Our Seizure Roller Coaster has Begun - 11yr old - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

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Old 01-07-2012, 03:45 PM
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Our Seizure Roller Coaster has Begun - 11yr old

God called and I think that he wants his dog back and I really can't blame him.

Tia is my sweet and loyal girl who has been my heart dog for 11 years.
She has the best smile, the brightest eyes, can beg, and even talk. She also has a lovely long coat with a happy swishy tail.

Tia

3 months ago we found her slipping or tripping on tiles. After a few weeks we noticed that she started to jolt for 3 seconds when eating or drinking or while she was snoozing.

She would also lose balance and tip over if there was a loud noise like a fork hitting a plate. Although she started to manage this better and we laid non slip matting over most of our floor boards she still experienced about 10 3 second jolts a day. This never happened when she was out on walks or visiting others so other people think that I am nuts. :P

The vets told me that she was a mystery but she is an old dog and these things happen.

While I was prepared for her slipping and falling I was not prepared for her first full on uncontrolled seizure.

Tia was her happy usual self and walked off after a smiley pat. She slipped on our floor boards, fell on her side, had a seizure with her mouth completely wide open with froth and blood. This lasted for 2or 3 minutes before she scrambled up and ran away to a corner and became very aggressive (she has never shown signs of aggression)

We managed to take her straight to the vet where she paced and was uncomfortable. She would not allow the vet to examine her at all. She did not settle for a good 3 hours later nor did she seem to recognise any of us including our other dog. It was strange to see her sleep so deeply afterwards. This morning she is still sniffing me as if she doesn't know me which is heart breaking.

Do you have any idea what kind of seizure this might have been? vetibular? cerebellar intention tremor??

As you can imagine we are very distressed and have no idea of what to expect and are looking forward to any insights that you could offer us.

I have no idea when or where the next one will occur but I do know that it will happen.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to contribute and maintain this forum. I feel as though I have entered a dark fog not knowing what is going to pop out at my lovely girl next. I look forward to learning a lot from you
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:45 PM
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Doug, I'm so sorry that you and Tia face this challenge, but at least you face it together.

My first recommendation to anyone with a seizure dog is to have a full thyroid panel done. Most GRF members with experience in this area say that Dr. Jean Dodds of Hemopet is the leading expert in this area and blood samples should be sent to her for evaluation: HEMOPET.HTM.

The second thing I would encourage is to have Tia evaluated by a veterinary neurologist. A very physical examination is likely to yield some insight into the cause for Tia's seizures. Given her age, it is not likely to be primary epilepsy. A neurologist can also prescribe medications to stabilize Tia and help you understand what lies ahead. The first medication prescribed is usually Phenobarbital. You won't like the side effects, especially the ataxia, but dogs usually adjust in a week or so.

I hesitate to write this, but some of the symptoms you describe are consistent with a brain tumor or stroke. A neurologist should be able to advise about appropriate care if that is the diagnosis.

You mentioned floor mats, which are an excellent idea. They also help dogs that tend to slip and fall because of arthritis. If Tia faces that challenge, too, there are others on the GRF who can suggest treatments. Adequan worked wonders for my Sabrina.

Riding the seizures roller coaster is not easy, but you have a lot of company on the ride.

God does NOT need another Golden anytime soon, having taken far too many in 2011. Just say No.

Hugs and prayers for Tia and for you,
Lucy
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:03 PM
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You managed to put a smile on my face which is pretty impressive during this intense time

At the moment we are thinking that it is some form of brain tumor. I have been struggling to find the right specialist since I live in South Australia (Adelaide).

Thanks Lucy!! - you are a STAR!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
You managed to put a smile on my face which is pretty impressive during this intense time

At the moment we are thinking that it is some form of brain tumor. I have been struggling to find the right specialist since I live in South Australia (Adelaide).

Thanks Lucy!! - you are a STAR!
Smiles are excellent!

I don't have any idea how veterinary certifications work in Australia, but this referral center in Adelaide does neurological evaluations, at least according to the web site: Adelaide Veterinary Specialist & Referral Centre.

The neurologist who evaluated Charlie told us that the hallmark of most brain tumors is one-sided behaviors, like moving in circles in one direction, listing to one side while walking, or dragging feet on one side but not the other. This is also symptomatic of localized strokes, though, so don't leap to conclusions.

