to rule out a brain tumor.
    We took him home and, after much debate between my husband and myself, we decided that, from all we had read, there wouldn’t be a great prognosis even if they could confirm a brain tumor. So we decided, given the side effects associated with the drugs, to see if we could find a more holistic approach. We’ve been seeing a holistic vet for the past three months and the seizures have settled into a fairly predictable rhythm of 16-19 days between episodes, then 3-4 seizures over the course of 24 hours, spaced 2-3 hours apart, and usually beginning at night at about 11:00 or midnight. After the first seizure, we give him a 10 mg Valium suppository, which only really postpones the next seizure until the next day, but which is much easier to deal with since we’re awake. Then he’ll have two or three more and be done until the next episode 16-19 days later.
    The holistic approach involves some chiropractic adjustments as well as several different courses of herbs and homeopathics. We have yet to try acupuncture.
    As far as diet, both our dogs have been on a primarily-raw food diet for the past five years and are thriving on it. This consists of meat mixed with vegetables and some fruits and then we add a bit of grain-free kibble, such as Acana, for crunch (and to mitigate the expense)
    The only thing I can think that we did just before Nelson had his first seizure was put him on a couple months’ treatment with Revolution because we were worried about heart worm. Prior to that, both dogs had been treated with Frontline Plus for many years during the summer months for fleas.
    Nelson recovers after his seizures fairly quickly, he’s pretty wobbly and agitated for about half an hour and very thirsty and hungry, then he drops off to sleep. Then, aside from several days of pacing and some nervous whining, he’s back to normal.
    We’re still not sure if we’ll need to put him on the Pheno/kbr, but he doesn’t seem any worse off without them at the moment, and we are just monitoring the situation.
    Good luck to everyone!

  137. Nell Mills says

    Please someone help me. I just put my 15 1/2 year old Maltese down Monday. She had been having spells with staring to begin with after a short while just walking back and forth not being comfortable sitting down but for a brief moment. his would last for about 8 hours then she was fine. Her stomach would be really hot sometimes. Walking seemed to be her best thing to do. She recently her right leg went out on her but she was still able to use it except it would just go out from under her at times. Please please let me know it it was time to put her down

  138. Jerome says

    Nell;
    I am sory for your loss. It sounds like you did the right thing. We had one of our dogs put down two weeks ago.He had a tumor in his jaw. when we were told this it was hard to believe because he acted his usual self. You would never have known there was a thing wrong with him. We noticed he was starting to bleed and act lethargic. He did not come to great me when I walked our other two dogs. He seemed sad, uncomfortable, not his usual self. my wife and I decided when we got the diagnosis that we would not do anything until he seemed in pain. That day he did seem to be in pain. We knew it was time. We took him to the vet and they put him down. I still question whether or not we could have done things to prolong his life-he was a big down and 14 so he had a long, happy life. Ultimately we knew what we had to do was the right thing.
    It sounds as if you had a lot of years with your Maltese. I am sure they were great years for both of you. You did what was best for him, hard as it was to do.

