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Old 08-18-2011, 09:08 PM
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6 y/o had first seizure Tuesday (new to forum)

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!

Demanding dinner:



With his BFF:



.... doing what they do best. Screaming UNCLE!!!



Snuggle Request...



Very tired and with a hungry foster weiner puppy. I call this one, "Patience"

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:17 PM
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Welcome again! Now watch what happens.

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:39 PM
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Soooo, I actually posted the above thread yesterday in a different thread - and was advised to start a new thread for my boy. Hence, the new thread here!

Yesterday I took him to the vet for a blood panel. The vet said everything looked pretty much straight down the middle - i.e. nothing abnormal. This is giving more credence to it being a neural mass or tumor I was actually hoping that the blood panel would show something bad but treatable. That way I could give him some pills and it'd be all over with.

We have an appointment with a neural specialist next week. I wish to doG I could have gotten one tomorrow. I need to get this over with.

Earlier today I started reading threads in the cancer forum and started to break down (at work no less). Fortunately I was able to blame that on my new contacts. We went for a walk this evening and I was cherishing every moment of it.

I am finding that I'm scrutinizing his behavior more than I usually would. I'm looking for things like changes in his gait, excessive thirst and hunger, lethargy... and I keep second guessing myself. It's starting to drive me crazy.

Yesterday I took him to my girlfriends place. She has a hyperactive JRT (redundant... I know). His behavior was just amazing. He did seem a tad bit lethargic, but that could be from him getting older instead of the source of the seizure. He did also drink a good bit of water too.

Speaking of drinks... a glass of wine would be soooo nice right now.

I haven't experienced this much stress since my niece was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 2. That was a nightmare for the entire family, but we had each other, and got through it. My niece turned 10 this year. She just loves Bruiser, and he adores her. Her road to recovery was really rough... lots of ups and down. There is no, "end of the road". Instead, there are just bumps along the way, and we need to get through them one by one.

Thanks for reading, and doG bless.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldensGirl View Post
Welcome again! Now watch what happens.

Thanks Lucy!! Wow, your thread looks like it has around 800 responses! I'll be reading it for a while!

My ADD has been going haywire these past few days. There's gotta be a way to organize everything I'm learning. My first thoughts to prep for another event is to do the following:

1. Seizure proof the condo as best as I can. Barricade stairs, have a pair of pillows and blankets handy on each floor, and a pair of towels with them. The towels are for helping control the spike in his body temp. I am planning on getting them wet with cold water and then covering his head/eyes, and another for his belly.

2. Get some vanilla ice cream.

3. Keep the camera handy and powered up. Pre-set to video mode.

4. Printout questions for the neuro specialist. I saw a sticky in the cancer thread - which btw was a VERY difficult section for me to read... my contacts were rinsed very well!!

... trying to think what else. More and more reading ahead. *sigh*... suck it up and keep on going.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:01 PM
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If your home and it happens again, try dimming the lights , that helps and keep a bag of frozen veggies on hand so you can use that to bring down the temp.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:43 PM
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Welcome to the forum! You will find a lot of great people here with advice and most of all support!! Sounds like you have found a lot of info on seizures. One of my girls had seizures that were controlled with Potassium Bromide. I hope the neurologist you see will be able to give you the answers you need. I think it is good that Bruiser hasn't had another seizure since Tuesday. Thoughts and prayers coming your way!!! Will be watching for updates. By the way, love the pics...he's a handsome boy!!!
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:17 AM
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Sorry to hear about your guy having a seizure. My Logan also has had 2 seizures. One big difference is that my Logan was 11 1/2 when he had them a year ago, whereas your guy is only 6. Fortunately we have controlled him from having any more with Phenobarbital. They are scarey, but now that you know what to expect you are better prepared. Sometimes there is no cause found. It can be a short-circuit in the brain. In both instances for my Logan his blood work came back perfect so that usually doesn't tell you too much. The threads here regarding seizures are a wealth of information. Try to stay calm (hard to do, I know), and don't let your mind race to a cancer conclusion. As you can see by reading the seizures threads many of the dogs have been on pheno or something else for years and do very well. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:06 PM
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So sorry to hear about your scary experience with your boy's seizure. He is such a handsome redhead. What is his name? Try to determine if anything unusual in his routine or environment may have preceded his seizure.

Elliot's seizures started at age 4 and seemed to be triggered by excitement anticipating his morning meal. He was also under a lot of stress because of Dolly's illness (vestibular disease). His seizures never occurred more often than once a month, and our vet held off giving him anti-seizure meds. After his seizures, he was very disoriented and clingy. We started feeding him immediately after he wakes up in the morning and switched to grain-free food. He has been seizure free for two years.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:07 PM
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Welcome but I am sorry you found us because of Bruiser's seizure. My Beau who has since passed away had his first seizure when he was 10 years old. I never did a MRI or CT scan as my vet said the majority of seizures with goldens there is not usually a cause to be found like a tumor. Not to say Bruiser's wouldnt be found if you did the tests.
One thing I would start doing is to keep a journal of everything he does from time he eats, what you feed him, anything you put in your yard like chemicals, cleaning products etc. Any meds you might be giving him like heartworm & flea meds. Document to the best of your memory what happened during the seizure. If he has anymore seizures (and I pray he doesnt) you might start to see a pattern. If you have him on something like Heartguard, you might consider switching him to something like Interceptor. They say that ivermectin which is in Heartguard can soemtimes set off seizures in dogs prone to them. I found that from my journal when I noticed Beau having a seizure within 24 hrs after me giving him meds. After switching to interceptor it stopped so one less seizure.

If he does have another seizure, put a cold washcloth on his head to help bring down the temp in his head. They say that during a seizure the electrons going thru their brain put their temp up in their brain. Also sit on the floor put a towel under him for his urinating and another under his head for the foaming at the mouth. I kept a little basket with Beau's towels to so they were always ready. Also get some vanilla ice cream all natural and after the seizure give him a couple of tablespoons to help bring his blood sugar up. The seizures really cause their blood sugar to drop. I dont know if you got the website from the other thread but this site has a lot of great information on it. If he has a couple of more seizures I would not hesitate about asking the vet to put him on phenobarbital to help control the seizures.

Canine epilepsy and diseases that cause seizures in dogs

Welcome to you and Bruiser. He is a handsome fellow. Love those redheads.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master_P View Post
Thanks Lucy!! Wow, your thread looks like it has around 800 responses! I'll be reading it for a while!

My ADD has been going haywire these past few days. There's gotta be a way to organize everything I'm learning. ...

... trying to think what else. More and more reading ahead. *sigh*... suck it up and keep on going.
Sounds like you're making excellent progress. One of the things I found helpful about maintaining the GRF thread about Charlie was that it gave me a place to organize information. And I could go back to my earlier posts to find things again if I needed them... it was a resource for me, as I hoped it would be for others.

Vanilla ice cream - we found Hagen Daz to be the best because it has no additives. The Harris Teeter near us carries it in two-ounce containers that are perfect for the post-seizure servings.

Ocular compression is a technique you can use to stop a grand mal seizure quickly. Here's a link to more info: Ocular Compression. I wish I had known about this long before I did.

The exhaustion you feel is familiar to many of us. Remember to take care of yourself and make time to have fun. Fighting seizures can take over your life, and that isn't fair to you or your dog.
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