Elsewhere on the Forum there are comments about how seldom vets check dogs' blood pressure, which is something else to think about.

Making sense of all of this takes time, patience, and a lot of love. Remember that Tia doesn't know she is having seizures and she doesn't know that she is mortal. She does know that she loves you and she isn't happy if you're upset or unhappy. Hard as it is, an important goal is to maximize Tia's joy in every day of her life.

With you in spirit,
Lucy
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:31 PM
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You are in luck! The University of Adelaide has a veterinary science degree program and a health services facility: School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences | Companion Animal Health Centre. Vet med schools are absolutely the best place to take a sick animal if it's at all possible. If they don't have the services you need, they will know who does and can make referrals. They are also typically the best-informed. And the students adore animals, so our fur people get extra cuddles every step of the way.

Fingers crossed.
Lucy
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:35 PM
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So sorry you and Tia are going through this. I'm sure the seiziures must be terrifying to watch. We have a number of members who have been through what you are going through. I would suggest you do a search to locate those threads. Best of luck to you and Tia. Give her a hug from the boys and I.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:49 PM
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Lucy, you are an absolute angel.

Doug, we have been through the seizure thing as well with are almost 13 year old Casey. It is so very hard. I am crossing my fingers, toes...everything for you. Our Casey had most likely a brain tumor as well as a splenic tumor. They found the splenic tumor after she had her first seizure (the first one we actually saw).

I can't offer any other advice or knowledge, just lots of support.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:05 PM
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Correction LUCY you are a SUPER star!!!

Your kindness and generosity is making me cry - in a the best possible way

Thanks Oaklys Dad Thank goodness I am on my summer break so Tia is getting lots of attention and I am currently able to sift through lotsa posts but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed

Thank you so much Casey pooh!! The vets do say that she most likely has multiple things going on which makes it harder to reasearch out what is actually going on.

If it does turn out to be a brain tumour will the Phenobarbital help?
Why do they seem to recommend this first when so many others shortly swap over to the Potassium Bromide?
What does the term ataxia mean? Will she have trouble walking?

Ah so much to learn so little time.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
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If it does turn out to be a brain tumour will the Phenobarbital help?
Why do they seem to recommend this first when so many others shortly swap over to the Potassium Bromide?
What does the term ataxia mean? Will she have trouble walking?

Ah so much to learn so little time.
Charlie almost certainly had a brain tumor and Pheno helped him. So did Prednisone.

Pheno is effective quickly. From what others here have told me, it takes a few weeks for Potassium Bromide (KBr, if we use the chemical abbreviation) to build up to therapeutic levels in the system. I believe that KBr also costs a good bit more than Pheno.

Ataxia is the medical term for the loss of coordination and unsteadiness that is common in dogs on Pheno, though it it also has other causes. Yes, it means she may stagger and have trouble controlling her back legs, especially on stairs. This usually gets better after a week or two.

Someday you, too, will be paying forward, as I am doing now. Many, many people here helped me when we were battling Charlie's seizures. What I really wish is that I had the magical power to eradicate seizures for everyone everywhere!
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:10 PM
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So sorry you too are going through this horrible condition...

My Tailer started having grand mal seizures 2/1/10 at 4years, 4 months old...we called our vet immediately and said we were on our way...we checked for poisoning, thyroid, heart issues, stroke...his thyroid had been out of wack, but not bad enough to need meds...also decided maybe, maybe, it was going to be just a one time event.

Two more seizures in less than 24 hours and we started him on Pheno. The first maybe five days, Tailer walked ok...then he started walking like a "drunken sailor boy", which lasted about 2 weeks...his meds have had to be increased to double where we started...26 seizures later he still has a great life...loves to chase tennis balls and wander in the woods with me.

Tailer has not been aggressive, but he does peeee during the seizures however. Since GoldensGirl told us about "Ocular Compression" it has cut Tailer's down from 6 - 10 munites of seizing and 20 minutes of running around after, to <3 minutes start to finish! Google it.

I know every dog is different and Tia and Tailer may have different underlying issues...I too wish I had a Magic Wand to cure every seizure dog...every dog! Good Luck, keep us posted, we're here for You! --Gay & Tailer
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