  139. Pamela Small says

    Our 11½ yr old Boxer dog started fitting in Jan, out of the blue. Apart from a skin allergy, he had been remarkably fit. He had two fits, we took him to the vet and medication was started. A month later he had a cluster of 6 in 18 hrs and he was hospitalised for 48 hrs and the medication was increased. He had odd fits for the next month but something else was going on too. We knew that the medication would cause increased thirst and hunger, but his was getting crazy. He was gaining so much weight and developed a big pot belly. He didn’t want to exercise at all but had moments of playfulness and wanting his belly tickled . I suspected that he had Cushings Disease, especially as his allergy had been treated with steroids which he was still taking. The vet kept saying that it was a low dose. He had blood tests which revealed nothing but because he was old and debillitated with the seizures, we didn’t want to stress him with any other kind of tests. To test for Cushings would have meant taking him off the steroid and he was not comfortable even with them, so I couldn’t let him get even more uncomfortable. At that point, I decided that the best we could do was to keep him as comfortable as possible in every physical way and hope he would have a few more weeks/months with us. I slept with him and one of us was with him 24/7. It would take him a minimum of two weeks to recover from a cluster of fits and then he still had facial twitches, it seemed as if he was never far from another fit, the effects were awful to see. Mid April he had another cluster of 4 fits in 12 hrs and the on-call night service advised us to take him to the vet in the morning, which was a weekend emergency service. This was the 3rd vet that we had seen and she suspected Cushings when she saw his belly. She said that his was a very difficult case to manage. She gave us Diazepam to calm him and wanted to take some blood to check the medication levels but she also suggested that perhaps we might be thinking of euthanasia. She felt we were dealing with more than just epilepsy. Max had to be physically restrained and muzzled to take the blood test, it broke our hearts. I didn’t want to give up on him, but it was so hard to live with. He hadn’t wanted to get into the car that day and definitely didn’t want to go into the surgery which he had never minded before. He just wanted to be at home. We took him home and he had one more fit that evening. The next day we started to talk about euthanasia. I wasn’t totally sure that Max had given up, but his quality of life was being wrecked by fits and probably Cushings disease. Both could be caused by a brain tumour. I have seen dogs being kept alive when their quality of life was zero and we didn’t want Max to die tragically or to wait until even more symptoms of whatever was causing his illness occurred, possibly a brain tumour. At the end of the week, we called our vet and asked for home euthanasia. It was the hardest thing to do, Max was very calm and had managed the shortest of walks in the sunshine that day, but we both felt that it was better for him to go peacefully in his home than wait for something worse to happen. People take themselves to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland when they can’t bare to die with the effects of a protracted illness and we felt as if we were doing that for him. I kept trying to reassure myself that this was for him and not for us, but our emotions were all over the place so it was really difficult to separate the two. The vet said that Max’s epilepsy medication could be increased but there were too many bad consequences either from that, or the Cushings or something totally undiagnosed, we were lost to know which. An increase in meds might give better epilepsy control but at what cost. I said we wanted Max to be cured, not controlled in the way that it was. The future for him was totally unpredictable but we were sure it was going to be terminal. Max went peacefully, with us holding him. It was so right for it to happen at home, where he wanted to be. I have beaten myself up about this although it was a joint decision and my husband who loved Max just as much as I did, believes it was right completely. He hated seeing such a bold and wonderful dog going through fits and literally throwing himself into a huge water bowl to relieve his dire thirst. It broke his heart. If Max had had a painful illness it would have been so much easier to know when the time had come. I admire anyone who deals with epilepsy although I would hazard a guess that a younger dog probably recovers more speedily from fits than an old dog. Our vet feels that Max probably had a brain tumour. I can’t reverse our decision, but I hope that we have saved Max from an even worse end of life.

  140. Pamela Small says

    Nell and Jerome,
    We all loved our dogs so much. At the time each of us took that decision to let them go we believed it to be right and for the best. We must continue to believe that. None of us would ever have wantonly hurt a dog, so we did what we did out of great love for each of them. I know it’s hard to deal with and like you, I wish there was an easy answer to whether we got it right or not. It haunts us and breaks our hearts but that’s the price we pay for taking them into our hearts and homes. God Bless

  141. Amy Graves says

    Hi Folks:
    I am sorry to hear all of these stories, and to have a similar one. Our bichon frise has had grand mal seizures for man years (Frank is now 8 years old). He has been on phenobarb and potassium bromide which helps, but “helps” means that he goes about a month between a cluster of seizures. Diazapam will usually break the cluster.
    His behavior in the days following the seizure is what is making it hard to imagine going on. I love Frank so, much – we have ben through a lot and he is my loyal little guy. But he is NOT himself in the days after seizures. The whining, the pacing, the panting, … there is no living with him. It drives my sons and my husband crazy. I am his “go to” person, so he is extra-difficult when I am not around, but even when I am home, he is difficult. We can’t sleep, can’t function. We are truly between a rock and a hard place.
    We’ve boarded him at the vet for a few days, just to get some SLEEP. Then we’ll have vet re-evaluate his meds. Then we’ll take him to an even more specialized vet, a neurologist, and do the same. Then … who knows? We hope and pray for a resolution that is good for our dear little dog, and good for the people in our house too.

    • Jane says

      I’m a Mom of a ten-year-old 12 lb. Chihuahua/Jack Russell. Until recently she was the picture of health, super athletic, energetic and happy. At the beginning of the year my Vet strongly suggested I use Trifexis as her heartworm, flea and tick preventative and trusting a medical professional to have my dogs best interest at heart, I went ahead and stared administering it. She had no issues until, on her 5th monthly dosage, she had a seizure reaction (her first seizure ever) several hours after she took it. Long story short; for the next four frantic (by me) months, she experienced seizures of increased frequency (up to 3 times per day) and duration even after stopping the Trifexis immediately. I found a new Vet (if I could’ve hurt that kick-back dealing bastard who pushed this drug on me; I most definitely would have), did a battery of test and all the necessary and unnecessary blood work (no issues) and was eventually prescribed phenobarbital by the new Vet for idiopathic seizures.

