Greetings everyone. I found this forum while searching for information about Goldens and seizures, and this thread came up. On Tuesday evening, my 6 year old baby boy went into a full on seizure for the first time in his life. As others here have said, it one of the scariest things you'll ever see. The worst feeling is that sense of helplessness... knowing that something serious is wrong, there's nothing you can do to help, not knowing what will happen, and of course preparing yourself for the worst. I thought I was going to lose him in my arms last night and felt completely lost.
His symptoms: at first I thought he was scratching his ear with his back leg, until the scratching went on for too long, and got very loud. When I saw him, his body was rigid and going through quick bursts of violent spasms. All his major limbs were moving wildly and with high force. I looked at his face to see if he was conscious, and saw his right eye with the pupil full blown, and the left eye was 90% closed with the eye looking off to the side. He had tons of foam at the mouth, urinated a little bit, and his chest always seemed full of air. I thought he wasn't breathing normally.
I took him to the e-vet (that's emergency, not electronic
) once I was able to get him in the car. The poor guy was so disoriented when he came to, so he was VERY VERY aggressive and defensive. It wasn't him. I couldn't risk him biting me while driving, so I tossed a blanket over his head, and secured it around his neck with some plastic zip ties - leaving them loose enough so he could still breathe. That worked to help keep him calm the way a calming cap would. He came full around by the time we got to the vet, and by then he was back to himself. It was about a 20 minute drive... in part because I got on the wrong freeway while panicking. The seizure itself was probably around 2-3 minutes, though it feels like forever.
She did an eval and said his heart sounded good, his breathing was good, and pupils were ERL. Temp was 104, but that's normal post-ictal. After we were done, he took a massive #1 and #2 in the parking lot. I sincerely hope he didn't seize because he had to go outside!! The e-vet doc and I talked a lot about possible causes and treatment options. We went home so I could have my vet do a full blood panel yesterday. Once home, he ate fine, and acted perfectly normal up to and including today.
I do agree with one poster that the scent of urine from a seizing dog is so distinct and just sends shivers up my spine... I'll be using lots of Nature's Miracle on my floor mats
Suffice to say, this morning I was doing A LOT of reading on this subject so I can engage the vet with appropriate questions. Here's my take away from everything the e-vet, my vet, and online articles have said:
-It can either be something inside the brain or outside. Easier to test/treat outside for obvious reasons.
-He's getting a blood panel done. I am expecting results for liver, thyroid, and kidney function, and parasite/viral testing hopefully this evening, or tomorrow at the latest.
-GR's are known to have epilepsy, however in this case the first seizure usually happens before age 4. It is possible he had a seizure at that age when I wasn't around, so there's no way to know for sure.
-There is no known way to predict frequency or pattern. He might have one tonight and every 3rd Tuesday of odd numbered months in even numbered years for the rest of his life... or he might never have one. Asking for predictions/odds/time lines or limits gets you nothing because there are none.
-The chances of it being a neural condition is higher given his age. My vet bases this on his post-ictal aggression.
-I'm debating if I want to deal with a neural consult, or just go straight for a CT with contrasting agent. The specialist won't be cheap, and would either direct for an LP, CT, or MRI anyways. CSF infection is not likely since his behavior is otherwise normal. There is no head trauma which reduces the chances of hydrocephalus.... so I don't see much value in an LP. MRI's cost a lot, but would only help if you knew where to look and what to look for. The contrast agent in a CT should
(I hate using that word...) attach to any masses or tumors.... of course, this is all if the blood work comes back 100% normal.
-and finally... the stress of all this is so freakin exhausting. I'm so wiped out.
If you've made it this far, then thanks for taking the time to read our story. We appreciate any advice or input you all can offer!! Gratuitous pics as an introduction. Hope you like em!
With his BFF:
.... doing what they do best. Screaming UNCLE!!!
Very tired and with a hungry foster weiner puppy. I call this one, "Patience"