      Again, this just didn’t sit right with me. Before conceding to giving her more drugs to manage an issue originally caused by drugs, I decided to investigate a more holistic approach and was eventually referred to a nationally well-respected alternative Veterinarian in my area. My prayers were most certainly answered when I found him. Along with the standard (again repeated) blood work and traditional western medicine approach, he also performed muscle testing on her and determined that she had an compromised liver making her system toxic, thereby reducing her seizure threshold to substances she had previously not reacted to, aka rawhide and other treats (yeah Trader Joe’s, I’m talking to you). He immediately put her on a detox program of natural supplements and she has been seizure free since the day after she started the detox (lol, only in L.A.). She has always eaten home cooked meals, however, no more treats. Since that time, I’ve learned that most treats are potential poisonous; particularly if they are made in China. I feel immeasurable guilty for originally giving her the Trifexis and then comprising her health further with fake, poisonous treats; I’m just grateful to have my happy, healthy dog back. I really urge all you other dog lovers, to please consider not giving your dogs these artificial pesticide leaden treats and pesticide based drugs; in our good intentions, we are inadvertently undermining the health of our friends.

      Would be happy to share with anyone interested, my Doctors contact information and/or the supplements list he prescribed.

  142. Pam Small says

    Hello Amy, I so hope that you can find some way to help Frank and for yourselves to get more respite from caring from him. It is just the worst possible illness to deal with, I have so much sympathy for owners who go on and on with this, it’s so draining and so hard to watch your beloved dog go through this too. God Bless

  143. Jean says

    My 9-year old bichon frisé (BG) has just started having seizures–averaging one a week for the past month. When we’re outside he kicks out his hind legs on concrete and spins around in a circle. When the episode is over, he sits down and won’t move for a couple of minutes. Up until today, he only had them outside (that we know of). Today he lost all mobility in his hind legs and was “spinning around” in the foyer. He cried out a couple of times. We tried to comfort him. He came out of it within a short time and was back to himself, although a bit detached. I had sent a video of his outdoor attack to the vet, who suggests we let it go until the frequency increases. BG has arthritis in his hips and legs and is taking adequan shots. He also has severe allergies. We’re going back to the vet tomorrow to discuss the next move. It’s heartbreaking. I feel so helpless.

  144. Sybil Haster says

    My Shorkie, Bella, who is 3.8 yrs old, has been having seizures since she was 8 months old. It wasn’t until they became frequent that the vet put her on pheno. She weighs only 12.2 lbs and take 15 mg three times a day, but she still has break through seizures. I love this little girl so much, and don’t know what I would do without her. She brings such smiles and sunshine to everyone who sees her. However, I wonder if this is not too much for her to take. When is the right time to say enough is enough of her suffering? I hope I am not doing her harm by loving her too much.

  145. Kat says

    This site has been a comfort for me. Faith (9 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback without the Ridge) had her first seizure this morning at 1am. Scared the living daylights out of me. She had another one this morning at 8am. I’m sad that some of you have had poor experiences with vets, because our vet has been great with Faith. They squeezed us in this morning, even though today was not an appointment day (it’s a surgery day in the AM).

    Faith’s seizures last less than a minute and many of the symptoms you all have mentioned have been hers as well. For about 2-3 minutes after the episode she has a hard time standing on her hind legs, and then is a little clumsy. For about 90 minutes post episode she’s very anxious and paces a lot, won’t sit/lay still. Other than that she’s back to her usual self. After 90 minutes, you’d never know she had an episode.

    In March of this year she was diagnosed with melanoma and had a toe on her hind leg removed. So I was very worried that we were coming to an end. However, the vet this morning said that Melanoma doesn’t usually spread to the brain. It has happened but it’s very unlikely. Since I could barely afford this morning’s visit, the vet asked that I keep an eye on her for the next 24 hours. If she has a third seizure, they will begin seizure medicine right away. They did blood work this morning and hopefully will have answers tomorrow. Because of Faith’s age, the vet feels pretty good that this is epilepsy and not a tumor. She said one way to tell, without the CT/MRIs is whether or not the seizure medicine works. If it’s a tumor causing the seizures, than the meds they use won’t work at all.

    I’m thankful for all of the stories shared here, and I hope mine will help some else. I love my ridgeless Ridgeback and I hope our prognosis is a good one.

  146. sophie says

    I see that most seizures last just a few minutes. My 8 year old cocker started having long shaking episodes (I don’t think they were seizures she didn’t stiffen up) in December, 20 minutes and then she would be ok, then she’d start shaking again within a few minutes. (She did have actual seizure a year or so ago but they went away) This shaking usually comes at night and it Went on for 2 days. She would be fine during the day It stopped and she’s not had another. Yesterday, she had a major seizure one for 26 minutes, stiffened and drooled and groaned. Then last night she began shaking—not a seizure – shaking. I’m taking her in to the vet today. Has anyone had this?

  147. Liv says

    Wow… I’m so glad that I wondered over to this page… My little morkie of 2 1/2 had a seizure and I don’t know what I experienced yesterday was severe to the point I thought he was going to leave us… It scared me to death that I cried and didn’t know what to do. At first he was salivating alot and shaking, his whole body was pretty stiff. He use to have those stiff moments before , where he just stays in one place and doesn’t move then after a few his all wet with pee… I didn’t take seriously of it maybe thinking probably he was just excited, then came next starting to stiff and usually happens once a month or two… I wondered why he was acting that way and my husband thought maybe because he tries to hold his poop when he really needs to until one of us gets home to take him for a potty outside… What happened to him yesterday was the first attemp of a seizure… Around lunch he was on the bed with me watching TV as well with our new dog shiezue Miley… I noticed he was panting so hard and thought maybe his thirsty so I took him in my arms and brought him where his water bowl is… And when I put him down he was shaking and stiff. As I experienced him being stiff and shaking before I took him again and put him in bed and started to massage him from head to toe and that maybe it’s his muscle that being annoying again… While I was giving him a massage I felt his body got stiffer than usual and kept giving him massage… I was worried to death that I even prayed that what his feeling at that moment would go away… Then a few minutes it gotten worst that he was shaking harder and panting and salivating so much that i panic going while trying to call people to bring me to the animal hospital but no one was available… While trying to call my husband again… Milo just stiffened so hard and not moving I took a towel and rub him and calling his name ( at that time I wasn’t calm at all) I was crying because I’ve never seen him going through that ever since we got him… After a few minutes it stopped and sat down like nothing happened and saw a lil poopy on his side… I calm him down and gave him a lil water which he didn’t wanT… Then about 15 mins I took him out for a walk to get some fresh air and he seemed to be in a normal state again… Right now I am very worried when we are not home to be there when it occurs again, but thank God I live about a 2 mins walk from work so I can at lease go check him at the time he started to get seizures…
    And thank goodness it hasn’t occurred back… Hopefully wont. But I guess that’s not possible… Now I know what to do next time and well be bringing him to see the vet soon.

  148. Annie says

    Hi Everyone, this is my first post on this site. My son purchased a Maltese x Bichon Frise x Poodle named Niko which he is nine months old. He has for the first time had frequent grand mal seizures. We took him to the vet as he had four seizures in one morning alone which is alot. When my son bought him home from the vet, He told me that the vet didn’t seem concerned and not to worry. He had only been home for a few minutes and Niko suffered another two seizures. I wasn’t happy with the vets consultation and I asked for further evaluation and treatment. My son took him back to the vet where Niko was given a Diazepam tablet, he wouldn’t let the vet administer the drug via injection. He will need further blood testing and will see what drugs are available I don’t want him on drugs that will make him drowsey and change him in any way so I will be asking alot of questions.

  149. Gloria says

    I have a 6 yr. Old shih zhu mix dog. He started having seizures at 4 months old. He ended up diagnosed with hydrocephalus… which is something humans get also known as water on the brain. He was put on potassium bromide first. He went 5 YEARS without a seizure….then had a couple. Vet upped his Med and he went 1 year with no seizure. Now he is 6 and is having seizures more closely….like 3 in 2 weeks. Vet added pheno and upped his dosage….but he is having them more frequently. All he does is sleep….seems to have no energy. I haven’t read here where anyone else has said their dog had hydrocephalus. He just had a 15 second seizure this morning. He usually has 5 minute ones. I’m beginning to worry. We upped the meds several times and the seizures still come more frequently.

  150. Debbie says

    I have a 5 year old toy poodle. She started having seizures two months ago the vet has put her on phenobarb and potassium bromide for the past six weeks however she is till having a seizure everyday. Today she has had 3 seizures I am so worried about her. I have read some of the posts and some say it can take months before the meds work. Is this true? I just want my girl to get better.

  151. Mary M says

    My 4year old Beagle had a problem he started walking funny bumbing into walls then threw up bowls were released and then he started convusions his all 4’s were spread apart and he was flipping left to right. After he was resting next day just not himself.

    • carol V says

      My Bishon/toy poodle mix had his first seizure 7-16 it scared me so bad I went into panic mode made an emergency after hours call to my vet I know I must have sounded frantic in my message to her but she did return my call almost immediately . His seizure lasted for about 2 minutes . By the time the vet call me back he was back to his happy normal self wanting to play. I had hoped that was going to be the end of that but he had another one yesterday but this time it only lasted 45 seconds or so and was not even as bad as the first with the symptoms being similar but not as intense.
      I have read that once you start dogs on some of these meds that it can be a life long commitment and it’s hard on the dog. Am I wrong to want to wait and see how bad the seizures get? Thanks for listening I appreciate any advise….

  152. Carol V says

    My bishon/toy poodle mix had his first seizure July 16th not knowing what was happening of course I went into panic mode and thought he was dying ..was able to contact my vet on a emergency call and when she had called me back immediately (guess I sounded really stressed when I called.) My baby had recovered and was his happy self his first seizure lasted maybe 2 minutes tops. He had his 2nd seizure today it didn’t even last a minute.In reading previous post I did’nt really find any close to what I have experienced with my dogs seizures is this normal?

  153. Angela says

    I have a Siberian Husky female 14 1/2 she started seizures one year ago. She would usually get them in the night after just falling asleep. She would stiffin up and front and back legs like running, and her mouth would froth. They seemed under a minute. About 90 mins after she would walk into walls stare blankly want immediate water. We went to the vet after a week of them on and off. Put her on Pheno Barb that made her pace and very nervous so she put her on Potasium Bromide, that seemed to work, she put her on 1000 mg. She is about 62 lbs. She had a couple cluster ones a year after which is why I’m here now she said to double her dose, which I did for 3 days. All of a sudden my dog was not moving flat out on the floor could not move her back legs or front, not really with it. So I called the vet and never called back that day. I called and they said they would get my chart out and tell the doc, as I said no call back, so the following day I was there first thing, without dog I could not pick her up. They did not have her chart out no one had a message they said that it is hard to know how much to give a dog. They also said 500 mg which she was not on she was on 1000 so I believe she told me to overdose my dog. She was getting 1000 mg 2 times a day. Which caused poisoning. I now am 2 days out from giving her any of the Potasium Bromide and she can not lay with her head up and she seems more with it, the back end still not coming back. I’m praying it does. I keep giving her water hoping to flush the system. Needless to say we will get a new vet that was totally unprofessional. I don’t think they seen her dose and assumed 500 when it was 1000. I talked to a nurse she said continue the water and see how she is in 2 more days. I know I did not purposely over dose my dog, they told me too. So now I’m her vet till Monday and I’m doing better then her. Very angry!!

  154. Michelle G says

    Hi everyone. I have a dalmation-blue heeler mix. I am researching seizures. He has one about once a month. He is deaf, and it only happens at night after been asleep for a few, and gets woke up suddenly. I told my vet about it, and he said to try chewable tablets called “proquiet” They contain tryptophan, and natural ingredients. Through my research, because he is deaf, he has an elevated level of anxiety, and may have vision problems. He has some symptoms that the vet said could be start of a seizure, and they only happen at night. He excessively licks himself, couch, carpet, people. Then he can’t settle down, and wants constant affection. When he has a seizure, he gets anxious, then starts shaking. Fifteen minutes to half hour later he shakes worse, loses control of his back legs, is disoriented, blind, and all out scared. Since he can’t hear, i put him on the floor, put head in my lap and just stroke him. It is hard not to panic when it happens. Just last night while in bed he woke up and started to shake. So i turned on light and got him into living room. Sat on couch with him, and he started profuse licking. I gave him one of the pills, cause he would have went into a seizure if i didn’t. It took about 20 minutes, he finallly calmed down and started to go to sleep. I gently woke him, we went to bed, and he slept and didn’t wake up till this morning, and no problems. I figured out he doesn’t like the dark, and being deaf he is more anxious about anything that goes on. I hope this helps people, and if your dog has symptoms like that, keep close eye on your four legged human.

  155. Kimberly buckhault says

    My 7 yrs old little dog seems too be having seziures very scarey!! He starts shaking really bad has fluid coming out his mouth!! He gets really hot!! I have too hold him a least 5 min until it stops!!!i don’t know what it is or what too do!!



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